Interview with Smallpools at SXSW

It seems that music meets music underneath the open skies of Texas or at least that’s how it works for some people. 2015 was the first SXSW Smallpools played together as the band and only 9 years Mike and Sean met here, in Austin. It was Christian Mingle that brought them all together, jokes Mike. It was deeper than that. Somewhere in their DNA, somewhere past the necessity of making their parents proud with normal careers, was an innate magnetism to create something meaningful.

Sean and Mike moved to California from the opposite side of where they grew up and far away from any Jersey Turnpikes that lulled them to sleep. The duo moved far away from the safety net of home to the City of Angels. Beau moved to work and Joe knew that the time to risk it all, to pursue his dream for music was now. The Star of Smallpools guided them together and now they’re creating music and not making terrible quesadillas.

The beautiful thing I learned from them is that, “Everyone in the band does something the others cannot. So we all kinda need each other,” says Sean, “I’ll write it to a certain point and then stop. It’s not that I am stuck it’s that I need them to play around me so I can see the whole thing.”

Smallpools’ music comes together in more ways than a catchy Beatles song. “It’s a lot of brain power. Everyday our brains are working in some capacity for the band,” Mike says, “It’s a mix of personal writing and ultimate jam sessions and voice memos too,”

Yet at the same time Sean claims he gets lucky. “Writing lyrics I feel like I don’t actually do it, I just get lucky. I’ll be singing the melodies over and over and choice words stick out and I slowly build on that concept,” he says, “I write down everything like 20 different times with slight variations of words until I have it right and maybe move that line from the bottom to the top. It’s like sculpting. Throw some stuff in the middle and carve some out.”

It doesn’t just come together that easily. Beau says, “When he [Sean] brings out the lyrics there will be alternative lines at the bottom.

“If I don’t feel this one I can change it out,” Sean adds, “Or I have to test it out and see which one works better. Like if I have a vision of a line and it doesn’t work out, then we all have to have a conversation about it. There are so many phases.” That’s how the band all works together on the music instead of it being some kind of presentation that was made in some bedroom alone.

They’ve been featured on Late Night with Seth Meyers and Spotify’s “The Drop,” and now just yesterday, their album Lovetap dropped. Personally, I’ve been listening to it nonstop enough so I can actually sing it. They’re going on tour in April, so check them out!

Apr 14
Houston, TX

Apr 15
House Of Blues
Dallas, TX

Apr 17
The Vanguard
Tulsa, OK

Apr 19
St Louis, MO

Apr 21
Exit / In
Nashville, TN

Apr 23
Terminal West
Atlanta, GA

Apr 24
Haw River Ballroom
Saxapahaw, NC

Apr 25
U Street Music Hall
Washington, DC

Apr 27
Altar Bar
Pittsburgh, PA

Apr 28
Union Transfer
Philadelphia, PA

Apr 30
Newport Music Hall (Indoor)
Columbus, OH

May 02
XL102 BFD After Party
Richmond, VA

May 05
Beachland Ballroom & Tavern
Cleveland, OH

May 06
St. Andrew’s Hall
Detroit, MI

May 08
Rock in Rio USA 2015
Las Vegas, NV

May 09
Middle East – Downstairs
Boston, MA

May 10
Bowery Ballroom
New York, NY

May 11
Bowery Ballroom
New York, NY

May 13
The Deluxe at Old National Centre
Indianapolis, IN

May 14
Triple Rock
Minneapolis, MN

May 15
The Record Bar
Kansas City, MO

May 16
The Summit Music Hall
Denver, CO

May 18
Club Sound
Salt Lake City, UT

May 20
Wonder Ballroom
Portland, OR

May 22
Electric Owl
Vancouver, Canada

May 23
The Crocodile
Seattle, WA

May 25
The Independent
San Francisco, CA

May 28
The Observatory
Santa Ana, CA

May 29
El Rey Theatre
Los Angeles, CA




Juke the Tiger – Dancetoon


Hala – Feels Like Yesterday


Indigo De Souza – Hold U


Elita – Sour Switchblade

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