MORE

The Bands Who Have Played Every 35 Denton Talk About the Festival

Petra Kelly of Spooky Folk
Petra Kelly of Spooky Folk
Bill Ellison

The festival now known as 35 Denton first set up its permanent residence in the city five years ago. More than 20 musicians from the area have played all four previous incarnations and will be back again this year. We asked a few of them to share their thoughts on the festival and its growth.

See also: -50 Don'ts For Your ACL Festival Weekend -Five WTF Examples of Marketing at SXSW -The 100 Best Texas Songs: The Complete List

The Bands Who Have Played Every 35 Denton Talk About the Festival
Michael Briggs

Daniel Folmer of Danny Rush and the Designated Drivers

What has 35 Denton (and all of its past incarnations) meant to you as a local musician? 35 Denton is an incredible opportunity to showcase the quality of local music alongside national touring acts. It is also a place where I have seen local bands outperform said big-name, critically acclaimed Pitchfork-hand-job bands. In some ways, the city has worked itself into seasonal affective disorder. This time is like Christmas for performing artists. We are allowed to showcase the talent that floods this city. The other 361 days of the year pale in comparison.

Describe a favorite set or moment from one of the past four festivals. Singing alongside John Vanderslice last year was an ethereal moment for me. He was one of the first touring musicians to actually listen to a CD I gave him and respond. This was around 2003. Also, getting thrown out of The Labb on Thursday and playing Saturday, throwing water in someone's face, drinking gin in the street, watching Jason Lytle sing with Midlake.

What are you planning this year for your set? Anything unique or interesting up your sleeve? We are planning on using it to release our next album. It seems like every year we stress everyone from our label man to our producer, attempting to shoot out a record as a very slick baby from a womb. We are also looking into matching tracksuits. We are having some shirts made, to sell, not to wear.

Approaching its fifth year, in what ways does 35 Denton seem different to you than its previous years? Well, we are going to have to avoid running over more loft trash than in years past, what with all the HIP URBAN, MODERN EAT-PLAY-GUITAR-BETWEEN-CLASSES-AND-LAY-IN-THE-POOL-ALL-DAY LIVING encroaching on our low-rent wasteland. Motherfuckers. I am super psyched for Roky Erickson. I am super psyched to be playing right before Wayne the Train, a hero, and after George Neal, an icon of the city. I am excited to watch Deep Throat at Gloves. I am excited to be a part of the Baptist Generals listening party, where I believe they will showcase a video for "Fly Candy Harvest," in which I play a drunken businessman alongside real businessmen. I am excited for the Fabulous Badasses reunion.

How do you feel about the growth of the festival? I think it is a great thing, as long as it doesn't turn into a SXSW-type environment where local artists are just another applicant. What I have experienced and most folks who have performed or attended SXSW more than once in the past 10 years have experienced, is that it is a hassle, through and through. Is it fun? Yeah. Can you drink a lot of free beer and see a lot of free music and eat a lot of free barbecue, and get some free Ray Bans that say VICE Magazine, and a free Le Tigre shirt, and a free ride in a pedicab when the cops cuff you and almost arrest you for public intoxication, but instead write you a jaywalking ticket and force a pedicab to take you to your hotel? Yeah.

But man, what a hassle.

The 35 Denton schedule appears to be about half local, half national. As I said earlier, I am more looking forward to watching some of the local acts. There is energy in the performances my colleagues put forward for throngs of people who are largely ignorant to their music. It pushes many of them to higher levels of performance.

Corporate sponsors are nice because they allow the festival some financial leeway. That being said, the food tickets are all good for local food trucks and drink tickets are for Oak Street Drafthouse.

It is using regional/national recognition to promote local goodness.

Petra Kelly of Spooky Folk
Petra Kelly of Spooky Folk
Bill Ellison

Petra Kelly of Spooky Folk

What has 35 Denton (and all of its past incarnations) meant to you as a local musician? As naive as it may seem, the first NX35 in Denton in 2009 was my first real exposure to the Denton music scene. This was also my first show ever with Spooky Folk. After four days of local music, I was so sad for the festival to be over and then realized that living in Denton meant that it didn't have to be. There's a show almost every night of the week anyway. The festival was my first introduction to local music, which has now taken over my life.

