Interview: Popgun Warfare

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Popgun Warfare are a Kildare/Dublin based band formed in late 2014. They headed straight to work and released their debut EP ‘Out Of The Woods’ for free on Soundcloud in December 2014. They’re playing The Hot Box Social at The Mercantile on May 7th along with Pineto Cats, Solid Gold Rocketship, The Gentlemen Callers, and The River Fane. They took some time out of their busy gigging schedule to answer some questions for us:

Tell us the story of how you formed and where the name came from. 

Adam: Myself, Aaron and Marty had been sporadically jamming early in 2014, experimenting with different styles/genres and around August we were joined by Niall and later Shona and we really started nailing down our current sound. We were originally going to call ourselves Little Houdini but we ended up settling on Popgun Warfare. I actually got the name from a Doomtree song called Pop Gun War.

What do you guys do in your down time when you’re not rehearsing?

Adam: My downtime usually consists of the usual things, going to the gym, writing new music, procrastinating on the internet, etc. I like to try get out to gigs in Dublin though and catch some new music.

Marty: My down time I tend to spend lately working on my bass playing, trying to improve my technique (all the boring stuff) or reading. Usually books or comics. Binge watching stuff on Netflix. Writing (probably not as often as I should).

Niall: If I’m not in work or rehearsing, I’m either eating, exercising or wasting my life on the internet. Actually I’m usually eating during work and rehearsals too.

Shona:  When I’m not working, studying or doing band stuff, I usually spend my time writing new tunes, listening to music and trying to get out to as many gigs as I can.

Aaron: I usually like to play some online games to relax when I have time off, other than that I usually write some new songs and upload some of my guitar noodling to Soundcloud.

What was the Amps&Lamps session like? How did that whole thing come about?

Adam: I’m actually friends with Bryan from the Media Fortress so when he told me about the Lamps&Amps videos I pretty much signed up straight away. It was really relaxed but professional. We were super happy with how it turned out as well and the guys are great to work with.

What are your top five musical influences?.

Adam: There’s definitely some Incubus and Red Hot Chili Peppers in there for me. Fleetwood Mac, Death Cab For Cutie and John Butler Trio have also been influencing me a lot lately too.

Marty: I dunno who really comes out as a conscious influence on my playing but i take a lot of inspiration from bands like Rush, Red Hot Chili Peppers, early Incubus, underground hip-hop stuff like Aesop Rock and heavier stuff like Mastodon.

Shona: Fleetwood Mac (Stevie Nicks is everything), No Doubt, The Beatles, The Police, Jefferson Airplane, The Mamas and Papas.

Aaron: A Perfect Circle, Antoine Dufour, Tesseract, City And Color, Guthrie Govan.

If you could support any band that exists or has ever existed who would it be?

Aaron: That’s a tough one, I’d go with the Foo Fighters, just because Dave Grohl is a badass and I think they’d be fun to hang out with backstage.

Niall: Muuuuuuuuse!!

Adam: I’d love to support Blink-182, just cos I’m a pretty huge fan.  Though Dave Grohl does seem like the soundest dude on the planet…

Shona: I’d kill to support Fleetwood Mac, but I’d probably die of excitement.

Marty: For this band for some reason I have this idea we’d be perfect to support someone like Fall Out Boy. There’s tons of bands I’d love to support that we probably wouldn’t fit well with. I’d probably be way too intimidated personally to play with the bands I admire.

Is there a particular song or band that made you realise that music is something you wanted to pursue?

Adam: I don’t think it was a particular band or song, but when I first started learning to play music, I kinda realised it was something I wanted to do as more than just a hobby.

Marty: For me it wasn’t anything in particular I can pinpoint that specifically inspired me to become a musician but the idea and that amazing feeling you get when you’re playing together and everybody is in the moment and grooving like really, truly enjoying the music – that’s the thing that inspires me to play.

Shona: I knew from a really young age, music was always a big thing in my family and as soon as they realised I could sing I was thrown into every choir and class they could find!

Aaron: There’s a lot really. But one song in particular solidified for me that music is what means the most to me and gives me the most fulfillment. It’s called ‘Hope For Now’ by City and Color. The lyrics really speak to me on every level.

Niall: Muuuuuuuse!

What is the best gig you have been to?

Adam: I saw Andrew W.K. in the Academy a couple of years back, that was an incredibly fun gig to be at.

Marty: Probably Limp Bizkit at Graspop because the entire crowd was so sceptical before they came on stage but once they started everyone loved it. The whole place went mental. The crowd, of their volition, did that thing Slipknot do during their song Spit It Out where they get everyone to get down and then jump up at the right moment during Break Stuff, it was just fun.

Shona: Probably Regina Spector, but to be honest I’m pretty much living for Fleetwood Mac.

Aaron: I’d have to say it’s probably when I went to see Metallica in Marlay Park here in Ireland. Mastodon, Avenged Sevenfold and Alice in Chains supported them, it was amazing.

Niall: Muuuuse!!

Few quick fire questions: Favourite ice-cream flavour? Pizza or Chinese Food? Favourite Pokemon? Jellys or chocolates?

Marty: Ben and Jerry’s Cookie Dough, Chinese food, definitely Raichu and jellies, for sure jellies.

Adam: My answers are exactly the same as Marty’s actually….

Shona: Anything Ben & Jerrys, pizza, Oddish, chocolates.

Aaron: Ben and Jerry’s Cookie Dough, Domino’s just blows my mind so it’s gonna be Pizza by just a fraction, I’m a first 150 guy. And out’ve those it’s gotta be Charmander. He’s the Pikachu to my Ash Ketchum. Jellies, definitely. Haribo Gold-Bears all the way.

Niall:  I’m gonna go with neapolitan. Which one is nearer? I turn on my Charmander her pants come right off. Jellies to chocolate is an easier transition than chocolate to jellies.

So, what’s in the future for Popgun Warfare?

Adam: At the moment we’re trying to get our music to as many new people as possible and write some really tasty music, we’ll probably be hitting the studio to record some new stuff at the end of the summer. In the meantime we’ve got some cool stuff lined up which you’ll be seeing in the next month or two.

Shona: Gig and write as much as possible and play a couple of festivals over summer, hopefully bring out an album eventually.

Many of us start off as Outcasts; any advice to young people who are still trying to find their place in the world?

Adam: You never really find your place in the world overnight, so you might as well enjoy discovering what you want to do with life.

Marty: My advice would be; don’t pretend you’re someone you’re not to fit in with the ‘cool kids’ the people who like you -who love you – for you, will find you eventually.

Shona: Don’t change or pretend to be something you’re not, the people who are ‘outcasts’ in their teens usually become super cool in their twenties 😉

Niall: Pick any alternative outlook on life and there’s an internet forum out there somewhere that agrees with you.

Aaron: Great question. Well, from personal experience I spent most of my youth as an outcast as did my closest friends. We were the nerds. The best advice I can give is to build yourself up and stay true to what you love. Chances are that in your pursuits you’ll meet other outcasts and make friends, the best kind of friends. Then, you’re not really an outcast anymore right? If you have a group of great friends who are all outcasts, you’re safe and at home with each other. All in all, just be honest with yourself and ride life out. Sometimes you have to get lost before you can be found.

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