It might be one of the coldest festivals in the country, but things are starting to warm up as we get closer to the 2019 edition of Snowtunes.
Ever since Snowtunes first hit the festival scene, it has truly proven itself the only festival which both figuratively and literally lives up to being labelled “cool”. With stunning artists on the lineup, good vibes, a picturesque location, and the abundance of snow, what else could the music-loving festivalgoer ask for?
This year’s Snowtunes festival is set to kick off in just over a week, and will see headliners like The Presets, The Rubens, and Vera Blue hitting the stage and slopes, alongside stunning acts such as The Delta Riggs, Trophy Eyes, WAAX, and Adelaide icons West Thebarton.
Ahead of the festival’s start date, we had a chat with West Thebarton bassist Nick Horvat about the group’s upcoming appearance on the bill, and what fans can expect in the future.
Check out ‘Tops’ by West Thebarton:
You guys are gearing up to play SnowTunes, have you guys got your warm clothes all packed?
Us guys and girl haven’t packed a thing yet. I’m usually the most stressed one out of the lot of us with prepping for tour so I’m surprised at my restraint. You got any snow pants I can borrow?
How does it feel being listed among such a talented lineup? Are there any acts on the bill you’re excited to see?
We’ve played with a lot of the (rock) crew on this one. WAAX’s new record is really great so it’ll be nice to see them and congratulate them on that one.
I reckon The Chats will be stoked to be on a lineup with us again. Small world, but they went to school with my cousin up in QLD and they’re becoming good friends of ours too.
The Presets are the greatest. Name drop? I served their TM a beer the other week and he promised an introduction. I hope that eventuates, they are big heroes of mine.
What sort of tunes will you be listening to on your way up to the snow to get yourselves all warmed up?
We’ve played the classic road-trip listening game where you spell out the name of the location you’re headed to with the first letter of the song names. S-N-O-W-T-U-N-E-S might be something like;
‘Seek & Destroy’ – Metallica
‘Nerve 2 Reverse’ – These New South Whales
‘One Rizla’ – Shame
‘Wrapped Up’ – Eddy Current Suppression Ring
‘Tri Tra Trulala’ – Joachim Witt
‘Under The Milky Way’ – The Church
‘Nature Boy’ – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
‘Every Time The Sun Comes Up’ – Sharon Van Etten
‘Slow Learner’ – Viagra Boys
Check out West Thebarton’s SnowTunes playlist:
Out of all the songs in your arsenal, what’s your favourite track to play live? Why?
Depends on the crowd really, their energy coming back to us is what makes some songs work better than others.
‘Moving Out’ goes off in Adelaide, obviously. ‘Reasons’ is a really special song we pull out for special occasions or dedications, usually dedicated to my Mum, so that’s my personal favourite. Maybe ‘Bible Camp’, we all just seem to be able to really cut loose when we play that one.
What’s your go-to festival survival tip?
For this one? Don’t eat the yellow snow.
You guys are renowned for your wild headline shows, does a festival slot see you change your approach at all? Is it a bit harder to pick a setlist?
We like playing the harder, heavier sets for the shorter festival slots, so we try to go bigger, level up the stage show. Like instead of a double-shot bulletproof espresso, we’ll go for a quadruple-shot full fat grande. With chocolate and yellow snow.
Will you be showing off any of the new tunes?
Maybe… yeah, I’m gonna say it’s absolutely likely.
Check out ‘Bible Camp’ by West Thebarton:
The lineup of the band has solidified since the addition of Caitlin, how has the band changed since then? New songs like ‘Tops’ definitely feel much more focused, and live shows feel much tighter.
Funnily enough, before Heals [Josh Healey, guitarist], BBB [Brian Bolado, guitarst/percussionist], CT [Caitlin Thomas, drummer] and myself joined the band we had all seen a show and almost immediately offered/asked to join, to be part of the ruckus.
At my first gig, CT came along as a punter (we didn’t know each other at the time) and got kicked in the head by a crowd surfer. Maybe it was concussion, but I think at that point she decided that eventually she wanted to join too.
I guess the dynamic of the band now is a symptom of feeling really solid with one another and having had some really amazing national and international experiences together. We’ve been around Australia a number of times since releasing Different Beings Being Different, we’ve been through the UK and Europe, we’ve gone to India, we’ve slept on buses and in shitty accommodation, driven at all hours of the night, caught flights at 6am barely able to see, we’ve practiced literally every single week since CT joined and have been around each other for years as a band. That really solidifies a line-up, and makes for some pretty different song-writing.
Very kind of you to say that about ‘Tops’, it was a bit of an adventure into darker territory for us, structured, written differently to how we would normally approach a song and that has certainly influenced some of the other things we are working on at the moment, how we are treating our sound.
The live show is my favourite part of being in this band. The tightness comes from a solid two years of touring… glad it’s coming across!
It’s been a bit over a year since we heard your first full-length release, how are things shaping up for the new record?
Really well actually, we are taking some big strides and coming up with some new tunes every week. Just whittling down the good stuff, scrapping the chaff. It’s a labour of love with so many heads with so many sick ideas. Exciting times in West Theb HQ.
Bonus question, have you guys got any plans to tackle the frequent mispronunciations of West Thebarton from non-South Australians?
We’re developing a Duolingo module called “South Australian English”. It sends you passive aggressive messages if you miss a day, and asks you what school you went to whenever you start a new conversation with it.
Check out the 2019 SNOWTUNES artist announce video:
Snowtunes Festival 2019
Made In Paris
Mashd N Kutcher
Scotty Mac & DJ Julesy
The Aston Shuffle
The Delta Riggs
Friday, August 30th – Saturday, August 31st
Open Air Stage, Jindabyne, NSW