Describe a favorite set or moment from one of the past four festivals. Monotonix at Hailey's in 2009 was absolutely wild. I'll never forget that show. That same festival I saw Possessed By Paul James for the first time at RGRS, and I am still in love with his music. Spooky Folk was asked to play the main stage in 2011, which was incredible. That is the biggest stage that we have ever been on. And honestly, last year's performance at Dan's was probably our best performance ever. We've had a lot of important moments at 35.

What are you planning this year for your set? Anything unique or interesting up your sleeve? I'll be performing with at least Spooky Folk and Hares on the Mountain this year, and I'm not aware of any surprises in the making. But that shit usually happens at the last minute.

Approaching its fifth year, in what ways does 35 Denton seem different to you than its previous years? I'm seeing a lot more advertising. I guess I noticed that last year as well. I'm excited that Thurston Moore will be in Denton. That's different.

How do you feel about the growth of the festival? I both love and loathe the growth of the festival. It's nice to share the things you love with more people, and it's great that some of these bigger acts are coming through our town. However, too many people in any capacity is always a problem. At least for me. I dunno. I like smaller and more intimate crowds. No year will ever compare to the first year I went to NX35 and just fell in love.

The Bands Who Have Played Every 35 Denton Talk About the Festival
Christi LaViolette

Ryan Thomas Becker of RTB2

What has 35 Denton (and all of its past incarnations) meant to you as a local musician? It has meant representing myself, my bands, our friends and this town on a larger level than most of us experience throughout the rest of the year. When 35 was still an "Off Broadway" Austin showcase, Chris Flemmons made it clear what and who we were representing. If you forgot, all you had to do was look back at the "Music From Denton, Texas" banner on the stage.

Describe a favorite set or moment from one of the past four festivals. I was scheduled to close the Words and Music panel in 2011 at Dan's with a solo set. George Neal was scheduled a couple of spots before me. He was going through some mysterious health issues which had us all worried. The illness had led to the cancellation of our band's performance (The Slow Burners) the night before, so he was only going to read from his recent collection of poems and short stories. Since he wasn't really in a condition to play guitar, I came up to him with the idea of backing him up for a couple of songs.

George was already trembling by the time we started the first song, and the trembling only increased as the song went on. George almost bounced out of his seat as he threw up a seizing arm singing the word "body." He was displaying his symptoms for the crowd. George's entire body started to violently vibrate when he began screaming the outro of the song. I was looking down at the ground trying not to completely lose it. He waved for me to stop playing while he screamed the words "day after day" over and over again with the most unsettling silence between the lines. I was still averting my eyes and just waiting for George to finish the song. One final scream and a good 10 seconds later, the crowd cheered. I immediately put my guitar down, hurried off stage, and cried for a good five minutes.

What are you planning this year for your set? Anything unique or interesting up your sleeve? RTB2 released a new album at the end of last year, so we'll be armed with some new material. We can plan as much as we want, but the energy that is felt at these 35 shows opens up the possibility of anything happening. Oh, and I'm going to propose to Grady [Sandlin, Becker's RTB2 band mate]. I'm through with living in sin.

Approaching its fifth year, in what ways does 35 Denton seem different to you than its previous years? With each passing year, the organizers seem to present a more well oiled machine, so to speak. They also secure more bands about which I know nothing -- kids these days. ...

I assume that they keep their fingers on the pulse of hip and exciting music, which they bring to the festival each year. I have also noticed a bit more animosity from the fans of 35 and some of the bands that were booked and were not booked this year. Chalk it up to the growing pains of a still-fledgling festival. I wonder if "festival years" are similar to "dog years"?

How do you feel about the growth of the festival? I think it has been growing exponentially, and the 35 people have to keep that in mind when organizing in a smaller town. I'm sure we all hope that the future of this festival stays true to a "small town" feel. Warnings aside, I see the growth of the festival contributing to the growth of Denton, both artistic and economical.

