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SXSW 2022: Denton twins-gone-musicians perform at SXSW

SXSW 2022: Denton twins-gone-musicians perform at SXSW

SXSW 2022: Denton twins-gone-musicians perform at SXSW
March 17
01:24 2022

AUSTIN, Texas — A pair of two similar-looking, mullet-having 23-year-old men — one of whom has red hair — step on stage at Valhalla during South by Southwest. As they plug in their instruments and gear up to perform, a red light beams on the stage.

Jake Derting (shredder of drums) and Matt Derting (bassist, vocalist and noise maker) make up the Denton-based duo known as the Venus Twins, and yes, they are actually twins.

Matt Derting plays guitar on March 16, 2022. Photo by John Anderson

“I feel [the music] and he counts [the beat],” Matt said. “That’s why we work well.”

Their approximately 30-minute set at SXSW brought head banging, drum beating and energy-matching bass and vocals, all of which contributed to a broken drumstick about halfway through. Throughout their set, Jake delivered improvised drum solos, Matt hopped off stage into the crowd for guitar interludes and they used their twin telepathy to make this noise rock set.

“We love the songs, but we love the space between,” Jake said. “That’s where the most creative improvisation can come through.”

The two-man team gets influences from metal and grind core groups — such as one of their favorites, Mars Volta — but they try to take inspiration from various genres to come up with the sound Dentonites now know as the Venus Twins.

“We don’t really sound like a lot of noise rock, but we are inspired by it,” Jake said.

Music happened into the twins’ lives in sixth grade when they picked up trombone and saxophone in their middle school’s band. Around the same time, Jake spent a lot of time playing Rock Band and fell in love with the drums. Once he got to the point when “expert” was too easy, he swapped the X-box remote for a real drum kit.

Their name came up accidentally a few years ago when their friend jokingly referred to them as twins Serena and Venus Williams. Next thing they knew, it has been the group’s namesake since summer 2018.

Jake Derting shreds the drums during SXSW on March 16, 2022. Photo by John Anderson

“I think [the name] fits our sound too,” Matt said. “It’s kind of like spacey.”

Coming to SXSW, one of the duo’s main goals was to connect with fans and other musicians while getting to embrace the music scene for a full week.

Maddie Wills, Austin resident and concert attendee, came to the show because she is part of Austin Independent Music, which put on tonight’s show. Although she worked with them in booking, the Valhalla show was her first time seeing them in concert.

“They’re ridiculously talented,” Wills said. “[…] The energy they bring, just two of them, feels like I don’t even know how many people, a multitude.”

The twins aren’t stopping now. They have four more sets lined up for the rest of SXSW, and will then perform at their final Denton show on March 27 at Rubber Gloves before moving to Brooklyn, N.Y. at the start of April.

“We have a lot of shows [in Brooklyn] that we’re starting to book,” Jake said. “It’s just really exciting, getting back to the Northeast.”

The remaining Austin shows this week include Thursday at noon at Pearl St. Cooperative, Thursday at 7 p.m. at Sahara Lounge and Thursday at 11 p.m. at Carousel Lounge. They can also be found at midnight Saturday at Chess Club for their final SXSW hoorah.

The Venus Twins perform at SXSW on March 16, 2022. Photo by John AndersonThe Venus Twins perform at SXSW on March 16, 2022. Photo by John AndersonVenus Twins-0487The Venus Twins perform on March 16, 2022. Photo by John AndersonThe Venus Twins perform at SXSW on March 16, 2022. Photo by John AndersonVenus Twins-0366The Venus Twins perform at SXSW on March 16, 2022. Photo by John AndersonVenus Twins-0439
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An audience watches the Venus Twins perform at SXSW on March 16, 2022. Photo by John Anderson

Featured Image: The Venus Twins perform at the Valhalla Tavern during SXSW on March 16, 2022. Photo by John Anderson

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Maria Lawson

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