Welcome to Townie Talk, a series where musicians tell CREEM all about their cool local scene so our editorial staff can forget that they're sitting in a coworking space featuring toilets that always have just a little bit of strangers' pee on the seats. Next up: Special Interest from New Orleans, LA. (And check out our inaugural ‘Townie Talk,’ featuring Busan, South Korea’s Say Sue Me.)

We love Special Interest, the New Orleans, Louisiana-based industrial-art-punk-techno band so much, we put 'em in issue one of the new CREEM magazine. (Which, if you were cool, you’d subscribe to.) In an increasingly imaginative and genre-agnostic musical universe, SI stand out as a reminder that truly smart, cool-as-fuck freaks live among us. Well, technically they live in the Big Easy with the other smart, cool freaks.

Over Zoom, frontperson Alli Logout (they/them), guitarist Maria Elena (she/her), bassist Nathan Cassiani (he/him), and synthesizer/drum machinist Ruth Mascelli (he/him) answered some of our rock ’n' roll tourism questions, and I’m about two seconds away from risking it all for a daiquiri and a generator show. Enjoy.

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CREEM: Hey Special Interest! What’s the punk/DIY scene in New Orleans like right now? (I loved Mystic Inane, Nathan!) I’m excited to talk about a city in the American South that isn’t, like, Austin or Nashville, for a second.

It's open–that’s the one thing we can say about New Orleans. It's also why we were able to be in a band like this, because Louisiana has really interesting punk bands; it's weird, and people are interested in and open to weirdness.

MARIA ELENA: Post punk and art punk thrive [there.] And I think there's about to be more of a hardcore moment. That's really exciting.

ALLI LOGOUT: Because New Orleans doesn't really have a hardcore moment [right now]. That was frustrating for me, in the beginning, when I was younger. But it seems that most of the bands we know of right now are starting hardcore bands, and that's really exciting. That shift is happening. The thing is: New Orleans can take and handle anything. It's a very accepting place as a musician. I think Special Interest could only be the band that we are if we were in New Orleans.

MARIA ELENA: And the hip hop scene is also really cool, like Stash Marina. There's a lot of icons.

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