With Midpoint Music Festival finally upon us, the streets of Over-The-Rhine will once again be filled with bands, brands and fans. One of those bands is Speedy Ortiz, an indie rock band that Pitchfork gave the glowing title of Best New Music for their debut album Major Arcana. Hailing from Southampton, Mass., they’ll be bringing their lo-fi, melodic sound to the Know Theater Main Stage Saturday night around 10:30.
MPMF will be the second stop on their fall tour, but before they kicked it off, lead singer/guitarist Sadie Dupuis and drummer Mike Falcone sat down with us for an entertaining Q&A session. We talked about everything from touring distances to favorite childhood TV shows. Check out the interview after the jump.
So what’s new with the band? New Music? Touring?
SD: We’re working on some new songs, so we’ll have a few things to try out on this tour which is fun.
MF: We have a 7” [vinyl] coming out in a couple of weeks, also. It’s one song from us and one song from Chris Weisman.
SD: He’s super prolific. I think his last release had about 88 songs on it. So, he’s really an amazing guitarist. The proceeds go to the VH1 Save the Music Foundation. It’s for this series “Less Artists, More Condos” and they’ve done stuff with Ty Segall.
It looks like your upcoming tour is going to be a doozy. What’s the longest distance you’ve traveled in one day from show to show?
MF: We traveled pretty far over the course of two days. We had a show on Sunday and another show on a Tuesday, and we drove 16 to 20 hours over the course of two days.
SD: With the time zone changes, it was definitely more than 24 hours.
MF: I think that was between Seattle and Fargo, North Dakota.
SD: Yup, that was a pretty far drive. We listened to The Transplants.
MF: We were kinda out of our minds by that point, but listening to The Transplants was the only way we could cope.
SD: When we got to Fargo, there was a red moon so we listened to “Red, Hot Moon” by Rancid.”
MF: Anything that’s a Tim Armstrong project, we listened to.
I’ve read some interesting write-ups about you guys… “The end result is a band able to distill their influences and impulses into something at once dissonant and melodic.” Is it ever weird to hear what you do described so poetically?
SD: That one doesn’t stress me out as much as when they say “It’s like Bratty Riot Girl meets…uh whatever else. You know? At least, [the statement] keeps somewhat to the actual music we’re composing and doesn’t just make genre comparisons that are just half-ass.
“Illegally loud” is how I’ve heard your sound described. What is the most unusual way you’ve ever heard your band described? Or is that it?
MF: That’s a direct quote from one of our tour managers.
SD: No, no it was the sound guy that told us that in Liverpool, I think.
MF: I think that’s the truth. We were actually so loud that they could call the police on us.
SD: They were telling us that if we refuse to turn down our amps, that the club would be shut down for the night. They were a little more strict about health codes over there, which is probably a good thing.
You guys have been known for your relentless touring to build your fan base, which means you’ve toured with a lot of bands. Who was the friendliest band you’ve ever toured with?
MF: Happiness is pretty friendly.
SD: Big Ups was great and super nice.
Switch Gears…Speed Questions:
Favorite childhood TV show?
SD: Fraggle Rock
MF: Duck Tales
SD: You said Duck Tales? And I did Fraggle Rock?
MF: I thought you would say Sailor Moon!
SD: Yeah I like Sailor Moon,…but Fraggle Rock.
Biggest Celebrity you’ve ever met?
SD: Christopher Maloney from Law and Order
First album you’ve ever owned?
SD: Mighty Mighty Bosstones – Lets Face It
MF: Tom Petty – Hard Promises
Biggest guilty pleasure album or artist?
SD: I spend a lot of time listening to Kelly Rowland, but I’m not guilty about it!
MF: Hall and Oats and N’Sync
If you weren’t in a band you’d…?
SD: I was teaching at a university, but I quit to do this. So I’d probably be teaching.
MF: Yeah I’ve been working on a Library Degree for awhile. So, I probably would have finished it by now and would’ve been working in a library.
Favorite Road Snack?
SD: Kale chips, Chocolate milk
Have you ever Googled yourself? If so, would you trade places with anyone that came up in your search?
SD: Oh I think there was a lady who did Bike Repair. So, I think I would trade places with her. I wish I could repair a bike.
MF: I’ve been told a lot of stories about people who have the same name as me. There was an episode of “Hard Copy” when I was like 12 and some guy named Michael Falcone was murdered in New Jersey. And I was like “Whoa that’s really weird. That’s like not me, but he has my name.” This guy was on trial for murdering someone with my name.
Who is the most social media savvy in the band? Who posts, stays most connected?
SD: It’s probably me. I mean, I do have hashtags like #fuckthebikepolice
Proudest or most memorable moment as a band?
MF: Singing on stage with the Jicks was pretty amazing.
SD: Yeah that’s true. I used to be in an all-female Pavement cover band and we were on tour with Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks. And Steve had heard about this and he was like, “We gotta do Pavement on the last night of the tour!” So, I sang lead vocals and Steve and everyone else sang the backing vocals and various percussion instruments. It was pretty surreal.
How do you think your band has grown or matured since your first “single?”
MF: We have not, at all
SD: We’re regressing probably
MF: If anything, we’re more immature.
Who comes up with the artwork for your album covers? Where does that inspiration come from?
SD: Yeah I do the artwork stuff. I like doing mixed media, collage stuff. I don’t use the computer at all, it’s all by hand. It’s usually some combination of painting, collage, and sewing. I sew different kinds of paper together and paint on some of them. Some of them are just paper sewn together and some of them are on canvas. I’m totally useless, other than tweeting about Bike Police, I’m totally useless on the computer.
You did an EP called sports and one of your songs is called curling. Between the 4 of you, whom would you choose as your curling partner?
SD: Mike because he has more winter hats than everyone else. He could handle the cold of curling.
MF: As one of the two members of the band with Canadian Blood, I’d choose Darl, for that reason.
SD: Definitely not Mike
Least likely to win a larping event?
SD: I think we’d all be pretty good at it, actually. That’s a great question.
MF: Sadie is pretty into D&D, so she might be. She probably would be, but I’d go with myself. I don’t know if I could handle it for that long. I might just end up giving up and quitting.