Editor's Note: We asked sizzling San Diego band The Muslims—Matt Lamkin (vocals/guitar), Matty McLoughlin (guitar), Dave Lantzman (bass) and Brian Hill (drums)—to chronicle their experiences performing at the recent South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas. This is their report:Tuesday, March 11
We arrived in Austin after driving 22 hours straight. Last night, we played a really fun show at The Casbah with the band Health. We left The Casbah at 1 a.m. By 5 a.m., we were locked in the back of an immigration truck at the Arizona border.
The drug dogs went ape-shit when we pulled up at the checkpoint. They rifled through all of our things trying to find weed. Those mark-ass bitches found nothing. First conversation once we got back in the van:
Matty: “Jesus Christ, what the hell just happened?”
Dave: “Oh, what the fuck! The drug dog ate the rest of my burrito.”
Arizona can burn in hell. Place is useless. Mexico can have it back. Bummed we stole it in the first place.
Police encounter No. 2 took place in west Texas at around 2 p.m. We got pulled over for speeding by this cop who looked like he was out of a movie. Fat son of a bitch, aviator glasses, sweaty face and a lip packed with Skoal. He asked Matt if we were a band and what instrument he played. Matt told him that he played guitar. Then the cop wanted to know if Matt also played the skin flute.
“Try not to too much, sir,” Matt responded. We all had a laugh and cool Texas cop let us go free. I liked that guy. Conversation about six hours later:
Dave: “Man, that cop was a pretty funny guy. ‘Skin flute,' that's hilarious. What is that, like an old country instrument or something?”
Matty: “Nah, man. It's your dick.”
We play a party at Ms. Bea's tomorrow afternoon. Going to get some rest. I'm really excited. —Matty
Wednesday, March 12
One of the most rewarding benefits of playing SXSW is meeting and shooting the shit with other bands. We met the So So Glos from Brooklyn, who we quickly befriended and actually now plan on playing with in New York at the end of May.
After our set [at Ms. Bea's], we did an interview for BBC Radio 1with Muslim Ali. He was a really cool guy and it was kind of a trip seeing the BBC Radio 1 emblem on the microphone. The rest of the day was filled with sun, warmth and great music from several class acts.
Local vixens The Carrots downright stole my heart with their tasteful, '60s girl-group sound. All in all, it was a great first day. After that show, we met up with some of The Atoms back at our hotel and went for a relaxing dip in the hot tub.
That night, we played an acoustic set at the University of Texas in front of a hefty and intimate crowd. It was one of our more nerve-racking sets and Matty's immediate response when we finished was “Holy shit, that was fucking terrifying.”
It was a good, long day.—Dave
Thursday, March 13
We played an in-store at a place called Cheapo Discs, and it was a blast. San Diego friends J.J. and Josh Barnes came to see us and made us laugh by heckling our band. Muslim Ali from BBC Radio 1 got onstage and played maraca on “Nightlife.”
We had a few beers at the record store and made our plans for the evening. Thankfully, we met up with my friend Katie and she hooked us up with some fun free parties to go to.
Went to see Mika Miko play at the Austin Children's Museum. Imagine a thousand drunken hipsters and punks overrunning Discovery Zone and spilling booze everywhere. While waiting for Katie in the restroom, a really old dude breezed past me and a much younger woman sat beside me on the bench. In a thick Norwegian accent, she said:
“Do you know where the Playboy party is?”
“No,” I responded, “but my friend Katie might.”
Then the old dude got out of the bathroom and hijacked Mika Miko's drums while everyone screamed at him to “get the fuck off of the stage.” Turns out, it was Mickey, the drummer of Motörhead—totally wasted and just wanting to jam.
Before I know it, Katie and I are running around with Mickey, his female companion Kim and his tour manager, running in and out of bars, trying to sit in with every band we saw. You know your night isn't shaping up the way you planned when Bowling For Soup tells you to take a hike.
We finally got to the Playboy party only to get dissed by all the people working the doors. The tour manager quickly finds the scruffiest, white-trashiest guy there to let us in. He shakes Mickey's hand and hugs him while Kim asks us why it smells “just like meth here.” We play along, feeling sad in the end that she's familiar enough with the smell. We eventually got in and went to the VIP lounge—no famous folks whatsoever. Katie and I bail after about 45 minutes. All in all, not as cool as I would've thought it would have been.—Brian
Friday, March 14
Today's the day of the “Vice Saves Texas” show. Everyone is pretty excited. We meet up with a few members of The Atoms and play at 2 p.m. The show goes very well and we end up selling a few records.
We venture out to the Vice [Records] main stage and check out a few of the bigger names on the bill. After an Israeli metal band called Monotonix, fellow San Diegans The Night Marchers take the stage and rip it up. After their set, we hang out and have a few drinks. The only drinks available were High Life and Sparks [energy drink]. So, by sundown, everyone was either passed out in the van or t-t-t-totally wired.
Around 2 a.m., we head to a free show on a pedestrian bridge across town. A huge crowd of about 1,500 kids shows up to see No Age, Fucked Up, Brutal Knights and Mr. Free. The bands went bananas, the kids went bonkers and the bridge was literally shaking under our feet.—Matt
Saturday, March 15
We slept in until 5 p.m. after last night's tomfoolery. We play our SESAC [Society of European Stage Authors & Composers] showcase downtown at 9 p.m. At midnight, we go to a Vice after-party and catch amazing sets by Dark Meat and Afrobot. Super fun. High Life only. —Matt
Sunday, March 16
We slept until the afternoon again, thanks to Vice. Went to the south side of Austin, which totally kicks ass, and played with a great local band called The Hunnies. Took it easy in order to get up early and head home.—Matt
Monday, March 17
We recommend that you check out the following: Mr. Free, Afrobot, Dark Meat, The Hunnies, Fucked Up, The Carrots, The Night Marchers, Monotonix, No Age, Mika Miko, Yellow Fever, So So Glos, The Strange Boys, Air Waves, The Beat.
—The MuslimsThe Muslims play at 8 p.m. Friday, March 28, with Grand Ole Party and Red Feathers at Che Café on the UCSD campus in La Jolla. 858-534-2311. myspace.com/themuslims.