March 15, 2012


Carson Daly On Defying Expectations at SXSW

Fuse spoke with Carson Daly yesterday in Austin while the bands he handpicked to play his SXSW showcase—including Tennis, Cults and Thee Oh Sees—were setting up. 

You might be surprised to learn how attuned the TV host is to the musical underground. Here’s what he had to say...

On his showcase: “These are bands that I like, music that I listen to. I wanted an eclectic night… I want it to be like a good college radio station.”

On what SXSW fans think of him: “When people see that there’s a Carson Daly showcase at SXSW I think in their minds they think it’s gonna be one way, they probably associate it with a lot of popular music or Lord knows what. But this is our never-ending quest to shine a light on artists that need a break.”

On his late night NBC show: “The average artist can’t get on a network and I want to be that beacon. Come on Last Call, [I’ll] give you the tape and you can give it to Jay Leno. “

On seeing the Killers at SXSW pre-fame: "It was literally in somebody’s house, like an after-after-after-after-party and they played on somebody’s lawn. They were like, ‘Yeah, we’re some band from Vegas,’ and then they went on to do my show in Vegas. I think that was their TV debut.”

One ofthe bands Carson selected to play his showcase was Roll the Tanks, an unsigned rock band from Los Angeles who said that he helped fix up their van so they could actually make the trip to Austin. “That guy’s the real deal,” says singer Danny Carney. “He cares about young bands and he cares about music.”

Read all about Daly playing drums with Thee Oh Sees during his showcase here.