SXSW Interview: Mission South


“We came here with literally zero expectations, we were just going to see what happens and have a lot of fun.”

Once upon a time there were three best childhood friends that started a rock band. How can this story end in anything but greatness? Mission South is Dan, John, and Max, who met in the fourth grade and grew up all within walking distance of each other. They played in band together and finally decided to join forces to create Mission South last year, and what a better way to promote a semi new band than by playing SXSW in Austin, TX, the ‘survival of the fittest’ of music festivals. “We’re just so excited about the people we’ve met. There have been people at every show we have played asking us about cd’s and stuff. I kind of figured there was so many bands here that it would be a lot more difficult.”

“If you’re just walking by and you hear our sound and that makes you come into the bar and hear our whole set, that’s so inspiring. That’s what it’s all about.”

One of my favorite parts about SXSW is walking down the street and hearing amazing talent not only inside the bars, but outside. Literally, on the street. To me, this is one of the best ways to grab people’s attention that do not hold an official SXSW Music Badge, and one of the best ways for a new band to make a staple for themselves at the festival. “I was surprised at how many people actually enjoy that. We were getting great responses from tons of people by just playing acoustic in the street.”

Of course the question came up ‘Do you guys fight like brothers?’ I’m sure these guys probably hear this all the time, but they had great answers. “For every issue we have, it’s like a democracy. Two against one.”

“There’s a lot of overlap between our personalities. Two of us are usually on the same page, and in that case, the other one is ‘crazy’. We just have to learn how to pick our battles, especially when we’re making a record. I’m a strong believer that collaboration is the best way to come out with the best product, and when you have these kind of differences you just really have to learn how to pick your battles and which ones are most important to you.”

“I don’t think any one of us listens to one specific genre of music. We have such a wide range of influences that I think our sound kind of feeds into all of these. We’re really into The Black Keys, Kings of Leon, Ben Harper, but I think that if you listen to our record (out April 9) it’s just such a wide range of things, I can’t even explain what our sound is. We just want our songs to sound honest and meaningful..”

Mission South took a week off of tour and are currently back on the road. Be sure to check out their tour dates and pick up their record that’s out on April 9!

“I’m already beat, but in the best kind of way.” –On SXSW

Words and Photo by Rachel Martin

Quotes by Dan, Jon, and Max of Mission South

Interview conducted at Big Picture Media press day/SXSW 2013

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