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October 5, 2009 | by  | in Music | [ssba]

Interview with Joel from Popstrangers


With the thriving scene we’ve got happening here in Wellington it’s easy to forget that there’s some pretty damn good music being created in the rest of the country, especially in Auckland, with the likes of Brand New Math, 1995, The Naked and Famous, Surf City and Wilberforces making some pretty big waves, to name but a few. Another band on the up is Popstrangers, a three-piece whose brand of psychedelic, pop-infused noise rock is quickly collecting fans and admirers. Ahead of their first Wellington show, Salienteer Ryan Eyers spoke with lead singer/guitarist Joel Flyger about their sound, the trials of the recording process and their plans for the future.

S: Who are Popstrangers? How did you form?

JF: Popstrangers are Joel Flyger, Adam Page and Elliot Rawson.

We met through mutual friends, then all of us were looking to form a band and found out that we played instruments so started playing together and it went from there.

S: What are your influences?

JF: We all like different music and have different influences, but as a band at the moment we are listening to The Gordons lots, and the new Sonic Youth album, plus our friends’ bands.

S: 1000, the lead single off your recently released self-titled E.P. has a strong psychedelic/noise rock vibe. Is this the general feeling of your sound as a whole?

JF: Yeah I guess so, most of our songs have a chorus and verse to them, so they are normally pop songs, but we like to take our time to structure them, and like to make lots of noise so that kind of thing ends up being what we sound like I suppose.

S: With the E.P. being your first stab at recording any material properly, how did you find the process? Was it hard to replicate the rawness and energy of your live sound in the studio?

JF: Yeah, we ended up recording it three different times, the first time all the files got deleted… which SUCKED! Then we did it again ourselves, but recorded each instrument separately and it didn’t end up sounding like us, so then we tried one last time before we gave up on recording all together and just recorded it live, and it worked and sounded pretty close to how we do when we play, so we were happy with it.

S: Your show supporting Surf City at Mighty Mighty is one of your first outside of Auckland. Are there any plans for a nationwide tour anytime soon, perhaps to promote the E.P. release?

JF: Yeah, we are thinking about doing a tour in late November/December, but at the moment it’s cool just playing one off shows in places… but yeah, if it does happen it will be then!

S: How do you feel about the current state of music in New Zealand? Do you feel like there is a vibrant, underground scene that you fit into/are a part of? How do you see music progressing in NZ?

JF: Not too sure really, I know there’s lots of good bands in New Zealand but I don’t really think there’s a certain ‘scene’ that we as a band fit into… there’s a few bands we love to play with in Auckland and find ourselves playing with more than others, but I suppose it could be better, but more and more bands are starting which is fun.

S: What are Popstrangers’ plans for the future? Tours, overseas adventures, album?

JF: For the future we are deciding at the moment… We definitely want to go overseas but are deciding on when is best, and yeah we have more songs we want to demo, then either do another E.P. or wait a little longer and do an album… and just play lots more fun shows.

S: Finally, If you could only take 5 albums onto a desert island, what would they be?

JF: Hmmmmmmm… maybe.

Messerchups – Crazy Price
Sonic Youth – Dirty
The Pixies – Surfer Rosa
Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream
The Smiths – The Queen Is Dead

Popstrangers supported Surf City at Mighty Mighty on 3 October.

Their debut self-titled E.P. has just been released and is available for streaming or purchase here


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