The Bands Who Have Played Every 35 Denton Talk About the Festival

Jennifer Seman from Shiny Around the Edges

What has 35 Denton (and all of its past incarnations) meant to you as a local musician? Gorilla. *

Describe a favorite set or moment from one of the past four festivals. Gorilla. *

What are you planning this year for your set? Anything unique or interesting up your sleeve? Gorilla. *

Approaching its fifth year, in what all ways does 35 Denton seem different to you than its previous years? Gorilla. *

How do you feel about the growth of the festival? Gorilla. *

* "Gorilla" refers to a series of DIY house shows that Nick Foreman, lead singer of Dust Congress, used to host under Denton's local label Paperstain Records' brand, during the festival. In 2012, an actual inflatable gorilla was made and positioned in front of his house. Gorilla came to represent the reckless, subversive, chaotic approach that Paperstain embraced.

Chris Welch of Pinebox Serenade

What has 35 Denton (and all of its past incarnations) meant to you as a local musician? Well, it has meant a lot to me, mainly because it allows musicians like myself to play in front an enthusiastic crowd that just wants to hear more. You very rarely get that at any regular show.

Describe a favorite set or moment from one of the past four festivals. Probably the first year, when Pinebox played at J&J's. It was just packed, with people dancing and just going crazy. It was a great time. Last years Old Warhorse set at Sweet Water would be a close second. Same type thing where it was packed and everyone was going crazy.

What are you planning this year for your set? Anything unique or interesting up your sleeve? Nothing super unique for this years shows, just trying to make people have a good time.

Approaching its fifth year, in what all ways does 35 Denton seem different to you than its previous years?

If feels like there is quite a bit anticipation about it this year from the rest of DFW, just something in the air. I know there are several acts that I'm super stoked to go see, Like Reigning Sound and Killer Mike!!

How do you feel about the growth of the festival?

I think the growth is great, you just want to make sure there is always room for the local bands. That's what this should always be about.

Grady Sandlin of RTB2

What has 35 Denton (and all of its past incarnations) meant to you as a local musician? I get overworked and underpaid. It's easily my lowest-grossing weekend of the year. Even I get sick of seeing Ryan everywhere.

Describe a favorite set or moment from one of the past four festivals. Going to sleep on Sunday, knowing I won't have to do this all again for another 361 days.

What are you planning this year for your set? Anything unique or interesting up your sleeve? Funny you should mention it, I'm wearing only sleeveless shirts this year.

Approaching its fifth year, in what all ways does 35 Denton seem different to you than its previous years? Why you gotta trick up a burger?

How do you feel about the growth of the festival? I am horrified and plan to apply topical cream to the area. I would suggest that all affected do the same.

Kelly Upshaw of The Hope Trust

What has 35 Denton (and all of its past incarnations) meant to you as a local musician? Denton has a lot of musicians, which inherently means Denton has a lot of lazy people. The festival has been a sort of wake up call for Denton's art community to start extending beyond itself, with the local talent that it highlights and the international talent that it attracts. It's a great thing to have been lucky enough to be a part of every year. It's like rock 'n roll summer camp. It puts a little fire under your butt.

Describe a favorite set or moment from one of the past four festivals. Last year's set was my favorite. We played the KXT Showcase at Dan's Silverleaf with Danny Folmer, Doug Burr and John Vanderslice, all of whom are great songwriters. There was a line of folks out the door, and the audience was amazingly attentive. It certainly felt like the right place to be.

What are you planning this year for your set? Anything unique or interesting up your sleeve? This year we'll be playing the new stuff from our forthcoming EP Silver & Lead, and Jeremy Buller and I have been working feverishly over these winter months on what we will call "some choreography." We are always interesting; you should come see for yourself.

