It’s rare that a band will stand out at South by Southwest. Hundreds of artists compete for attention as jaded industry types weasel their way from one show to another. Israel’s sneering garage rockers Monotonix performed at the Austin music fest two years ago, and that paved the way for some major stateside buzz. “My belief is that you work hard and you play shows and tour,” says singer Ami Shalev. “Not every show has a lot of people. And you don’t get paid well. It’s very hard. You do this work about a year and then you have a show in festival or where there are a lot of press and music-industry people. I believe the first SXSW show gave us the ability to break through to the next level. It’s not a huge step but it took us to the next level. Though we’re not [as big as] Madonna or something.” Since forming from the remnants of other Tel Aviv-based bands several years ago, Monotonix have harnessed primal punk power into their renowned live shows. “From the beginning, the energy was kind of fun,” says Shalev. “We thought, Let’s make our dream come true and go to America and try to play. To us, America looked like the Temple of Rock.” The band recently released its third album, Where Were You When It Happened? “We tried to translate the live energy,” says Shalev. “This one we tried to make very real.” Turbo Fruits, Album and This Moment in Black History open at 9 p.m. at Now That’s Class (11213 Detroit Ave., 216.221.8576). — Jeff Niesel
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