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Interview: The Districts at Treefort Music Fest

A conversation with Robby Grote (guitar, vocals), Connor Jacobus (bass), Braden Lawrence (drummer) and Pat Cassidy (guitar).

Aggie Radio: You guys played a couple songs last night that haven’t been released yet. Is there anything new or notable going on in your songwriting process or that you guys are looking forward to for your next album?

Braden: Robby has a lot of demos that are really cool.

Robby: I’ve been making a lot of recordings in my room with this keyboard I got, so that has inspired a lot of new music.

Braden: Trying to make something different than the other ones. It’s still pretty early stages.

Robby: Hopefully record it in the summer or something. The goal is to have it out next winter, but it’s a little too soon to say.

Braden: I would say get ready for some more booty shakin’ music, but also some sad songs.

Pat: You’ll be crying and your butt will be shaking.

Robby: Uncontrollably. At the same time. An audience of synchronized butt shaking in tears would be ideal from the new album. That would be a really good music video actually.

Photo: Terran Maynard

Aggie Radio: You guys were going nuts during your last song last night. You have so much energy on stage – do you guys chug a Red Bull or something before you go on? Do you have any pre-set ritual that gives you so much energy?

Pat: Last night we chugged some Yerbas. We had a lot of Yerbas last night.

Aggie Radio: If I was a musician it would be kind of hard to play a show every night. Do you guys ever get migraines or something and not want to go on?

Braden: I’ve had migraines since I was like, nine. I’ve gotten them a few times before a show. Once in Milwaukee and that was like the worst show ever.

Pat: I was just talking to one of the Twin Peaks guys about this last night. We’ll have a lot of shows in a row and be really tired and in my head I’m like, oh I’m probably just standing there, but then one of our friends will be like, “That was such an energetic show!” and I’m like, what? But I guess I’m on autopilot or something. That’s part of it, you move around and stuff. Sometimes it’s not completely genuine because in your head you’re just sleeping.

Robby: I’ve definitely had a show where I feel like I’m asleep.

Aggie Radio: I can’t imagine that happening after watching you guys last night.

Braden: Last night was very hype. Sometimes you drive eight hours and you’re sitting in a room and you’re like, alright, I’ve got to do it…it’s a weird profession for sure.

Robby: I think being in front of people spurs a little somethin’ in ya.

Braden: We also just want to put on a good show for the people.

Aggie Radio: So I hopped on your guys’ Instagram and noticed that you all have some fun nicknames on there, are those a joke or do you guys really call Robby Tuna Lord?

Robby: We really do call Braden “Bug.”

Braden: And then when I get drunk Pat calls me “the Slug.” And I fucking hate it.

Pat: That’s because you become the slug.

Aggie Radio: Who’s Droid a.k.a. Spills?

Robby: Connor, because he kept falling asleep with a wine bottle in his hand.

Aggie Radio: Who’s Lost Trout?

Pat: That’s me.

Aggie Radio: Do you guys have a thing with fish? Tuna Lord, Lost Trout…

Robby: We are actually a water sign band.

Pat: Water and air, I think.

Robby: Our friend is really into astrology. Do you know what a gemini is?

Braden: Someone called me two-faced Braden in seventh grade. And I’m a gemini. I made it my Myspace name.

Aggie Radio: This is what makes me believe in astrology.

Robby: We were told that our water-air combination is good for band chemistry. We’re very flowing.

Pat: We don’t really butt heads too much either, so it must be true more or less. I think I’m the only Scorpio of my friends that I know.

Aggie Radio: You know what Scorpio is the sign of?

Pat: No.

Aggie Radio: Sexuality.

*everyone laughs*

Robby: That doesn’t surprise me at all.

Braden: He can do a mean Mick Jagger.

Pat: I can’t control these hips. I mean, actually, I can control them quite well. Put all this in. Let the world know.

Photo: Terran Maynard

Aggie Radio: What do you think success is as a musician? Do you think you’re there or that you’re getting there?

Braden: We have a chant about this.

Pat: Produce to sell!

Robby: Hahah, no, the other one. What do we want?

All: Creative satisfaction!

Robby: When do we want it?

All: Eventually!

Pat: That basically sums it up.

Robby: Creative freedom and to support ourselves would be success.

Pat: The fact that we can pay rent right now is incredible. And might not last forever, so we are enjoying it while it lasts.

Braden: We don’t have any specific goals to reach. I would say just playing bigger venues. Twin Peaks is definitely a step above us.

Pat: They each have their own bed when they go to hotels.

Braden: They also sell out Bozeman, Montana. We’ve never played there. Shit like that.

Robby: Oh, and we want to play in South America.

Braden: Get back to Japan and Australia, too.

Aggie Radio: You’re heading down to Salt Lake tomorrow, that’s where we’re from!

Braden: We’ve only ever played Kilby Court.

Aggie Radio: You guys have got your first 21+ Utah show tomorrow.

Robby: Do you guys ever go to those drive-through soda places?

Aggie Radio: I’m sorry what? Is that what you guys know Utah for?

Robby: Yeah because a lot of people can’t drink. I’ve heard we can get Boy Scout soda where it’s like root beer and marshmallow soda or some crazy combinations.

Aggie Radio: Yeah there’s like a dozen different companies…it depends on where you go. But you can go and get a Dr. Pepper with a shot of coconut and lime and mix it with some juice or something, they make mocktails out of soda.

Pat: I never drink soda. I can’t even remember the last time I had soda unless it was mixed with alcohol.

Braden: Yeah let’s go get one tomorrow. It sounds very 50’s, like let’s go get a pop at the soda shop.

Photo: Terran Maynard

Aggie Radio: Have you or will you guys stick around long enough to see anyone at Treefort you’re excited about?

Robby: George Clinton, for sure.

Pat: And Twin Peaks. I would really like to just bounce around and see what’s going on.

Braden: Yesterday we saw The Suffers, they’re a great band from Houston.

Pat: I also met The Muckers and they’re really nice folks.

Robby: We wanted to see Vundabar last night, they’re friends of ours, but they played at around the same time as us. We will probably be gone but I know Pussy Riot and Princess Nokia are here, I would have loved to see both of those.

Aggie Radio: So you guys have been on tour with Twin Peaks, and they always tweet out requests for their fans to bring them marijuana…what do you want people to bring you?

Connor: Maybe Jurassic Park VCRs.

Robby: Probably some health food, some kombucha.

Pat: Sometimes I ask for a prayer book.

Braden: Adult coloring books.

Robby: On the record, I’ve never tried marijuana.

Pat: On the record, I did not inhale. That’s from Bill Clinton. And me. Bill and I, neither of us inhaled.

— mekenna.malan@gmail.com

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