STONED & STARVING: Parquet Courts

Parquet Courts 1

Andrew Savage counts the ways his band rocks. Damn, does it ever…

 BY BARRY ST. VITUS

 We caught up with Brooklyn band Parquet Courts frontman Andrew Savage in early September, just arriving home from the grocery store, restocking his larder after returning from many months on the road touring the U.S. and Europe. He says this is the first time that he’s slept in own bed since May. Their latest EP is Tally All The Things That You Broke released a couple of weeks ago on the estimable What’s Your Rupture label.


 

BLURT: So, are you still stoned and starving?

SAVAGE: Well, not as we speak now, but it happens regularly for me, sure.

How was the European tour? Was it the first time over? 

We went for the first time in March as Parquet Courts. We’ve been over there five times this year, and we’ll go back in October.

What was your favorite show this trip?

This last month we played mostly festivals, but we had three club shows. We played London. It was a small room, maybe fit about 150 people, but about 200 showed up. We also played Athens, Greece, which was really cool because, y’know, I like playing in places where bands don’t come as frequently like a city like New York, or London or Berlin, the expected pit stops on a tour. Bands don’t go to Greece because you have to go through places like Croatia and Macedonia, so even less music happens. So, there’s a lot of enthusiasm that’s different from the type of enthusiasm you get even in a packed show in London, and it’s openly more rewarding because of that. So, yeah, I’d say that it was one my favorites this past time was Athens.

  Was that great KEXP video of you guys playing Johnny’s Bike Shop at SXSW, a boost for the band? (Watch a clip from the video, above.)

You know, it was something, going in to, that I didn’t really think would have much effect on the band, because I myself don’t listen to a lot of podcasts or go on YouTube and a lot of stuff like that, but certainly, I found out there are a lot of people that do, because after shows I hear a lot of people saying that it was how they got interested in the band, was from that. So many said that. So yeah, I guess I do credit that a lot for bringing a lot of new people to the band. Sure.

 

It was so well shot and edited that it really captured the energy of your live shows…You get compared to many bands, with good reason. I loved the quote in your PR sheet that stated, “they sound like all the bands you think they sound like.”Your influences are often obvious in your music, and you wear them proudly, I would say. What are your own music collections like? A lot of classic post-punk like the Wipers? Proto-punk like the Velvet Underground and Modern Lovers? 

Yeah, I think it’s probably a lot of stuff people would expect. I’ve been listening to music and buying records for a long time and I think in my collection you can see all the periods that I’ve been through. There’s a lot of classic punk in there. There’s a lot of hardcore. I was a hardcore kid for years.

        So, yeah, all the usual suspects, if you would listen to Parquet Courts…. I feel like what people compare us to are all there. I like a lot of jazz and new music and playing some classical stuff. I like a lot of more noise-based stuff, too. Kraut rock too, which is something that doesn’t come up as much, but it definitely an influence for Parquet Courts, especially the more repetitive songs like “Stoned and Starving.” So, yeah, I think there are some surprises in there, and some stuff you’d probably suspect.

 ParquetCourts Heather Strange BW

An edited version of this feature appears in issue 14 of BLURT, on newsstands in early November. Top photo credit: Ben Rayner. Lower photo: Heather Strange. Below: “You’ve Got Me Wondering Now” (don’t miss the lyrics below as well).


 

“Cavity click
Keeps the rhythm, keeps it movin’.
Any day it’s gonna crack.
Popcorn kernel, olive pit,
At any moment smashed to bits (yeah).
Toothache’s better than heartache baby,
I’ve figured that much out.
And I thought I knew a thing or two about the blues
But you’ve got me wonderin’ now.
But you’ve got me wonderin’ now.
But you’ve got me wonderin’ now.
Dog-eyed kindess (naive and trusting)
Fans the purest flame of morning fire.
But once it fizzles out into charred, formless evening,
How do you ignite without turning to ash (yeah).
Seasick’s better than heartsick, baby.
I know that much by now. And I thought
I knew nausea from sea to cars
But you’ve got me wonderin’ now.
But you’ve got me wonderin’ now.
But you’ve got me wonderin’ now.
Forced into morning, tempted into night.
Tally all the things that you broke.
Bending her branches. Snapping, sapping and writhing.
For me alone.
Yeah, I guess sunburn’s better than heartburn (barely).
Guess I never figured that out.
And I thought I knew a thing or two about the blues
But you’ve got me wonderin’ now.
But you’ve got me wonderin’ now.
But you’ve got me wonderin’ now.
But you’ve got me wonderin’ now.
But you’ve got me wonderin’ now.”

 

 

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