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Q&A: The Districts’ Rob Grote

The-Districts

The Philadelphia-born rock band known as The Districts are gearing up to play at Rose Music Hall on Sunday, April 23 and they’ll be bringing some serious talent with them. The four-piece band, which formed in high school, are constantly evolving. Their sound is hard to place but if you like rock-and-roll, and the likes of Houndmouth, Dr. Dog, Twin Peaks or Heartless Bastards, you need to check out The Districts. I interviewed singer and guitarist, Rob Grote, about how the tour has been going, what the band has been up to and the new music they’re working on.

Tickets for the show are $12 in advance and $15 day of show. Doors are at 7 p.m. so get there early and get a beer during Logboat’s tap takeover and get a spot in the front row to see Abi Reimold and Things On TV kick things off. P.S. Beer tastes better in the front row.

How’s the tour going?

We toured a lot for the last album and we’ve been taking some time off for a while to work on new music. It’s been really cool to get back out there and play shows again and we’re feeling good. We’re trying out a bunch of new songs which has been fun and the response to those seems to be going pretty well.

I saw that you guys just released “Ordinary Day.” Where are you in the process of making new music?

We have a whole album recorded. We spent the last year just working really hard. We wrote a ton of new music, only a portion of which is actually on the album. I’d say most of the year was spent recording and writing stuff so it was really fun. I think we twist ourselves and challenge ourselves to make things new and different to us.

How would you describe the new album? How is it different than music the band has put out before?

There’s definitely some differences, like just lyrically and musically, we went at it with a lot of ideas of using restraint. We wanted to approach a lot of the new stuff by trying to use different techniques to accomplish some of the things like cathartic feelings that we’ve done in the past by having like a loud moment, so restraint was a big idea with that.

Also lyrically, trying to do a “less is more” type of thing at times; just challenging ourselves to look at things differently and not necessarily make things the way our first instinct would be to make them. It definitely still sounds like The Districts. It’s just more of a fully realized kind of idea that we had been shooting for in our sound before. I think we’ve hit the mark on it a little more this time.

What’s the songwriting process like for you guys?

The process varies a little bit…I’ll usually come up with a pretty bare bones idea for a song and make a demo in my room, which will be usually acoustic guitar and maybe a keyboard or another guitar track here and there; like a pretty stripped down unfinished version.

Sometimes it’ll only have one verse written and the chorus, or something like that. From that demo we’ll usually try to work on some stuff, and together we kind of flesh it out and make it into a more completed image of it. We usually record another demo then. It’s usually gone through a bunch of ringers, so to speak, to kind of squeeze out everything we want to get out of it so that by the time we’re in the studio, we’ve all kind of had our say; we’ve all contributed collectively a bunch of ideas and turned it into a Districts song.

Who were your influences for the album, and as who has influenced you as a band?

We all listen to a lot of different types of music so it’s hard to say. For the album itself, there wasn’t a particular influence. We could go from something like old music, like I really like old singer songwriters like Lee Hays and Leonard Cohen, and I also really like dancey music from Africa or something. We all listen to a bunch of different kinds of stuff so it kind of just seeps in in it’s own way.


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Aaron Lewis: Show Preview

Where: The Blue Note

When: Friday, Feb. 24. Doors at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m.

Tickets: SOLD OUT

Openers: Alex Williams + Travis Marvin

Aaron Lewis has been labeled a rocker, an acoustic-grunge guru, but he swears that “A country boy is all I’ll ever be.” And boy am I glad the day is nearing for Aaron Lewis to wreck us with his deep rugged voice and painstakingly real lyrics. Raw music fans can attest to the belief that some of the best songs do not dance around the truth, but bite right in. That type of songwriting is Aaron Lewis’s specialty.

Although he rocks some intense ballads, he’s ready to bring a good time. This guy knows how to throw down and liven up a party. The stomping of boots at this sold out show will undoubtedly have the dance floor rumbling.

Along with his country coined hits, Lewis is no stranger to musical success. You’ve probably heard him sing songs such as “It’s Been Awhile” and “So Far Away” because, yes, he’s also the lead singer of the alternative metal band Staind! Although the band is no longer creating music together, Lewis tends to mix some of his Staind favorites into his sets.

If you’re lucky enough to have snagged tickets to this sold out show, congratulations. Get ready for another outstanding night of live music at The Blue Note.

This post was written by Rebekah Northern, contributing writer for The Blue Note and Rose Blog.


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Calling All Ninjas: Datsik Show Preview

Where: The Blue Note

When: Wednesday, Feb. 15. Doors at 9 p.m.

Tickets: $22.50 advance // $25 day of show

Openers: Crizzly + Virtual Riot

COMO, I have some good news for you. Datsik is about to kick off EDM season with a bang…and it’s going to be nasty.

Datsik has already kicked off his Ninja Nation Tour 2017 and his next stop is here at The Blue Note. Datsik says his main goal when he hits the stage is to “embody what it is to be a rave ninja.” He adds, “We’ve got a ton of dope surprises waiting for you with this one, so get ready to have some fun!”

Dope surprises? That sounds like my kind of concert. In addition to being an amazing EDM artist and producer, Datsik founded his own label, Firepower Records. Boss ninja status for sure.

Datsik has recently released SENSEI EP on Dec. 16. The EP is sure to be a focal point of his tour. From his bass-filled single “Just Sayain,” to his head-bang worthy collaboration with Excision “Redemption,” and his hip-hop/bass single “Fly Low” feat. Chatterbox, it’s guaranteed to be a night to remember.

 

If you’re not yet convinced that this show will be the time of your life, check out this footage of people at a Datsik concert not too long ago.

 

There are so many reasons to come to Datsik this Wednesday. My top reasons are to dance my booty off, forget about all of my responsibilities for a couple of hours, but most importantly, to go wild with my friends. This may or may not include some serious head-banging and hair-flipping. This will be one of the craziest concerts of the season. Tickets are almost gone but it’s not too late to be a ninja for the night and get your freak on. See you all there.

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This post was written by Erin Curry, contributing writer for The Blue Note and Rose Blog.