Scene Point Blank: Did you ever play The Fest before the hiatus?
Susy: Yeah, in 2005, when we did the Fat tour, that was the first time we played.
Maren: We had played Gainesville a lot before that because we were friends with Grabass Charlestons and those guys. We’d been to Gainesville, but 2005 was the
first Fest we’d played.
Susy: And we were only there for a night.
Maren: Yeah, it was kind of nuts because we were on tour.
Susy: And then, after the hiatus, in 2010. This will be the fourth time we’ve been to Fest.
Maren: The third time in a row since we got back together.
Scene Point Blank: Did it feel a lot different between ’05 and what its grown to?
Susy: Yes, oh my god. Crazy.
Scene Point Blank: Fest 6 was the first one I went to.
Susy: It was way smaller.
Maren: It’s crazy logistics. It’s like the whole city.
Mike: That year you played, that was the first year The Ergs! played too, and I was like, “Oh, this is a cool thing.” And then the next couple years, it was just so big that I can’t even figure out how to walk around and see bands because you can’t get into everything.
Susy: It definitely is different.
Maren: And then last year they got an app—it was like, “Wow! This is nuts.”
Mike: This will be my first Fest with a Smartphone. I’m so excited to have the app on there.
Susy: I’m so glad we were able to play one of the earlier ones to see it evolve in the way it has.
Scene Point Blank: You approve of how it’s evolved?
Maren: It’s amazing. I’m happy that they’ve been able to keep it going and I’m really happy that it’s still just a fest, there’s not an industry involved.
Susy: It’s sponsored by people like Razorcake--
Maren: or beer. It’s sponsored, but the point of going to Fest is not to get your band signed to a label.
Susy: Like South by Southwest.
Maren: Or to get noticed.
Susy: It’s just a fucking party, having a great time with all your friends that you’ve met on the road, and to see super-awesome new bands.
Maren: When you get the books it’s like, “We know you guys want to get wasted and drink beer. But stick with your buddies and don’t pass out in the median.” It’s still so independent feeling. I’m so happen that they’ve been able to maintain that.
Susy: As it’s gotten bigger it’s pretty awesome.
Scene Point Blank: I’ve always thought the dynamic feels like basement shows.
Susy: It does.
Scene Point Blank: It kind of loses that in the bigger venues, but--
Susy: But they always had that. There were always bigger venues for bigger bands.
Maren: Even in 2005, I thought the venue we played in was really big. The halfway outdoor one.
Mike: You did play one of the biggest venues at The Fest that year.
Scene Point Blank: Do you know what that was?
Maren: It was Abbey Road.
Mike: That was the only year that place had shows.
Maren: I’ve never been back there.
Susy: Now we play at the country bar [8 Seconds]. We played there last year and the year before.
Mike: That’s where we are this year too.
Scene Point Blank: What time do you play this year? You didn’t get a 1-2pm?
Maren: Saturday at 10.
Mike: Yeah, it’s a good slot. And I have 3 sets that night at the same venue.
Scene Point Blank: In a row?
Mike: Not in a row. Us and Off With Their Heads are in a row.
Susy: So it’s Grabass Charlestons, Dopamines—our show is a total bro show—Grabass Charlestons we’ve played with before. We did a two month tour with them. They play before us. Then it’s Off With Their Heads, who are obviously our bros from Minneapolis. And then F.Y.P is our friends from San Pedro.
Maren: I’m going to miss Grabass [Charlestons].
Susy: And Maren’s in Gateway District.
Maren: I play someplace else right before. I don’t know what I’m going to do.
Scene Point Blank: So what is Mikey’s record for sets played during a Fest?
Susy: He holds the record. It’s not his, it’s the record.
Mike: I might have played nine one year and this year it’s eight.
Susy: He’s a Fest ho!
Scene Point Blank: Are you on the shirts yet? Horsebites will draw you next year?
Mike: We talked about it. I talked about having him make a Mikey Erg shirt. It should be fun, I’m excited.
Scene Point Blank: I mentioned the time slot. You have played the 1 or 2 o’clock ones in the past?
Susy: After the hiatus we played at The Atlantic at like 6. We were the first band and a lot of people texted, like, “I can hear you but I can’t get in.”
Mike: I remember. We thought everyone would be itching to get started and it turned out that, an hour before we played, there was a line around the block.
Susy: Not saying that everyone was there to see the Soviettes, but we were on a really good show that night too. And then last year we played at 1pm on Saturday, which was gnarly for me because that’s what time I normally wake up and I was really hung over.
Maren: There were a lot of people there. That was the first show of the day.
Susy: I have to say, that’s really awesome that people would wait in line to see us at 1pm.
Mike: And get up.
Susy: It kind of sucked, but at the same time it was real heartwarming.
Scene Point Blank: Who are you excited for this year, besides the ones you named sharing a bill?
Susy: Masked Intruder (my new favorite band), Dan Vapid and the Cheats are playing. I’m excited to see F.Y.P, for sure.
Maren: I haven’t really looked.
Susy: I’m excited to see 7 Seconds because I’ve never seen them and, I’m a little older, and they’re like a “high school band.”
Mike: They’re still incredible.
Susy: One of my favorite high school bands, so I’m excited to see them.
Scene Point Blank: Are your other bands playing, too?
Susy: Gateway District is.
Photography by Michael Radke. Thanks!