Approaching its fifth year, in what all ways does 35 Denton seem different to you than its previous years? It seems like every year it has taken a more professional direction. There are a million considerations for a festival of this magnitude to work successfully, and that it does comes from year-round work by a lot of people that don't get as much direction recognition as they deserve (Kyle LaValley, Natalie Dávila and all of the hard-working volunteers).

How do you feel about the growth of the festival? It's great. We live in the DIY age. The Music Industry as "a thing" is up for grabs. This festival wasn't created by Clear Channel or Live Nation or any dark overlords. It has grown out of a local vision that values art and culture, and celebrates human expression without selling you a pack of gum or new pair of shoes. It's real. What's not to like?  

The Bands Who Have Played Every 35 Denton Talk About the Festival

Kaleo Kaualoku of Spooky Folk

What has 35 Denton (and all of its past incarnations) meant to you as a local musician?

35 is what gave Spooky Folk its start. I kind of feel like both the band and the festival have grown up side by side, 35 Denton being the older brother that totally showed you how to light shit on fire behind the shed in the backyard. But really, we've played some of our best shows and had some of the best times at this thing.

Describe a favorite set or moment from one of the past four festivals. Amongst many, one set that stands out in my mind was from the first year at Rubber Gloves. That was the first time I saw Possessed by Paul James, and everything he did was just so raw and beautiful and devoid of any kind of bullshit that it really grabbed a hold of me. I know it's cliché to say but I was totally captivated and awestruck by Conrad's intensity. It was like watching an exposed nerve flail around in a chair for 45 minutes, simultaneously pummeling and serenading me at the same time.

What are you planning this year for your set? Anything unique or interesting up your sleeve? We plan on getting an endorsement from Hoochies Oyster Bar, so we'll probably take a moment between songs and slurp a couple of oysters and talk about how we are totally cool with eating raw oysters and in no way will we die from eating them.

Approaching its fifth year, in what ways does 35 Denton seem different to you than its previous years? It feels more organized and concentrated. The first couple of years seemed to be a scattershot where the staff was still figuring out what worked well and what kind of sucked.

How do you feel about the growth of the festival? Well I'm no doctor but I'd say that it probably needs to be looked at by a medical professional.

Pablo Burrull of Pageantry, Bird Meets Winter

What has 35 Denton (and all of its past incarnations) meant to you as a local musician? I look forward to 35 Denton every year regardless of whether I'm playing or not. I've had the honor to play each year, and I'm very grateful for that. It's really put Denton on the map, more so than it already was before 35 started, so it gives me a sense of pride to be playing music with so many talented songwriters, musicians and friends. 35 means, to me, that all of my friends and family get a chance to hang out for a weekend, listen to music and have fun.

Describe a favorite set or moment from one of the past four festivals. One of my favorite moments during 35 was last year, 2012, when Ramon, my drummer for Pageantry, texted me to come to Banter. I was hanging out at The Labb, and I'm glad I ditched my friends there to get into Banter. This band from Australia, Pond, was tearing Banter up. I couldn't tell if the singer was a guy or a girl, but regardless, their psychedelic, D-GAF sounds really turned me on. That year I played The Labb with Young and Brave, Denton Square Doughnuts with Pageantry and Roy Robertson, both of which were awesome experiences.

What are you planning this year for your set? Anything unique or interesting up your sleeve? Pageantry has been busy touring and finishing up our EP, which will hopefully be out in the NEAR future. We'll be debuting new songs at 35 Denton. We've worked really hard to "wipe out" our usual songs in favor for new ones to better represent what we have become as a band. Not to mention our amazingly good looks.

Approaching its fifth year, in what all ways does 35 Denton seem different to you than its previous years? 35 Denton is different every year. It's the same festival with a different face. This is a really good thing, because it keeps things interesting. I never know what to expect, so I really look forward surprises and line-up announcements. This year seemed to bring less mainstream bands compared to last year's Bun B, The Mountain goats, etc., and 2011's Flaming Lips. I've very happy that local Denton bands are still represented. That's important to me.

