When speaking to The Districts at SXSW, it seemed like the main thing on their minds was their goal to sing the line “Wrestle with Jimmy!” with Weezer when they performed “Say It Ain’t So” at Stubb’s BBQ that Saturday. Never mind that Rob Grote (vocals, guitar), Connor Jacobus (bass), Braden Lawrence (drums), and Pat Cassidy (guitar) had just flown from Pennsylvania, narrowly escaping the Nor’easter; were about to embark on their upcoming tour, starting with several near-capacity shows at the festival; interview with various magazines and publications back-to-back at SX; promptly leave Austin for Birmingham in a van; and, oh yeah, release an album they’ve been working on for years.
That is to say, despite the fact that the band (which, like me, hails from Pennsylvania) has had and will continue to have much success, doing extraordinary things and making extraordinary music, they’re still just four guys that want to sing a lyric–just one line–alongside Rivers Cuomo. While they didn’t get to achieve their dream this time around, I have faith they will someday soon. With their immense talent and humble attitude–must be a Pennsylvanian thing–I see nothing but success for these four rockers.
THE DISTRICTS INTERVIEW
ALLI (HIGHLARK): Which character would you pick in Mario Kart?
CONNOR: Donkey Kong!!
PAT: I’ve always gone with Luigi, probably ’cause my brother always wanted Mario.
ROB: Don’t you have to pick two though?
BRADEN: That’s Double Dash.
ALLI: Any universe is allowed.
ROB:Okay, if it’s Double Dash I pick Luigi and Waluigi.
CONNOR, BRADEN, PAT, AND ALLI: Ooooh.
ALLI: Who/what/where was your first concert?
ROB: Paul McCartney was my first concert in Philly with my parents and my family when I was nine.
BRADEN:My technical first concert was when I was a baby and my parents took me to a Phish concert. And they passed me around to strangers in a room full of bubbles and I got a bubble in my eye. I don’t think my mom was happy about passing me around. I vaguely remember because I think it was jarring, with the bubble going in my eye.
CONNOR: I think mine was at five or six, I saw Tom Petty at Hershey Stadium, nearby Hershey Park.
PAT: Mine’s way more embarrassing than all of yours. It was Breaking Benjamin, Nickelback, Three Days Grace. Punk rock.
ALLI:What was your last Google search?
PAT: Does Google maps count?
PAT:Well then, the airport. ‘Cause I went to pick up my girlfriend.
CONNOR: My last Google search was the Blanton Museum, which is one of the art museums here. Saw a little sign for it, wanted to look it up.
PAT: Mine was goggles, ’cause, you know, I bought goggles.
ROB: Mine was NPR.
PAT: Ah, these are really boring, actually. Goggles, Philadelphia airport cancellations…
BRADEN: Mine was seeing if Andy Shauf was playing SX. He’s not.
ALLI: If you could duet with with any SX act, who would it be?
ALL:Weezer. We want to sing the line “Wrestle with Jimmy” with Weezer on Saturday, at Stubbs.
BRADEN:We’re playing the same showcase.
CONNOR:Just that line, “Wrestle with Jimmy.”
BRADEN: We Instagram DM’d him but he never got back to us.
PAT: I’m gonna go hard on social media until he responds. We’re playing the same day. I just wanna go up there, sing, “Wrestle with Jimmy,” and get the fuck outta there.
ALLI:What’s your favorite song to play live?
PAT: Probably the newest ones.
ROB: Yeah, the new ones.
CONNOR: I really like playing “Why Would I.”
ALL, overlapping: Yeah, me too.
ROB: It’s a quiet song that’s not out yet.
CONNOR: A tender tune.
BRADEN: I play it and feel majestic.
ALLI: That’s a new album title: “Tender Tunes, with The Districts.” Some Pennsylvania-related questions: favorite cheesesteak place, if you have one? Or favorite Wawa item?
CONNOR: We’re Sheetz boys.
PAT: I’m a Wawa guy, I grew up in Wawa country. They grew up in Sheetz country.
BRADEN: Wawa’s good, though.
PAT:I like the apple and peanut butter cup thing they have.
BRADEN:Their quesadillas are good.
ROB:It’s not cheesesteak, but DeNic‘s roasted pork sandwiches in Reading Terminal Market are damn good.
ROB: Yeah, Piezanos are good.
PAT:Carmen‘s veggie cheesesteaks, in the Reading Terminal, and Blackbird‘s, the vegan pizza shop.
ALLI:I always stop by the Pennsylvania General Store for all my general Pennsylvania needs.
CONNOR: That’s us, that’s us three. We’re Lancastar boys.