The boys of Rose Windows were in fairly good spirits Thursday afternoon, considering their singer, Rabia Shaheen Qazi, was in the hospital.
“Right now, she’s on IV and they’re waiting for the x-rays,” said guitarist Nils Petersen. But the Seattle band still had four days in town, and were in good spirits that her as-yet-undiagnosed ailment would clear up, hopeful that they’d get to play at least some of their scheduled performances in Austin.
They’re in the middle of a tour that so far has taken them to San Francisco, Albuquerque, and Davis, Ca., among other spots. And anticipating their forthcoming record, The Sun Dogs, out June 25.
“Last year we pretty much decided as a band ‘Let’s record an album, really record an album,’” Petersen told me. “Let’s put pretty much everything we have and even money we don’t have into it, and see what we can do with it.”
They hired producer Randall Dunn, holed up at Avast studios in Greenwood and made a record they all love.
“During the process,” remembered Petersen, “it hit this point, and we were like, you know what, F__k it. We don’t care if anyone likes this. We’re really stoked on what we’re doing right now. This is meaning something to us, and that’s all we really care about right now.”
And Sub Pop, where Rose Windows signed in February, liked it too, though with a guerrilla marketing push from the band, who had acquaintances like The Head and the Heart and Avast’s Stuart Hallerman get their record to the right ears at the label.
“We were basically pounding on the door,” said pianist David Davila.
“There was a cleverness about it, though,” added guitarist Chris Cheveyo, “because we never bluntly approached them. A little social engineering involved.”
As for the record itself, they all agree that Dunn’s production input resulted in an airier, more accomplished record, closer to what the band wants to sound like.
And what do they think of SXSW?
“I’m glad I’m experiencing it, and I’m glad I’m here,” said Petersen, “but if I wasn’t playing? I’m too old for this shit.”
“It’s like three years of L.A. just compacted into one week of bullshit,” remarked Davila.
Maybe, but it’s no doubt better than Lubbock, where the band heads next.