With their new album, Chicago quintet Varsity wanted to make music that was a little more danceable. Fine Forever is due out in just a few weeks, on May 29, and sees the band striking a perfect balance between the guitar-driven indie rock of their previous efforts, with a bold new step forward.
In anticipation of the record, Varsity singer/keyboardist Stef Smith, guitarists Dylan Weschler and Patrick Stanton, bassist Paul Stolz, and drummer Jake Stolz all sat down to talk Andy Shauf, Austin Powers, and wrist tattoos in the latest Indie Mixtape 20.
What are four words you would use to describe your music?
Public Freakouts After Dark.
It’s 2050 and the world hasn’t ended and people are still listening to your music. How would you like it to be remembered?
If people remember us at all in 2050, we’d be honored.
What’s your favorite city in the world to perform?
San Antonio, Texas. Best fans ever.
Who’s the person who has most inspired your work, and why?
Stevie Wonder – His unconditional love of composition and music in general is something we all admire.
Where did you eat the best meal of your life?
Everyone in the band loves Szechuan food, so we’re always on the lookout for legit restaurants on tour. We were driving through Cleveland a couple of years ago and stopped at Szechuan Gourmet after seeing Cloud Nothings tweet about it. We ate way too much food and it made the 6 hour drive back to Chicago a lot harder but it was totally worth it.
What album do you know every word to?
What was the best concert you’ve ever attended?
Andy Shauf and Chris Cohen at Schubas. The loudest quiet show I’ve ever been to.
What is the best outfit for performing and why?
We played with CHAI at a Pitchfork aftershow last year and they wore full costumes with hoods and danced in unison for the encore. It was the middle of July and it must have been 120 degrees up on stage – so badass.
Who’s your favorite person to follow on Twitter and/or Instagram?
Ryley Walker has the best indie rock twitter account.
What’s your most frequently played song in the van on tour?
What’s the last thing you Googled?
“Kinds of Potatoes”
What album makes for the perfect gift?
Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever crashed while on tour?
Cat Pee Palace.
What’s the story behind your first or favorite tattoo?
I got wrist tattoos when I was a freshman in college so that I could never get a desk job. Now my day job is a desk job :(
What artists keep you from flipping the channel on the radio?
Tom Petty, Steely Dan, David Bowie.
What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?
Pat’s mom just donated to our relief fund on Spotify.
What’s one piece of advice you’d go back in time to give to your 18-year-old self?
Dance, dance, don’t be afraid to DANCE!
What’s the last show you went to?
Pool Holograph at the Empty Bottle in Chicago. We miss shows…
What movie can you not resist watching when it’s on TV?
Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery.
What would you cook if Kanye were coming to your house for dinner?
Nothing because of the MAGA Hat.
Fine Forever is out May 29 on Run For Cover Records. Pre-order it here.