Pop Quiz: The Hold Steady

Aidin Vaziri | Brooklyn’s biggest bar band, the Hold Steady, releases its fifth album, “Heaven Is Whenever,” this week. To celebrate, the group is launching an extensive tour that will keep it on the road for most of the year. But first it’ll make a stop at the Fillmore on Thursday. We spoke to guitarist Tad Kubler about dealing with lineup changes, critical pressure and his newfound sobriety.

Tad Kubler of the Hold Steady
Q: The critics love the Hold Steady so much. Do you ever worry about getting just a 4 1/2-star review instead of the full five?
A: You try not to think about that. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t paying attention to that stuff, but we’ve always done what we wanted to do. By always doing what made us happy, I think, people responded to that. People could see we were having a blast onstage and it became contagious.
Q: Now that you’re not drinking, what’s your tour rider like?
A: It’s not vastly different. On the first couple of tours we partied so hard because we never thought we’d get to do it again. Now we realize the band has a life of its own. We’re going to continue to make music. We’re going to continue to put albums out. We’re going to continue to tour. There isn’t that sense of urgency anymore. We don’t have to party every night.
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