THE SODA POP KIDS
Man kann ja mal einer Bitte nachkommen, auch wenn mir persoenlich die Band musikalisch nicht ganz zusagt. Aber Josh von „Full Breach Kicks“ unterstuetze ich gerne an dieser Stelle, um einer seiner Label-Bands zu pushen.
RALF REAL SHOCK ( Donnerstag, 27. April 2006 )
Is that the first time you’ve been interviewed for a German fanzine?
Hey this is Diet D from the Soda Pop Kids filling out the interview. Thanks for writing us! Well, yes actually it is. We were reviewed in a French zine, but that’s about all the exposure we’ve had outside the U.S.
Give the readers some idea of the climate the band was born in and how that influenced the music. Where is the band based?
Well, the roots of the band and the songs that appear on the first album were from when we were living in Denver, Colorado. But then, as things started to stagnate, we decided to relocate to Portland, Oregon. There was a vast difference between the two cities both socially and in the music scene. Portland has a lot more going on, but Denver had a lot more love and was known to cut loose a bit more. Denver will always be the home base of this band.
What is the story behind your band name?
I read an article about a woman from Northeast Colorado who abandoned all five of her children at a young age and fled their town. When the kids grew to be teenagers, they committed a series of robberies at convenience stores in Denver and the city newspaper started to refer to them as “The Soda Pop Kids”. We all liked that and felt it would always keep us close to Denver in a way.
Have you have played in any bands before?
Of course. Where else would this musical mess come from?
Tony was in The Riffs and Defiance. Stevie was in The Weaklings. Jonny was in No Policy and Shoot Up or Shut Up. Zach was in Call Sign Cobra and Scott Baio Army. Me – probably the least notable accomplishments include The Fidgets and Rabbit Fight.
So, what are your day jobs?
Well, because we are touring more and more, our day jobs are constantly at risk. But we roll with the punches in the following ways: Tony is a bartender. Stevie is a soundguy. Jonny does booking and promotion in Portland. Zach works at a sign-shop. I deliver pizza-pie!
First record you ever bought yourselves? What did you grow up listening to?
Well, since the other guys aren’t around I guess it’s stuck with my answer. My first album EVER was The California Raisins Christmas album. But the first I bought myself was none other than Michael Jackson’s “Dangerous”. I memorized every track on that bad boy. Still a classic. . .
Favorite Summer Activity?
Splash pass! This means, getting the gang together and hitting the water park. It’s a good chance to show off your surfing skills on the wave machine. If not this, then afternoon drinking.
Who in the band has the biggest sweet tooth?
Tony Mengis – hands down! An explanation of his title would only blow your mind!
What’s the biggest obstacle to the band right now you have to overcome?
This band is always faced with many MANY tiny troubles. But, I’d say the most frustrating thing the band dealt with was relocating to a new city with only three of the original members. Then we lost another member, Rox .45, after a month of living in Portland and had to find three new people to complete the line-up. After that hurdle was conquered, Jonny and I played a celebratory game of Pong and shared Eskimo Pie. Things are great now.
Where/how often do you practice? Do you share the rehearsal room with any other band?
We practice once a week at our collective house. Following practice, band dinners are known to take place.
Name one famous non-punk person you would consider "punk" and explain why you believe they deserve this distinction.
Little Richard, hands down! He was insane! He used to fake his own death onstage and would record his songs at an almost impossibly fast speed just so white imitators such as Pat Boone would be physically unable to rip him off. Then, at the height of his popularity, he gave the finger to Art Rupe at Specialty Records and left the business altogether to spread “the good word”. He’s one of my all-time heroes and a huge influence on this band.
Which record could I find in your CD player or at your turntable?
At this very moment, Marvin Gaye’s “Stubborn Kind of Fellow” is on my turntable. ”Say yeah yeah yeah”.
What is your favourite word that you used very often for writing songs? Any explanation?
That’s a strange question. And we’re a strange bunch, so I tip my hat to you. I guess my answer would be any time we make reference to food or taste. Such as “sugar-sweet” or “honeycomb”. On the next album, we’ve got a song coming called “Broken Bubbles are Tiny Troubles”.
