SXSW 2015 Interview: Avid Dancer

By on Tuesday, 31st March 2015 at 1:00 pm

The Wednesday of SXSW 2015 week marked the opening of the inaugural FLOODfest at SXSW showcase at Cedar Street Courtyard in downtown Austin. Although I previewed the 4-day, 3-night set of events, I was only able to attend the Wednesday afternoon show, which opened with percussionist-turned-singer/songwriter Avid Dancer, known offstage as Jacob Dillan Summers.

Summers has an unusual and interesting history leading to the fairly recent start of his music career, including a strict religious upbringing, a stint in the United States Marines and a period of time spent in Alaska before he decamped to Los Angeles to complete the collection of songs that would become his debut LP ‘1st Bath’, due out on the 14th of April on record label Grand Jury. (In case you missed it, we at TGTF recently featured the video for album track ‘All Your Words Are Gone’.)

I sat down with Summers on a sunny street corner outside the FLOODfest venue for an interview before Avid Dancer’s opening set to chat about his plans for the week in Austin, his tour dates with fellow SXSW showcasing artists Delta Spirit, and the upcoming album release. Summers’ colorful personality certainly came through in the interview, particularly when a minor injury prompted him to recount the tale of a dramatic childhood trauma. Despite the potential distractions surrounding him in Austin, Summers seemed squarely focused on his current task of touring and promoting his album, even revealing that one of the best songs he’s ever written isn’t on it. The song did, however, appear in his FLOODfest set, and I will agree that it was the best track I heard him play. Stay tuned to TGTF for my full review of Wednesday afternoon’s FLOODfest show, including details of Avid Dancer’s performance.

(Note: in the interview streaming below, Summers mentions wanting to see one of his Grand Jury label mates who played first on the Thursday afternoon FLOODfest lineup. That band was Minnesota four-piece Hippo Campus.)

Many thanks to Erin and Jeremy for arranging this interview.

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