Photography by Niraj Mehdiratta
Bands, in large part, reflect the scenes from which they come. This sentiment rings true for indie band The Tontons, who helped to open this weekend’s Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin, Texas with a pair of sets opening for Kurt Vile on Thursday night and another on Friday, as well as dropping their new video “Veida” on the Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy blog. The trip to Texas’ capital for the 8th annual music, comedy and action sports fest wasn’t a long one for the four-piece act from Houston, although it was the first time playing the three day end to festival season.
Together for nearly eight years now, The Tontons are indicative of a slow-moving yet supportive Houston music scene where dues are paid before garnering the city’s full support. To hear Asli and the gang describe it, breaking through to the next level in their hometown is a little different than other places in the country. The Tontons, a hodgepodge of styles, interests and musical abilities, are hard to put a finger on, precisely, but that’s how they like it. Their music could most closely be described as indie pop, but they have a co-sign from Houston hip-hop legend Bun B, who introduces them at shows and they’re toying with the idea of adding some metal components to some songs after hanging around FFF’s Black stage Saturday.
Things are really coming together for The Tontons as they prepare to release their next album in the spring and ready for a wild 2014. Having been around for awhile and earned their stripes in their hometown though, they are ready to make things happen on their own terms. I had a chance to catch the group backstage at Fun Fun Fun and sat down for a quick chat, read what they had to say about playing the festival for the first time, being different and drinking too much Red Bull.