It would be easy to lump Speedy Ortiz into a current crop of excellent female-fronted, loud rock acts–among them Swearin, Perfect Pussy, Joanna Gruesome, and Screaming Females, just to name some of the more lauded ones. And to some extent, it’s kinda true. A lot of what passes for “indie” these days is reduced to tepid mewling, and most dudebro-ism has gone into the fist-pumping mainstream of EDM, leaving women to take up the torch of actually exciting, crunchy, loud guitar rock.
But still, the women-who-rock trope is tired and fallacious, and beyond gender, what Speedy Ortiz shares with its peer bands is the vibrant d.i.y. ethic of its home scenes in Massachusetts. Asked to name-check favorite bands, Speedy frontwoman Sadie Dupuis won’t rattle off the acts alongside which she usually appears in blogs, instead shouting out acts like Pile. Those staunchly underground-bred-and-proud bands spring from a scene inspired by punk energy, full of basement shows for all-ages audiences and a culture of booking your own life.
It’s a welcome antidote to corporatized “independent” scenes–and it helps that Speedy also boasts crunchy, catchy melodies to boot. Just don’t call them part of the so-called 1990s revival, they say. Fusion caught up with the band’s frontwoman, Sadie Dupuis, and its bassist, Darl Ferm, recently. Check out what they had to say in the video above.