How do you feel about the growth of the festival? The festival has grown tremendously every year. I think back to the first year, where the sole "big" headliner was The Monotonix. I might add that that was a religious experience for me. My band Leatherwood played Andy's, opening for a metal show. We were folk. Every year seems to groups bands together better, yet still have variety. All the press 35 has gotten from around the country is amazing, seeing as it started with one dudes vision, and a little help from friends and whiskey.

Chris Garver of Delmore Pilcrow

What has 35 Denton (and all of its past incarnations) meant to you as a local musician? It's like a big ol' family reunion. Denton's annual Woodstock. The first year felt like tradition. The return of Fry Street Fair only much, much cooler.

Describe a favorite set or moment from one of the past four festivals. Violent Squid in 2011. They played the first night on the courthouse lawn. No wristband required. They were dressed like bizzaro Village People and played a perfectly insane set. I liked the idea of families passing by thinking that the festival was three more days of Violent Squid-esque acts and solemnly shaking their heads.

What are you planning this year for your set? Anything unique or interesting up your sleeve? We're pretty meat and potatoes in that regard. Hopefully the songs are unique and interesting.

Approaching its fifth year, in what all ways does 35 Denton seem different to you than its previous years? The food trucks will be a hit. Also, Roky Erickson is playing.

How do you feel about the growth of the festival? It feels great. It was insane that the Flaming Lips were booked the second year. It's almost becoming a four-day celebration of Denton itself, not just it's music scene.

Def Rain
Def Rain
Ed Steele

What has 35 Denton (and all of its past incarnations) meant to you as a local musician? It makes me feel kind of special. You feel like you're part of a team. And getting to watch all these people come into your little town and enjoy the festivities is a real treat.

Describe a favorite set or moment from one of the past four festivals. Playing the Record Hop show, opening up for Health at the Boiler Room a couple of years ago was easily one of my favorites. Lots of LED lasers and whiskeys.

What are you planning this year for your set? Anything unique or interesting up your sleeve? We have new outfits. Aaaaand I know what you're thinking: "Ashley, this is pretty amazing stuff here." And you're right, these new outfits ARE pretty amazing. Also, I'm pretty sure there will be a very special guest appearance.

Approaching its fifth year, in what all ways does 35 Denton seem different to you than its previous years? It seems like there are a lot more national acts that are joining up this year, less local bands, and more food trucks. God bless food trucks.

How do you feel about the growth of the festival? I think it's great. Each year gets more and more exciting!

Michael Seman from Shiny Around the Edges

What has 35 Denton (and all of its past incarnations) meant to you as a local musician? It is tangible proof that when Dentonites pull together, anything is possible.

Describe a favorite set or moment from one of the past four festivals. I still think about Health and Cut Chemist's sets from time-to-time.

What are you planning this year for your set? Anything unique or interesting up your sleeve? Seeing as The Angelus is sharing the bill, don't be the least bit surprised if Emil joins us on stage for some Warren Zevon covers we've been working on with him for his next solo project.

Approaching its fifth year, in what all ways does 35 Denton seem different to you than its previous years? I'm not as stressed out and dealing with a million details that have seemingly veered out-of-control at the last minute regarding the daytime events I program. The core staff that has developed through the years in a trial-by-fire manner is highly efficient and handles all matters with a high degree of professionalism. No one should end-up sleeping in their cars this year.

How do you feel about the growth of the festival? It's a great thing for the City of Denton, its residents, and the bands who call the city home. One of my favorite things about the growth is that the festival can offer many volunteers a chance to work with something they're passionate about and in turn help them develop that passion as well as a new skill set potentially applicable to their chosen career path.   Chris Welch of Pinebox Serenade

What has 35 Denton (and all of its past incarnations) meant to you as a local musician? Well, it has meant a lot to me, mainly because it allows musicians like myself to play in front an enthusiastic crowd that just wants to hear more. You very rarely get that at any regular show.

Describe a favorite set or moment from one of the past four festivals. Probably the first year, when Pinebox Serenade played at J&J's. It was just packed, with people dancing and just going crazy. It was a great time. Last years Old Warhorse set at Sweetwater would be a close second. Same type thing where it was packed and everyone was going crazy.

