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Last 10 songs Pop-out Direct

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 This sold-out Gasa Gasa show was one of the best shows I’ve seen in a hot minute, and I’m not just saying that because I got to meet the band. This show brought every New Orleans “indie kid” (and a select few members of the older crowd) together in one room, and for good reason.

 

The band Wednesday has always held a sort of relatable charm to me, like I could run into a member of the band at a house show, and we could mosh together. I think I’ve always heard a little bit of myself in their music, which makes sense, as Wednesday has a sort of “southern gothic” thing about them that I’ve grown up with. They really manage to capture what it’s like growing up in the south, where kindness, small town charm, and a pair of cowboy boots form a shroud over the crumbling infrastructure, crippling drug addiction, and perpetual social tension that runs rampant down here. Wednesday is made up of frontman and vocalist/guitarist Karly Hartzman, guitarist Jake Lenderman, pedal steel/ lapsteel player Xandy Chelmis, Drummer Alan Miller, and brand-new bassist Ethan (sorry didn’t catch his last name, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry), all from North Carolina. Alright, now that I’ve gotten the pretentious part of this review out of the way, let’s get to the good stuff. This show brought every New Orleans “indie kid” (and a select few members of the older crowd) together in one room, and for good reason. Wednesday’s music is fantastic. Having only heard the recorded versions of Wednesday’s discography, I was blown away (as I’m sure most of the crowd without ear protection was) by how loud it was. But there’s a difference between a band being loud to compensate and a band being loud because they feel that way. Wednesday absolutely belongs to the latter category. Opening LA-based trio Cryogeyser was perfect for this show and is an example of one of the few times I’ve been engaged by and completely enjoyed an opening act. Fronted by singer and guitarist Shawn Marom, Cryogeyser killed it with their shoegaze-y indie rock-y spooky reverb-y thing. Shawn was using pedals out the wazoo, and at one point did a really cool thing with her vocals in a loop pedal. Cryogeyser sorta has the same awkward and relatable charm as Wednesday, and at one point I ended up standing next to Shawn in the audience during Wednesday’s set.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jake Lenderman's guitar, Wednesday Set list (Shoutout DJ Dizzy!!)

I was lucky enough to be invited into the band’s tour van before the show to give an interview, and what followed was more of a friendly conversation about their new release “Rat Saw God” (April 2023), their past releases, country/ americana music in the indie scene, and how their southern roots and musical influences have shaped their music. The interview is a 17-minute-long audio file, riddled with expletives, so I will be releasing it below in a “Q&A” format as to not upset any readers or government drones (or birds).

 

 

DJ Chumbubucket: “Are y’all enjoying New Orleans? What have you been up to?”

 

Karly: “we drove in late to soundcheck, but we shot our album cover here. The photo that the painting is of is at this like Alice in Wonderland themed house.”

 

Alan: “The Bywater Wonderland!”

 

DJ Chumbucket: “Y’all’s album that just came out April 7th, I’ve heard that it has been pretty well received, from people I know as well as reviews I’ve seen online. How have things been since you released it?

 

Karly: “I feel like most of where I kinda gauge where we’re at success-wise is less about reviews and more about people at shows and stuff singing along. I normally try not to internalize anything that anyone says from a music critic perspective honestly. I appreciate when they say nice things, but I try not to think about it.”

 

DJ Chumbucket: “I heard the name [Wednesday] was inspired by the band The Sundays?”

 

Karly: “I’ve given a lot of answers to why we are named Wednesday, but I didn’t really think about it that hard, my new answer is that it’s named after the ‘Driveby Truckers’ song, but there’s not really a real answer, I mostly just made it up, and then that was the end of the story”

 

 

DJ Chumbucket: “So, Wednesday began as your personal project, right?”

 

Karly: “um, me and my friend Daniel were just kinda messing around in the UNCA studio, which is where we went to school, but from our very first show we were like a full band at my sister’s birthday party in like 2018”

 

Alan: “that was really funny too, because we showed up to that sh*t like strapped with music gear, and then the only two people playing were like sit-down, completely acoustic performances, it was like really annoying probably for them”

 

 

DJ Chumbucket: “I feel like there’s kind of a renaissance of folk/Americana/country thing happening right now, do you guys feel like you fit into that at all? What’s your opinion on that?”

 

Jake: “I feel like that americana thing is always happening but in the early 2000s it sounded kinda different, like we’re pulling from the same influences I guess, but also more time has passed, until we started the band, so we have other influences that we combine with the Americana thing, like ‘The Band’ is like my favorite band, so I definitely feel that.”

 

Xandy: “I totally think theres a resurgence, because in the 90s it was like f*** country, f*** folk music, that sh*t sucks, and then I feel like it’s sorta been ramping up and then now people are going crazy for it, people are like yee-haw”

 

Karly: “I think there’s a lot more room for like- only straight country people there’s kinda less and less and more people are into Kacey Musgraves and people that blend genres, and I think that’s really cool because I love straight up traditional country music as well and songwriting, but I think it’s interesting when you can add other elements to it obviously because that’s what we do.”

