MPR: We’re here talking to The Districts, why don’t you gentlemen introduce yourselves.
Mark Larson: My name is Mark, I play guitar and sing backup vocals
Connor Jacobus: I’m Connor and I play bass
Rob Grote: I’m Robbie, I play guitar and sing
Braden Lawrence: I play drums
MPR: What are three things you need to have on tour with you at all times?
All: Our gear, our van, and our bodies. Oh and bananas, yeah food & water. We’re pretty basic
MPR: How did you feel about your set today at Boston Calling?
Rob: It was fun, yeah it was a good time. My microphone stopped working halfway through but hey it happens.
Braden: Somebody told me the mix wasn’t that great, but I think we played pretty well so I’m not really worried about it.
MPR: Did you guys get a chance to check out any of the other bands on the bill today? If so who was best in your opinion?
Rob: Kurt Vile, Built to Spill and Phosphorescent. Sorry, that was three.
Braden: Death Cab yesterday was great.
Connor: and Warpaint!
MPR: You recently released a new EP, how do you feel that has been received so far?
Rob: It’s been good so far, we’re excited about it. It’s our first label release so some of the songs are older and then we added two new ones so it’s really a good mix on there.
MPR: What do you guys have planned for the rest of 2014 right now?
Conor: We have a few festival gigs throughout the summer. After this we’re off for two weeks, then we go on tour with Dr. Dog for a week or two. Then we’ll pretty much just be recording and in August we’ll be doing a bunch of festivals and shit like that.
MPR: You’ve toured with a few established bands already, who is somebody that you would say you learned something from?
All: The guys in Langhorne Slim taught us a game called “Goldberg” and that was a cool game, it deals with Frisbees and goal posts, teamwork and treachery. You gotta limit your pride. Foreshadowing, rebellion, metaphors, it really taught me a lot about the rise and fall of plot lines and gravity. I think it has to do a lot with love and loss of love, lots of lust, and the idea that’s better to have loved than not have loved. Oh and punctuation. It’s a really easy game though, don’t get discouraged!
MPR: What is your typical pre-show routine like? Do you have anything special you do to get ready for your set?
Connor: Go to the bathroom
Rob: Go to the bathroom a lot before I go onstage, because I hate being stuck on stage and having to pee, worst thing ever. I do vocal warmups and then just like kick back and relax.
MPR: What kind of gear do you use onstage?
Mark: I have a Fender Mustang, and a Fender Blues Jr. and I use a Proco Rat and Zvex Fuzz Factory, Electro Harmonix Holy Grail and an ep booster.
Connor: I use a Markbass amp with a MoMark III head and a Big Muff bass pedal
Rob: I have an ES-335 through a Fender Blues Deluxe (reissue) and then I have a GFS twin clean drive a Boss blues driver, a Swollen Pickle fuzz pedal, and a Memory Boy delay.
Braden: I have a Mapex drum kit, with a Porkpie 13x8 snare, some Zildjian cymbals.
MPR: What was the first album that you bought on your own?
Braden: Probably like LFO.
Mark: Linkin Park, Hybrid Theory
Rob: LFO or Backstreet Boys probably.
Connor: Iron Butterfly was my first.
MPR: How about the first concert you saw?
Rob: Phish, when I was two, my dad took me.
Mark: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
Connor: I actually can’t remember, my mom was really into country at the time and she took me to see some woman country artist and I can’t remember who it was.
Braden: I think it was Los Lobos in the park where we grew up, yeah I think that was my first one.
MPR: Can you guys tell me a little bit about the music scene where you’re from?
All: There’s really no venue or anything, so if you’re in a band you play at the high school or some shops in the city. There’s a club in Lancaster, PA which is like 20 minutes from where we grew up. So the scene is pretty alright, there’s not like a lot of opportunities per se, if you’re in a band, you gotta like look out and try and do shit by yourself. There’s a lot of like shitty hardcore bands and pop punk bands which is kind of shitty. But there’s also a lot of good bands too. It’s pretty much like if you want to be a musician in Lancaster, nobody’s really gonna help you out, you just gotta do it yourself. Which we actually learned a lot from. But if you’re talking Philly, there’s a lot of good bands.
MPR: On that topic, what’s something you’ve learned that you’d tell a younger band who’s just starting out and trying to make a name for themselves?
Mark: Work really hard, don’t be lazy and really care. Make sure you’re hearts in it.
Braden: Try and get on like a South by Southwest or CMJ type of festival and hopefully just keep doing them until you get some luck.
Rob: I think the thing that helped us was we just kind of like played at venues we could get into on our own, and eventually we started opening for bigger bands at those venues.
Connor: Don’t be an asshole
MPR: Last question, just a fun one. If you could have any superpower what would it be?
Mark: I actually just asked these guys that question in the van on the way up here. I picked flying.
Connor: Flying or teleportation
Braden: Teleportation would be sweet, I guess flying if you could get where you’re going fast enough, it depends how fast you can fly.
Mark: We believe we can fly
Braden: If it’s the same as an airplane I’d rather just teleport, but if you could go faster than an airplane I’d like flying.
Mark: You could probably train yourself to fly faster.
Braden: I think I need to see the details before I make this decision.