While I was away in soaking rays in the Mediterranean sun, our editor in chief Brett kindly offered to take on my local interviewing responsibilities. Brett is also really keen to hit up Grietfest this weekend so he pounced at the opportunity to get the scoop on PopArtLive (who perform at 18h00 on the Main Stage). It’s only 2 days away and we’re keeen!!
They talk all things from acid punk to their interpretation of their identity. Check it out!
Brett Magill (BM): Firstly, the name PopArtLive, where does it come from?
PopArtLive (P): Whats up? Because it sounds cool!
BM: You describe yourselves as Acid Punks – how does that translate in your music and performances?
P: Punk is an attitude and a way of performance. Our ethos is to go against the grade and that for us is why anyone should be making music. Rather than doing the exact same shit it’s about making a statement. We live in a country so dominated by monotony and continuity that we pride ourselves on at least attempting to do something different that questions the norm. That’s Punk!
The Acid is a homage to the legacy of club music. Acid house has come to feature a lot in the music we’re currently making. It’s strange because with almost 30 years passing since the birth of Acid house it’s still so relevant and what we imagine to be the environment in those days is still here today. It’s about having a good time!
BM: With both of you coming from different musical backgrounds, how would you describe your music to someone who’s never heard it?
P: It’s really aggressive house music. That’s what we’d call it. Although as much as we can be aggressive we can also be nostalgic, euphoric and create beautiful intricate moments. It feels a little trivial to try explain the sound because that isn’t what we are – we are a performance act. We exist on the basis of what happens at our shows and that’s what people remember. So if you want to know what we’re about, come to a show.
BM: What does your creative journey comprise of – from the initial idea to the final track?
P: It starts with a statement and a message. It has so much to do with the time that we’re in. We once watched a documentary where Justice spoke about their Genesis album and how if they weren’t struggling musicians at the time they wouldn’t have written that album. And that’s important. It’s important to reflect your surroundings, which is what we’re doing.
So our process is all about trying to best express all the crap we’re so done with and looking for a path out of it. “These chains are broken”, that’s a line from our upcoming EP and that’s what our process to date has been. Making banging tunes to make you forget that the world is actually a really shit place.
BM: If you could sum up a PopArtLive performance in 3 words, what would they be?
P: Fucking Mind Fuck.
BM: So on that note, what can we expect to see at GrietFest this year?
P: A lot of mind fucking *laughs*. On the reals though, we have the most advanced set to date planned. It features the most forward thinking music we could possibly imagine. Compared to last year we’re only playing two songs that were in our set before. We’re going to make the international acts look like children.
BM: You’ve recently collaborated on a few tracks with Kyle Watson – how do feel about the collaborative space in the music scene, and which artists would you like to work with?
P: Collaboration is the most important aspect of music making. Because that’s a space where you’re pulled out of your comfort zone. We wish that acts would start collaborating more with artists from completely different genres. But even more than genres, musicians should be collaborating with film makers, painters, photographers, fucking carpenters if they can find a way. That’s what will change music.
BM: On the topic of other artists, which local and international acts are you listening to at the moment?
P: A shit load of grime like AJ Tracey, Dave, Section Boyz, Stormzy. Some trap like Russ, Playboi Carti, BROCKHAMPTON and so much other shit. On the electronic music thing we’ve been obssessing over 90’s trance like ATB, Da Hool, Fantasia, Paul Oakenfold and all that stuff that literally puts you in a trance. What’s interesting about trance is that it’s low-key making a comeback with acts like Nina Kraviz dropping some dope edits. What’s strange though is that we probably listen to the news more than anything else at the moment.
BM: Besides music, how do you guys stay inspired? Any hidden talents we should know about?
P: I can lick my nose. But no real hidden talents, we make beats.
BM: For those who want to listen at home before the show, where can they find your tracks?
P: www.soundcloud.com/popartlive but the music we actually play is not on the internet right now. We’re waiting for the opportune moment. We’ve only done collabs with Kyle and Embassy to date. There’s also that little tune Holiday we made a long time ago but that song does feel very far removed to who we are today.