San Antonio Music Showcase Spotlight: James Woodard of The Grasshopper Lies Heavy
File Photo Grasshopper Lies Heavy frontman James Woodard serves up the skronk.
On Saturday, September 28, more than 35 bands will take over 10 St. Mary’s Strip venues for the San Antonio Music Showcase, a Current-sponsored night highlighting some of the city’s finest homegrown talent. We hit up members of four of those acts to talk about the Alamo City’s music scene, hitting on its highs and lows.
James Woodard, Guitarist and Vocalist, The Grasshopper Lies Heavy
The Grasshopper Lies Heavy specializes in noisy heaviness that teeters between art and sludge.
How have you seen the music landscape change over the 13 years you’ve been a band? Or has it stayed the same?
It’s definitely changed. I feel like it’s gotten softer in a lot of ways. I feel like the heavy music scene is in a lull right now, and I also feel like the scene is — the scene’s always had a problem with self-segregation and has been real cliquey — but I feel like, currently, it’s been over-the-top with that cliquish nature.
What do you think we can do to resolve those issues?
I think the most important thing is getting young kids to shows. Because there’s a lot of pissed-off young kids these days, and they need a release. When I was 16, 17, 18, that’s when music mattered the most to me, you know what I mean? And if it’s all just dudes in their mid-to-late 30s playing heavy shit, [young kids can’t always] relate to that. So, we need to do all-ages shows, get kids to shows, and hopefully kids will start punk bands and go from there.
Another big problem with the San Antonio scene is that the hardworking bands are kind of forgotten about by the locals, bands like Haunter, who just put out a sick record and toured. And, not to toot my own horn, but Grasshopper’s done a lot of shit, but when like-minded bands come to San Antonio, we don’t get asked to play the Melvins show. Bookers don’t ask us to play shit like that.
Do you think there’s any responsibility on the artist’s end to reach out to promoters and ask to get put on these bills? Like, “Hey we sound like these guys, put us on this bill.”
Yeah, and we’ve done that before, and sometimes it falls on deaf ears. But I don’t know. A lot of promoters, especially on the [St. Mary’s] Strip will book their buddies instead, and that’s a big problem. But, yeah, the responsibility goes both ways. And I think what really helps is when bands from San Antonio go on tour, meet friends and those friends’ bands come to San Antonio — that’s when I’ll book a show.
The Grasshopper Lies Heavy plays the Rock and Roll Showcase at The Mix during the San Antonio Music Showcase.
@ St. Mary’s Strip
2407 N. St. Mary’s Street
St. Mary’s strip
San Antonio, TX
When: Sat., Sept. 28, 8 p.m.
DJs and Live Music
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