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Q&A: Twin Peaks on the Transformation of SXSW and Their Favorite Austin Haunts

The guys from Twin Peaks have a lot to say. When SPIN caught up with the band they were still coming down from a kinetic performance at Stereogum’s showcase at the Bud Light Factory at South by Southwest and the conversation was as dynamic as their set. Topics covered included: the transformation of SXSW, a surprise international tour announcement, favorite Austin haunts, and why vomiting water is just cleaning your throat in reverse. The group is set to release their third album, Down from Heaven, this May.

How’d you feel about the set tonight?

Clay Frankel: It was good, it was a nice time.

How many times have you performed at SXSW?

Cadien Lake James: It’s our fourth, so we’re seniors. Senior year!

Has anything changed through the first couple of years you guys performed here?

James: Festival is still doing its thing. It seems like it’s getting bigger and crazier every year, but we weren’t coming back in the day or anything when it was real grassroots or anything. We kind of only know, for lack of a better term, the corporate SXSW. It’s always good, it’s so many people down here so it’s good to hang loose.

How do you guys like Austin?

Frankel: Oh, it’s great, we love it. We came to Austin on our first tour back in 2012 and it was one of the only shows that they actually gave us any money for so that was nice. It was at the Spider Bar, is that a place? (Editor’s note: Yes, it is!) And my older sister went to school down here so I had been around here before.

What are you guys working on next?

Frankel: We got a lot of touring coming up. We got a record coming out in May, so we’re just pounding it down with the touring. Doing the damn thing.

Any dates you all are especially excited for during the tour?

Frankel: We’re going to Australia! I don’t think that’s been announced yet but aside from that it’ll be cool.

Do you guys have favorite spots in Austin you’ve been hitting up?

Frankel: Bar-B-Que Heaven, that food truck, is awesome. Also Trailer Treasure is another food truck. They do craw daddies and alligator meat and shark and stuff. They’re tight.

Are you guys trying to come back next year?

Frankel: I have to say I was so inspired by hearing [Thee Oh See’s frontman] John Dwyer say he did 16 years, that this is his 16th year. I keep saying I’m ready to take a year off but when you hear a dude say that it’s like damn, I’d like to keep counting the numbers.

[Twin Peak’s drummer Connor Brodner enters]

Connor Brodner: We got to get stronger every year.

Frankel: Connor just threw up man.


Brodner: It was just water. It’s good for you. It’s kind of like cleaning your throat in reverse.

Frankel: Amen.

Q&A: Twin Peaks on the Transformation of SXSW and Their Favorite Austin Haunts