Interview: New Politics — "We were writing songs as a hobby; and eventually we had about 300 songs…"
Fri, 19 Mar 2010 08:55:48
Punk rock needs a renaissance.
It just doesn't have the same kick that it did back in the day. Arguably, the last band to really churn out some true teeth-kicking pump was Amen, with respectable fare following from the likes of Against Me! and Rise Against. However, Denmark's New Politics tears through the genre with sharp riffs and even sharper lyrics. On cuts like "Yeah Yeah Yeah" and "Brain Damage," New Politics forge raw vocal vibrancy with rock 'n' roll grooves making for refreshing real punk-y rock. Then on "Dignity," they even toss in some spacey textures for an intriguing interlude. New Politics are the genre's future…
While in the midst of working on their RCA Records debut full-length, New Politics vocalist David Boyd sat down with ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino for an exclusive interview about pushing the limits, writing meaningful songs, influential books and so much more.
Do you feel like punk lends itself to more experimentation than it would've back in the '70s or '80s?
I wasn't around that time, so I can't really say [Laughs]. We're all influenced by the bands before us in some funny way. There's more to pick and choose from these days though. Perhaps, there's more inspiration in terms of genres.
What did you grow up listening to?
Søren [H, Guitar] and myself write and produce everything. He listened to more grunge than I did, and he was a little more into rock than I was. He listens to a lot of Billy Idol, Nirvana, Metallica and all of those rock bands. I listened to that as well, but I used to dance a lot—I still do—and due to my dancing, I listen to a lot of break beat, Latin music and a lot of hip hop. Then of course, I listen to old school funk and rock like Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and stuff like that.
That diversity comes through in your sound. Any song can go in any direction.
We're totally stoked about the response we've gotten. It's so crazy! We just formed the band a year ago, and we did all of these songs within this past year. Søren and I met about four years ago, and we would just meet up and write songs for the hell of it. We had dreams of doing music and hopefully living off of it—the same dreams that all artists have. We'd actually given up because we'd go through so many failures. We were writing songs as a hobby; and eventually we had about 300 songs. I realized that we began to create a style that mixed both of our respective sounds very well. I was like, "Fuck it, we have a band without even knowing it!" We got a drummer, and that was it. It all happened in a year. People just fucking tripped about it.
Did you start playing shows soon after?
We entered this competition, basically to get some feedback, but we ended up winning the competition and everything totally went out of our hands! It's funny the minute we didn't believe in it anymore, it rocketed off. Now we're living in a Brooklyn.
What's the story behind "Dignity?"
We wrote it one evening in like 20 minutes [Laughs]. It's a meaningful song. Some of our songs have that push-and-pull—it's an ironic look at things. That's what I like to call it.
Where do lyrics usually come from?
I have to admit they arise through lyrics, documentaries, listening to instances in other people's lives and my own life. We don't get lyrics from listening to other artists really. We listen to all of the great icons of our time and, of course, we're inspired. However, I don't think the lyrical side of the music is that inspired by that. It's more through reading and everyday life. It's stuff we experience—our frustrations. It's experiencing what we see and feel in today's time.
Were any books particularly influential?
I change all the time! I just read whenever I can. I recently finished a really cool book by Michael Rupert called Collapse. It was incredible—pretty scary, heavy for the mind, but somehow true in some funny way. I read a book by Jim Mars called Ruled By Secrecy before that. It was a little political. Books can really become your own. It is really like a movie. If I watch movies, it's the same. We interpret them in our own ways, and that holds true for pretty much everything. Whenever we have a free evening, we go to the movies.
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