Photograph: Lyndsee Nielson
Listen to the new song from Southern Envy – Full of Diamonds
Tell us about where you are from and how you got to this position today.
Omar: I grew up in Kingsville, TX and moved to Austin after spending several years working as a recording engineer in Los Angeles. I wanted to play live everyday and didn’t want to pay to play, so I moved to Austin where my brother, Andres, was already playing drums in another band. We eventually started jamming and here we are, Southern Envy.
Sam: I’m from The Mother and traveled spacetime to get here. A mutual human friend connected the music of Southern Envy to myself. Now I provide some low-end frequencies to whatever Being tunes in.
What do you have coming up? What are some of the new projects we can expect to see?
O: We are currently gigging in Austin and gearing up for SXSW. In the mean time we are writing new material and are in the pre-production stages of recording an album.
Tell us more about the current song you are promoting to everyone.
O: Full of Diamonds was the last song recorded on our first EP A Quiver of Cobras. Most of our material was written and recorded while I was living in Los Angeles but Full of Diamonds was written in Austin and recorded live at the Triple E Ranch Studio in Cotula, TX. It’s the first of several songs I wrote using an alternate tuning.
How does your music separate yourself from other artists and bands out there?
O: Our improvisational ability to jam live on stage is what really sets us apart, we vibe off each other creating while we are playing. There are key moments when we just feel where the song is going and allow the music to take us there and we hope that transcends to the listener.
S: There are different things that narrow us down to uniqueness. We don’t necessarily follow one single “genre,” you can tell we love what we do and have fun (some other human artists look like zombies on stage) and there are multidimensional beings in our band. That’s the big one.
Tell us about one of the hardest challenges you had to face in the industry?
S: I think most musicians have to go through sort of a quest, like Homer’s Odyssey. Everybody loves music, lots of people play music, your ship sometimes encounters Sirens hoping to cause that boat to wreck upon the rocks, especially in Austin and so many humans have the same goals. So now you have to stand out and network and be at places at the right time. Money comes in as a factor somewhere in there. We are musicians with clear goals and I think the Law of Attraction is a strong force. So may the battle carry on until these musical Knights slay the dragon.
O: Creating the right music at the right time while maintaining integrity and remaining true to your creative self is one of the hardest challenges in our industry. It’s easy to fall into trends in order to maintain current relativity but in the end, music inspired and played from the heart will always endure.
What was one of the biggest set backs in your career and how did you bounce back?
S: Traveling to Austin from my home planet was my biggest setback. I had gotten a following there and played music all the time. It took a few months meeting Earthlings, jamming, connecting, etc. I met many good musicians spanning different styles of music and I came across Southern Envy. I guess this would be my “bounce-back” point. I’m a rubber ball and Austin is the kitchen floor.
O: My biggest set back was pursuing a career after graduating college and giving in to what our society tells us is the right thing to do instead of pursuing my passion. One morning I woke up and realized I wanted more out of life, resigned my job, sold most of my belongings, packed up my truck, and hit the road. That was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
What are some things artists need to be careful of?
O: Pay to play. You should never have to pay to play. It should be the other way around.
S: Corporate jobs and Sirens.
What suggestions do you have for other artists like yourself?
S: I have never met an artist like myself, but a suggestion would be to keep on your track, focus, be positive, share your music for the right reasons, and love your surroundings.
O: Never give up on yourself and your dreams. You never know how close you may be at realizing your full potential no matter what obstacles you must overcome.
What is one of your favorite ways to promote yourself and your music?
O: Word of mouth. Austin affords us a unique opportunity to have a grass-roots type of promotion. It also helps that it’s the live music capital of the world.
S: Word-of-mouth, flyers, social networking sites, psychic communication.
Where can people visit you?
S: Come visit me anytime. I cook good meals. I’d give my address but who knows what that’ll lead to. Find us, the band and individual members online.