By the time Speedy Ortiz began rolling out music for their upcoming album Rabbit Rabbit, which is out Friday, it had been five years since the band had released music. But now, the band, composed of Sadie Dupuis alongside guitarist Andy Molholt, drummer Joey Doubek, and bassist Audrey Zee Whitesides, return to bring good fortune with their new LP.

Co-produced by Dupuis and Illuminati Hotties’ Sarah Tudzin, Rabbit Rabbit hopes to dismantle old conventions. The title nods to the “superstitious incantation” Dupuis repeated on the first of each month, a practice she adopted as a child coping with OCD and trauma. In true Speedy Ortiz fashion, the album packs together biting commentary masked by busy chords and power-pop melodies. It opens with “Kim Cattrall,” a noisy-yet-shimmering anthem that’s not really about the Sex And The City star, rather the unhealthy coping mechanisms Dupuis leaned on in her 20’s. “You S02,” takes aim at phonies in the music industry while other tracks like “Plus One” illuminate the toxic side of workaholic culture.

To celebrate the release of Rabbit Rabbit, Speedy Ortiz sit down with Uproxx to talk Sylvia Plath, juggling, and rescue foxes in our latest Q&A.

What are four words you would use to describe your music?

Joey: Effervescent, Abbr., Dogmatic, Switchfooted.

It’s 2050 and the world hasn’t ended and people are still listening to your music. How would you like it to be remembered?

Audrey: My favorite experience in music is being completely caught off-guard and going, “Oh my god why and how did they do that?” — just being reminded that music can be anything. Sometimes this even happens to me with our songs and catching a little production trick or detail I forgot about. So I hope if people remember us, they also can still have that experience years down the line, hear a weird synth guitar or tape echo machine or something in the mix and go, “Huh, why is that there?”

Who’s the person who has most inspired your work, and why?

Sadie: I go through phases of influence and frequently compound a lot of small nods to different inspirations within songs. But Sylvia Plath’s poetry was one of the first major influences on my writing, and the biography Red Comet by Heather Clark wound up directly inspiring a couple songs’ lyrics on this record. I like being able to chart how an author’s work has affected me differently over the course of a few decades — whether that’s my poetry as a teenager, or how reading about Plath’s life as an artist gave me some context on my own.

Where did you eat the best meal of your life and what was it?

Sadie: Every time I eat at Pietramala in Philly, I hit some new goal post of “best meal ever.” The chef, Ian Graye, moved to Philly in the pandemic to open a vegan food truck called Moto Foto. Pietramala is an extension of that, with more of a focus on Italian cooking, and it has some of the most interesting vegetable presentations I’ve ever tried—like homemade pasta with aged tofu sauce, or chicken-fried mushrooms prepared with different varieties of pepper jellies, or brined cabbage presented like turkey. His emphasis on local farms and seasonal produce means the menu is always changing and every single thing is unreal and adventurous. I’ve been vegan since 2006 and this is by far my favorite place — Philly is really lucky to have it!

Tell us about the best concert you’ve ever attended.

Joey: As a 12 year old in 2000 I went to HFStival to see Rage Against The Machine which has remained the best live performance I’ve ever seen.

What song never fails to make you emotional?

Audrey: “Skin” by All Dogs. All Dogs was a really special band that I’ve missed a lot since they stopped playing together, but I had a chance to see them a couple months ago for a one-off reunion, and hearing this song live again after years was such a powerful experience. It perfectly captures that feeling of wanting to be close to someone but being really unsure of how to fight your own instincts and fears and self-doubt. Depending on when I listen to it, I might get more choked up about the line “I will remind you of my mother,” or the line “I will find a way to justify my pain.”

What’s the last thing you Googled?

Joey: “Zwack.”

Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever crashed while on tour?

Andy: Perhaps the weirdest but coolest crash spot I can remember was a collective in New Orleans around the time of 2010 that had a giant treehouse out back that was built partially using salvaged McDonald’s playpen parts. Several of us actually slept out inside the treehouse for the night. I also remember there being a moat. The structure must’ve been like 60 feet tall. I texted a friend, Brookes, from the band we were on tour with at the time (Dangerous Ponies), and was reminded that it was aptly called the “Treehouse Collective.” If you are reading this, thanks again for having us stay over!