What are you planning this year for your set? Anything unique or interesting up your sleeve? Nothing super unique for this years shows, just trying to make people have a good time.

Approaching its fifth year, in what all ways does 35 Denton seem different to you than its previous years? If feels like there is quite a bit anticipation about it this year from the rest of DFW, just something in the air. I know there are several acts that I'm super stoked to go see, like Reigning Sound and Killer Mike!!

How do you feel about the growth of the festival? I think the growth is great, you just want to make sure there is always room for the local bands. That's what this should always be about.

The Bands Who Have Played Every 35 Denton Talk About the Festival

Ryan Williams of Dust Congress, Boxcar Bandits, etc.

What has 35 Denton (and all of its past incarnations) meant to you as a local musician? It means playing more shows, attending more shows, and having more friends in town--all of things I love. I also love this town's willingness to put up with music festivals. It makes me proud to live in Denton.

Describe a favorite set or moment from one of the past four festivals. I don't like to play favorites. I've loved all the sets and moments the same.

What are you planning this year for your set? Anything unique or interesting up your sleeve? Dust Congress was planning on playing "line shows" for people waiting in lines for things. That might be unique and interesting. Although telling you about it kind of drops it from our collective sleeve, I have to say.

Approaching its fifth year, in what all ways does 35 Denton seem different to you than its previous years? It seems to be getting easier for the people behind the scenes. Maybe I just hope for that for them. It seems as though the people running the show have more fun every year. I see more and more happy volunteers every year.

How do you feel about the growth of the festival? I hope it gets bigger and better every year.

Jessie Frye

What has 35 Denton (and all of its past incarnations) meant to you as a local musician? We played 35 Denton in 2009 and that was the second show I had ever done. So it felt like a really positive growing pain. Looking back at how young 35 Denton also was at the time reminds me of how important it is to keep pushing on.

Describe a favorite set or moment from one of the past four festivals. I had a blast last year doing that cover song and music video of the Mountain Goats. They dressed me up as some creepy looking witch and I got to do something out my comfort zone. I made a lot of amazing friends by having that opportunity.

What are you planning this year for your set? Anything unique or interesting up your sleeve? The new album is going to surprise people. So, as much as I want to reveal some of the newer songs, it is still not the right time. However, each year we have an amazing crowd and I really feed off of that energy. We have not played a DFW show since June, so I may explode during the set.

Approaching its fifth year, in what all ways does 35 Denton seem different to you than its previous years? I think the festival has finally found an identity for itself. And that is so important.

How do you feel about the growth of the festival? I am proud of 35 Denton! After living here for a few years I feel it is safe to say it can only improve. It says a lot about the musical community here. The little festival that could has turned into the festival that does!

The Bands Who Have Played Every 35 Denton Talk About the Festival

Dale Jones of New Science Projects

What has 35 Denton (and all of its past incarnations) meant to you as a local musician? The evolution of the festival, from an outsider's viewpoint, has been very interesting. With NX35 at least ostensibly sold to the music community as a vehicle to propel Denton music into the national limelight, it has been fascinating to watch this emphasis decrease over time, with the public focus shifted towards drawing in more and more blog-sanctioned, commercially-established acts and corporate sponsors to be able to tap into the wider music festival market. With this has also come greater attempts to win the favor and participation of the local civic and business community over that of local musicians (honestly, a sound business policy given the dire financial straits of most musicians). Don't take this as criticism. Obviously, this strategy is geared towards creating a profitable and popular festival for those who are set to profit from it, and that's fine and fair. However, it is hard to see how this is able to benefit the local music community in any way any longer, aside from spurring the already-rampant gentrification of our downtown. That said, I do enjoy playing 35 Denton, and seeing my friends play there.

Describe a favorite set or moment from one of the past four festivals. My favorite 35 Denton moment so far was watching the Dallas Distortion Music guys throw pizza at Mikal Cronin's drummer.

