It’s safe to say that Philadelphia-via-Boston indie rock act Speedy
Ortiz has had quite the run during the last decade. Each record they’ve put out
has been met with more and more acclaim to the point where they’ve topped
various end of the year “best of” lists. Pop superstar Lizzo even lent her
voice on a remix of “Puffer” off of their 2015 sophomore release Foil Deer.
We can’t forget that time comedian and actor Hannibal Buress was their drummer
during a performance at SXSW that same year. They’ve also gotten to share
stages with Pavement’s Stephen Malkmus, The Breeders, Ex Hex, Mitski, and Foo
Fighters, among others.
The quartet will be at House Of Independents on November 29 to
celebrate four years of the place being one of the top music venues in Asbury
Park. Members Sadie Dupuis, Mike Falcone, Darl Ferm, and Andy Molholt are going
to be rolling through as part of a big party. It promises to be a stacked night
of music as they will be sharing the stage with punk supergroup Beach Rats and
Philly DIY rock stalwarts, Restorations. Singer-songwriter Joe Michelini’s
moniker American Trappist, and local Asbury Park punks Well Wisher will also be
rounding out the bill.
The band’s relocation to The City Of Brotherly Love mostly had to do
with a mix of Dupuis outgrowing her surroundings and a bunch of her friends in
Massachusetts moving away. She found a bunch of her friends in Philadelphia and
that’s why she made the move.
“I lived in Western Massachusetts for a long time,” she mentions of
where she was before she headed to her current surroundings. “I was taking a
graduate program there and the friends I made while in that program moved away
along with people in the Boston music scene moving away. While I love that area
and that city, I don’t really have any geographical ties to either. With
touring as much as I do throughout the year, I wanted to be closer to friends
when I’m home. That’s pretty much why I moved to Philly and continue to live
Recently, Dupuis has been involved in the creation of the website
NoMusicForICE.com which calls for musicians to pledge to not work with Amazon
due to their cooperation with the United States’ Immigration and Customs
Enforcement Agency. It’s currently only available to musicians but she says
that music enthusiasts might be able to get involved at some point.
“We haven’t opened up the site to fans just yet, although obviously
they can go through the site and see which artists they like who have taken the
pledge,” she says on the website and the purpose it serves. “It has been accruing
support with signatures and we started it because Amazon announced a music
festival, which is sort of a new move for them. A lot of artists were getting
blowback for playing it along with a lot of conversation and anger towards the
musicians. To me, I felt that anger and conversation should be focused on why
Amazon is more of a problem than the other corporations that work with
musicians in this way. I emailed a couple people I know who have more of an
organizing background than I have.
“I hashed out some of my concerns and thoughts on how we can be
productive,” Dupuis continues. “We decided on an idea for the site to get more
visibility towards the issue and we went from there. There’s usually never any
transparency with who is sponsoring a festival. In this case, we want to make
it known about Amazon’s contract with ICE and how it affects so many people.
This isn’t just musicians doing this out of the blue, we’re doing it in the context
of what’s right and the things that contribute to it being a big issue.
Hopefully more musicians sign the pledge and get involved.”
Along with fronting and playing guitar in Speedy Ortiz, Dupuis also has
a solo project called Sad13. It’s more pop oriented, which you can check out by
listening to the debut album Slugger that came out in 2016. She enjoys
how she can artistically convey what’s going on in her mind through sound while
having very little limitations.
“I do think that there’s an element of artistic freedom that goes with
Sad13,” Dupuis says on her music. “Primarily, I’m the only one playing on those
songs and I’m writing every part, there’s no notes that don’t come from my
brain and it’s the same with the production ideas. It feels very much like how
my brain sounds like fully alone. The songs are similar to what goes on with
Speedy Ortiz, the only difference is with the band there’s a negotiation with
how it’s going to be played and what Mike, Darl, and Andy can contribute to
change the parts. I’m certainly more full-speed ahead with Sad13, due to me being
the only person writing the songs.”
As hinted earlier, before pursuing music full-time, Dupuis got a
masters in poetry while attending the University of Massachusetts’ Amherst
campus. It reflects a little bit in her lyrics, but it benefitted her in the
way she looks at sonnets and structure.
“The main thing I learned the most while getting my MFA was how to be a
really good editor,” she mentions on the experience. “This pertained to both
myself and other people. Having three years to work on and practice writing in
that kind of setting made me a really strong editor of myself.”
After the upcoming show, Dupuis plans on putting out a new solo
release. It’ll be available to stream, listen, and consume sooner than people
think. “I’ve been working on a new Sad13 record for the past few months so I’m
hoping that it’ll be out by the end of the year.”
Be sure to catch Speedy Ortiz at House Of
Independents in Asbury Park on November 29!