SXSW 2015: Survival Guide x Vinyl Mag

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@vinylmag Instagram: Stay tuned for our interview with Emily from Survival Guide #vinylmagsxsw #survivalguide #bigpicturemedia


Emily Whitehurst is doing things a little different these days. After years of singing for the San Francisco favorite Tsunami Bomb as Agent M, she’s headed out on her fuzz rock solo endeavor, aptly named Survival Guide. We got a few minutes for an impromptu interview with her find out the basics about her upcoming album Way To Go, inspirations, and what she really thinks about SXSW.  While you’re sitting in on our chat, check out her newest single, “January Shock,” below.

Vinyl Mag: You are one person, but you perform by the name Survival Guide…where did that come from? Why not perform under your own name?

Emily Whitehurst: Well, originally it was me and the guitar player. I play keyboards and sing. It was a two-piece, and then when he left the band, I decided that we had already done all this stuff as Survival Guide – we had a couple releases. I decided that I wanted to continue and possibly add more musicians as I go.

VM: So you just released a single [this month]?

EW: Yeah about a week ago. I have a record coming out May 15! I’m super excited and adamant to get this record out.

VM: So that’s just you singing and on the keys; you don’t have any guitar in that?

EW: All that stuff was from when my guitar player did his parts already. We wrote the electric drums together and put the guitar and keyboard part on it. So I’m not sure what I’ll do for the next record, but this one is done.

VM: How are you performing that?

EW: I am on my keyboard rig, and I have a trigger for all the tracks. It’s a backing track with guitar and drums while I sing and play keyboard.

VM: Is this your first time at SXSW?

EW: As Survival Guide, yes. I played here once as another band.

VM: Do you like it so far?

EW: Yeah, it’s awesome! I played a show yesterday, and then I have an acoustic one today and one tomorrow at the Big Picture showcase in the Blind Pig.

VM: What inspires you to make music?

EW: I definitely go through phases where I get obsessed with one or two records at a time when I can’t stop listening to them. Right now, it’s all female artists. I love the Haim record so much; I love Electric Lady by Janelle Monae, and I love Ultraviolence by Lana Del Rey, which surprised me.

VM: After SXSW and after you put out this record, are you going to tour more?

EW: I plan on touring at least the West coast behind the record. I’ve actually been working on it. I have friends that played backing on a few shows for me, so I have a drummer, guitarist, and keyboardist, so it’s like the opposite of what I’m doing now, but it’s super fun. If not, it’ll just be me.

VM: Are you a barbeque joint or a food truck person?

EW: With a food truck, you have so many different options, and I love having a million options even though it takes me forever to decide. You can also get barbeque from a food truck! Food trucks are like everywhere in California. Speaking of, there’s a place in California where they can flash freeze ice cream in the truck…

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