PoP Campaign are the kind of band that we love here at Electronic North. Different, DIY, interesting and not afraid to include a message with their music. Mark recently interviewed this fascinating and talented duo – have a read.
Tell us a little bit about yourselves. What’s the story behind PoP Campaign and how would you describe your sound?
PoP C was borne out of a frustration at electronic acts acting as if they were the only people in the world at their gigs. Cowering behind laptops and generally being quite wanky. You can have all the fancy toys in the world at your disposal, doesn’t make for great music or gigs necessarily.
What motivates you as a band to create music and inspires it, your aesthetic and vibe?
The world we live in and the powers that mishandle it at every level, whether that be politicians, promoters, the music ‘industry’ or just general time burglars.
Your bio is interesting – from Glasgow to London via Berlin. Do you think this wanderlust has influenced you musically? They are very different cities to say the least!
Being a citizen of somewhere and nowhere at once definitely resonates deeply within us. Identity has had a huge influence on our music over the years. Many of our titles have places in them. You’re where you’re at because of where you’ve been and what you’ve seen.
You’ve just put out a compilation featuring five years’ worth of your material – what made you choose the end of 2016 as a time to do that?
I’m not going to say 2016 was an abomination because every other hysteric has said it. Yes, some aging rockers died. That will happen.
Yes, the US and UK showed their true racist colours. Anyone who has been blind to that fact is as dangerous as those who voted out of bigotry.
However, on a personal level it was dire. So, we indulged ourselves in releasing our archives to make us feel a bit better about what we had created in the past and listening back, we were pleasantly surprised with the output. