In 2010, when Brokenmold Entertainment caravanned to Austin to support several local bands playing SXSW, the musicians of Florida Night Heat tagged along.
"We went completely uninvited, with no intentions of doing anything there, no shows set up," drummer Chris Wood recounted. On day three, in a spontaneous act of DIY whimsy, Wood and bandmates Jensen Kistler and Andre Jones decided they wanted to perform, and didn't need an official or even unofficial platform to do it.
"We've always been the band that likes to come in under the radar,” Kistler said. So they set up on a street corner on the outskirts of the SXSW bustle, used a car cigarette lighter adapter to power their amps, and delivered some magic and mayhem despite having barely enough juice to keep the bass and guitar amp going. "It cut out a few times during the set, Chris was on a modified drumset, basically on a street corner in Austin, playing for people walking by, trying to avoid cops as much as we could..."
Florida Night Heat has evolved much since that fateful weekend and even more since their 2009 inception, when Wood and Jones first picked up instruments (drums and bass) and taught themselves how to play so they could join guitarist friend Kistler in what he called a "clubhouse kind of band"; for hanging out, drinking beers, jamming, collaborating on some music, and maybe playing a house party or a few. They gelled quickly and naturally, developing a stoner-grimy Southern rock sound with loose and measured instrumentals that incorporated electro, funk, psychedelic and Ennio Morricone-style spaghetti western flavor. They even started booking gigs. For all, even Kistler, it was a novel experience. "I'd played music before but never like this, so we were all sort of on the same level."
Jones and Wood got progressively tighter and more confident in their talents, Jensen expanded on his fret maneuvers and pedal technique, and the trio settled into a comfortable groove until they had a fully-realized repertoire. Their 2011 debut full-length, #Immortality, was thus an exercise in getting all the songs they'd written up to that point onto disc and chronicles "the very beginning to the middle of our progression," according to Kistler. By the time it was released in December, however, they were already working on new material, and are currently putting the finishing touches on the four-song Omegas EP that, Kistler said, "shows where we're at right now and where we're going to go."
Omegas will see a vinyl-only release later this year. (9:45-10:25 p.m., Emerald Bar)
Tyler- I can't believe how talented of a writer you are. This article was beautifully…
Great interview! Give the interviewer a full time job! He's great!
The DJ was actually The Castle's very own DJ Tom Gold :)
Fabulous review Gabe! Too bad I missed it.