Interview: Quilt’s Anna Fox Rochinski on touring troubles, psychedelia, and coming home to Boston; Saturday @ Great Scott

 
 
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[dropcap]L[/dropcap]ocal folk revivalists Quilt have been far from their Brooklyn headquarters this past month, touring the United States from left to right in support of their latest bit of musical ayahuasca, Held in Splendor. Now, as the Jamaica Plain-born trio are prepping to play Great Scott this Saturday, we caught up with dreamy doyenne Anna Fox Rochinski on her way to North Carolina to talk about the new record, their janky van, and just what gives Quilt their hallucinogenic sound.

Jerard Fagerberg: How’s tour been going so far? Seems like it’s been pretty treacherous. I read about the dubious hotel in Wyoming and I saw that some space metal got caught under the car in New Mexico.

Anna Rochinski: That’s the only reasonable explanation we could come up with for it. It was a piece of metal in the middle of the road [laughs] — it was wacky. I think we’ve been highlighting those difficulties as a way to find some lightness and humor in them. Not that the whole hotel thing was a difficulty, but people want to hear these things because they’re like interesting fables that we lived through. It’s sort of like this process of letting go of the bullshit of dealing with the van. If we can entertain people with that, then that’s great.

Well, on that note, what have been some highlights from the road?

I really liked driving through the Dakotas and Wyoming and Montana a couple of weeks ago when everything was blanketed in snow. I was really struck by the beauty of it. I had never been to that part of the country before at that time of year, and we were listening to Tom Petty, and it was really sunny out, and we were just chillin’ drinking coffee and hanging out, and it was gorgeous outside. Once we got to the West Coast, it was just great. Something just shifted in the air, and I felt really good.

[pullquote align=”right”]”I have given myself over to the experience [of touring], and I’m very happy to have done that.”[/pullquote]We played this really good show in Portland where there were tons and tons of people there, and we had this Stan Brakhagefilm showing behind us, and it was a really good vibe at that show. I actually had gotten smacked in the eye before that show with a hi-hat stand by accident. It wasn’t like a black eye, but I had cuts under my eye and it was all swollen up and I looked crazy for a little bit. It’s one of those experiences where the show is that much better in my memory because that weird thing happened right before soundcheck. By the time that show was done, I felt like I had gotten through this weird situation, and it made the show better.

Maybe that’s a metaphor for the tour altogether.

That’s how it always is with things in general — you hit highs and lows. The excitement goes both ways. You realize that they’re both very related things. Like, the sensation of your van catching on fire and then the sensation playing a really great show.

This is a long, tough tour. Thirty-four dates in three months. Have you guys ever been on such a long tour before?

Not really. We toured a lot in 2012, but it was a little choppier. There was one point where we were gone for maybe a month-and-a-half straight or something like that, but this really is like boom boom boom, one thing after another. I have given myself over to the experience, and I’m very happy to have done that.

With that being said, are you guys happy to be coming back to Boston?

Yeah! None of us are officially living there now, but for me at least, and I’m pretty sure for the other guys, there’s always a special vibe to playing in Boston because of the familiarity and because the beginnings of our band and a lot of our formative experiences have taken place there. It’ll be our home in that way forever. Especially since I grew up there and my parents are there.

We’re really excited because there’s such a special group of friends that we get to see every time we go there. It feels like this really solid foundation of a music scene that we are really proud to have come from. And playing with [Doug Tuttle] and CreaturoS, because those are dudes we’re so inspired by that we’ve known for years.

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