But the hip-hop duo isn’t the only act joining Lorde on the road; indie-pop artist Mitski is along for the ride as well. Before sharing a stage, New York natives El-P of RTJ and Mitski got to know one another a little better… and found out what else they have in common (the need for alone time) and where they differ.
FAVORITE LOW KEY HANGOUT IN NEW YORK
El-P: Max Fish.
Mitski: I don’t want to reveal my favorite… my second favorite is House of Small Wonders in Williamsburg.
FAVORITE NEW YORK VENUE TO PLAY
El-P: Madison Square Garden. You get to pretend like you’re Run-D.M.C. in 1985.
Mitski: Brooklyn Steel. Everything was so organized, and the sound was amazing.
ONSTAGE SECRET WEAPON
El-P: Our DJ. In a worst-case scenario, our DJ knows all our lyrics.
Mitski: Low heels. I feel professional and powerful [in heels], but high heels are scary to wear onstage.
GO-TO DANCE MOVE
El-P: The Running Man. I practiced it in my room in 1991 for a high school dance. I feel like I really nailed it that night.
Mitski: I guess you can say I ‘do the Twist.’ I like playful dance moves that aren’t too serious.
FAVORITE SONG FROM TOURMATE / FAVORITE LORDE SONG
El-P: “Royals” was the first one that got me. I’m into the new album, I’ve been listening to “Supercut.” But “Royals” is the one that pulled me in, like a lot of people.
Mitski: I’m so basic. “Green Light.”
I’M MELODRAMATIC ABOUT…
El-P: Failing tech issues in my studio. If I can’t work, I don’t know what to do with myself.
Mitski: How hungry I am. It’s not the end of the world, yet I can’t stress enough how much of an emergency it is.
HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING AN INDEPENDENT ARTIST…
El-P: I don’t really look at it like that. I wish I could complain, but I chose my own path. So the little bumps in the road mostly would be attached to money, we don’t have an endless reserve of money to play around with, but I really just think that for me and my personality and the way I want to be involved in this industry, it’s always been the right path for me. I’m happy to do the work, and it’s cool to not have to deal with anyone else other than the people you want to deal with.
Mitski: Having to always speak up for yourself and always represent yourself in every aspect. There’s no one to do something for you. If I had a big label, a radio station/venue/promoter would just sign me on or hire me [based on my representation], but because I’m indie I always have to prove my worth.
BEST WAY TO UNWIND
El-P: Marijuana and isolation. It’s better if I go relax for a bit, then come back with a new perspective.
Mitski: I like to find a local cafe. Sometimes I’m reading a book, sometimes I’m just staring at a wall.
FAVORITE THING TO GRAB AT REST STOP
El-P: We’re lucky enough to have a tour bus that we stock up with shit. It also depends on how much weed you smoke, you might end up getting a pack of Skittles. That’s always a possibility.
RECENT GUILTY MUSIC PLEASURE
El-P: I don’t ever really feel guilty about music, quite frankly. When you’re younger you think that anything you don’t like you have to hate. I’m so far beyond that perspective. Although, I will say I resent Bruno Mars for making me like him as much as I do. I wish that he wasn’t so likeable. Young me would’ve just loved to hate him, but I don’t. I like him, and that I resent a little bit. Like, couldn’t he be an asshole? It would be easier for me. He’s a loveable bastard.
Mitski: I really like The Cars, they’re just so over the top and super pop, but I don’t feel guilty. I’m proud of all the music I listen to.