Speedy Ortiz: Haunting, Guitar Driven Sounds from Massachusetts


After the release of last year’s album Major Arcana (Carpark Records), Speedy Ortiz has been riding a tidal wave of success touring in the U.S. as well as Europe. Major Arcana made Pitchfork’s 2013 Staff List for Top 50 Albums of the Year and the band continued to sink their guitar driven sound into the music scene releasing their follow-up EP, Real Hair, this year. With driving for what seems like countless hours on tour, taking the time to do interviews, and making major changes in their personal lives it doesn’t seem like Speedy Ortiz is slowing down any time soon.

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While on the road to play a gig in Washington, D.C., guitarist Matt Robidoux remarks on the time they got lost traveling to the same destination a couple years ago. “It was a time when everyone was asleep but the driver and he just kept driving until the tip of New Jersey because we stayed on the same road. We eventually get to the club and they were like ‘your set time is in two minutes, set up right now or you don’t play’, but besides that we’ve had pretty good luck.” (However, the band did have a minor moment during the interview where they thought they were lost again.)

Recently, lead vocalist Sadie Dupuis and Matt have quit their teaching jobs to pursue their music full time. “Sadie and I quit around the same time,” he says, “in the past, we’ve always had other things we’ve had to do while recording and writing. People would have to lay down a track then go to work for a few hours and everyone would keep working in the studio and we would just keep rotating. So I’m really looking forward to being in the studio for a few weeks and not really having to worry about anything else beyond that.”

Even though the band doesn’t anticipate any new major releases this year, they do plan on changing their sound. “We don’t plan on breaking continuity but it’s very much in its planning stages right now.”

When asked about who influences their haunting, bleeding guitar sound accompanied by intriguing poetic lyrics the band’s personal influences are scattered but collectively Matt feels that “we are most unified in our influence of our tour mates Pile, who are a great example of another guitar based sound we love. I feel like the list would just be a lot of our friend’s bands that we listen to regularly.”

If you were wondering what life is like for the band when they are not on the road or in the studio then you would be right alongside Matt. “I don’t know if that will happen,” he laughs when asked what his plans are when the band isn’t touring. “I know we’re going to be touring a lot, but we will have a few weeks off in May and I don’t know, I feel like we’ll try to have friends and do normal stuff that people do.”

“I try not to go into anything having expectations,” Matt says when asked what he expects of playing at Galax Z Fair, “I kind of just hope for the best and go into it blindly whenever we play.” The band has never been so far down south before but is hip to the culture. “I don’t know too much about the town but I hear there’s tacos to look forward to,” he laughs.

Speedy Ortiz makes their South Texas debut at Galax Z Fair on Monday, March 10th on the Cine El Rey stage at 9:15PM.



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