- Speedy Ortiz brings the shoegaze to Colony on December 2.
Led by singer, guitarist, and poet Sadie Dupuis, shoegaze-y pop quartet Speedy Ortiz began in Northampton, Massachusetts, in 2011 and are now touring to support their third album, Twerp Verse. Dupuis answered the questions below via e-mail. Speedy Ortiz will perform at Colony in Woodstock on December 2 at 7pm with Guerilla Toss and Top Nachos. Tickets are $12-$15.
You studied and taught poetry at UMass Amherst. As a songwriter, which poets have influenced you?
I could cite poets who influence me as a person (and consequently as a poet and a songwriter), but I wouldn't say my songwriting is any more inspired by specific poets than specific TV shows, movies, novels, essays, or other songwriters. So it'd be hard for me to draw a line between any one of my lyrics and a specific poet. That said, I am always thankful for the work of Dorothea Lasky, CA Conrad, and Melissa Broder, who were kind of a holy trinity for me while I was working on my own book and teaching.
For Twerp Verse, you originally recorded several tracks that you ultimately decided were too "strictly personal or lovey dovey" for the album, replacing them with songs that come more from the "social politics and protest" side of the band. Why?
I didn't want to release an album of songs that I didn't feel narratively connected to anymore. In 2018, I don't care about some fight I had with an ex-friend in 2014; I don't need a song about that. I care about the fights my friends and I are having with our government, with our police, with our ex-idols who've misused their power, as we work to keep each other alive and safe and supported. So that's what the music reflects.
Things have come full circle, with the band being named for a character in the Love & Rockets comic and then recently being depicted alongside Josie & the Pussycats in the final issue of The Archies. Can you tell us about that?
Making an appearance in The Archies was surreal, since I've read Archie Comics since childhood and Josie and the Pussycats played no small part in me learning guitar in the first place. Archie has set a really strong example by making their comics more diverse and inclusive in the past 10 years—as someone who is queer and on the asexuality spectrum, I'm psyched that they've started representing both of those identities in their characters—and it's an honor to be a tiny cast member in that world. As far as how it came about, Alex Segura, who's copresident at Archie and has awesome taste in music (Speedy excluded) asked if we'd like to be included, and of course I said yes in about two seconds.
You're based in Philadelphia nowadays. What do you miss most about Northampton?
It's a beautiful area year-round but especially in the fall, and I found the landscape inspiring as a writer. I loved living near so many farms and getting to cook and eat great food as a result. It's nice that it has a small-town atmosphere—everyone knows everyone, especially in the poetry and music scenes—but is home to so many schools, which means awesome visiting artists come through all the time. But by the time I moved away, I was on tour most of the year anyway, so it wasn't like I clocked much time at home. And I'm lucky that's still the case, because it means I get to travel to Western Mass fairly regularly—I've done a few poetry readings up there this year, in addition to playing Greenfield on our last headlining tour—so while I miss it, I still get to go hang at [Northampton cafe] the Green Bean every once in a while.