One of Northhampton, Mass. finest, Speedy Ortiz, will be hitting the stage this year at SXSW, giving fans the proper dose of straight American indie rock. Originating in 2011, Sadie Dupuis’s creative brain birthed her solo career at a creative writing camp. With the help of Mike Falcone on drums, Matt Robidoux on guitar, Darl Ferm on bass, and Devin McKnight on guitar, Speedy Ortiz formed.
The sound consists mostly of melodic grunge guitar and bass tones absolutely drenched in feedback and gunshot chords. The drums, on the other hand, are a pop lover’s dream, with tight rolls with every measure. Of course, Dupuis’s vocals are nothing but one-of-a-kind. Very clean with a touch of vibrato, she sings about sarcasm, the best subject around. Best for those who are absolutely bonkers for The Cranberries, Joanna Gruesome, and Parquet Courts. Fans, if you are at South By and miss this band, you truly are missing out.
Vinyl Mag: What does your song-creating process include?
Sadie: Usually, it starts with me playing guitar, or humming out some melodies. Then I’ll make a demo – sometimes just guitar and vocals, sometimes bass and drums and keyboards, too – and then the band will learn from that, adapting my parts or writing their own.
VM: Foil Deer, your new album, comes out on April 21; what is the concept behind the album?
Sadie: It’s about self-protection, growth, ditching the haters. And it’s about glitter, too.
VM: I see you guys are also playing Shaky Knees, whose lineup is awesome this year. You guys excited to play that festival as well? Who are you excited to see play?
Sadie: It’s always exciting seeing TV on the Radio live. I’ve seen them a half dozen or more times, and each show has been markedly different, which is something I admire in a band. And it’ll be good to hang out with our buds in Metz, Mitski, and Dr. Dog.
VM: Sadie, I saw the you are the new advice columnist for She Shreds; how has that been?
Sadie: I’ve clocked more hours listening to Dan Savage’s Savage Lovecast than I have listening to some of my favorite bands. And I read Dear Prudy religiously. So I feel like I’ve been training to be an advice columnist for some time. Plus, She Shreds is one of my absolute favorite publications, so I’m honored they tapped me for this column.
VM: You guys really associate with comics. I really liked the comic design Michael DeForge did for you guys on Pitchfork. Is there a comic you guys like the best?
Sadie: The comic I like best is Michael DeForge singing “Flavor of the Weak” at karaoke.
Seriously, though. My all time faves are probably Los Bros Hernandez (duh). Suzy Exposito’s “The Best Song Ever” made my heart swell while she was still publishing it. And Simon Hanselmann is unparalleled at making me LOL IRL.
Darl: I have to give a shout out to Michael DeForge for Ant Colony, but some other favorites include Like A Velvet Glove Cast In Iron by Daniel Clowes, Sleepwalk by Adrian Tomine, and Black Hole by Charles Burns.
VM: On your Facebook page it says you guys are snack rock and “illegally loud” – what does that mean exactly?
Mike: We’re on a mission to increase the snackage of all listeners. Science has proven that certain sounds may affect appetite glands. We have accordingly chosen our effects pedals and chord progressions based on what’s most likely to stimulate the hypothalamus. The sludge band Crowbar is also snack-rock.
We also occasionally overlook noise ordinance. Cops have shown up at shows to tell us something along the lines of “stop playing because you guys are too loud,” which is then sometimes followed by “the music was good though.”
VM: What were your favorite bands growing up?
Mike: A lot of the obvious stuff. The Knack, J. Geils Band, Gerry Rafferty, Gore Beyond Necropsy. And of course P.O.D.
Sadie: No Doubt. Mighty Mighty Bosstones. No Doubt covering The Clash.
VM: How did you guys form?
Darl: Through the dark web.
VM: You guys are from Massachusetts – what’s your favorite thing to do back home?
Mike: Chuggin’ Dunks. Also known as Dunkin D’s. Can’t get enough.
Darl: Listen to the Dropkick Murphys while drinking a seasonal Sam Adams and watching The Departed in picture-in-picture with a Bruins game.
VM: Are there any pre-show rituals you do?
Sadie: Sometimes, we put our hands in the center and shout “cash money” or “camaraderie” or something. Then we dump out a bunch of champagne into a sewer drain. Who drinks champagne anymore?
VM: Who are you excited to see at SXSW?
Sadie: TV on the Radio… Mitski… Metz… all my answers are redundant. Pile. Earl Sweatshirt (tryna wife him, always). Um…Alvvays. Screaming Females. Courtney Barnett. And the queen Brandy. Oh and we’re playing with Failure, which is like, a life goal for all of us. Major bucket list entry.
VM: What is next after SXSW?
Sadie: We’re gonna do a video for “Raising the Skate” and hope not to fall asleep in the middle of it since we have to fly home at like 4 a.m. after playing. It will involve a lot of fake blood.
*Catch Speedy Ortiz all this week at SXSW! Show details below:
3/16: 2:15 pm at Spotify Party, The Spotify House, 901 E. 6th St.
3/17: midnight at Ground Control Touring Showcase, The Mohawk Austin, 912 Red River St.
3/18: 1:15 pm at Pitchfork Party, The Mohawk, 912 Red River St.
10:15 pm at FLOOD Magazine Fest, Cedar Street Courtyard, 208 W. 4th St.
3/19: 4:20 pm at BrooklynVegan Showcase, Red 7, 611 E. 7th St.
11:55 pm at Carpark Records Showcase, Swan Dive, 615 Red River St.
3/20: 5:25 pm at Exploding In Sound Records/ Stereogum Party, HOLE IN
THE WALL, 2538 Guadalupe St.
11:20 pm Yahoo Showcase, Brazos Hall, 204 E. 4th St.