SpeedyOrtiz_DanielTopete_02
I have been a fan of Speedy Ortiz since the first time I heard "No Below," got it stuck in my head, and listened to the album for a week. What really made me love the band was reading Sadie Dupuis's perspective. Not only on how the band came about but about being female, demisexual, and queer in the music scene. Her perspective was so important to me, because I had never read or met anyone with a experiences so similar to my own. Sadie was obsessed with same bands as I was when I was young too, following everything anyone attached to Saddle Creek did. So seeing that Speedy Ortiz and, Cursive frontman Tim Kasher's originally solo project, the Good Life, were going on tour together and stopping in my hometown made the happiest emo kid. Your obsessions can become your reality.

A couple weeks ago, Sadie took a break from recording a new solo project to speak to me. The first thing I did was thank her, then ask her a handful of questions about music and the upcoming show at Rickshaw Stop on June 2.

The Bay Bridged: One, the tour with the Good Life is like an emo kid's dream come true.

Sadie Dupuis: I’m really excited to tour with them. I was a big fan of basically all the Saddle Creek bands or anything Tim Kasher did. They’re really formative recording and songwriting influences to me. We met those guys...for whatever reason we have a bunch of friends in Omaha. Like we used to always play at this one basement venue every time we played in Omaha. I think it’s actually the house that Conor Oberst used to live in. Some of the people that worked at Saddle Creek, would come see us play and we kind of became friends with them. So we played a festival in Omaha, I guess, about a year ago. It was really one of my favorite festivals we have played, for one of the main reasons being women were represented in almost every band. Which is unbelievable and a huge rarity at a huge festival. We met the Good Life at that and wound up being email buddies with Tim and now we’re doing a tour together. I’m really excited about it. I think that last record is like amazing.

TBB: What do you think about "emo revival?"

SD: I don’t think the Good Life is an emo band. But I think that a lot of the emo stuff I like is not what people think of with emo revival.

TBB: Do you still define yourself as an emo kid?

SD: I’m def a sad guy.

TBB: If you could speak to your past emo kid self in one of the most emotionally tragic times for them? Ya know, when you couldn't stop listening to that one Bright Eyes album? What would you tell her?

SD: Probably to calm down and hang out with my friends instead of being so obsessive and locked in my room. I guess I probably tell myself the same thing now though. Really all I’m learning is that I haven’t progressed. “A line allows progress, a circle does not.”

TBB: Not only is emo never going to die but at the moment it seems like we're in an emotional girl haven, indie rock is becoming a girl/queer club, and it personally makes me feel happy and safe, but how has it changed your experience as a queer woman in music?

SD: At least it’s not the cis dude's voice. It’s not central to the male experience anymore. It’s been exciting to witness my friends' bands sort of taking off and people wanting to hear about my experience. Which I think, before, many people were indifferent to. And everyone knows everyone in the scene and is supportive.

One thing that’s nice is we see more of a diversity of people on the road. I think on the first tours we went on, it’d be pretty rare to see people on stage or women playing guitar. Even how we were met by sound engineers, [they] would treat me a certain way because of my gender. I don’t think we get very much of that now. On tour now it’s really rare. Most of the bands we play with now feature members of more than one identified gender, and that’s a relief after a long time of feeling like I was the only woman at the show.

I think for a long time I could feel it, but, like, I was determined to never be bothered by it. Determined to feel that I belonged as much as any aggressive dude in the room. If anyone was going to point out to me that it was weird to sing, I would school them. I didn’t have friends that liked a lot of the bands i liked that were women. I think definitely the internet has been a big resource for finding a community of other women who play this kind of music and enjoy it. It’s a comfort to know how many women there are that enjoy these absurd dude-rock bands, that I loved but felt were not for me, because I didn’t know other women who liked this sort of thing. Certainly a lot of the friendships I’ve made with other musicians have been because of the internet and learning that it doesn’t have to be a total boy's club to like loud guitar music. And I think a lot of my favorite loud guitar bands are friends that are comprised of women or people who are not gender-conforming.

TBB: Musicians/bands you're excited about and want the world to be excited about?

SD: Well I just moved to Philly a few months ago, and I think most of what I listen to is my friend’s bands. That’s almost always been true. When I lived in Boston, Krill and Palehound were some of my favorite bands. Now in Philly, a lot of my neighbors are bands, like Hop Along, or like Waxahatchee, I love. Allison Crutchfield has been working on some new stuff, that’s not coming out anytime soon, but I’ve heard it and it’s unbelievably good. So I think it’s really inspiring. Cynthia Ann Schemmer of Radiator Hospital, just announced her solo thing called Swanning and it's unbelievably good. It's just cool to be around so many people who are huge fans of each other and supportive of one another, and just really strong songwriters.

TBB: Is Speedy Ortiz's show hotline still running? If so can you explain what it is and why it's important?

SD: It's still up. When we're not on tour there should be no reason anyone contacts it, we will we have it during tour. It's a phone number that people can text to say if they are in any trouble at a show. Specifically we developed it because of seeing harassment at shows, whether that was non-consensual touch or generally unsafe behavior that some of us had experienced and didn't know what to do. We haven't had any real emergencies with it, which is good. But it's just a way for people to get in touch so it's easier to get someone from the venue to help or intervene or offer a safe space for someone to get away from a bad situation. It goes to us and to anyone we're on tour with, so if we're playing. We will have signs up to at the venue.

speedy ortiz safe

TBB: Yes music is going to a space where we are working to build safer spaces and more representation but there's still a lot of work to do. Where would you hope music would be in five years?

SD: I think people are becoming more conscientious of viewpoints they may have not considered because of following musicians they like on twitter or whatever. I think PWR BTTM did something really awesome this year: they put in their tour rider that there has to be gender-neutral bathrooms provided at shows they play. And I feel like a lot of music fans might not even have know about bathroom laws if they were not reading it from PWR BTTM. I think the more that people use their small platforms to inform ... I think we have just fazed-out vapid bro rock, and I think a lot of the bands that people are excited about are using their platforms tackle bigger issues or at least call attention to them. Look at the new Beyonce album — five years ago we wouldn't have a album like that. I just think people becoming a lot more culturally critical in a way that has been affecting awareness and I hope there's more of that. I think there will be.

The Good Life, Speedy Ortiz, Tancred
Rickshaw Stop
June 2, 2016
8pm, $18 (All Ages!)

Tags: , , ,