Balaclavas Sets Out On The Road Again For The Decadent West Coast

Balaclavas last July at the Mink
Balaclavas last July at the Mink
Photos by Allison Wagoner

There are tiny bone chips in my right elbow because of a curb in Austin, my inability to maneuver a children's bicycle down a steep hill, and inherent humanity. Back at SXSW '09 on the way to see Balaclavas play their showcase, I smashed my bike into a curb swerving to miss a car that was about to hit me, breaking my elbow as I hit the ground. I still showed up at their show a few minutes later with misty eyes, a useless arm, and a smile on my face. I cried like a baby when I got to my hotel room though.

Tonight is Balaclavas' tour kick-off show at the new Walter's on Naylor - still getting used to that phrase - with frequent bill mates Black Congress. Last fall the band released their follow-up to 2010's Roman Holiday, the superbly scary-good Snake People, and made it into our - well, my own - best of Houston top ten list.

We asked bassist Brian Harrison a series of questions this week regarding the tour, the reviews of Snake People, and their fans, and he sent us answers back in timely manner so we could post this blog.

Rocks Off: Where is this tour taking you?

Balaclavas: The next tour takes us to Austin, Marfa, Phoenix, San Diego, two shows in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Tucson, Albuquerque, and Lubbock. Our tour in March will hit middle America and the East Coast as well as the sultry South.

RO: What is this Snake People follow-up supposed to sound like?

B: Not to give away too much, but we've been working with dischord and straightforward rhythms. We plan to release in March.

RO: The acclaim for Snake People was immediate. What was the best thing you heard about it, and from where?

B: The Italian reviews were great, and some New Zealand radio stations have been playing tracks consistently. The best reviews were from the Baltimore City Paper and Dusted Magazine though.

RO: Outside of Houston, what is the live reaction to Balaclavas? I always wondered what the crowds looked like in other cities. I have seen Austin crowds. The Houston crowds are all fellow musicians and journalists and freaky-deakies.

B: It's the same. Especially the freaky-deakies. Especially.

RO: I have called you guys one of the most mature bands in town. Is that off-base? Are their other bands and people in town that you look up to for musical direction though?

B: The music is mature, our personalities are certainly not, and we do not look up to anyone else.

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