Meet GEMS, The Buzziest Duo At SXSW

embed-gemsPhoto: Courtesy of Holly Burnham.
With festival season approaching and artists embarking on tours that will take them through the summer and beyond, we thought it would be fun to play a round of a classic road-trip game with some of our favorite musicians. This is 20 Questions, Festival Tracker-style.
Advertisement
SXSW is all about discovering breakout bands, and one of the buzzed-about new acts this year has to be GEMS. Hailing from Washington, D.C. the duo — comprised of Lindsay Pitts and Clifford John Usher — makes lush, sensual songs that we can't get out of our heads. For this edition of 20 Questions, we caught up with Pitts to talk traveling to Austin, unorthodox showering habits, and the difficulty of settling on a band name.
Go-to fast food on tour:
"Cracker Barrel."
Favorite karaoke song:
"Cliff sings a mean 'Ring of Fire.'"
Worst on-tour sleep situation:
"I went to sleep in the dark in a room one time because it didn’t have a light installed and woke up next to dried vomit."
Go-to outfit for the stage:
"Black witchy dress to cast spells in."
Advertisement
Best random on-the-road purchase:
"A lighter with a gem on it."
Favorite phone game:
"I still have a flip phone, but I made Cliff download Snake. I got over 100 one time…I never was good at video games."
Venue you're most excited to play:
"Hype Hotel."
Energy drink of choice:
"Coffee."
Best set you've seen lately:
"James Blake kills it every time. Sylvan Esso was a delightful surprise."
Advertisement
Favorite album for a long drive:
"Books on tape."
Check out the rest of the interview, ahead.
The thing you're most looking forward to at SXSW:
"A break from the cold weather."
Most important item to pack before going on tour:
"Gotta be practical on this one: fresh underwear."
Best gift from a fan:
"Handmade dreamcatcher."
Most days without showering:
"Five? Six?"
Favorite road-trip game:
"No games, just deep discussions about the nature of existence."
One thing you miss most about being home:
"I haven’t had a permanent home in forever. If I did, I’d love to get a pet."
Fantasy musician you'd open for:
"Tears for Fears, but back in the ‘80s."
Favorite on-the-road tradition:
"Watching the sunrise on a long drive through the desert."
Least favorite place to drive through:
"Texas. 'Inland border patrol'?!?! WTF?"
If you had a band name (that wasn't yours), what would it be:
"It took forever to pick this one, I can’t handle going through that process again, even fictionally."

More from Music

Is anything better than plugging in your headphones, firing up your music app of choice, and jamming out to that brand-new song you're obsessed with? Don...
The Ronettes had it all wrong. The best part of breaking up is not the making up. That rarely happens, and when it does, it often leads to more breaking up...
Have you ever thought of a celebrity — whether it's your celebrity crush, celebrity best friend, or celebrity foe — and imagined what it would be like to ...
Alice Tan Ridley's powerful voice is finally getting some time in the spotlight. After years of singing in New York City subway stations to support her ...
It might be hard to believe that 2000s nostalgia is a thing. As in, people are yearning for some brightly colored, faux-leather flared pants. People miss ...
Solange is taking a page from her sister's book. The singer, designer, and younger sister of Beyoncé is teasing mysterious brand-new content on her ...
Adele is here for you, Brangelina. The singer dedicated "two hours of misery" (her words, not ours) to the divorce of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt at her...
You probably have at least one friend who always knows the newest and most amazing music. Said friend likely has headphone hair and takes more pride in her...
Don’t lie. You’ve definitely spent a night in dancing to “Call Me Maybe” while cleaning your room. Or, at least, to Taylor Swift. Nothing has as much power...
Kanye West says some crazy stuff online, in his songs, and in interviews. At this point, it's a huge part of his ever-evolving image. West knows that the...
Halloween traditions may come and go, but a hauntingly epic playlist lasts forever. Whether you’re going as your favorite Game of Thrones character, ...
The Emmys are a night of celebration. It's an evening when standout television programs, along with their cast and crews, are honored for their ...
Think twice before you accuse Tinashe of cribbing FKA Twigs' style. The singer is armed with the perfect retort. One Tinashe fan found this out the hard ...
Former child star Corey Feldman had a musical performance go viral for all the wrong reasons Friday. If you don't fully remember Feldman, he starred in ...