SXSW Interviews: TV Priest

I picked out London-based post-punk preachers TV Priest as one of the early highlights of SXSW 2021 in part one of my festival roundup yesterday (read the full article here), and we caught up with the band post-festival to find out how the experience was for them.

“It was great to be part of, albeit under trickier circumstances! The live stream setup made it quite a unique experience as a band – for once we were the observers and able to watch together with people around the world while interacting with the live chat in real time. It was great but also pretty odd. Plus it was nice to be in a room making loud music with our mates for an hour or so.”

The band were one of 35 selected by The British Music Embassy to represent the cream of up and coming talent from the UK, we wondered how that had come about and how it felt to have been selected.

“I’m guessing you’d have to ask them that! We got the call and readily accepted. It was a real honour. There were so many great artists alongside us, and plenty that could’ve been chosen in our place.”

This year’s event was a SXSW like no other, with bands pre-recording a 12 minute set in an empty studio, then joining the screening to interact with the audience online like some sort of strange out of body experience.

“It was very different, (we’ve never had circular podiums for a start), although we have played to a big empty room in our early days in bands. The lights in front of us hid the crew so you could almost imagine a crowd there. We normally play facing each other at practice and feed off each other’s energy. I guess we tried to perform in that way and just tuned into the perpetual applause in our heads.”

With fans and music industry tuning in from around the globe, SXSW offers an opportunity to reach a new audience like few other events, and with the move online that reach only expanded this year, what were the band hoping might come from their appearance?

Hopefully we connected with some people that won’t have heard us before – and hopefully we paid credit to the UK’s band scene. It would be amazing to come again next year to play in real life, if global travel is a thing again.

And with the festival now behind them, it’s time to look forward again. What’s next in the diary for TV Priest?

We’ve got all of our fingers crossed for live gigs to return and have a UK tour lined up. Besides that, we’re writing and recording new material which we will hopefully be releasing later in the year.

TV Priest’s debut album Uppers is out now, with UK tour dates to be announced shortly. Find out more at tvpriest.com

SXSW 2022 has been announced for 11th-20th March – get all the latest details at sxsw.com

Interview by Paul Maps
Photography by Thomas Jackson at Tyne Sight Photographic

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