Originally from “America’s coolest small town”–Lititz, Pennsylvania–the four-piece garage rock outfit, The Districts, has become a staple in Philadelphia’s music scene, selling out every hometown gig in clubs around the city–not to mention also having played to a stadium crowd opening for the Rolling Stones. Sunday night’s show at Higher Ground was the band’s third time playing in Vermont; however, lead singer and guitarist, Rob Grote, grew up making frequent visits to the state.
“I used to come here a lot when I was younger to go skiing with my dad at Mad River Glen–where I did a double backflip off that ledge,” he laughs quietly before adding, “No I didn’t.”
“You guys didn’t tell me that wasn’t true for a while. I really hoped it was true,” chimes in guitarist, Pat Cassidy–a relatively recent addition to the band–who came on board after their 2014 release, A Flourish and a Spoil.
“When we put out an album, we have to focus on the ‘major markets’ like New York and Boston, but since the album is not out yet, we can get out to some other people,” explains Grote. “We are excited to hit a lot of places–college towns in particular–that we have never been to before.”
Instead of touring, the band spent most of last year writing their upcoming album–due out later this year:
“It was a lot of trial and error. We zoned in on dynamics,” explains Grote. “We wanted to use restraint in a different way than we had before to create more contrast in songs – using smaller moments to make the bigger moments seem even bigger.”
The band members share a mutual vision for their music and have powerful chemistry that is obvious to audiences, but collaborations with other artists are not off the table, either.
“It would be crazy to [collaborate with] someone who has completely different ideas,” says Cassidy.
“Like Johann Sebastian Bach,” suggests Grote.
“Yeah, put some electric guitars in that shit, bro,” adds drummer, Braden Lawrence.
Jokes aside, the band agrees that in a dream world they would love to work with Kurt Cobain, but can’t help wondering: “Would he be a Foo Fighters type guy, or would he be like, ‘Dave, this is horrible.’”
“He could be proud of Dave,” offers Lawrence, “but also like, ‘This sucks.’”
I guess the world will never know, but I think we can agree that Kurt would definitely approve of The Districts’ new single, “Ordinary Day”–available to stream here.
After countless meetings, emails, video conference calls, and promotional efforts, I am beyond excited to see the success of WRUV’s much-anticipated March concert series – especially after last night’s sold out HOMESHAKE show! It is extremely rewarding to see not only audience members, but also the featured artists having such a great time, and knowing that I, as WRUV’s Events Director, played a role in creating these memorable experiences for others.
It is hard to believe that the series is coming to a close next week with Obama-approved Philly rockers, Low Cut Connie. I think it will end on an unforgettable note, and I look forward to planning similar events in the future. Stay rad, Burlington!