Arguably America’s coolest festival South By Southwest returns to Texas this month (March 10-19) – and of course Dr. Martens is right there in the thick of the action. For the uninitiated SXSW was founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas and is known for its conference and festivals that celebrate creativity. That creativity can be in the form of film, music or other performance. The event features hundreds of gigs, screenings, exhibitions and like-minded people coming together to party, dance and have a good old time..
Here at Dr. Martens we’ve teamed up with COLLiDE to put on a series of killer sets at Container Bar for three incredible days of music. So get ready to party into the early hours because we’re bringing you the best tunes in Austin this year.
On Wednesday, we’ve got sets from Diamond Thug, The Regrettes, Diet Cig, Blaenavon, Nick Waterhouse, and Benjamin Booker. Followed by an after party in association with Insomniac Records, featuring sets from The Burrowers, El Dusty, Late Night Laggers, Jesse Slayter, Dave Nada, Ma-Less, Uniiqu3, and JSTJR. Thursday sees our friends at RCA Records curate the day, with performances from Jain, Colony HouseRob, $tone, Skott, MUNA, MISSIO and Khalid. On Friday the fun doesn’t stop – ANTI- Records present Cameron Avery, Girlpool, Delicate Steve, Gold Star, and The Drums. Afterwards legendary record label Stones Throw will be supplying DJs who’ll be spinning pure gold all night. This is an event not to be missed.
RSVP here to join us for three days of free shows at the Container Bar in Austin, TX.
We caught up with performers The Regrettes, who blend classic punk with vintage Motown undertones. We asked them about their sound, what they’re listening to, and, of course, their Doc’s.
How did you all become a band?
Lydia: We all met at School of Rock, and when we left, we disconnected for a while.
Sage: We met back up at a show in 2015 and it all just kind of happened.
Genesssa: Sage, Maxx, and I were in a band and Lydia had a two piece, but then the drummer of her two piece left.
Sage: We started rehearsing immediately and the magic was there right off the bat.
How did you decide on the name The Regrettes? And were there any runner’s up?
Sage: We wanted a name to describe the sound or feeling of the music.
Maxx: The word ‘regret’ has a darker meaning to it, but adding the “ettes” makes it not as dark.
Lydia: I liked “The Regrettes” because the “ettes” adds a vintage feel, like our sound.
How would you describe your sound?
Genesssa: I always describe our sound as Punk with Motown undertones.
Sage: If Buddy Holly, The Ronettes, and Hole had four children, you would get us!
If a person has never heard your music before, what song should they listen to first and why?
Genesssa: I always play people Hot or Seashore first.
Lydia: A Living Human Girl because if that song freaks you out, you should stop listening.
Sage: Either A Living Human Girl or Seashore. They both sum up our feelings towards life pretty well and I feel like the tone in both is really what we aim to sound and feel like in every song.
Maxx: Picture Perfect. It has a little of everything from all the other songs in one.
What is the best thing about being on stage, playing a live show?
Genesssa: Watching everyone. People at shows don’t realize that they are also putting on a little show for us. I watch and enjoy them as much as they watch us.
Lydia: Seeing people enjoy themselves and dance. That exchange of energy is just unbelievable and can’t be found anywhere else.
Sage: The energy and connection you get to feel with the crowd and the band. We are all out there experiencing this new moment together and connecting in a very intimate and special way.
Maxx: The crowd for sure. If the crowd is good then it makes being on stage and playing that much more fun.
Do you remember your first pair of Doc’s?
Lydia: My first pair of Doc’s were purple and had lady bugs on them. I got the when I was 2 years old.
Genesssa: My first pair of Doc’s were a HUGE deal! I still have them nine years later. They are patent red and I saved up all my birthday and Christmas money to buy them the summer before my first day of middle school. I went to a huge suburban middle school where everyone dressed the same so these shoes were my form of rebellion and self-expression. No one knew what Doc’s were and I was teased about them. But, when I went to sign up for the School of Rock – where our band met – I got compliments on them and other kids were wearing Docs! I felt at home and really do believe Dr. Martens are the reason I’m a musician.
Sage: My first pair were the classic black 1460s. I got them in 8th grade, and I still bring them on tour and wear them all the time. They fit me like a glove now and are my go-to pair of shoes. They look great with every outfit and make me feel like a powerful bitch when I need a confidence boost.
What are you listening to in preparation for SXSW?
Lydia: Amy Winehouse, Kate Nash, The Crystals, Frankie Valli And The Four Seasons, Angel Olsen, and Nat King Cole.
Sage: I’ve been listening to a ton of Esperanza Spalding and Prince lately. Both are such incredible artists and truly inspiring people. Specific songs would be Judas, Unconditional Love, and Rest in Pleasure for Esperanze. For Prince: Darling Nikki, I Wanna Be Your Lover, and a lot of Lets Go Crazy(to get me pumped up)
Maxx: Foals, Hiatus Kaiyote, The Garden, Teen Pregnancy – Blank Banshee, No One Loves Me, Neither Do I – Them Crooked Vultures.