SXSW puts bands through the ringer. It’s a marathon, and if you do it properly you’re not going to feel to healthy after you run it. Instead you’re going to feel like you just ran around an overcrowded town unloading and re-loading your gear into your van numerous times, playing in a slew of different rooms that all smell of cheap beer and sweat, and sleeping, when and where you can, and eating whatever free bbq should come your way. As such, towards the end of our SXSW excursion the bands that showed up to the house all tended to drag down the driveway looking and sounding a little worse for the ware. Of course when it came time to play their music they were able to reach down inside of themselves and find the heady jams, but there were definitely a few cats who we might have offered a hot bowl of chicken soup and a bubble bath to if we could.

That being said, Lee Bains showed up early in the week, but his voice was still raspy, his boots still dusty, and his jeans well worn in. He was prepared to run that SXSW race, because he’s in this rock and roll game with both feet in the deep end. You can tell that by just chatting with him for a few minutes. So it’s not out of the realm of possibility to assume that his talking voice is scratchy 365 days of the year, and his eyes droop a little bit due to lack of quality sleep on the regular. He’s dedicated his life to his music. Living on the road and all that entails. That’s how you train for SXSW, and if we’re ranking favorites in this year’s race, well, Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires would definitely be on our list of front-runners.