Artist Spotlight: The Districts

posted by Dan Murphy on May 21, 2014

The Districts by Caitlin McCann

If you're at all familiar with the music scene in Philadelphia, then you've heard the name The Districts incessantly in the last six months. About a year ago, these Lancaster folk-rockers opted out of going to college to move to the nearby city and have taken it by storm ever since. In December, it was announced that Fat Possum would adopt The Districts into the record label's family and put out their self-titled EP in January. The new year release was hailed by local Philly publications as well as Rolling Stone

The boys just came off a supporting tour with White Denim and an appearance at SXSW, and soon they'll hit the road with Philly legends Dr. Dog before playing a handful of festivals in North America and Europe. It's clearly been a helluva busy year for these guys, so we were excited that we got to talk to bass player Connor Jacobus about the band's rising status, future writing and recording, and more. 

Feel free to stream The Districts EP while you're reading. 

It's been a crazy six months for you guys. You signed to Fat Possum in November and released your debut EP in January, which got really positive feedback. How are you guys handling the massive overnight exposure?
It's been really cool! More and more people have been coming out to the shows. It's nice to hear what our fans have to say about the EP.

Is a full album coming soon, or are you focused on the tour?
We're in the process of recording, hopefully it will be out in the winter sometime.

It seems like everyone who writes an article about the band can't help but mention how young you guys are. Is the focus on your age flattering or annoying at this point?
Haha it's kind of annoying. It's just something that doesn't matter about our band. We've been together for about 5 years so we're not a young band in terms of how long we've been playing.

I saw that Braden Lawrence, the man on the drum throne, had some choice words about SXSW saying it was "a good mixture of sleaziness and professionalism." Could you guys expound upon the ups and downs of your SXSW experience? 
Haha I thought he was pretty on point with that! SXSW for a band is just really exhausting and stressful at least for us anyway. We had seven shows and trying to traverse through a crowd of annoying drunk people is frustrating. But it was definitely fun. We saw a couple of our friends from Philly down there so that was really cool.

Do you find touring conducive to writing and your creative process, or is that saved for breaks at home?
We usually save that for back home. We find it hard trying to write inside a cramped van. But when we get home we just pour our ideas out during practice and at the studio.

You'll be hitting the road soon with Philly veterans Dr. Dog, which seems like a great pairing. Are you guys fans of your upcoming tour companions?
Definitely! Yeah, when we heard about the offer we all jumped on it instantly! They were one of the first bands that we connected with as bandmates.

The band is also playing a bunch of festivals this season. Have any of you been to these festivals before, and are there any you're particularly excited to be playing?
I personally haven't been to any of them and I'm pretty sure the other guys haven't either. Lollapalooza in the summer is what I'm really pumped for. That and the Øya one in Norway should be amazing!

You can catch The Districts at Boston Calling, Ottawa Bluesfest, Forecastle, Lollapalooza, Øya, Outside Lands, Reading and Leeds, End of the RoadElectric Picnic, and LouFest.

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