SXSW Preview: Fatherson


Scotland’s alt-rockers Fatherson are about to make their SXSW debut this week. While the trio is on their way to Austin, drummer Greg Walkinshaw took some time to answer a few questions for us. Read on to see what he had to say about their history as a band, travelling in the US, and what lies ahead.

And don’t forget to check out their song, “I Like Not Knowing”, off their debut album, I Am An Island!

While the words “Scottish alternative rockers” might sound a little strange, your music certainly doesn’t – what band(s) have had the biggest influence on your musical style?
Our influences are constantly shifting, when we first started the band we were all listening to a lot of Biffy Clyro as they were from the same town in Scotland that we are and sounded completely different to any other kind of music that we had listened to before. We all take a lot of inspiration from bands that we tour with, bands like Enter Shikari and We Were Promised Jetpacks have really influenced us to to look at songwriting and performance in a different way to how we usually do it.

I’m a sucker for good three-piece bands where each member seems to complement one another – do you find that there’s any added pressure when performing? Knowing that one person being “off” could affect the entire show?
Yeah I totally know what you mean! It’s always been quite easy with this band because this is still the first band all of us have ever been in. We have been playing together since we were all 14 and know exactly how we all perform and the little signs that we all give out during gigs. Performing is a pressure that we all feel from time to time, especially during high-profile shows, but the easiest way we’ve found to deal with it is to spend 15 minutes before each show together to get in the zone and warm up together – it really helps us lock in together a play the best show we can!


You’re playing a show in New York tomorrow (3/12) and then you’re off to Austin for SXSW – Is this your first time in the US in general? Have you been before? What are you hoping to get out of this 10-days-or-so stretch – musically and otherwise?

We made a flying trip the the US a few years ago to play a music conference in Milwaukee called Yellow Phone, it was quite a surreal weekend as I think we spent less than 36 hours in the country and more than 2 days travelling to get there! I would consider this our first proper trip the the states and so far it has been incredible. The people of New York have been incredibly friendly and accommodating and it has been massively inspiring to all of us to spend some time in a foreign place and take yourself out of your comfort zone. We are all really hyped about SXSW as well, it’s a big opportunity for us to play in front of people who have never seen or heard of us before so we are really looking forward to that!

Are there any other acts in particular that you’re looking forward to seeing at SXSW?
There are a lot of amazing bands that we’ve never seen before that we’re looking forward seeing if we get the chance!I’m really hoping to catch Twin Shadow, Ross hasn’t stopped talking about seeing CHON, and Marc really wants to see Bad Bad not Good so hopefully we can go see all of that!

Outside of playing and other music/press-related obligations, is there anything else you’re hoping to do while in Austin?
From what we have heard about South By, there is going to be no shortage of events and parties to attend! I think that we all just want to throw ourselves into it and do as much stuff as we possibly can! We are quite busy with the showcases and press but I know that we all want to have as much American food as possible! We are really looking forward to sampling some of the local food and barbeque on our time off, I’ve heard its incredible so that is high on our list of priorities!

What’s next after SXSW?
After we get back, we have a few days to recover (we have been recommended that that is a good idea!) and then we head over to Germany for a few shows then back into the studio to continue writing as much music as we possibly can. We have a busy summer in the UK with festivals as well as a few in mainland Europe – we are really excited about the next few months!

Thanks Greg!

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

Mon 3/16 — 7pm — SDI Event – Brush Square
Tue 3/17 — 2pm — Big Picture Media Showcase – The Blind Pig Roof
Wed 3/18 — 3:50pm — British Music @ SXSW – British Music Embassy
Thu 3/19 — 8pm — APA Showcase – The North Door
Sun 3/22 — 8:30pm — Sunday South by Sendoff – Stubbs

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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.