Indie band We Don’t Ride Llamas made their second appearance at SXSW this year at the 2023 conference and music festival. They joined us on Instagram for a takeover that week, and sent our fans some incredible content! We caught up with them briefly post-SXSW to see how the experience was, and to explore their next chapter a bit.

an interview with we don’t ride llamas

imperfect Fifth (iF): What was the first song or album that you remember hearing, and does that work of art have any influence on how you approach your music today?

We Don’t Ride Llamas (WDRLL): We’ve had a lot of different musical influences that started out since infancy. Some of our favorites include: Robert Johnson, Esperanza Spaulding, Brandy, Aaliyah, Dilla, Missy Elliot, Nirvana, Deftones, Solange, Death, RHCP, Pharsyde, Billy Joel, George Benson, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Coldplay, Earth,Wind,& Fire, Carlos Santana, Marvin Gaye and Musiq Soulchild. 

iF: Tell us a little bit about what got you started in music, and how this project came to be.

WDRLL: We all started out by playing a video game called Rock Band and eventually got bored so we decided to move on to the real thing! Since then we’ve been working hard everyday on our craft and our EP, The Oracle, is a project we’re super proud of! That being said, we have new music on the way so stay tuned. 

iF: What did the road to SXSW look like for you, literally or figuratively? 

WDRLL: We’re local so the hardest thing this year was finding parking for everyone! 

iF: Good call, that’s amazing! (And convenient.) Was this your first time at SXSW, or have you been to good ol’ ATX for the madness before?

WDRLL: This was our second time at SXSW and like always the buzz is so delightful. The audiences are always ready to get pumped and rock out. The venues are super friendly and accommodating. It’s such a nice feeling to be able to show out for our city. 

iF: Best showcase, besides your own? 

WDRLL: BÖNDBREAKR WAS SO AMAZING LIKE?? The power and the prestige they brought to the stage was intoxicating! Pussy Gillette was also incredibly fun and massively entertaining. 

iF: What was the most magical thing you found in Austin?

WDRLL: There are a lot of magical things in Austin but we love the club Empire! The vibe there is always so set and comfortable. Additionally, we love Mayfield Park and all the pretty animals they have over there. I think seeing a bunch of peacocks walk up to you is pretty magical. 

What’s your absolute favorite word right now, and why?

WDRLL: The word “Incandescence” is very pretty. Just saying it out loud feels like a shimmery fabric. It’s also one of those words that sounds like what it actually means which is a plus! 

iF: If you had the ability to tell the future, would you like it?

WDRLL: When we think about the future, we see our personal community flourishing and being nurtured by love despite the current state of the world. And we do like that vision. 

iF: What’s coming up for you that you’d like us to tell everyone about?

WDRLL: We are going to a festival in Boise, Idaho for the Treefort Festival! We’re super excited because this is our first time being invited to play there. It’s definitely a new experience but we’re so ready. Additionally, we will be dropping a new single soon so keep a look out! 

iF: Anything you’d like to add?

WDRLL: Thanks to everyone who turned out to our shows and blessed us with your presence. Thanks to our city and our friends, family, and friends. Without your support, this wouldn’t be as meaningful. 


Keep up with We Don’t Ride Llamas here.

Meredith Schneider