Mom Jeans at SXSW and Beyond

By Lindsey Petterson
Music Journalist

On Saturday March 18th, Zeta Psi at University of Texas hosted an unofficial SXSW event called Camp West Campus. Bands from all over Texas and the United States came to play sets including Wren (Denton, TX), Glaze (San Marcos, TX), Ratboys (Chicago, IL), and Mom Jeans (Berkeley, CA).The fraternity house ended up being the perfect venue for a show with such a large line up. Many of the bands playing this show played at other house venues and bars close by, so showcase-goers could go to and from shows to catch all the bands they wanted to see without losing their not-so-easy-to-find parking space. The show was scheduled to end with Mom Jeans, but they split their set with garage punk band, Prince Daddy and the Hyena.

a2673953765_10Mom Jeans, a self proclaimed “sad rock band with twinkly influences,” came all the way from Berkeley, California to play a few shows at their first South By South West. The band is a four piece that includes Eric Butler, Austin Carango, Gabriel Paganin and Bart Starr. Mom Jeans released their first full length album, best buds, in July 2016. After this release, the band gained popularity through twitter, reddit, and bandcamp. I asked guitarist and vocalist, Eric Butler, a few questions about the band and their first SXSW experience. Eric thought it was “crazy how widespread the festivities” in Austin were. Mom Jeans played at 5 different shows in 3 days all over the city. The band put their all into every set, and the crowd fed off their positive energy. It was interesting and inspiring to see the crowd absolutely lose it as soon as Mom Jeans started playing by scream-singing every word, friendly push-moshing, and crowd surfing in tiny spaces. Mom Jeans’ honest lyrics make listeners want to scream along to every clever and relatable song. The twinkly guitar parts are a defining characteristic of the band that is almost creating a new generation of fans for this genre that produced bands like Algernon Cadwallader and Snowing.

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Mom Jeans playing at Mutual Friends Fest at SXSW. Photo courtesy of Lindsey Petterson.

Eric said the band thought the name Mom Jeans “would be a funny name” and went on to say “when we first started writing music together we didn’t really know or expect anything to happen as far as touring/recording and what not. We try not to take ourselves too seriously at all and I think the name kind of reflects that.” The band’s silly personality and creatively honest music has contributed positively to the music scene they are a part of. Hopefully they will be back at SXSW next year for more sick shows!

Mom Jeans just finished their tour that they were “stoked to be on the road” for, specifically to see friends and play venues all over the country. Check out Mom Jeans on bandcamp, itunes, and spotify.

Featured image courtesy of Stacee Collins.

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