Austin Brown

Photo Credit: Courtesy Photo | Daily Texan Staff

Parquet Courts a four piece punk group from Brooklyn — three members are originally from Texas — have been building a steady following as a result of several great album releases. 


The Daily Texan spoke with all four members, Andrew Savage, Austin Brown, Sean Yeaton and Max Savage about being back home, influences behind their latest EP, Tally All The Things You Broke, as well as their plans for the future. 


The Daily Texan: A few of you guys grew up in Texas. When you come back, do you get to see your families?

Andrew Savage: Yeah, our dad’s here, his dad’s here, his cousin is here. We usually make it a point to see our folks.


DT: So is playing in Austin kind of like playing a hometown show for you? 

Sean Yeaton: Kinda, yeah.

Andrew Savage: Yeah, we know a lot of people here.


DT: You guys normally do festivals like SXSW and Chaos in Tejas. What is it like playing at a bigger one like ACL?

Sean Yeaton: It’s kind of the same, man.

Andrew Savage: We’ve been playing festivals in Europe that are similar to this all summer and Pitchfork Fest in Chicago. Definitely 11:30 a.m. isn’t my normal time to play a rock show, but the people are hungry for rock ‘n’ roll and they must be satiated. I respect that sort of appetite. Wake up, gotta rock. I like to reward that sort of early bird enthusiasm. 


DT: You guys are putting out a new EP, Tally All The Things You Broke. What made you decide to release it as an EP rather than save those songs for an album?

Andrew Savage: I’ve always wanted to do a 12-inch EP like a lot of my favorite bands that have them. Pavement, after Slanted and Enchanted, did Watery, Domestic with the rooster on the cover. I always thought that was pretty cool. A lot of my favorite stuff from bands is on EPs. There’s this Guided By Voices EP that came out on Siltbreeze called Get Out of My Stations. It’s probably my favorite Guided By Voices, just six songs. I guess the short answer to that question is not everything has to be an album. It also serves a purpose as a bridge between Light Up Gold and the next record we’re going to do. 


DT: Are you guys starting to work on that already?

Andrew Savage: It’s in the can now.


DT: Is it going to sound like the EP or more different?

Andrew Savage: It’ll be different of course. It won’t be alienating but it will be different. I would feel like it would be boring if it wasn’t. 


DT: When you guys write songs, is it collaborative? Or does Andrew write the songs that he sings and Austin write the songs that he sings? 

Andrew Savage: Pretty much that way. To an extent, it’s collaborative because Sean will come up with the bass line or improve upon a bass line I give him. Max will flip through the rolodex of rock ‘n’ roll beats and find one that works. 

Austin Brown: We never know fully what the songs will sound like until we play them together, but there’s a basic idea. 


DT: You guys have been touring nonstop for about a year now, are you ready to spend some time back home?

Sean Yeaton: We just spent three weeks back in New York and I was ready to get back on the road honestly.

Andrew Savage: We’re going to spend three weeks in Europe doing clubs, which is something we’ve never done before. We were in Europe all summer but just playing festivals. It’ll be great to play rock music as it’s meant to be heard indoors and with beer, at night. Nighttime is the right time. 


DT: What kind of stuff do you like to listen to on tour and what’s your favorite album that came out this year?

Sean Yeaton: We actually did a mix tape that we sent out to some people recently that, for better or for worse is a pretty accurate snapshot of what we’ve been listening to a lot lately.

Andrew Savage: It’s a lot of bands that we’ve played with and it’s all bands that are currently active that we kind of have solidarity with. We see ourselves existing in the same time and place with. That’s a pretty accurate representation of what we’ve been listening to. As far as a favorite release form this year, I’m going to be a little bit biased and say the two releases I put out on my label Dull Tools this year. One of them is an Austin band called Beth Israel and the other one is an Omaha band called Yuppies. It was their debut and came out last week. They just played two shows with us last week at the Music Hall of Williamsburg and Death By Audio and it was kind of their LP release show and our EP release show, so I’m going to say those two. 

Sean Yeaton: Yeah, I’m going to say that self-titled cassette tape from Beth Israel, it’s great.


DT: You’ve played a lot of festivals this year, including SXSW. I know a lot of bands don’t really like that one. What did y’all think of playing it?

Austin Brown: I had a great time this year. We played ten shows in three days. 

Andrew Savage: There are things I like about it, like seeing people, getting to play in front of a bunch of people, the unlimited amount of free alcohol is all nice. I lost my voice very early into SXSW this year and did the rest of it running on empty. I had zero voice. I definitely did some major damage to my vocal chords this SXSW. It definitely took a couple of months to repair and I was on tour for those two months too. I definitely wouldn’t do it like that again but it was really fun.


DT: I know you have a busy schedule, but are you going to get a chance to see anyone here at the fest? 

Max Savage: I want to see The Cure later, I’ve never seen them before. 

Between South By Southwest, Chaos in Tejas, Fun Fun Fun Fest and weekly shows at clubs such as Red 7 or Mohawk, punk shows are as common in Austin as 5 p.m. traffic on Lamar

And while Austin City Limits Music Festival is usually lacking in punk bands, this year will feature three big punk acts in its lineup with Savages, Parquet Courts
 and FIDLAR. 

Savages is an all female quartet from London, known for giving intense and electrifying live performances. Its debut record, Silence Yourself, was released this past summer and includes forceful and explosive hits including “Husbands” and “She Will.” The band has gained a reputation for adhering to a strict set of independent values, but has become memorable for its talent. Every member of the group is skilled, especially the propulsive bassist Ayse Hassan and drummer Fay Milton, who might be one of the most brutal drummers in punk right now. Guitarist Gemma Thompson leads the band with a drive that echoes early Joy
Division, and singer Jenny Beth brings it all together with her howls that all but force the listener into submission. Even those who do not typically like punk rock would enjoy Savages.

Parquet Courts is a punk rock band with Texas roots. Formed in Denton by Andrew Savage, Sean Yeaton and brothers Austin and Max Brown, the band found success after moving to Brooklyn and crafting some of the best indie punk of the past few years by stripping the music down to its basics. Echoing post-punk and indie-rock legends such as Television or Sonic Youth, the band creates direct and hard-hitting rock with elements of jazz, all while featuring complex yet slightly detached lyrics in the vein of Pavement’s Stephen Malkmus. All these comparisons ring true when listening to its fantastic second album Light Up Gold, released in August 2012. Parquet Courts are set to put out a fantastic new EP called Tally All The Things You Broke, which debuted earlier this week on KVRX. They are also known for incredible live shows and are local favorites, so expect their stage to be one of the most crowded in the early morning. 

Finally, for fans of traditional Californian skater punk in the vein of Descendents, check out the delightfully bratty FIDLAR. The band revels in irreverent and adrenaline-packed hits such as “Wake Bake Skate” or the already classic “Cheap Beer.” Its self-titled debut was released earlier this year to critical acclaim and shows are always insane,
usually featuring the band just drunk enough to function as it shreds and whips the crowd up into a frenzied mosh pit. Led by the enigmatic Zac Carper, FIDLAR is one band worth arriving early for.

While ACL can sometimes get a bad rap for leaning too hard toward radio-friendly indie rock or Americana, the festival delivered this year with three of the most exciting young bands in punk rock.