Parquet Courts' Andrew Savage on Making Art and the Move from Denton to Brooklyn
Courtesy the artist
To say the past year was an eventful one for Parquet Courts and frontman Andrew Savage would be a mammoth understatement. As NPR noted in this First Listen featuring Sunbathing Animal, Parquet Courts went from playing "humble Brooklyn warehouse spaces to Late Night With Jimmy Fallon in the span of 12 months -- with more than 100,000 miles logged in between."
In the run up to today's release of "Sunbathing Animal," Savage and Co. have been raking in some impressive press coverage, including mentions in the past two issues of Rolling Stone and a half-page spread in Sunday's New York Times, in which Carrie Battan called them "a New York heritage band." Just last month Grantland dubbed them "The Last Great New York Band," and, obviously, not just any band is lucky enough to be interviewed by Nardwuar the Human Serviette.
And while Savage may be a Brooklynite now, he was born (and cut his teeth on the stages) in Denton. Ahead of the band's visit to Dada tonight, DC9 at Night spoke with the singer, who says that while the band is touring through Texas he's looking forward to seeing his folks and eating some real Tex-Mex.
After initially speaking with Savage while he was location scouting for a music video in Brooklyn, we caught up with him while he waited for a flight at LAX airport in Los Angeles.
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DC9 at Night: After this tour, what's next for Parquet Courts? What else can we expect to see? I know the day I called you were location scouting for a video.
Yeah, actually, that day you called was a busy day. We were shooting the video for the song "Black and White" later that day. But when you called me -- we're making a concert video of our show in Brooklyn on June 11 -- I was taking the filmmakers around Bed-Stuy [Bedford-Stuyvesant], the neighborhood that the show is in. It's also the neighborhood that I live in, and I was just showing them the area, so they could get some B-roll for the video.
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What was the move and the transition like from 715 Panhandle in Denton, Texas to New York City? For some folks it seems like a major culture shock, and then they move back to Denton or Dallas. How did the transition go for you?
It was fine. I had been wanting to get out of Denton. You know, I was born there. And I lived there most of my life. And I needed a change of scenery. New York just became a pretty immediate adopted home for me. It felt like home almost right away. It felt natural and comfortable very quickly, which I was, I guess, surprised about. I thought there would be a bigger adjustment, but I kinda fell in to the swing of things pretty quickly here. And I kind of never looked back.
And now you're "The Last Great New York Band." What did you think when you saw the headline of that Grantland story?
Yeah, I thought the article was good. I thought the headline was a bit silly. But I bet that's probably -- that, to me, screamed like a headline that an editor kind of forced upon the writer. It just seems to, I don't know, too attention-grabby. Of course there's going to be other great New York bands. You know, like it would be silly to think otherwise.
What about your other musical projects, like Fergus & Geronimo? Are y'all on hiatus? Should fans expect to hear more from Ferguson & Geronimo in the future?
No, Ferguson & Geronimo lives on through a band called Future Punx. Jason [Kelly] and also Chris Pickering from Teenage Cool Kids is in it. And Jake [Pepper] and all three of those guys were in the last live incarnation of Fergus & Geronimo. So, after the last tour, they started doing Future Punx while I focused more on Parquet Courts. So, musically, Parquet Courts is all I have going on right now.
Are you still drawing and doing your illustrations. I mean, obviously, you are, but are you actively pursuing that?
Yeah, I did the art for the new record.
But I'm curious what else you're working on because I know you're a talented artist, and you've been an artist for quite a while now.
Yeah, I'm working on a lot of non-music related stuff. At least I was right before I left on tour. I've got a book that looks like it's going to get published in the U.K. of some art in the fall. And I'm trying to do a zine of my own to be ready for the fall. And, yeah, I'm working on some larger pieces that are non-music related. I got a studio recently in Bed-Stuy. And I was spending a ton of time there before we left for this tour.
Is there anything that you're looking forward to doing while you're touring through the Dallas area?
I'm looking forward to seeing my folks, but we won't be in town for very long. I'm just looking forward to getting some chips and salsa and a margarita.
PARQUET COURTS perform with Swearin' and Radioactivity tonight, Tuesday, June 3 at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St. $12-14.
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