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Hailing from Los Angeles, indie rock quartet Kiven is one of those bands we can’t seem to get enough of.   Their much anticipated self-titled full-length debut dropped February 25th, giving fans and critics exactly what they wanted: seriously entrancing harmonies and heavy, hypnotic sounds.  As they get ready to head to Austin, Kiven took a few minutes to give tips to other musicians playing at SXSW…

SXSW is a madhouse. Thousands of bands play from 11am into the night from hip hop to metal, all over the city in bars, bike shops and BBQ joints. It can seem a bit daunting, but with the right approach it’s awesome. We’re a little biased because [last year] we were able to stay with a friend in the heart of the city (What up, Meredith) so getting around was easier than it usually is, but once you fight your way into the city and find parking there’s a TON to do.

A little advice for the bands…

1. Get good at setting up quickly.
The changeover even at the bigger SXSW showcases is very quick. Often times the shows are at non-traditional venues so the loading in and out can be a bit difficult. Get a routine down with your gear and minimize the amount of gear you need to bring, it’ll make your life much easier.

2. Bring a cart!
Carts were our saving grace at SXSW last year. We were able to carry all our gear in one trip which was extremely beneficial, particularly when you have to park far away from the venue.

3. RSVP to tons of events.
It’s always good to have a schedule of fun events throughout the week. Things will come up and bands you’ll want to see will announce last minute shows, but it’s good to know where things are happening when you find yourself with downtime. It’s also crazy the amount of people / other bands you’ll run into at these parties, which is always fun.  Also, take advantage of the Doritos Locos Tacos from the Hype Hotel.

4. Do your research beforehand.
Service can be crummy so make sure you know where you’re playing, what time you need to be there, and who your contact person is at each show before you get to SXSW.  You don’t want to have to scramble.

5. Rent a bike.
When you’re not performing and you’re staying outside of the SXSW epicenter, renting a bike can save you gas, time, money and headaches.  If you can’t rent a bike, you can head over to Walmart or Target and grab a cheap bike then sell it back to them or to someone on Craigslist at the end of the week.

6. Tinder.
 Just ask Matt…

(Make sure you catch them live next week at SXSW! Check out their show schedule.)


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