Monday, January 25, 2016

{INTERVIEW} pop etc

In anticipation of their show tonight at U Street Music Hall AND their impending album, we chatted with the Chris of POP ETC. Read below as they tell us about their history, recording an album in a Brooklyn apartment, and more!

Listen while you read:

Tell us how you came to be POP ETC! What led you to where you are today? 
I'm not sure when it started exactly. My brother and I have known each other forever (obviously) and we've both known our drummer Julian for like half our lives. We've made music for a long time together in various projects. I guess we just woke up one day, brushed our teeth, and all of the sudden it came together. Like magic. And there we were -- POP ETC. Its been a wild ride!

photo by alex welsh

How would you describe your music to someone who's never heard it before? What song should they start with? 
Our new album Souvenir is out in a few days, so you should start with that! If you can't wait a few days, a couple of the songs are already out, so you can start with those -- "Running In Circles" or "What Am I Becoming?"

Your sophomore album Souvenir is about to come out -- congrats! What is your songwriting process like and was it any different for this album?
I like to write songs and make music every day. I feel much happier and healthier that way. This album was different, in that we really took our time with it and wrote hundreds of songs. I would write songs and then play them for the guys, and they would give me feedback and help me write and re-write parts. They are harsh critics, and aren't afraid to say a song isn't great if it isn't, which is good. Now that it's done it really feels like we have an album full of great songs that we all love, and that all have our own individual personalities threaded into them.

Click ahead for more, including tour essentials and who POP ETC.'s dream collaboration would be with.

We heard that you recorded the new album in your Brooklyn apartment. What was that experience like?
Really perfect. My experience recording in many studios is that the atmosphere is often pretty cold and obviously, foreign feeling. It's hard for me to really get comfortable in a space like that, and say, sing a vocal that I want to be really heartfelt and personal. The environment impacts the recording process so much, it was nice to be able to make something at home and really be ourselves in it.

Any favorite recording break snacks or habits? 
Coconut LaCroix.

You have mentioned that this album is about how your perception of things has changed as you've grown up (we feel ya, there!). Has that manifested itself into any new habits or perhaps new years resolutions? 
Yes, definitely. I feel pretty invigorated these days to just make things. I think that's part of what has driven me to write more and more often as of late. I feel that life is short and I want to use the time to create things that we can get out to the world. I just hope that people find them to be meaningful and affecting.

If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be? 
Kanye West.

What are you most excited for on your current tour? 
Playing our new songs and actually seeing people respond to them. We've been in the studio for almost three years, and even though we love it, we're definitely feeling a little antsy. Sometimes when you are leading such an insular life, recording music all the time, you kind of lose sight of the fact that people actually listen to this stuff.

What are some of your tour necessities?
Lots of good music and movies and podcasts and books. Water. Whiskey. As many clean socks as possible.

What are you currently listening to that we need to put on our radar? 
Been listening to Tears For Fears a lot. John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band. David Bowie always. As far as newer bands that we love and should be on your radar -- WATERS are buddies of ours, and we really love their music. Mainland, they're friends of ours too! They have an album coming out soon that is awesome.

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk! Cure your cabin fever from this past snowy weekend by getting yourself to U Street Music Hall tonight to see POP ETC. -- tickets are still available here!

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