We chatted to Maxwell Stern of Signals Midwest and Leo Vergnetti of Captain, We’re Sinking:
Scene Point Blank: At what point, post Fest, do you feel like you've again entered the real world? For me, it is when I hit the Atlanta airport and realize tattoos and arms covered in wristbands isn't the norm.
Signals Midwest: We were talking about the point that we feel normal after Fest?
Captain, We’re Sinking: For me, it takes about a week. It's such an intense experience: like, "Hey, remember everyone you’ve met in the last 10 years? They're all gonna be in this tiny little town in Florida and they're all going to want to drink and stay up ‘til 4am with you." Your body doesn't stand a chance. You get into some crazy shit. And the come-down from that is like coming off of a drug. We all hit it pretty hard this year.
It always hits me on my drive back to Scranton from Philly. I'm always the guy that flies down, so when I'm driving home it's always alone and think to myself, “What the hell just happened?"
Signals Midwest: You guys ever get into any trouble down in Gainesville? With the law, or otherwise?
Captain, We’re Sinking: Our first year playing Fest our friend got arrested and got into some pretty big problems. We also had other friends get in trouble for open containers. After that first year I think we all realized that we shouldn't fuck around too much, haha.
Captain, We’re Sinking: What was your favorite Fest set, Max? Why was it the dopest?
Signals Midwest: Ha, yeah. It's hard to keep it together at festivals. We got a hotel room this year that was 20 minutes outside of town. I think our logic was, "Oh, this will help us chill out." It just ended up meaning that we almost didn't make it back there for a few nights.
Fest shows are always special, but I think the Sidekicks consistently play one of the best sets the entire weekend. This year was especially sweet because they were touring with Nick and Maryn from All Dogs in their band. It sounded so damn good. I've seen their Fest sets for the past three years and they've been bonkers every time. I really loved the Bennies' set too--they're from Australia and it was their first US tour. They packed the place and people went nuts. Anty, the singer, was rocking some American flag spandex pants and ended up crowd-walking and hanging from the rafters and stuff. They also smoked a joint onstage, which was one of the funnier things I've seen happen during a Fest set. It was evident that they were super-greatful to be so far from home and playing to such an enthusiastic and appreciative crowd. Just good vibes all around.
What were your favorite sets of the weekend? I'm curious because I don't watch that many bands at Fest (I usually do 5-7 per day and the rest of the time is just spent walking around, eating all the awesome Gainesville food and bullshitting with people I never get to see.)
Captain, We’re Sinking: I really enjoyed The Menzingers set. It was great seeing them play that giant outdoor stage and remembering all their other sets from past fests. Three Man Cannon was absolutely the tightest sounding band I heard all weekend and was just blown away with how good they sounded.
Tell me about your most memorable set you guys played.
Signals Midwest: Three Man Cannon was great! All three members of Cayetana dragged me out to see them when I was taking a nap in the grass or something, and I'm really glad they did. I love that Matt runs his whole rig through a Space Echo and just mixes it live. I'd love to see them do some more touring and get some more attention. That last record is phenomenal. Menzos never disappoint either.
The first set we ever played at Fest will always stick out to me, just because we'd never really played a big festival before. It was at the Lab, which was this space-themed bar that doesn't exist anymore. It was kind of far from everything else and I was sorta worried, but we packed the place. There's a bunch of video floating around on Youtube somewhere, I think. We really have a ball every year.
This year was great because we hit capacity at Rockey's and there were just people flying all over the place. The Osker cover set we did at Loosey's was really fun too--we were worried only like 20 people would know that band but there ended up being a massive line around the block of people trying to get inside to see it.