Speedy Ortiz on touring Europe, searching for Van Damme and Whiskey Ginger in a can

Establishing both creative momentum and a fanbase earned through near-constant U.S. touring Speedy Ortiz is name which is currently on the rise. Their debut album Major Arcana was named Best New Music by Pitchfork and with it saw the evolution of the band from a lo-fi project into a wholly collaborative effort. Speedy Ortiz will be ending their European tour with a gig in Vienna’s Flex on Saturday night (01.03). It promises to be a sweaty, loud and intimate affair with the band being supported by the equally enticing Holy Wave.
Speedy Ortiz managed to find a bit of time from touring to tell us about some of the coolest things that have happened on their European tour so far. Check it below.
Reich & Föhn Event /// Speedy Ortiz /// Holy Wave 
You’re currently touring Europe, which country are you most looking forward to playing in/visiting? What are your “must do’s” while in Europe?
Darl: I’m most looking forward to playing Antwerp. I’ve heard Brussels is a beautiful city, so I’m excited to have a day off before the show to walk around and explore. Antwerp also includes my number one “must do”: find Jean Claude Van Damme and become his best friend.
You have spent a fair few days travelling through the UK over the last week or so, what is the strangest/coolest thing that has happened so far?
Mike: Meeting Marc Riley and playing on his BBC6 radio show was a pretty huge honor. We got nerdy and started asking him for any stories about The Fall and John Peel. Also the next day, we got to record an XFM session with Chris Denman who played us some of his sessions from the past 10 years. He’s recorded a pretty wide range of bands, from Mastodon to Silversun Pickups to Lady Gaga.
What has been the major difference so far between playing in Europe compared to America?
Sadie: Way better backstage hummus. Way better truck stops. There’s whiskey and ginger ale pre-mixed in a can. Don’t take that for granted. Less emoji because we aren’t using international data plans.
What albums are currently on heavy rotation as part of your “on tour soundtrack”?
Matt: John Cage’s dance pieces for prepared piano and some Conlon Nancarrow.
You are going to be playing in Vienna’s Flex on the 1st of March to end your European tour. Have you ever been to Vienna before? What can fans expect from your show?
Darl: I have never been to Vienna before, but am extremely excited to go. I am part Austrian so it will be great to return to the motherland. The only thing I can guarantee for fans is a lot of sweat pouring down my face, but hopefully we play well too.
What do you HAVE to have with you while on tour? Is there anything you definitely couldn’t live without while on the road?
Matt: Cassette tapes, sometimes a cassette tape player.  Some would argue wi-fi.  I think we’re going to get matching wi-fi bars tattooed on us, either 3 or 4.  In some countries it’s known as “le wi-fi”.  I brought a tape measurer on this trip as well.