On music and the other things; an interview with Speedy Ortiz

Speedy Ortiz are a four piece band from Northampton fronted by singer-songwriter Sadie Dupuis. The band is known for their DIY shows and authentic rock’n’roll attitude that sips through their shared personality. Quip had a quick cyber interview with the band, chatting about mostly music and the ongoing tour.

Quip Magazine: How did the band start, have you known each other for a while?

Mike Falcone: Yeah, we had known each other for over 2 years. We played in other bands that shared bills. Darl also used to book shows at a house space where our previous bands would frequently play together.

Sadie Dupuis: We found out we were all fans of the movie Wacky Babies and it’s been magic together ever since.

QM: Growing up, when did music come into play for you?

MF: All of us played music since we were little kids…

SD: For me, it started with piano lessons and singing in elementary school. In middle school I started playing and writing songs for the guitar, which has been my predominant instrument since then.

Matt Robidoux: My mom had a vast collection of 90’s Hip Hop cassingles, I think we used to sing “Candy Rain” together.

QM: How has it been working with Paul Q. Kolderie on the Real Hair album?

MF: We asked Kolderie to elaborate on some gossipy stuff. He obliged.

SD: Mike and I worked with Paul on our first two songs, “Taylor Swift” and “Swim Fan,” during a short session at his studio, Mad Oak. We drank Lone Star, he drank some wine, he showed us some new amp modeler they’d gotten in the studio and some hyper-expensive microphones, and we thought he was the coolest. We were really pleased we were able to work with him for a little longer on the new EP, and I think he did a great job making a recording that sounds quite different from our first LP, even though it was recorded in the same studio.

QM: You’re on a pretty extensive tour right now, what city are you most looking forward to? 

MF: We’re actually home at this exact moment, but we’ll be heading to Europe in about a week, and then returning for SXSW. We’re looking forward to Vancouver since we haven’t been there yet.

MR: Yes, psyched for our first Euro tour! And Fargo, ND in April.  Hoping to get back to Front Royal soon.

QM: Small venues vs. large venues – which do you prefer?

MF: We prefer keeping our options as wide as possible. Big venue, small venue, whatever you got. We won’t discriminate.

SD: Whoever wants to feed us…

MR: I think it’s safe to say that it feels somewhat new to us to play larger clubs.  I personally feel most comfortable in DIY venue settings. But to reiterate – whoever wants to feed us!

QM: What do you listen to while on tour, with your musical tastes being somewhat different?

MF: Anything and everything. I’ve been into Spotify playlists, and I have one mix for every year from the mid-60s to the present. Sadie prefers full albums. Matt probably has the largest variety of music, and I get lots of ideas for my radio show from his iPod. Darl pumps the most hip hop and shoegaze out of the four of us.

SD: Some day when we have an actual tour bus, instead of just hyper-tightly-packed passenger cars or rental minivans, we will listen to music on our tour bus.

QM: You have a self-proclaimed band curse, are bands you play with ever concerned about it or is it a bit of a joke at this point?

MF: Yes, this is a huge concern. Bands should be aware of this before sharing a bill with Speedy. Our curse is real and the cops will probably bust most of our 2014 shows. We apologize ahead of time.

QM: Sadie, has being in a rock band had an influence on how people perceive you as a teacher? 

SD: I tried somewhat hard to keep my musician’s life private in front of my students and even taught under a different name, so most of them were generally unaware of it until close to the end of each semester (at which point I had to field questions about whether I knew anyone famous, the answer to which is no). The only main difference is it made for cooler excuses when I needed someone to substitute my classes: “Hey, could you fill in for my Tuesday 1pm section? I have to go on tour with The Breeders” is a lot more exciting than skipping school for a sinus infection.

QM: So Sadie has teaching and poetry, do you guys have any side hobbies or projects?

MF: I help out with Lowt Ide as often as I can. We have a new album called Tag Sale set for release in March. I also sing and play guitar in Dead Wives, and I play bass in an ’80s metal band called Gargamel.

MR: I was also teaching music until Sadie and I decided to quit to be in the band full time. I play in Pony Bones, solo as Mwchins and in a banjo group called Banjo Assault.  We’ve done an abstract Speedy Ortiz cover or two. I also co-run a small tape label called Hidden Temple Tapes out of Western Massachusetts.

Speedy Ortiz are on tour until August so you too have a chance to see the band live.