Throttle talks international touring and time spent at SXSW

For DJ and producer Throttle, North America is just getting a taste of his style and shows – for those lucky enough to see him perform at SXSW, the young gun came through blazing, leaving excited chatter in his wake. As he eyed up over a month on the road through the US, we scored some of his time in Austin to chat through it all.

Thanks for joining us here at SXSW. This is the start of a jaunt around this part of the world. How long you here for?

I leave SXSW tomorrow unfortunately, so only two days for me. Then I’m all over the place. I hit Miami for a big music conference, music week there. There’s all sorts of pool parties there. I’m doing like six shows in a couple days, which is awesome. Then after that it’s just madness around America and Canada. Which is awesome. It’s going to be a busy five weeks.

How have the experiences been here so far? I know you had a really early set on here today.

I thought I was flying out today so I got put on really, really early. But it was fun. It was really fun. We came with low expectations ’cause I was playing so early and it was really fun. I’ve done a couple other parties where it was really fun. So it’s been good. It was a shame I flew in the day of the first show, that I didn’t have time to actually enjoy it. But, I have enjoyed it, I just haven’t enjoyed it as much as I would have if I wasn’t so fuckin’ jet lagged.

I mean, talk about jumping in the deep end, playing a show like this and then doing the tour.

That’s how it goes.

You just finished an Australian tour as well. How’d all those shows go?

It was good. I did a couple I had never played before. I never played Newcastle before. I’d never done a club show [there] which was really fun. I did [the] Central Coast, which I’d never been to. And then I got to do Newcastle for the second time, I played a new venue. It was sick. Then I did the major cities. It was really good.

I mean, Australia’s always a tough one, just ’cause it’s not as diverse a market as overseas. As far as, you play here and there are people who love all the niche parts of music. In Australia it’s just a small scene. It’s tougher, but it’s fun in a different way, I find.

How are you finding that your music is translating now in Australia? It seems like it’s finally broken through into that.

Yeah, it’s always been like a big scene of the more heavy music. It’s a tough one. I think there are still a lot of open minded people in Australia and it’s just about finding out with my music. My music’s kind of halfway in between the EDM, more typical dance stuff and I guess the core sounds. It took a while, but it’s finally getting there now. Which is exciting.

It certainly is. But I imagine that coming over here has always been a goal.

Absolutely, yeah. Last year was the first year where I really toured full on. I just can’t imagine stressful, jumping straight into a five week tour of the U.S. or whatever. So it’s nice to come back again and do it again, having had that first year and be able to enjoy it all.

Have you found some kind of fans following through from those shows that are asking you to come back?

Yeah, absolutely. Even just the last few shows I’ve seen people who saw me maybe once last year, or a few months ago. It’s cool. Yeah, you have people who you see them in Europe, or you see them in Australia. It’s really cool. It’s crazy, but it’s cool.

So tell me a little bit about what’s coming up. You’ve just dropped a new single?

I have, yeah. “Hit the Road Jack” It’s a rework of the classic. A lot of the music’s like ninety five percent is sort of working out what the mood is. Then I’ll start finishing stuff and putting it out. It’s gonna be a big year for music. Like last year, I didn’t get out nearly as much as I wanted to for various reasons.

I imagine you were working on a lot of music.

I was, yeah. I’s exciting for me to just be putting stuff out all the time. I’ll be touring tonnes; Europe, the whole summer, which is gonna be good. Three months in Europe. No complaints! It’s gonna be jam packed this year.

That ain’t a bad thing.

It’s not a bad thing at all.

And for bands, or DJ’s, or any artist looking to come over to the States, play SXSW, do the touring circuit over here, what advice would you give to them? Now that you’re a well and seasoned traveller of the market.

Fly in the day before. Fly in more than two days in advance! Your life will be easier. No, I think the most important thing is just building – if you are in Australia – building that online fan-base. Building a brand that, once you come over here, people can associate with you and it’s not so much jumping in the deep end and performing for people who have absolutely no idea what you are about.

I think it’s really important to build some sort of brand online that you can come over and develop. But, you’ve already laid the foundations for a tour or a show. Yeah, I think that’s important.

It certainly is, and it’s easier than ever now to keep track of that sort of data.

Yeah, absolutely.

What sort of tools are you using for that? Are you just checking on Facebook, or is it SoundCloud, or iTunes?

It’s all over, really. There’s so much these days. I mean, Spotify is huge these days. I mean, everything. It’s always hard to tell. There will be people who sell out thousands and thousands of tickets who have way less going on online than some other people. Just because they have just something about their brand that really connects. It’s a tough one. I think the most important thing is having a brand that connects with certain people that you are trying to target.

How do you think most people are discovering your music now?

It’s mainly online, I think. Especially here, dance radio is huge over here-which we lack in Australia. But there’s things like Sirius XM and iHeart Radio. And that’s really, really big for me. Especially now, a lot of the DJ mixes are airing on all those radio shows. And in the UK, things like Radio 1. The specialist shows have kind of taken over in the sense that the DJ’s always control a lot of the airplay.

So with the more and more DJ support for myself is rolling in, that’s really helping my exposure. And on top of that, just building online. But it’s mainly through the radio, I think.

I think I read somewhere that you got played by Hillary Clinton, or something? I can see you knew what question I was going to ask! Everyone must be bringing that up. It’s too high on the Google search.

Yeah, it is. [I] Gotta stop bearing that. No, it was amazing. It was about a year ago, out of nowhere. Someone from her camp reached out and from there it was just a media snowball after that.

Better her than Donald Trump!

I know…

Well, we better not talk more about that, because we don’t want to get you banned from this country! But, I really appreciate your time. And congratulations on everything that’s happening. And best of luck with the rest of your shows.

Keep up to date with Throttle here.


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Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. Currently based in Toronto, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.