ACL Interview: Sons of Fathers
Friday, Oct. 11, 12:20pm, Austin Ventures stage
Six months ago, Sons of Fathers were running the South by Southwest marathon, promoting sophomore effort Burning Days – released on their own Blanco River Music – through a combination of juggernaut live shows and tidy plots to get the discs into listeners' hands. They gave away copies at shows, then enacted a social media Easter egg hunt at home here in Austin. They'd go to a local coffee shop or bar, leave a pile of CDs at the counter, then post a picture of the establishment's sign to Facebook, alerting fans to the day's spot for free music.
"I came up with the idea," says co-founder and co-frontman Paul Cauthen. "There's a bunch of bands doing little schemes, throwing glittery shit all over the place. We decided to cut the fat and give it to them. If they want the CD, let's give them the damn CD."
"People can get music for free anyway," concurs Sons' other half David Beck.
"Let people listen to it and then come out to the shows," Cauthen continues.
And come out to the shows they did. In the time that's elapsed since Austin's last mega music festival, the homegrown Americana-rockers have toured the greater U.S., played Bonnaroo (and been invited back to next year's fest) and the Americana Music Festival in Nashville, and by the time they take the stage at ACL, they will have played the Grand Ole Opry. Twice.
"They've really been picking up speed at the roots level," explains the quintet's manager, Marty Schwartz. "This has been as organic a campaign as possible."