The Districts, a four piece collection of unassuming late teens have come a long way since playing Hendrix covers at their neighbourhood coffee shop in small town PA. Now you can find them touring the US alongside White Denim, battering the stage at SXSW in Austin, and even festival hopping the UK (they played Reading and Leeds, End of the Road, Electric Picnic). The boys caught the public eye via Reddit after filming their highly contagious ‘Funeral Beds’ track at a local Philadelphia studio. This lead to signing with record label Fat Possum – who incidentally look after the likes of Black Keys and Band of Horses. If you haven’t heard, we advise you listen – think americana, rock, and expressive raspy vocals all rolled into one.
Tell me how it started back when you were in high school…
Me and rob wanted to start a band and we jammed a couple of times. Then we knew mark and Braden through other people and knew they played music and all of us decided to play together one day. I think that happened in 8th or 9th grade.
Your music is quite hard to pin down to one genre, how would you describe your sound?
We all pretty much just say that it’s rock and roll. That’s what it is at the heart I guess. With every band there’s always different influences. We rather just have people listen to it and come up with something themselves.
Have you always been called The Districts?
Yeah! Haha it kind of came about when Braden burped one time it kinda sounded like he said, “The Districts!”
So your tour van was stolen back in June along with all your gear. What a nightmare! How did you get around that one?
We have friends in St. Louis who drove us to our next gig and then we took a greyhound from somewhere in Ohio all the way to Pittsburgh. Then our friend Al drove us to North Carolina with his van. Dr. Dog and the hawks let us borrow their equipment too which was awesome!
Did you find the thief?
No we didn’t but we got our van back and cast a hex on the thieves.
Going from a band in high school to a band getting quite a lot of media attention must have been an interesting transition. How did you find that, was it weird?
We’ve been a band for almost five years now so it’s been hard work and lots of pizza to get where we are. But things have been picking up a lot lately so it’s different and exciting for us all right now. And definitely weird too!
What do you think you would be doing if you hadn’t been signed with Fat Possum?
Probably eating tuna melts with raccoons and Pepperoni!!
Had fun in the UK?
Yeah the UK is amazing! Ploughmans!
PLOUGHMANS! And the Duncan in Leeds.
Words: Virginia Peck