What are your favourite punk sites on the web?
We love Now Wave, Full Breach 77, Razorcake, Maximum Rock ‘n’ Roll, Loud Fast Rules.
What is a story that most American people have quarrels angst?
As each year passes, America is filled with more and more conspiracy theorists. I don’t know if it’s just because American’s are given too much time to think, or if there really are that many “secrets” around us. But the one that comes to mind first is whether or not we actually landed on the moon or if the whole thing was just staged and filmed in a studio. It’s pretty interesting and often hilarious stuff to read.
Did you have any favourite bands to play with? Anybody who shares the same sort of musical ideas? What kind of bands do you hang out with?
One of the best things about living in Portland now is all the bands this city has to offer. We love The Clorox Girls, The Nice Boys, The Snot Rockettes, The Ones, Autistic Youth, Holy Ghost Revival. And elsewhere we have Teenage Frames, Machine Gun Blues, Fishnet Stalkers, The Rot Aways. Check any or all of these bands out. You won’t be disappointed.
Do you go out a lot to see bands? What’s your favourite venue in town?
Yes actually. In fact today, we’re pretty hung-over from seeing two shows in one night last night. This city has a great rock ‘n’ roll and punk scene that most others are jealous of. One where on any given night of the week you can find a good show to attend. Too many good venues to list.
Do you read fanzines? What are your favourite ones?
It’s tough to keep up with all the time, but we try to check out Razorcake, Maximum Rock ‘n’ Roll, and Loud Fast Rules whenever we can.
Please describe the best local eccentrics - the unique and interesting people in your town.
Oh man. Portland is the Mecca for space oddities! Check out Chuck Palahniuk’s book Fugitives and Refugees for the FULL story on how strange this city really is. I mean, it’s home to The Shanghai Tunnels, the 24-hour Church of Elvis (now closed), and Feral Cat Races. Plus, “Louie Louie” was recorded here.
Everyone in the punk scene is on MySpace it seems. Why you too?
Isn’t that thing such a beastly burden? We’re on it because it’s the only site music listeners really rely on these days. It’s pretty much made band websites obsolete because the only thing people check any more is “The Space”. We aren’t proud, but we admit it’s a necessary evil.
How would you characterize the different styles in the band?
We gave up on trying to do that long ago. Now we just say it sounds like a temper tantrum. But our influences are all over the place – rock ‘n’ roll, punk, classic blues and R&B, soul, bop-pop, slop-pop, and some jazz. It’s a melting pot to say the least and hopefully some people pick up on it.
If you ever get the chance to play on a tribute sampler, which band did you like to choice?
Those things are generally so ridiculous. But maybe if one came out for Hulk Hogan and the Wrestling Boot Band we might have to pay our respects. We are ALL very strict Hulkamaniacs!
In general, what do you see wrong with the punk scene today?
There are definitely trends we see that worry us, and it’s scary how fast things are coming and going. Again, it seems MySpace is to blame for that. But then again, we’re just glad that punk and underground rock ‘n’ roll is still thriving and bands can tour and be heard. Above all, that’s the most important to us.
What is the best sentence you have ever heard, that someone has managed to get into a song's lyrics?
That’s a tough one. One of my favorite songs is Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright”. Lyrically, it’s the first one that comes to mind: “I once loved a woman, a child I'm told. I give her my heart but she wanted my soul.”
How was your last tour?
The last tour was GREAT. We played some bigger shows and everyone was really supportive. And though the cops did show up one night, no one got taken in.
How did you get in contact with Josh and Full Breach Kicks? How is that working for you?
We found Josh through a kid in Chicago who told us a new label was starting up and we should send our demos in. Josh is great and really helps us out a bunch. Plus, who else would Jonny call when he’s drunk on a Tuesday?
How’s the album doing?
Well, it just hit stores April 11th so we’re hoping it’s doing well. It’s been selling pretty steadily on the road and we hope people are digging it.
Anything you would like to add?
Auf Wiedersehen und Frohe Ostern!