 

Alan: “This is just me literally speculating right now, but I’m wondering if also, there’s always been I guess a heritage of inclusivity in country music, but I wonder if that’s becoming like more dominant also, and I wonder if that helps expand its appeal”

 

Xandy: “We’re bastardizing it”

 

DJ Chumbucket: “On ‘Mowing the Leaves Instead of Piling ‘Em Up’, how did you choose the covers and also was it a hard process?”

 

Karly: “It was only hard because I like a lot of music, but it was easy ‘cuz I just made a list of songs I really enjoy singing in the car.”

 

Jake: “We had also already done most of them”

 

Karly: “oh yeah, a lot of them were songs that me and Jake had recorded previously, and we just put them all in one place. But the ones that were newly recorded, like ‘she’s actin’ single’ ‘lock stock’, and the ‘truckers’ cover were all just like this is what I’ve enjoyed singing along to recently.”

 

Xandy: “It was also so low stakes and low pressure, we were just like yeah we’re just gonna put this throwaway digital album out, you know for funzies, and then people f**ed with it really hard and then-“

 

Karly: “They bullied us into making vinyl!”

 

Xandy: “which is a fun thing to get bullied into”

 

Karly: “it was supposed to be a run of 500 tapes”

 

Jake: “we had the opportunity to have like two or three days for free at a pretty nice studio, which is something that our management hooked us up with”

 

Alan: “yeah, shoutout to Sylvan Esso and the studio in Chapel Hill”

 

Jake: “yeah, and we went, we had already recorded ‘Rat Saw God’ I think, and so we were like ‘well, we can’t turn this down’ so we just decided to make some covers”

 

DJ Chumbucket: “I really enjoyed on this new album how you were more blunt [with your lyrics] than some of your previous stuff, how do you feel about writing this one versus the earlier ones?”

 

Karly: “I think that’s what I’ve always wanted to do but it’s harder to write more specifically than you would think, ‘cuz you have to like number one, convince yourself that it’s worth saying anything, and then number two just like analyze your life into smaller and smaller details, with ‘Twin Plagues’ I got a little closer to doing that, and then with ‘Rat Saw God’ I’m finally writing the way I’ve always wanted to. ‘Cuz I’ve always wanted to be more specific like that and go to like the littlest moments.”

 

Jake: “I feel like with Karly’s work, and being a songwriter, it takes a lot of courage to be honest. It’s like really simple, what she’s doing, but you have to not be afraid of what people are gonna think about you, or something.”

 

DJ Chumbucket: “Who are y’all’s biggest artist influences, old and new?”

 

Karly: “I think currently, because me and Jake live together, he influences my music so much, especially ‘cuz I learn his guitar parts (because I play in his band), I kinda like mix ‘em up and put ‘em in Wednesday songs, so like technically, it’s Jake, But, I also only get more and more into ‘Unwound’ the more time passes and it’s been like ‘Swirlies’ worship for a long time too”

 

Xandy: “I just listen to a lot of country music, and I should be a little more intentional and learned about my pedal and lap steel influences, but I love old-time like folk fiddle kinda country music a lot and like religious sh*t”

 

Alan: “I mean you can’t really do one without the other almost. I don’t know. I feel like the bands I listen to a lot don’t actually really influence me, when I wanna figure out how to do something on drums, I end up looking up on youtube like ‘Keith Moon drum fills’ or something, but like I guess I just try not to overplay, so like, whoever, I guess. We realized that, this is actually kind of a funny comparison but I think its actually true, but I think I play drums a lot like Dave Grohl in Nirvana, but that’s not really concious”

 

Ethan: “I listen to a lot of jazz and stuff, I listen to a lot of Joni Mitchell, and think about playing in more of a folk-y context, it’s really funky but it’s always just about the vocals and harmonies, so there’s a little extra harmony added in the fills and stuff, but for the most part its just that”

 

DJ Chumbucket: “The way that she intertwined folk and jazz toward the end of her career was really special”

 

Ethan: “Yeah I love that stuff. It’s all there but it’s like so accessible and pretty and still just around those nice open acoustic guitar chords”

 

Jake: “Like I said earlier, ‘The Band’ and also like Neil Young and ‘Crazy Horse’, and ‘Dinosaur Jr.’ and when I play with Wednesday I feel like I think about this band ‘Les Rallizes Denudes’, they’re like a Japanese band and a lot of my pedal setup I’ve modeled after their sound, and yeah, ‘Swirlies’, ‘MBV’, stuff like that”

 

Special thanks to Wednesday and their teams at Secretly, The Glow, and Ground Control, as well as Regina Bugarin.  

 

 

 

 

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Last 10 songs Pop‑out Direct

 

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