Four years ago, Andrew Savage made the leap from Denton, Texas, to New York City. Landing in Brooklyn, he went from a city of 113,000 to a borough of 2.5 million. He didn’t plan the move around forming a band, but he figured he would probably throw one together at some point. Parquet Courts came together quicker than expected.
“The band started in New York in 2010,” says Savage. “It was me, obviously, Austin Brown [vocals/guitar], who I met in college, my brother [drummer Max Savage], who I actually met the day he was born, and my friend Sean [Yeaton on bass], who I met when his band played my house in Texas. He’s from Massachusetts. I met him while his band was on tour.”
The band held a meeting early on, and their low expectations included playing a show in New York, releasing some sort of hard-copy “thing,” and going on tour. Parquet Courts’ debut album, Light Up Gold, was originally released on Savage’s Dull Tools label in 2012, but, soon after, What’s Your Rupture? reissued the album to critical acclaim. All the meager goals had been accomplished, and the show schedule was about to go into overdrive.
“There’s no way I could have predicted it,” Savage said. “It happened so quickly that I just kind of got used to it from the onset. Opportunities just started coming in. ‘Oh, we got offered to play a show here...and a show here...’ If you had asked me a year ago if I thought I would have been doing that, I’m sure I would have said no.”
It’s tough to pin down why a band that sounds like an early ’90s lo-fi act on a donut binge would sound so fresh in 2014. The group has a playful edge that seems lacking in much of the serious world of punk and indie-rock these days, initially evident in their song titles — “Yr No Stoner” and “Donuts Only.” Savage feels the band’s sense of humor is only part of their overall persona, though.
“It’s good to not take yourself too seriously. I don’t think that Parquet Courts is a silly band. I mean, we’re funny guys, but the band isn’t a joke to us or anything. I think what matters really is that you’re putting your heart into it. Sometimes you can tell when bands aren’t doing that. Parquet Courts definitely has our serious moments. On Light Up Gold there is a lot of serious subject matter talked about on there. But it’s a good balance. I don’t think it overwhelms you. I think the next record will be slightly more serious.”
Parquet Courts’ slightly higher expectations for 2014 include touring Australia (“Lots of shows this summer”) and a new full-length album.
- Saturday, January 18, 2014, 8 p.m.
9500 Gilman Drive,
“Light Up Gold was recorded in February 2012, and so, by that point, a lot of those songs were even old,” Savage explained. “As soon as we get a new song that we think is good enough to play, and we practice it enough, we start playing it. We’ve been playing songs that are gonna be on our next record since the summer of 2012. Since right around the time Light Up Gold actually came out. I’m excited about giving people that liked Light Up Gold something new. I’m looking forward to defining the band a bit more. As you keep making new songs, your world starts to shape.”
Hear the new material before the record drops when Parquet Courts play Ché Café or meet them up at Pappy & Harriet’s in Pioneertown, where they’ll play this Sunday.