What’s your favorite city in the world to perform and what’s the city you hope to perform in for the first time?

Andy: Favorite city in the world to perform in is honestly Philadelphia. It may seem obvious, as this is the city that Speedy Ortiz has chosen to call home, but Philadelphia is truly my favorite city in the world! The city I most hope to perform in for the first time is Tokyo.

What’s one piece of advice you’d go back in time to give to your 18-year-old self?

Audrey: This is one of those things I would always be very scared to actually do, because as messy and difficult as my adult life has been in a lot of ways, I also think I wouldn’t have had many of the most fulfilling experiences if I had made “smarter” choices. I guess it would just be like, “Hey, therapy and medication are pretty cool and don’t just have undiagnosed mental illnesses for years because you have a lot to figure out and work through either way.”

What’s one of your hidden talents?

Andy: I can juggle three clementines while doing a reportedly convincing impression of Beetlejuice.

If you had a million dollars to donate to charity, what cause would you support and why?

Audrey: All of us believe in harm reduction efforts for drug users, and recently in Philadelphia’s Democratic primary we were pretty sad to see a mayoral candidate who opposes safe injection sites win over one who supported them. A million dollars for harm reduction efforts in our city is as needed as it’s ever been, after political setbacks that would prioritize property values and policing over people’s lives.

What are your thoughts about AI and the future of music?

Sadie: There’s too much baggage surrounding AI for me to view it as a viable creative tool right now. So much of the generative technology that’s been rebranded as AI is tied up in companies like Microsoft and Google, who have sold and continue to sell gathered information for military use and predictive policing. Creative possibilities of AI are grossly overstated to generate VC hype and inflate funding. There are racial and gender and other biases built into these algorithms, and they are trained with copyrighted creative output that’s been lifted without consent. Under these conditions I don’t see a reality in which AI is an integrated part of a creative life. I recommend Safiya Noble and Meredith Whittaker’s writing on this!

You are throwing a music festival. Give us the dream lineup of 5 artists that will perform with you and the location it would be held.

Andy: As this festival is unburdened by the bounds of space or time, it will proceed as follows:

1. One player piano as programmed by Conlon Nancarrow
2. An aggressive, upsetting performance of Andy Kaufman wrestling Tony Clifton on the set of Taxi
3. Sly & the Family Stone circa 1971
4. Four real life Pikachus singing the entirety of “Tubular Bells”
5. The headliner is a supergroup of Wendy Carlos on synth, Prince on guitar and vocals, Ryuichi Sakomoto also on synth, Björk also on vocals, Greg Saunier on drums.

It takes place inside a perfect floating sphere of water from the Atlantic Ocean, with dolphins jumping around on all sides of the audience while they float calmly in the center.

Who’s your favorite person to follow on Twitter and/or Instagram?

Sadie: @juniperfoxx is my reliable favorite. It documents a household of rescue foxes (and occasional opossums and sugar gliders) hanging out and playing with toys and being silly and pampered alongside their dog siblings. Jessika is the foxes’ parent (pack leader?) and her stories about wild animal care and rehabilitation are pretty fascinating. But mostly I’m there for the foxes’ cute smiles and incessant screams.

What’s the story behind your first or favorite tattoo?

Joey: It says “mom” in Morse code.

What is your pre-show ritual?

Joey: I find the darkest corner of the green room to sit cross-legged and quietly recite “Edge Of Night,” as performed by Pippin in LOTR: The Return of the King.

Who was your first celebrity crush?

Sadie: A lot of animated anthropomorphized dogs come to mind but Roxanne from A Goofy Movie sticks out.

You have a month off and the resources to take a dream vacation. Where are you going and who is coming with you?

Audrey: My partner’s family has history in China and Guatemala, so I’d love to spend time with them in both those places. We could split the month in half and see how much we could see.

What is your biggest fear?

Andy: Being pushed into an oncoming subway car. I can’t really explain why, but I sometimes visualize what it would look like from a third-person perspective as the train approaches. It feels like a weird dream that hasn’t happened and will probably not happen, but I suppose that’s the way fear works!

Rabbit Rabbit is out 9/1 via Wax Nine. Find more information here.