SXSW Interview: popsiclestickairport

SXSW Interview: popsiclestickairport: + w/ Brianna Gonzalez and Mary Dougherty

March 29, 2023 in Features

by Brianna Gonzalez - bbrigo

Making a 16-hour road trip to Austin, Tx ready to take the stage at SXSW 2023, the five-piece band from Arizona makes a pit stop to talk with us about how they got started, their unique name, and their music.

This “hit new band” consists of Rhys with lead vocals, Gunner on drums, Ethan on guitar, Gage with bass, and Kaden on guitar.

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“Ethan and I were neighbors and then Gunner was also neighbors. And then Ethan knew Kaden and then I knew Gage. When we were younger, we used to be really into like, doing little covers and talent shows, before we were making our own music, yeah. So we're just silly little kids making silly little music, but now we're here. It's kind of scary.” said lead vocalist, Rhys.

From playing their “silly little music” together in their neighborhood, their music started turning into something more serious for them. This led to them finding the right name that fits the brand of their band.

“We used to be a four-piece and the old bassist just came up with that name because we're just like trying to do like like a rebrand. And then they just came up with that. And then we had it for a couple of months and then they just left. We had a couple of music under the name.” said Rhys.

As their guitarist, Ethan said “It was a gift,” they decided to keep their name and continue writing songs under their name popsiclestickairport (PSa).

“It's fairly collaborative. Usually starts out with Rhys right here sending us a demo. And then we all kind of stick our little fingers in there.” Gunner, drummer of the band said.

When writing music they all work together to collaboratively finish their songs. They express some of their biggest inspirations when writing music.

“I don't know how we've gotten this far without saying it but The Strokes, everybody wants to be The Strokes,” said Kaden, the guitarist.

The Strokes being one of their biggest inspirations, they continue to talk about how their most recent EP, “EP for Fairies,” was more collaborative compared to their first EP.

“Definitely more collaborative. I think with that when we got we got more time in an actual like a recording studio, which was definitely exciting,” said Gunner.

Before their most recent EP, they released an album on Bandcamp during the pandemic, “Sounds that I Hear.”

“The whole project was about coping through observing. That’s why it's “Sounds that I Hear,” because you would hear stuff…I don’t know, kind of like a journal. It was a lot about my heart, I felt a lot of physical pain in my heart during the pandemic.” said Rhys

Using this album as a way to express himself during the pandemic, Rhys stumbled upon a Tweet where he drew inspiration to write their song, “I’m Your Stupid Little Punching Bag.”

“There’s this Twitter account, BaskingBall2, and they had this Tweet saying, “I’m God little punching bag.” I just thought that it would be a great hook if I could turn this into an emo rock anthem, and have the whole title be, “I’m Your Stupid Little Punching Bag.”

From releasing EPs and albums amongst different platforms, they traveled to Tokyo a few months ago to play at “Tokyo Beyond Festival.”

“It was one of the coolest things ever, to be honest. Being able to fly to Tokyo and hang out for a week and play some shows there. Meet a whole bunch of new people. Actually, at the showcase that we're playing tomorrow (March 16 at SXSW), we're playing with a band that we met in Tokyo.” Gunner said.

As they reunite with a band they meet in Tokyo in Austin, Tx, they discuss how they feel leading up to their performance at SXSW.

“I think we're more excited than anything. I mean, it's always normal to be a little nervous. But I think we just love meeting new people. Share new experiences seeing new sights. So yeah, I guess not really scared. Just more excited.” said Ethan.

PSa shares their excitement to be in Austin, Tx, and is ready to share their music with others. They performed at The Drafting Room, on March 16. They stated that they were working on new stuff so keep an eye out for that!

Thank you to PSa for sitting down, and talking to us! You guys are a very fun group of friends to be around. I hope you were able to stop by Buc-ees and enjoyed SXSW!

Written by Brianna Gonzalez

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