SXSW 2014: De Lux x Vinyl Mag

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Sean Guerin and Isaac Franco are a duo from California that wants to make you dance. If dancing isn’t necessarily your thing, you’re at least going to consider it. Their musical influences alone say great things for these two, but the self-described “new wave disco” music that they create is on a playing field of its own. South by Southwest seems to encompass just about any genre of music your tiny heart desires, but even still, you’re in luck if you discover even a handful that stay with you.

Luckily for Vinyl Mag, and me in particular, De Lux brought an entirely new sound to my ever-growing SXSW table, and now I have a total understanding for how Christopher Walken must have felt in the infamous “Cowbell” skit- disco (and particularly, De Lux) being the Cowbell. I could go on and on about how into their hit single “Better at Making Time” I am, but I’ll chose to let you discover the track’s awesomeness for yourself.  We sat down with the guys of De Lux after their show at the Filter Magazine showcase, and you should probably go ahead and see what they’re all about. Afterwards, stream their music and instigate an impromptu dance party wherever you may be.

VM: Is this your first SXSW?

Sean Guerin: Yeah, it is. It’s our first time in Texas, too.

Isaac Franco: We’ve maintained to our little bubble; we haven’t traveled very often.

VM: Being that it is your first time here, what was top on your Austin “to do” list?

Isaac: We didn’t really have any; it was more just about getting the vibe of the place and seeing what we liked and didn’t like.

VM: What don’t you like?

Sean: We call Sixth Street “Zombie Street”; we went there last night for the first time, and everyone was just walking all fast and strange.

Sean: Everyone is really nice here, though, which is different. You have people saying “hi” to you on every block.

Isaac: Congress Street is really cool and just a little bit outside of downtown. There are really cool places to eat and hang out, and we enjoyed that area a lot.

VM: Have you two caught any cool shows?

Sean: Yeah, we’ve caught a few. We saw Damon Albarn and the 1975; we played at the same venue as the 1975 earlie,r and we had passes so we were like, “let’s go.” But yeah, Damon Albarn was really awesome.

VM: So, when did you actually get in town?

Isaac: We got here last Friday.

VM: Oh, so you’ve been at it for a minute! When do you leave?

Sean: Unfortunately, tomorrow.

VM: Ah, I leave tomorrow also; so bittersweet. So, let’s take this in a positive direction- who are your musical influences?

Sean: Television, Talking Heads, David Bowie, ESG, The Clash- we’ve got a list going.

Isaac: LCD Soundsystem for sure. I’ve been getting into Orange Juice- they’re wicked.

Sean: I’ve been getting into a lot of SEGA music.

VM: So would you say you gather inspiration from all of these avenues?

Sean: Yeah, we’ve been working on our second record, and we write all of the time, so it just seems to happen that way. I definitely feel like the music we listed has been having an effect on the music we’ve been writing recently. Oh, we’re also really into Prince.

VM: Prince was like the big thing for South by Southwest last year; you know, that show that was widely talked about, but you would never actually get in to.

Sean: Oh, that’s awesome!

VM: Would you consider yourself food truck people or barbecue joint people during SXSW?

Isaac: Probably neither- we’re more diner kind of people. We like to sit down and be warm.

Sean: Here it’s diner, but at home it is food trucks. There are a lot of great burrito and taco trucks.

Isaac: It’s hard to get food down here when we have shows back-to-back, so when we do get to eat together, it’s late at night, and we just show up at an IHOP or something.

VM: I read that skateboarding was how the two of you ultimately met, and you then were in a former band together? Is this true or just the internet talking?

Isaac: Skateboarding, a bit of high school, and another band.

VM: Ok, so you went to high school together? Were you homies in high school?

Sean: We weren’t really homies. I mean, we were cool with each other, but we didn’t really hang out with each other.

VM: Did you leave the [previous] band with a mutual understanding that you were planning on starting something together?

Sean: When we started writing songs, we were still in that particular project, but eventually we got so into it that we stopped writing for the other project, so it just sort of melted away. We just didn’t communicate with the other band members for a while, and vice versa.

VM: But are you still all cool? No bad blood?

Isaac: Yeah, I mean, we just hung out at shows and kept it strictly business, which was kind of annoying.

VM: Where were you when the accident at Red River and 9th took place?

Sean: Our band decided to stay home that night, which was totally coincidental.

Isaac: I knew a couple of people walking over there just minutes before it happened. We all got a bunch of texts making sure everyone was okay and whatnot; it’s just all really sad…

VM: If you had to categorize your own music and put it into a genre, where would you put it?

Sean: I mean, it kind of changes- I feel like we’re more disco than punk.

Isaac: It’s also like a new wave sound.

VM: How many shows have you played since you’ve been here?

Sean: We’ve played six so far. This is our second for the day, and we have another tonight at The Madison.

VM: What’s next for De Lux?

Sean: Yeah, we’re returning home; we have our first album coming out on April 8th.

Isaac: We have our album release show, and the month after that we are heading to Hawaii, where someone bought tickets for us to play a show. So we’ll be staying at a house on the beach and just playing music, which is exciting.

VM: Last question- where did you come up with the name De Lux?

Isaac: It almost sounds like we’re a diva band from the 70’s, and we’re totally not that way at all, so it’s just funny at this point.

Samantha Gilder is a native of Saint Simons Island. She attended Georgia Southern University for a brief stint where she studied Journalism, and although she became your statistical “college dropout”, she strives to pursue her goals with the best of them. Growing up, music and writing were the top two most influential things in her life; fast forward to the present and their roles in her life are just as prominent, with the only (major) differences being that now she is not only a writer but a mother. She has eternal love in her heart for her daughter. She bartends at a local coffee shop/café/pub where (lucky for her) the appreciation for music is equally shared between her employers and co-workers.

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