By Joseph Sutton-Holcomb
It would be easy to write off Rose Windows as a just another example of Seattle’s affection for neo-folk music, but relegating them to that category is too simplistic. While the band has down-home harmonies that could go mano-a-mano with the Fleet Foxes, you can also hear in their music echos of The Band, Joni Mitchell, The Decemberists and Jefferson Airplane. Their debut LP, “The Sun Dogs” came out June 25 on Sub Pop. Singer Rabia Quazi and guitarist Nils Peterson gave us their thoughts on passing out at Block Party, their new record and “insufferable psychedelic garbage.”
Q: Have you ever been to block party?
Quazi: I’ve been sneaking in there since I was 15.
Peterson: It’s a really fun event; it’s amazing how much it’s grown. And we always love playing the Comet. It’s the best kind of crowd: everyone’s already drunk, so it doesn’t matter how much you mess up.
Q: Any more colorful stories from Block Party in previous years?
Quazi: I blacked out one year, fell asleep, and woke up still at Block Party.
Peterson: I remember seeing Neko Case last year. She was phenomenal. I was working the door at The Comet, so I got to see all the main stage acts, and she just blew me away. Not just with the musicianship and the power of it all — she has a really filthy mouth. There were a lot of expletives.
Q: In lieu of me inventing a genre label for you, could you tell me a bit about your sound?
Peterson: Insufferable psychedelic garbage. [music blog] brooklynvegan did a post about us when we were signing with Sub Pop, and they compared us to another band. Some guy immediately commented and said ‘anyone being compared to that band must be another of those insufferable psychedelic garbage bands.’ We thought it was hilarious, so we’ve kept it as our genre ever since.
Q: What should people expect to hear at your Block Party set?
Peterson: We just released our album… so a lot of our material is catered around that. There are a few songs that didn’t make it on the album that we play every once in a while, and we might do a cover song. We’re writing a lot right now, but we won’t be previewing that [material] for a bit.
Q: Any thoughts on the Block Party scene?
Peterson: It’s cool that so many people gather in what’s already one of the most dense city blocks in Seattle. It’s great to see what’s become such a large festival happen within the city limits of Seattle. Normally you’ll have to go to the Gorge or some other amphitheater outside of town to get that kind of thing. They do a good job supporting the local businesses, and they support local music with [the bands] they put on the roster.
Q: Do you have any other shows in the Northwest coming up after Block Party?
Peterson: The week after Block Party, on Friday August 2nd, We’re playing at the Mural Amphitheater [in Seattle Center] for the first of four weeks that KEXP does their summer concerts at the mural series. I’ve been to them a couple of times in the past, and it’s usually a really cool environment. It’s a free lawn show; people usually bring their kids.
Q: Are there any other bands you want to see at Block Party this year?
Quazi: Big Freedia is playing right after us.
Peterson: La Luz is playing the same day as us. I hope we can catch their set. And our friends Pickwick are headlining that night.
Rose Windows plays Capitol Hill Block Party at 2:15 p.m. on Saturday, July 27 at the main stage.