Song of South Florida

How Humbert attacked the music industry in Austin, Texas, and maybe, sorta, won.

"We like to put out music to inspire and to heal," Ferny says later in the week, talking on his cell phone as he heads into Plantation to pick up Humbert's new tour van. "Well, the South by Southwest experience and the feedback from it is reciprocating in a healing and inspiring way to us too. It's like — pow! — rubberbanded right back in our faces."

As in: Talks with a few publicity agencies to start handling the band. A pair of New York shows in mid-May, including CBGB, and one in the works in Boston. Plans to have five full releases ready to go by August. Several hundred new friends on Humbert's MySpace page.

"You see a direct result of what you've done," Ferny says. "By the time we got back, there was stuff already there waiting to get started on."

Linus Gelber
Caesar (right) rocks out at Churchill's during Humbert's SXSW fundraiser.
Karen Keesler
Caesar (right) rocks out at Churchill's during Humbert's SXSW fundraiser.
Tony Landa played Austin 12 years earlier with the band I Don't Know.
Linus Gelber
Tony Landa played Austin 12 years earlier with the band I Don't Know.

"We're outsiders trying to hook up with other outsiders that could possibly fund Humbert later on," Rimsky says. "I guess in that sense, SXSW is important; if somebody does want to sign us or someone does wanna represent us, that gives us a little more of a shelf life. We've been doing this for a long, long time, and I don't know how much longer it can last. It's not like we're a weekend bar band that likes to do covers. We try our damnedest to write good songs and get them out there. I mean, we only have limited resources."

"It's always gonna suck, coming back to reality," Tony says. "It's a perfect little world there, you know? Not having to think what my agenda's going to be for the day, not running around from place to place, I miss that. It's crazy, but I miss that. I just like the idea of not knowing what's gonna happen today. I don't know who I'm going to run into. It's just a great experience. But I guess you can't do that for more than a week or you'll go nuts."

"I felt like I was 20 years old again," Caesar says. He's in a van too on his way north on 95 for his job as a sound tech. "I haven't done that much guerrilla marketing since I was in California, handing out fliers on the strip. This weekend made me realize I haven't lost my passion for music. You tend to lose it; it's like the same old girlfriend if you really don't love her.

"The business has changed a lot in 20 years," he continues. "When I moved to California, I thought you gotta be in L.A. with the rockers or you gotta be in New York or you gotta be in Seattle during grunge. Glenn Frey from the Eagles said something like if your band is good enough and if you have something to offer, then the industry will find you no matter where you're at. And I always believed that. I think if you've got something to offer, eventually word will get out and they'll find you."

Even in Hialeah?

"Hell," Caesar says, "wouldn't that be something?"

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