Interview: The Low Anthem

17 Mar

During The Low Anthem‘s  performance Saturday night at banter I felt as if I was really on the ground floor of something big. After  self-releasing their third album Oh My God, Charlie Darwin back in September of 2008, the trio of Ben Knox Miller, Jeff Prystowsky, and Jocie Adams have found themselves on Rolling Stone’s Rock Daily blog, and appeared on NPR . During NX35, while many of the area writers managed to get interviews with various other artist, I was lucky enough to quickly sit down with the group.

How did you end up at NX35?

Miller: I think his name is Chris?

Prystowsky: Bella Union.

Miller: There’s a record label in the UK called Bella Union that knew about the place, and there was a guy with XL records that spoke very highly of Denton, we really didn’t know what to expect.

So this is your first Texas show?

Prystowsky: Yep first Texas show, it’s the furthest south and furthest west we’ve ever been.

You guys have a vinyl release planned?

Miller:  We’re gonna do a single Vinyl, and indie from the UK called End of the Road is putting it out for us, it’s going to be a limited release, we’ll have it at SXSW.

What did you think of the venue(banter)?

Miller: It was awesome, it reminds us of   Prystowsky: Just like the old days.  Miller: every show we played before we got like a real booking agent we did a ton of these and I love it.

So how long have you guys been together.

Miller: For I guess you could say two years. But, we’ve been friends forever, been playing together in a lot of bands.

So you guys went to Brown? Did you finish?

Prystowsky: Finished

Miller: Let’s say it’s a combination of finished.

Travel arraignments, did you guys drive down here, or did you fly?

Miller: That Blue Mini Van over there

Prystowsky:  Blue Dodge Caravan, 4 people in a Dodge Caravan

Miller: I can’t believe it still runs, I can’t believe we still get along

Prystowsky: You know, it’s like your sitting next to someone, and it’s like you’re very conscious of your personal space is. Someone scoots over and you’re like nah nah! You’re personal space is like the inch that surrounds you;  you can measure it with your thumb.

So how long have you been on tour?

Miller: Since the 23rd of February, we started in Minnesota, then up through Canada, then down the east coast, then up through the Midwest. We got almost another month.

So you guy’s going to head too Dallas tonight, or are you going to stay and check out some of the bands?

Prystowsky: We’re gonna stay, and watch

Miller: Are these all college bands?

Not really, Bosque Brown is getting ready to get on stage over at Hailey’s, it’s not really that much of a college scene, you have some older people.

Miller: Whys the scene so happening around here?

Prystowsky: UNT.

We switched around y’all are interviewing me now. Yeah it’s mainly North Texas, you have the Jazz School, people move to Austin, they get tired of it and come back. It’s way more laid back here.

(ed. note: we’re joined by Jocie Adams at this time)

Ok one more question, What’s your favorite song and biggest influence.

in unison: UHH

I’m going to end this on the hardest question I can think of.

Prystowsky: My favorite song is This land is your landby Woody Guthrie. And, biggest influence…does it have to be somebody other then Woody Guthrie?

(at this point a large group of festival attendees approached the band, and congratulated them on their set)

Miller: I think the song that broke my heart the most times was Take it with me” by Tom Waits, from Mule Variations vol. 1, and I think that Bob Dylan is a monster.

Adams: Can they be unknown people?


Adams: My clarinet teacher is my biggest influence, My favorite song… that’s to hard.

Well what’s stuck in your head?

Adams:Come on up to the houseTom Waits.

Miller: Maybe because we listened to it on the way here

Prystowsky: We’ve been doing the last track of every Tom Waits record the whole time.

The Low Anthem- Charlie Darwin

The Low Anthem’s third album Oh My God, Charlie Darwin is out now, an available on itunes.  They are performing 7 times at SXSW on the following dates

March 18

Eklektikos On-Air Performance on 90.5FM KUT


at The Thirsty Nickel for Mad Dragon Recordings Presents the Texas Cheesesteak Massacre

March 19

at  Home Slice Pizza for Music by the Slice


at Lambert’s for the End of the Road Festival Party

March 20

at The Ranch for Bella Unions Official SXSW Showcase


at Central Presbyterian Church for the SXSW Official Showcase

March 21

at The Pure Volume House

2 Responses to “Interview: The Low Anthem”


  1. The Low Anthem & Noah and The Whale do The Beatles « DayBowBow - September 24, 2009

    […] I’ve been an avowed fan of The Low Anthem since interviewing the band back during NX35, and have been preaching their excellence through sharing tracks with friends throughout the […]

  2. Giveaway: Blindpilot and The Low Anthem at the Granada Theater « DayBowBow - October 28, 2009

    […] all know how much those of us on this site love The Low Anthem, we’ve done an interview, mini album review, and pretty much praised them non stop since catching them at NX35 last year, […]

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