SXSW Interview: The Henry Clay People on Getting Signed, NoFX's 'Punk in Drublic,' and Being Really, Really Tired

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Sat, Mar 20, 2010 at 7:00 PM

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Glendale's Henry Clay People may end this South By Southwest able to brag that they were the hardest-working band in Austin.

The sibling-led shout-rockers (who were just signed to TBD records, home of Radiohead) will have played 11 shows in 4 days. They've still got two more to go today.

We caught up with the frontmen on the streets before a gig, where they told us about what finally getting signed was like, how to pace yourself for a marathon, and public vomiting.

WCS: This is your third South By; at your first, you only played twice. What've you learned since then?

Joey Siara: I've learned that pacing yourself is extremely important -- early ripe, early rotten. What else have I learned? [pause, more seriously] There're so many fucking bands in the world. And it's tough. Get together with some of your friends, and let the wind blow you where ever it blows you. Never make a plan -- just go with the flow. Every time I have a plan it becomes compromised.

Andy Siara: And it causes more stress.

JS: No plan is the way to do it.

[Read the rest of the interview, after the jump. The Henry Clay People play the Bootleg on March 24.]

WCS: Who've you seen that's blown you away this year?

JS: We haven't had time to even think this year. No downtime yet. The one band we got to see was Warpaint, and Happy Hollows.

WCS: What do you think of the shows you've played so far? Do they just run together for you?

JS: Show 1 was a warmup, show 2 was a drunk mess, and that was our favorite one. After that it got kind of exhausting.

WCS: In the last three years, you must've seen some insane stuff. What's the craziest thing you've seen at SXSW?

JS: NoFX doing [their seminal album] Punk in Drublic was the coolest thing at SXSW. It was two years ago, at some big outdoor festival thingie. I've also seen people throw up in front of me a couple times. That's pretty weird. The amount of people I've seen throw up in front of me in a limited amount of time makes it special.

WCS: How did getting signed change your lives?

JS: Nothing has changed in our lives at all. I woke up and felt slightly more validated that morning. Other than that first morning and patting myself on the back, everything esles has been blah. But maybe it'll be better when the record comes out. I've learned not to be optimistic.

WCS: What would you tell a band prepping for their first SXSW?

JS: Play your ass off, no matter where you are; no matter how many people are in the audience. The old fashioned, "play everything like you mean it" might be good.

AS: We haven't done it any different. We just kept on doing it.

WCS: Hey there, Andy, thanks for joining in. You look like you're falling asleep sitting up. On a scale of 1-10, how tired are you?

A: 9. If I had a bed, I'd fall asleep right now.

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