Having a nice time at Daughters' first show in Pittsburgh in 12 years | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Having a nice time at Daughters' first show in Pittsburgh in 12 years

Bambara and Microwaves open for Daughters at Rex Theater, June 14

Alexis Marshall, the frontman of Rhode Island’s experimental-noise rockers Daughters, isn't big on expectations. Asked what Pittsburgh fans can expect for the upcoming show at Rex Theater on June 14, he says, "We’re going to play some songs. Some singing and dancing. Having a nice time hopefully."

Last year, he told Consequence of Sound, "We appreciate people who are enjoying [the new album] and want to be a part of it with us, but don’t show up with expectations. It’s not a jukebox, it’s not a YouTube video."

Hearing Daughters' critically acclaimed 2018 record, You Won't Get What You Want, his stance makes sense. The band arrived with 2003's Canada Songs, a blistering headache of hardcore and noise that taps out after just 11 minutes. This new one is deeper, darker, longer, and far more experimental. And though the transition didn't happen overnight - 2006's Hell Songs and 2010's Daughters both edged the band closer to the drawn-out intensity of early Swans - it wouldn't make much sense to turn on You Won't Get What You Want with the previous three records in mind.

After recently performing in South America and Russia for the first time, Daughters return to Pittsburgh with the promise of not promising anything. Pittsburgh City Paper spoke with Marshall ahead of the band’s Rex Theater show.

Do you have any fond Pittsburgh memories?
I like Pittsburgh quite a bit actually. We met friends in a band from Pittsburgh, a two-piece called Zombi in 2003. We played some closed store front …

Sounds like Mr. Roboto Project.
Different place…We played Pittsburgh quite a bit. I like pulling into Pittsburgh, that sort of valley.

Yes, it’s a beautiful city.
Little industrial. Like a really comfortable pair of pants for the knees. That’s what I think when I think of Pittsburgh. I love it.

Daughters stepped away for a while and now you’ve come back after eight years. Do you feel this is sort of a ‘do-over’ for you personally?
No. We were away for a few years but we were kind of dabbling, we were testing the waters a little bit and we played a couple shows. … So there’s a comfort in it. It doesn’t feel new. The reception is new, so that part feels foreign. But nothing feels alien.
Seems like you have a new lease on your band, fresh group of fans too.
I don’t want to pat ourselves on the back too much for it. I think we were a little ahead of the curve for a while but now everyone has sort of caught up. And we are lucky enough that we’re doing it and a lot of young people are getting into our band now which is great.

That’s important.
It is important. If the crowds got older and didn’t get younger, they’d start dying off.

You’re not keen on putting your past behind you quite yet?
I mean some of it. There’s certainly a catalogue we don’t perform anymore. …But we don’t want to pretend that we didn’t exist.

How close was the album to not actually happening?
It’s seemed like at times that it wasn’t going to happen, because it was kind of taking a bit longer than it needed to I suppose.

Your band is not very good at having a specific sound that people can latch onto. I mean that in a good way.
I think that’s a good thing … people just really just have to listen and see for themselves what it is we’re doing and make their judgments from there. … Just get out there and listen to music and shut up about it.

What can fans expect here for the Pittsburgh show?
I don’t think expectations are good for anybody. We’re going to play some songs. Some singing and dancing. Having a nice time hopefully.

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