Monday, March 8, 2010

Texas Rockfest - The Interviews

Texas Rockfest is March 18-21, 2010. Our cover story in print is 55 bands you shouldn't miss. Below you will find mini-interviews with 4 very distinct bands who will be playing Texas Rockfest. These include a band of sisters, one who's not played together in a decade, one that just got off the stage with Guns and Roses and one who released their debut album with a live DVD included. Managing Editor Sean Claes had a chance to touch base with Petals, Agony Column, Danko Jones, and Mother's Anthem.

Petals (Austin, Texas)

INsite: Petals is a five-piece fronted by two sisters, Britani and Stephani Kagan. How does the dynamic work?

Britani Kagan: The dynamic of the band is in a word, comfortable. Steph and I have grown up listening to live music and writing songs. It comes easily. We're very lucky that our members were friends first; the band just kind of started evolving and changing lineups and the right people were around. Sure, Petals might have started as two sisters, but we've found additions to our family along the way. That's what a band is after all, a second family.

INsite: Having a father who playing with Doug Sahm (Harvey Kagan) must have been an interesting upbringing. Was a life in music ever not an option for you?

Britani Kagan: No, I guess a career in music was never far from our hearts and minds. Our dad and his musician friends definitely had a huge impact on our childhoods. Steph and I can't live without music. It's everything.

INsite: What does a Petals live show bring to the table?

Caitlin Blagrave: The interactions between Britani and Stephani onstage plays a huge part in the dynamic of the band at our shows. Also, being that our members are so diverse, everyone has a different way of expressing themselves onstage. Our shows are no doubt energetic, we feed off of the audience a great bit, which always makes for a good time.

Who are you looking forward to seeing at Texas Rockfest?

We're stoked for Danko Jones, Phoenix Hart and Vallejo.

Playing: 3/20 TRF Outdoor Stage (7th and Neches) 12:30 p


Mother’s Anthem (Austin, Texas)

INsite: Tell me a little bit about how Mother's Anthem became a band and how long you've been around.

Zak Loy: We all meet through touring the southern region of the United States in our past groups, we all ended up sharing the bill at different venues from time to time and we all became available around 3 years so we put Mothers Anthem together and we have been writing and touring for over 2 1/2 years now.

INsite: What's the story behind the name?

Loy: “Mothers” the creation of everything alive today… “Anthem” a word that inspires our much and the large musical explosion that happens when we play together, it is a very emotional group to be a part of.

INsite: You recently released your debut CD Save The Fallen complete with a concert DVD. That's a pretty big offering for your first release. What made you go so big for the first time out?

Drew Walters: We wanted to hit the ground running. Do it right the first time. We wanted to make a product that has substance and passion. In the world of instant gratification, we felt that if we created something unique it would bring the listeners back to a solid product rather than just downloading mp3s.

INsite: What's your favorite cut on the album and why?

Walters: My favorite cut on the album would have to be "Awaiting The Fall". It just has rawness and edge that I love. It's probably because I love to play it live. It has a punch when it hits the chorus that transfers great live, but I love them all.

Playing: 3/19 – Pure Lounge 7:15p


Danko Jones (Toronto, Canada)

INsite: What can we expect from your 6th full length release, May 2010’s Below The Belt?

Danko Jones: Just more hemorrhoid inducing Rock ‘n’ Roll.

INsite: You’ve been called one of the most consistent and dependable rock bands since AC/DC and Motorhead. What does that mean to you?

Jones: Who said that? That’s a great compliment. I would like to take whoever said that out for a soda pop and maybe some ice cream. We’re not one of those bands who are trying to “find ourselves”. We know who we are and what we sound like and wouldn’t dare insult an audience by dragging them with us through our “experimental phase”.

INsite: You’ve been at it for about 15 years. How do you feel your sound has progressed?

Jones: The only thing that’s changed or progressed has been our chops. When we started this band we were a garage band, partly because of lack of funds and experience and partly because we couldn’t play out of a paper bag. A few years have gone by and we’ve had plenty of time to harness songwriting skills, fretboard play, road mileage etc.

INsite: You were on the road with Guns N’ Roses and Sebastian Bach in Canada earlier this year. What was that experience like?

Jones: It was a thrill of a lifetime! Sebastian is from Toronto and we’re from Toronto so it was a good starting ground. I found out I grew up in the exact same area of Toronto that he was from too. I always looked to Sebastian and followed his career because he came from the same city and made it in a very big way.

The GNR band and crew made us feel very comfortable and welcomed. Axl was a gracious host and I got to sing “Nightrain” with him and Sebastian one night early on in the tour and then the last night of the tour I sang “Patience” with him and Tommy Stinson.

INsite: Who are you looking forward to seeing at Texas Rockfest this year?

Jones: Broken Teeth for fucking sure. Their albums slay and it was an honor to get asked to sing on their new album “Viva La Rock Fantastico”. I also would love to see Faster Pussycat as their first album is a classic and of course George Lynch’s Lynchmob because he’s one of my guitar heroes.

Playing: 3/18 – Outdoor Stage 1 (7th and Neches) @ Midnight, 3/19 - Outdoor Stage 1 @ 6p, and 3/20 - Outdoor Stage 1 @ 10p


Agony Column (Formerly Austin, Texas)

INsite: This Agony Column Reunion is the first reunion in ten years and only the second reunion show the band has done. How did it come about?

Richie Turner: We have been entertaining a reunion show for over a year..getting over the logistics of long distance practice seemed impossible...And then I met an old friend...A fan...last time I saw Adam Brewer he was 12 years old and caught in a mosh at my show. Fast forward to August, 2009..All grown up... Now he's still in the middle of it all except he controls the show.

INsite: The band had a good decade run in Austin's Metal community. Can you talk a little about the scene in Austin between 1987-1997.

Turner: In 87, we got our first record deal with Passport Records 3 years 3 albums for $90,000.00..."Slacker nare do wells" no more. Somehow we had become budding rock stars. The scene was kind of moving towards respectable Austin representations Charlie Sexton, Stevie Ray, and Alejandro. They weren't offensive or considered to be lowbrow like metal was. The punk scene was over, and metal bands were not acknowledged by the local press...They were always reluctant to give bad we got none...Our fans were growing...we had developed our own scene by 89.

INsite: Your sound has been described as Southern Hellbilly metal. Is that an accurate description?

Turner: Watchtower and the Offenders preceded us. Violent mindless insipid..Lets add some Southern flavor to that. Beer drinking ,gun toting, speed cooking, inbred and intolerant. That's bound to piss someone off... There's nothing more fun than watching your audience go ape shit. I never did anything to deserve to have so much fun.

INsite: You've got a pretty unique vocal range and style, how have they held up over the years?

Turner: Well we have practiced 2 days now in ten years.. I'm not Lady Ga Ga but it sounds pretty frigging good. I'm nervous as hell about playing. I feel like I'm gonna wet my pants just thinking about it. Yeah I'm smooth like that!

Playing: Texas ShamRockfest March 17 @ 10:30pm


  1. Revvin' KevinMarch 20, 2010 at 8:54 PM

    Welcome home Agony Column,we've been missin'ya'll long time.Squidbillies is my only consolation.


  3. Oh man, now the Petal article up top has me thinking about Doug Sahm. I love that guy. I was some loser at the armadillo he just met and he treated me like i was family, and was sincere about it.

    Great articles Insite. Thats why we dig ya.