Criteria returns from the road (with voice in tact)…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , — @ 2:00 pm February 5, 2020

Criteria performing at Teragram Ballroom in Los Angeles Jan. 26, 2020.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

My chief concern about the two-week Criteria tour, which just wrapped up, was how frontman Stephen Pedersen’s voice would hold up to violently intense singing night after night. Judging by this video of the Jan. 26 show at The Teragram Ballroom in downtown Los Angeles, his voice held up just fine.

My other question was how well fans of headliners Cursive and Cloud Nothings would receive the band. Would anyone even remember Criteria, who haven’t toured in more than a decade?

“(There were) plenty of folks there to see Criteria in every city,” Pedersen said. “People showed up early! It was bizarrely good! By end of our set it was apparent that we made new fans each night. Super cool. I made myself available to folks after we played (by running merch) and it was shocking and humbling how many folks wanted to talk to/thank me/us for putting out a new record and going on tour.”

The new record in question is Years, released last month on Cursive’s 15 Passenger Records. Pedersen said the album debuted at No. 42 on the Billboard Alternative chart. “I have no idea what that means,” he added.

So with this tour’s success, will Pedersen step away from his lucrative day job and hit the road for a year-long tour?

“No dice,” he said. “I worked from the road fairly successfully. Long drives on the West Coast meant lots of time to get work done.”

But that doesn’t mean the band is going into hibernation, either.

“We’re processing next moves,” Pedersen said. “Maybe play a couple festivals. Maybe do some East Coast dates. We’ll see.”

It’s too late for Coachella, but there’s always South by Southwest and Lollapalooza!

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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