The Dear Hunter’s Casey Crecenzo gave artist advice and discussed Live Color Spectrum DVD at SXSW in the video below.
Music Connection: Is this your first time at SXSW?
Casey: Uh no, no. I’ve been here a few times but not for a few years. I think the last time was probably 2008? I think 2008.
MC: What should musicians take from SXSW?
Casey: I don’t know. I have a really weird perspective on the whole SXSW thing. It’s really polarized between being able to walk anywhere in town and hear any type of music and amazing music and amazing musicians and then stumble into any hole in the wall and see all these industry people who you’re supposed to respect and who, kind of, you know, scoff at you and are always very well composed. You see them just trashed, throwing up on each other. So it feels a little bit like some sort of strange Roman sex party. But I would just say keep your head down and power through, if this is new
MC: What is festival pre-production like for the Dear Hunter?
Casey: Actually, because of the sort of situation with the stages that we’re playing or the venues that we’re playing – I don’t know if it’s normal across the board – but because it’s sort of a pre-rented backline that every band on that stage or in that venue has to kind of utilize, we had to cut out – we’re on a headlining tour right now – so we kind of have to cut out some of the stuff we want to do, certain instruments we want to use. So it is, kind of, I don’t want to say a step down, but it is different than what we are able to do when the night is ours, but I guess that goes for anybody, you know?
MC: is coming to SXSW a good investment?
Casey: Well, it’s hard for me to say. When we first did it, I feel like really great things started to happen. I can’t necessarily say yes or no, it was entirely due to this, but I think that if you have the opportunity, that it would be foolish not to take every opportunity. And if you have the opportunity to play something like this, and not only be exposed to as many people as you can be but also be able to walk around and take in as much music, I think that you should absolutely do it. I mean, whether it puts you in the hole financially or not, I think it’s a big and beneficial thing for any band to do
MC: How did “The Color Spectrum” collaborations come together?
Casey: At first I wasn’t going to collaborate with anyone. I was just gonna do the whole record in my house. Then I went on tour and we met Manchester orchestra for the first time. And Andy and I somehow had this strange bond, probably just from – at the time ‘cause he was bigger – being two big, bearded, like, hilarious people. So we hit it off and we kept talking. And I told him what I was about to do, and he asked me if I was interested in coming and just doing one of the EPs in their studio – not even together, but he just said, “Would you be interested in using our studio so you could get out of your comfort zone.” And that invitation, sort of, flipped everything upside down for me and made me realize that if I didn’t do it that way – if I didn’t leave home and if I didn’t travel and record and write in different places in the country and use every opportunity I had to vary the project and the work flow – that it wouldn’t really do justice to it. So that one phone call with Andy really kind of put it in perspective for me. And that’s when I contacted Mike Watts and that’s when I contacted my friend Jessy Ribordy from the band The River Empires and Mike Poorman out of Rhode Island and kind of set the whole thing. Naive Thieves, who’s on tour with us right now, they played a good amount of instrumentation on the blue and yellow records. So it wasn’t gonna happen but I think that the evolution of the collaborations was really natural.
The live color spectrum full DVD – you can buy it from our website, Triple Crown Records’ website. And it’s cool. I haven’t seen it yet, but I’ve been told it’s cool. And I‘ve been told it’s cool that we didn’t really cut any of the awkward banter out ‘cause there’s some really awkward stuff. But it was the kind of decision of well, do you cut it out or do you just represent the night? Well, I guess we should show everyone every part of it. It’s all there. It’s all there.