South By Southwest has fast become one of the biggest and most influential music festivals in the world, with this year’s event seeing over 2,000 performers play at more than 90 different venues over a period of 10 days.
Now the annual music, film, and interactive conference, held in Austin, Texas, from March 12th – 17th, has announced Dave Grohl as keynote speaker for the 2013 event. The keynote will take place on Thursday, March 14, 2013 at the Austin Convention Center, the hub of SXSW Music events.
Dave Grohl’s ascension to legendary status as one of the most beloved and respected figures on the international music scene goes back to his joining the DC-based punk rock band Scream at the age of 17.
Three years and much international touring later, Grohl became drummer for Nirvana, making his recorded debut with them on 1991’s generation-defining Nevermind. Following a guest drumming opportunity with Tom Petty, Grohl took center stage, forming Foo Fighters, on whose 1995 self-titled debut he wrote, recorded and sang every note–save for one guitar track.
Foo Fighters have since grown into arguably the last great American arena/stadium rock band, with 2011’s Wasting Light debuting at #1 in the U.S. and 11 other countries while over the years The Colour & The Shape (1997), There Is Nothing Left To Lose (1999), One By One (2002), In Your Honor (2005), Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace (2007) have raked in 11 Grammy Awards, sold 25 million copies and spawned anthems like Everlong, Monkey Wrench, My Hero, Learn To Fly, All My Life, Best Of You, The Pretender, Walk and more.
Prior to the Wasting Light sessions, Grohl returned to the drums for an album and world tour with Them Crooked Vultures, the Grammy-winning supergroup he formed with Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones and Queens of the Stone Age’s Joshua Homme.
Among the other artists with whom Grohl has collaborated are Paul McCartney, David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Neil Young, Elton John, Queens of the Stone Age, Nine Inch Nails, Roger Taylor and Brian May of Queen, Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead and Tenacious D, in whose 2006 film Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny, he played the role of Satan.
More recently, Grohl set to work on SOUND CITY: REAL TO REEL, his forthcoming debut, as a feature documentary director/producer. The film focuses both on the history of the legendary Van Nuys, CA studio for which it is named—where such artists as Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty, Fear, Johnny Cash, Rick Springfield, DIO, Nirvana, Rage Against The Machine, Queens of the Stone Age, Metallica, Nine Inch Nails, Weezer and countless others have created classic after classic over the past 40 years—and on the ongoing fight to preserve the human element of music in an increasingly digital world.
Grohl’s personal connection to Sound City dates back over 20 years, to the 1991 recording of Nevermind, which sold over 30 million copies worldwide, transforming the entire modern musical landscape and forever altering the course of Grohl’s life.
The Dave Grohl keynote will be open to Music and Platinum registrants and registered showcasing artists.
The announcement comes just a few weeks after the first batch of invited artists for the 2013 event were announced. The extensive list features over 200 up-and-coming and already well-established acts, including the likes of Zombies, Gallows, Thurston Moore, Klaxons, and recent Mercury Prize winners, Alt-J.
Heading up the handful of Australian acts to play next year is Atlas Genius, who will be bring their brand of summery indie rock jams to the festival. Having already gained quite a lot of buzz with their major record label debut LP Through The Glass, SXSW seems the perfect avenue for the three-piece to breakout onto the international stage.
Melbourne’s The Vaudeville Smash will also be traveling to Austin next year, bringing their energetic live show to the huge conference, as will power-pop Perth outfit The Chevelles, who have already toured internationally across Europe and America.
San Cisco have already had a big year, scoring an international record deal with Fat Possum, with their debut self-titled record being released later this month. 2012 just got bigger for the Perth-based band, who will be joining the array of artists playing at SXSW 2013.[do action=”pullquote”]seven Australian bands have now been officially confirmed on the first lineup of acts that will be gracing the heralded stages of SXSW.[/do]
Also joining the Aussie contingent of SXSW acts will be Melbourne rapper Seth Sentry, who released his debut album This Was Tomorrow in September, which our Tone Deaf reviewer labeled “as real as hip hop gets” and an “impressively funny debut.”
Rounding out the impressive list of invited Aussie acts is Ballarat’s Gold Fields who are releasing their debut album early next year, and Brisbane-based songstress, and the voice behind smash hit ‘Jungle’, Emma Louise.
Australian bands taking part in the long-running conference has continued to grow in recent years, with Phil Tripp, the Australia, New Zealand and Hawaiian Representative for the festival saying that “we are expecting 750+ Australian delegates this year at the world’s leading music industry event and more than 300 bands from here to apply for crucial showcases.”
Altogether, SXSW presents unmatched networking opportunities, career-building conference programming and over 100 stages of music for showcasing bands and conference attendees. SXSW Music takes place Tuesday, March 12 – Sunday, March 17, 2013 in Austin, Texas. Conference registrations and hotel requests are now being accepted. For more information on every aspect of SXSW, please go to http://www.sxsw.com.