Perth duo The Money War formed during a road trip in the US when Dylan Ollivierre and Carmen Pepper were deciding what to do following the breakup of their respective bands Rainy Day Women and The Morning Birds. It seems fitting then, that the band is headed to SXSW in Austin, Texas next month to showcase their skilful blend of dreamy pop-rock.

The band’s ties to America are getting stronger by the month; a slew of college radio stations in the US – including SiriusXM, KEXP, CJAM FM, and KCSS Turlock – have spun the track ‘Recall’, and back on home soil, the song was the fifth most played track on triple j last year.

The juggernaut that is SXSW is unchartered territory for many local acts, so we asked Carmen to offer up a few tips.

Read Carmen’s full opinion piece below where she offers advice for local bands looking to break the US market with a SXSW showcase and airtime on US radio.


SXSW has been a long-time goal for my band The Money War and we’re stoked to be invited to showcase this year. Our band was inspired by a trip to the US, and we wrote a lot of the tracks on our EP over there so it means a lot to be heading back to play.

The application process for SXSW is pretty lengthy so if you want to apply, get it done as early as possible. They start sorting through them as they’re received and you don’t want to be application number 7,000 – and yes, that’s roughly how many applications they get each year!

You need to be proactive about how you approach the application process so here’s some tips: