StreeXB Global Talent SearchSadie Dupuis battled having stress along with the band members.

Indie rock band Speedy Ortiz has really had it rough.

What band hasn’t?

However, this band almost never had a second album because a break-up almost happened.

Sure, every band has their feud. It’s usually things like who does the most work, who is the leader, and who gets the credit. When a fight goes so far as to breaking up, we do everything possible to wish that that does not happen. We do not like seeing bands break-up, separate, or have each member go their separate ways. No matter how beneficial it might be for members to end up having a solo career, it is almost never the same.

Check out this indie rock band’s issues below.

This time last year, there wasn’t going to be a second Speedy Ortiz album. Never mind that 2013’s gnarled ‘Major Arcana’ was one of the best-received indie-rock debuts in years, its cryptic, tangled riffs making them the breakout band of Boston’s renowned DIY scene, or that they were supporting collective hero Stephen Malkmus and his Jicks. Relations within the Massachusetts four-piece were so soured that songwriter and guitarist Sadie Dupuis was contemplating quitting her own band, “because I’m sick and stressed out constantly and I’ve never had panic attacks every day until now,” the 27-year-old recalls over curry in the Boston apartment she shares with Palehound’s Ellen Kempner.

Hard touring didn’t help, but the stress was mostly down to fractious relations between Sadie and guitarist Matt Robidoux. “He would say that he didn’t respect me, and I would take that – basically, for months,” she says, incredulously. Speedy was originally her solo project, which started with a lo-fi, 10-track solo album called ‘The Death Of Speedy Ortiz’, and she remains the band’s sole songwriter. “It was like, why am I not listening to this person? He’d apologise, but if someone tells you enough times that they don’t respect you, there’s something wrong with you that you’re not taking that seriously. I was so bad at sticking up for myself for so long.”

Later last summer, on a rare month off touring, Sadie quit drinking and embarked on a mental health kick, the start of a process of reclaiming the band and her own identity. In February, Speedy Ortiz had released the ‘Real Hair’ EP, where she addressed the effects of being in the public eye for the first time, exploring the gap between perception and reality.

Beyond toxic band politics, she had been disrespected by all-male support bands and sexist sound guys who messed with her equipment but not that of her male bandmates. Men would try and touch and kiss her at shows. There was the short-lived professional associate who stalked Sadie, told her he loved her – and, when she rebuffed his advances, that Speedy would fail without him. “If you behave in these unprofessional ways, you don’t deserve to have any kind of job,” she says. “You should be ostracised. We would have so many things like that happen all the time, and I just have no patience for it any more.”

Having almost lost her band due to other people’s shitty behaviour, Sadie is now making a point of always making a stand. Speedy tour more responsibly, with bigger breaks between dates. She and her peers might start a database to share information about industry professionals so that they can avoid working with jerks. She describes the album’s standout, sombre ‘Mister Difficult’ as a rallying cry for female and female-identified artists to talk about their anger and marginalisation: “I got the message/Boys be sensitive and girls be, be aggressive”, she hisses.

StreeXB extends special thanks to NME for this article. Click here to read the rest of the story.

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