SXSW 2023 Interview: Ramesh Srivastava from Voxtrot

SXSW 2023 Interview: Ramesh Srivastava from Voxtrot

March 24, 2023 in Features

by Mary Dougherty- DJ Dad Shoes

During SXSW 2023, I got the opportunity to sit with the front-man of iconic Austin-Band Voxtrot, Ramesh Srivastava. If you are new to Austin, or live under a rock, Voxtrot is a legendary band that was formed back in 2003 here in the beautiful city of Austin. During this interview Srivastava actually informed me he met some current Voxtrot members at UT house parties back in the early 2000s. It was very nostalgic speaking with Srivasta, he hadn’t been inside of KVRX in over 18 years and A LOT has changed since then. Speaking with him was very fascinating, Voxtrot has been such an influential band in the Austin music scene for the past few decades and getting to pick his brain on their past, present, and future was an experience I’ll never forget. Voxtrot wasn’t the only one born in Austin, Srivastava was born AND raised in the 512 for his entire life, besides a few location moves for school and work. I believe he was raised in the prime time of the Austin music world and I asked him how growing up here, especially as a musician influenced him. Srivastava was raised as a first-generation American whose father actually worked here at UT for many years. He grew up playing music and definitely believes being raised in such a music-loving city influenced his passion for music and even pursue it as a career. Despite leaving to pursue music in Boston at Berklee College of Music, he still found himself back here to continue his career.

I obviously needed to discuss how it had felt coming back from such a long hiatus. Despite being in a hiatus for over twelve years, Voxtrot came back in 2022 like they were never gone. With a very successful world tour and an album release within the same year, it’s like they were never gone. During this interview, I found out Srivastava is the one that held out on getting back together as a band. He has been pursuing and perfecting his solo career ever since the hiatus started and he didn’t want to take time away from that. It took him around 8 years to put out his most recent solo album, and felt that the time was enough for him to make sure he was really proud of this project (which you can check out here). I learned that after announcing their return, there were only nerves towards the beginning. Majority of the stressors being “Will people buy the album?” “Will people go to the shows?"And once Srivastava physically saw the album being streamed and the tickets being bought, he was more excited than anything. He discussed how the energy of the crowd was HUGE and inspiring, he also found it funny seeing young people enjoying their show as if they were original supporters tuned in during the early 2000s. Srivastava did not know what to expect, but he is very happy with the results and support from the fans.


Ramesh Srivastava from Voxtrot at their SXSW 2023 Stubb's showcase. Photo Credits: Reyna Dews

Back in their pre-hiatus era, there was probably not a SXSW that they missed. Especially being an ATX-band, they got to experience many different showcases over the years. Again, Srivastava was more nervous about logistics than anything else. I was really impressed with this because personally, I'd be a nervous wreck if I was about to make a second SXSW debut with a band who hasn’t played the festival in many years. I really respect how calm he is when it comes to his performances, despite the amount of preparation and planning that goes into it. The band was more excited than any other emotion to be able to come back on stage of this legendary festival, one that they performed on so many times in the beginning of their career. While SXSW has grown A LOT since the start of Voxtrot, the band has too; it is nice to see them performing at an old stomping ground as they both take over the Austin entertainment scene. They had a showcase at one of the biggest venues at the festival, Stubb’s, which still didn’t intimidate them or alter their mood negatively. They were happy to be back, and excited to perform.

2022 was a great year for the comeback of Voxtrot, with the release of their album “Cut from the Stone: B-Sides & Rarities” and their North American tour in the fall. Since the album only included songs they created before the hiatus, but never released, they do plan on writing and producing new songs. We discussed the new challenges that come into play now when creating a new album, that they didn’t experience before. Now that they are all twenty years older, some have families, and others live outside of Austin and even Texas, it has become more challenging than before when they were in their 20s in the mere beginning of Voxtrot. Despite the challenges, Srivastava assured that they will have new music (that is currently being written and not from pre-hiatus) coming out and it will be worth the wait!


Ramesh Srivastava and Interviewer, Mary Dougherty.

It was an amazing experience to speak with someone from such an influential band in Austin and in the music-scene in general. I am excited to see what the future holds for Voxtrot because I know it’ll be great. If you ever get the chance to see them live or hear their music, do it, you will not regret it! Check out their Spotify down below!

Thank you Ramesh and his team for giving me the opportunity to interview him. :) Keep an eye out for a video and audio version of this interview soon.

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