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Speedy Ortiz: "I thought 'Twerp Verse' was gonna be Deftones-influence, and instead it's Squeeze-influenced"

Sadie Dupuis fills us in on Speedy's new album, 'Twerp Verse'.
Published: 9:34 am, April 25, 2018
Speedy Ortiz: "I thought 'Twerp Verse' was gonna be Deftones-influence, and instead it's Squeeze-influenced"
Sadie Dupuis is all-go basically all of the time. Hot on the heels of her solo debut, her band Speedy Ortiz are also back with a new 'un - and it didn't turn out quite as they initially planned...

Hey Sadie, how are you all at the mo? Have you had a busy 2018 so far?
It hasn't gotten too, too busy just yet--just the usual necessary evil preparations for putting out a new record. Making music videos, finalizing the tour supports, getting together artwork for t-shirts and posters and all that fun stuff. Making the most of my Netflix subscription before I spend the rest of the year in a van. And we just spent a week at SXSW which was fun - it was the first time we'd played a bunch of the songs from 'Twerp Verse' in front of an audience.

Congrats on your new album, ’Twerp Verse’ - does it feel to have been a long time in the making?
It's the longest a record's taken me, personally, only because we did it twice - we recorded it once in September 2016, and then again with new songs in February 2017. The first time we recorded it, we tracked some older songs - one of them dates back to 2006, even - so in that sense, it was a long time in the making. The second time we recorded it, we focused on a bunch of newer songs that paid respect to the political anxieties that lodge themselves in my brain every day. That felt more honest and reflective of where our priorities are lately.

How did you juggle working on this and your solo record side by side? It must’ve been full on for a while.
They weren't really happening at the same time. I home recorded the Sad13 album in January 2016, and all the overdubs were finished by February. We didn't start working on Twerp Verse until April of that year, and didn't start tracking til September. So I had a bit of downtime to mix and master the record, do the album artwork and music videos, all the fun stuff I described in your first question. And while I was touring that record most of 2017, there was plenty of downtime to dedicate to Speedy. I might just be an unrepentant workaholic though.

"pull" text="In my fantasy world, the next Sad13 album will be pop country and the next Speedy album will be stoner metal

Did the records influence each other at all?
The Sad13 record was a good education in synth and drum programming, both of which show up more on the Speedy record. Home recording the Sad13 album made me more confident in lifting things from my demos - all of the synths and most of the drum machines on 'Twerp Verse' were tracked in my basement or dining room.

What do you think is the most important message listeners can take from ‘Twerp Verse’?
Hang on to your optimism and do the work.

Did you try out any new tricks in the studio for this one?
It's the first time we've done a whole album with a different person mixing than recording. Mike Mogis (of Bright Eyes, Cursive, and Rilo Kiley fame - aka my holy trinity at age 15) mixed and did additional production at his studio in Omaha. He did some awesome processing that made guitars sound like synths and synths sound like outer space and backing vocals sound truly eerie. The original drum recordings didn't come out especially clear or dynamic, and Mogis thickened them with some of his own drum machines - now they sound huge.

You’ve moved to Philadephia since the last Speedy album, how’re you finding it there? What else have you had going on in the interim?
I moved to Philly in March 2016, so I just passed the two-year mark. It is really dangerous for me to live so close to such a good ice cream shop. I moved here to be closer to lots of my friends, but I'm growing into more of a homebody than ever, and when I'm off tour, I don't really leave the house!

Has recording the album sparked any ideas for what you want to go on to do next?
In my fantasy world, the next Sad13 album will be pop country and the next Speedy album will be stoner metal. But I thought 'Twerp Verse' was gonna be Deftones-influence, and instead it's Squeeze-influenced, so I shouldn't try to predict the future.

What are you up to over the summer, can we catch you at many festivals this year?
I should probably know more about my own schedule than I do.

Taken from the May issue of Dork - order a copy or subscribe below. Speedy Ortiz's album 'Twerp Verse' is out 27th April.

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