Explosions (in the Sky) at Mondavi

The popular Austin band on Terrence Malick, Jeremy Lin and South by Southwest

Wanna get your band photo in SN&R? Add a dog. (Oh, this is Explosions in the Sky; Munaf Rayani is on the left.)

Wanna get your band photo in SN&R? Add a dog. (Oh, this is Explosions in the Sky; Munaf Rayani is on the left.)

There are but a few tickets left for Explosions in the Sky’s gig at the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday, April 15; 8 p.m.; $29.50. Try www.ticketmaster.com.

It’s funny how every band SN&R chats with on the phone is “just doing some laundry and getting ready to leave soon for tour.” As was the case with Munaf Rayani of Texas’ Explosions in the Sky when we spoke last week. Anyway, the dreamy, certainly epic instrumental foursome comes to the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts in April, nine years after killing it in downtown Sacramento.

The last time you came to town was 2003.

And let me guess, the club was called Capitol City Garage?

Dang, pretty good: Capitol Garage. It was a great spot for all-ages music—but then it was demolished for a bro nightclub.

Oh no. Old places, old venues that have some sort of legendary quality to it or historic quality to it—I don’t know if the price of real estate goes up or what’s happening, but sometimes the mom and pops get pushed out, and that’s a real shame.

Where is your favorite spot to eat while touring, of all the places in the world?

The first one that jumps to mind is a little place in Chinatown in New York that’s off the side street of a side street, and we try to go there every time we’re in New York.

Do you remember the name?

I do remember the name. But I can’t reveal it, because then you might see me stuffing my face there.

If you could score a film for any filmmaker?

No. 1, on the top of the list, is Terrence Malick. And probably closely followed by Paul Thomas Anderson or Marty Scorsese or David Gordon Green.

Given the nature of your music, do filmmakers approach you about this a lot?

Not as often as we’d like. … I try to look at it as the glass is half-full, so it’s a nice thing when somebody says, “God, we know your band, and we love your band, and we temp your music all the time.” And that’s always kind of the punch line of a joke: You just temp our music? Why not use our music?

Do you guys love sports documentaries as much as they seem to love you?

We love basketball. I mean, we could talk about the Sacramento Kings. How do you feel about the team staying?

I’m more concerned about who’s paying for the arena. Who’s your team?

The New York Knicks.

Hmm, I’ll trade you Tyreke for Lin.

Wait, you want Lin already? … It’s just so crazy how the world works. That’s what it takes, just a little bit of fire, and people will run away with it. Within two weeks when Jeremy Lin started to make noise and get his points up, he had a shoe contract, Madison Square Garden’s going to do a Jeremy Lin night.

And then dumb fans want to trade for him.

You know, sports are very fair-weather. Minus the very die-hard loyals that will just be with the team through all their ups and all their downs. Everybody else just wants to get behind the superstar. And if you’re not a superstar, then boy.

The music industry is the same way, no?

Absolutely. Boy, people really love to get behind somebody. If all the right publications and all the cool blogs say something good about you, you don’t even have to have a record out; you’re already bigger than most people. … But once you follow that up with something mediocre or subpar, see ya.

And SXSW is the petri dish for this?

Not just South by, but think about how many festivals are in operation right now just in the United States. It’s just kind of an overload. It’s amazing how quickly the word can get out about things. But, as quickly as it gets is as quickly as it can burn out. And with that, there’s oversaturation of music.

So how do you keep focused? For instance, what’s the first thing you think of when you get onstage with the other guys for a gig?

Before we go on, we give each other big hugs and wish each other well. And kind of encourage each other to play full-fledge, play 100 percent. And how it goes after that, for better or worse, is how it will go.