–by Quincy Tejani, Music Connoisseur–
How Art Pop is able to bring aspects of so many different genres from so many different time periods into their music while still sounding original is beyond me. On their debut EP, this brother duo use their witty yet relateable lyrics and their reminsicent instrumentation to transcend the fodder that sometimes accompanies the labels “indie rock” and “closet producers”. Recently, I got the opportunity to speak to the band about what makes their music stand out from the crowd as well as their low-key obsession with Will Toledo.
Quincy Tejani: What would you say it is about creating music that excites you the most? Have you always been really into music or is that something that developed as you got older?
Art Pop: I love the collaborative part of creating music the most. Often, I write on my own, but my favorite part of the process is when I show someone what I have been working on and they immediately have some great new idea of where to take the song. They are like “Oh! What about adding this?” and it’s often something that I never even considered. Then soon there is this back and forth and an influx of new ideas. I just love that. Music has always been a big part of my life. I began classical piano instruction when I was four or five years old and have been playing ever since. I remember I got my first Zen 30GB mp3 player when I was 12 and I couldn’t figure out how to put music on it except for “I Am A Walrus” by the Beatles, so I just listened to that song for like a month because that was all I could get on the thing. So that is probably how I got into rock music (haha). In college, I picked up some guitar and began singing in a college band. I also began to write more seriously.
QT: Do you feel as though it’s the lyrics or the instrumentation that is the most important aspect of the music that you make? What do you expect most people will connect with immediately?
AP: I love listening to lyrics, especially lyrics that I really connect with. Instrumentation is very important, but I know I’m not going to be the best guitarist or whatever. The songs on This is Art Pop were crafted to (hopefully) be relatable to people like me who are entering the “real” world and feel lost or overwhelmed or what have you. Those are definitely very really thoughts and feelings I was having and still have. But, I also wanted to add some humor and some lightheartedness to the tracks, music is meant to be entertainment. The song “Hey Hey!!” is supposed to be funny, about some person trying to meet new people talking about how they are teenage scum. People connect with different things in music, but I definitely put some intense thought and energy in the lyrics, and hopefully, a listener will be able to relate/connect with some of the themes in This is Art Pop. Regardless, I hope that people will be able to hear the authenticity of the music and when someone hears the album that is something they can respect. Maybe they don’t necessarily like the music, but at least, they can respect the authenticity and the hard work that was put into creating the LP.
AP: Car Seat Headrest is so talented and definitely deserved being named The Violet Wave’s album of the year! I love Will Toledo’s songwriting. He has an incredible ability to write very catchy songs that also continually surprise the listener even after many plays. There is always some new lyric or melody that I didn’t initially pick up on and it makes me want to listen to the whole thing over and over again. I love all the songs on Teens of Denial, but if I had to pick a favorite I would be torn between “Not What I Needed” and “Cosmic Hero”. My brother showed me Car Seat Headrest over the summer when we were working on This is Art Pop and that was basically the only artist I listened to for a while. As a result, I feel like his [Toledo’s] style rubbed off onto us and definitely influenced the crafting of our album, both lyrically and in instrumentation.
QT: What was your favourite part of recording your debut EP “This is Art Pop”? Did you do all of the recording yourself?
AP: My favorite part of recording it was definitely working with my brother (Miles). We had been in bands together before, but this is the first time that we had decided to record an EP together. He is in school now, but over the summer we had a couple of months to work, and it was amazing how quickly this project came together. I had some new song ideas that I had be working on. I brought them to him he would critique them. His input really helped flesh my ideas into full songs. My brother and I did all the recording in a closet that we turned into a temporary recording room with only a couple of microphones. After we had gotten the majority of the tracks recorded, Colbert Forest, one of my buddies who I played with in college, added some creative input, played some lead guitar and added some background vocals. We recorded and mixed in Bitwig and used Logic Pro X to master the tracks ourselves. But yea, This is Art Pop was 100% self-produced, mixed and mastered on my MacBook.
QT: Now that you have released your EP what is the next step for Art Pop? Have you thought about working on a full-length LP this year or do you think that you will try to promote the tracks you have already put out there?
AP: I’m always writing new music, and I definitely want to release a full-length LP at some point this year, if not at least another EP. However, right now I am mainly focused on promoting This is Art Pop and putting together a lineup to start playing some live shows. I love playing live, and it will be nice to see how these tracks come together in a live performance. So those are the next more immediate steps for Art Pop, but there will be some new music to come as well!
Have a listen to Art Pop’s track “Hey Hey!!” below:
Quincy Tejani is the co-founder of The Violet Wave and is also editor of music. When he’s not listening to or writing about music you can probably find him walking through the forests of Ontario or questioning the inner workings of the universe. He also never turns down a cold Pabst… never.
Facebook: The Violet Wave