What are you planning this year for your set? Anything unique or interesting up your sleeve? I am under seriously strict secrecy not to divulge the devious details describing NSP's 2013 35 Denton set. Instead, I offer you four riddles, the answers to which will reveal much about our plans: What single twin upon the face descries for one all of God's grace? How can the situation be that you can't recall the things you've seen? Which perfect second, much around, can 'tween the first and third be found? A servant does before master's wish - what word could one apply to this?

Approaching its fifth year, in what all ways does 35 Denton seem different to you than its previous years? The name is a big difference than most of the previous years. The name, the logo, all of that has changed quite a bit over time. As I said earlier, the shift in emphasis from the local music scene to the local business scene is dramatic and only seems to be increasing, but of course speculating on the motivations behind that (whether to maximize cooperation from the local government or avoid becoming entangled with many unmarketable, unbloggable local bands) without being involved would be irresponsible. As a performer, there could be some criticisms lobbed at a festival that charges local bands for the privilege of performing in their own city while providing main stage performers with paychecks and piles and piles of free snacks and accommodations, but luckily I don't fit that description and so can't speak from any present experience.

How do you feel about the growth of the festival? Good things are always growing: spiritually, emotionally, phallically, metaphorically, etc. However, some growths are not always wanted, and some may be harmful. If a growth limits or damages you or your body's ability to function, it may be wise to visit a doctor. Unwelcome growths can be removed if necessary, or treated to reduce and eventually eliminate their presence within in the body. Positive growth is always welcome and can be experienced both by individuals and by communities. Growth also exists in the plant kingdom.

The Bands Who Have Played Every 35 Denton Talk About the Festival

Ramon Muzquiz of Pageantry

What has 35 Denton (and all of its past incarnations) meant to you as a local musician? More than anything it's an opportunity to be placed in front of a larger audience than you normally are. I've played a lot of local shows but most certainly have played to bigger/more attentive crowds every year at this festival than any other time.

Describe a favorite set or moment from one of the past four festivals. Picking up Mavis Staples at the airport and consequently getting to talk with her and her sister, Yvonne, for a couple of hours as well as her singing "Happy Birthday" to me on stage the next night. I couldn't help but be overcome by laughter and tears simultaneously. She and her sister also both knew instantly that I'm a musician and specifically a drummer which is a kind of validation that somehow is beyond words.

Same year, playing to a packed room at Dan's Silverleaf including a couple members of Portual. The Man. They have been one of my favorite bands for a long time and they had some really nice things to say about my playing/band. Getting to feel like I was on a level with those guys was a real boost of confidence.

What are you planning this year for your set? Anything unique or interesting up your sleeve? This is the first year Pageantry will be playing the festival. We technically played last year but were still just playing under the name Roy Robertson, and that in itself seems special because I really feel home in this band in a way that the music doesn't need more than what it is to feel special. That being said, there will be some new material played that we are really excited about. I don't want to be too specific in case we don't finish it in time.

Approaching its fifth year, in what all ways does 35 Denton seem different to you than its previous years? Every year is a different animal but I think organization has gotten better and better.

How do you feel about the growth of the festival? It seems like there are more bands announced every year that I've never heard that I walk away really loving. Maybe that is a sign of me getting older (and more out of touch) or that the festival is really striving to introduce everyone to new music and I think that's really positive. I can only imagine that people who don't live in Denton are even more overwhelmed by the list of bands including the local acts that they may not have seen/heard of before. I can only hope that I can make an impression on them the way others have on me and I don't think I would have that opportunity if the festival didn't continue to evolve and represent our city to a larger audience.

See also: -The Best from 35 Denton Night One: The Dancing, The Technological Advances and The Artisanal Jello Shots -How to Plan Your Night for Each Genre at 35 Denton, with Maps -The 14 Best Unofficial 35 Denton Shows -The 35 Must-See Bands at 35 Denton -The Ten Funniest 35 Denton Band Descriptions -How John Wesley Coleman Looked to Old Friends to Save His Set at 35 Denton

Keep up with DC9 at Night on Twitter or Facebook.


Sponsor Content

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >