February the 13th marked the beginning of noise-pop quartet Speedy Ortiz‘s first European tour. Ahead of the release of their Real Hair EP (out now on Carpark Records), A Music Blog, Yea? spoke with the band about recording together, their debut album, trading places, and the ’90s. Want to know more? Look below and enjoy!
AMBY: Hey there, Speedy Ortiz! Thanks for speaking with AMBY today. Please introduce yourselves to our readers.
Matt: Hi. I’m Matt, I play Guitar, SK-1 sampling keyboard and sing a bit of backup sometimes.
Sadie: I’m Sadie. I write the songs and play guitar and sing.
Darl: I’m Darl.
Mike: Hi Darl. I’m Mike.
AMBY: Your Real Hair EP comes out this month. What was the experience like recording it?
Matt: We did the EP at Sonelab, Justin Pizzoferrato’s Easthampton, MA studio where we recorded and mixed Major Arcana. We were familiar with the space but had a different head engineer, Paul Q. Kolderie and yielded some quite different results production-wise. Comparatively with Major Arcana, we had a bit less time to prep the songs in advance so we were tweaking parts and experimenting a bit more right before the tracks were cut.
AMBY: What were your biggest influences songwriting-wise on this new EP?
Sadie: Rob Crow, Porches.
AMBY: What is the significance behind the title Real Hair?
Sadie: It has something to do with augmenting yourself to put on a public face, or about being perceived in a way that’s disconnected from your personal sense of self. Also, we all got weaves and wanted to sing about it.
AMBY: You’ll be on the road for the next few months with Stephen Malkmus, Joanna Gruesome, and Big Ups. What are you most looking forward to?
Matt: Each of these tours hold vastly different sets of possibilities and I’m equally looking forward to traveling with new friends and musical heroes.
Sadie: We’ll be touring with our friends in Pile for most of March, with Big Ups opening the first six shows. Pile are one of our biggest inspirations, and we love the new Big Ups record, so it’ll be nice to get to see both of them for a few nights. Obviously the Jicks are a tremendous band, and I love their new record; I’m incredibly excited to meet Joanna Bolme, who’s worked on and with so many bands I love.
Mike: I’m just happy to get out of the house for once.
AMBY: How do you feel your sound has evolved since the release of your debut album The Death of Speedy Ortiz?
Matt: We’ve been a full band for 4 physical releases and 2 years, I think it has been a swift but natural progression.
Sadie: There’s less cowbell. I don’t tap shit on a built-in microphone to make blown out drum loops anymore.
Darl: I have a tuner pedal now.
Mike: It’s still pretty early in our evolution. It might not be as obvious to us until the next release.
AMBY: If you could trade places with another artist in the music industry for one day, who would it be?
Matt: Anthony Braxton
Sadie: Anthony Kiedis
Darl: Marc Anthony.
Mike: Babyface or Toni Braxton
AMBY: Who have you been listening to lately?
Matt: Gunk from Philadelphia, The Shadow Ring, Raw Power by the Stooges.
Sadie: Audacity from CA. The Twin Sister song that’s sampled in that other song.
Mike: Gunk, Good Throb, Surface to Air Missive, Lil B
AMBY: What has you most excited for 2014?
Matt: Playing all of these upcoming shows.
Sadie: There’s a new restaurant in our hometown that has arcade games and vegan banh mi hot dogs and lavender-vodka lemonade. I think I will spend all of my money there when we aren’t on tour.
AMBY: And lastly, what’s something about Speedy Ortiz that nobody knows yet?
Sadie: We love the ’90s.
Darl: We hate 1989.
Mike: We’re mostly into 1982. 1987-1988 was ok.
Thank you Speedy Ortiz, for giving us your answers!
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Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout