SXSW Preview: Carbon Tigers

Chicago quartet Carbon Tigers are heading to Austin to take their indie rock vibe to South by Southwest. We’re big fans of Carbon Tigers here at EAH. Heck, it’s hard not to be — they put out great music, and are always generous with their time for the likes of us. Check out the #TOURLIFE Hometown Edition feature we ran on them just a few months ago, then listen to their new album, The Wars at Home, (repeatedly) and I know you’ll fall in love with them too!

We had the chance to chat with the band about their upcoming trip to Austin (their first!), what it means to be a “successful” band, and what the future holds (hint, it may or may not include vinyl).

And while you’re reading, be sure to check out the video below of their song, “The Harvest”, recorded at Chicago main-stay Audiotree Live.

As SXSW first-timers, what are your expectations as you prepare to head south?
This will be our first trip down to Texas as a band. We’re expecting the weather to be warm, the food to be delicious, and the people to be beautiful. We’re really looking forward to getting down there and performing for new people that have yet to hear our music.

You’ve been through a lot of ups and down through the course of the band’s history – does the opportunity to perform at an event like this “make it all worth it”?
It definitely feels like we’re on the right path now more than ever. We struggled for a while and had this idea that all that mattered was making good music. Which wasn’t a bad problem to have… I’m just glad we woke up and realized there’s more to being in a successful band than just that! We’ve really taken control of what we do as a band and have been working harder than ever to make our name more known. One thing that helps give us the “make it all worth it” feeling is seeing album sales in places outside of Chicago, especially the ones overseas! It blows our mind to think people thousands of miles away care enough about what we’re doing to spend money on it.


You’re set to play 5 showcases over 4 days at SXSW – are you worried about trying to do too much in such a short period of time?
Not at all! We’re actually playing the 11th in San Antonio, TX to squeeze in as much opportunity as possible haha! We try not to complain about it because it’s like…. the best problem to have! Ever! :)

What will you do in-between showcases?
Our awesome team at Big Picture Media are doing an incredible job of helping us set up interviews with various press outlets while we’re down there. In between that and performing, we’re hoping to check out some live music and get some facetime with other people attending the fest.

What’s next for Carbon Tigers after SXSW?
We have a handful of Midwest dates lined up before we finish writing this next batch of songs. We are set to hit the studio in May and we’re currently talking with our label about pressing a vinyl that will have these new songs as well as the songs from our last release, The Wars at Home, on it. Very exciting to think our music will be on vinyl!

Thanks guys!

If you’re in Austin for SXSW, be sure to check out Carbon Tigers at the following showcases:

Wed 3/1212:35pm — Big Picture Media Showcase – Thirsty Nickel (325 E 6th St.)
Wed 3/121am — The Nekkid Armadilla Presents: – Lucky Lounge (209 W 5th St.)
Thu 3/131:30pm — AEMMP Records Presents – Bat Bar (218 E 6th St.)
Thu 3/139pm — Audiotree SXSW Showcase – Papi Tino’s (1306 E. 6th St.)
Sat 3/152pm — RedGorilla Music Fest Showcase – Thirsty Nickel (325 E. 6th St.)

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Chief Of All The Things at Emo At Heart
Josh is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Emo At Heart.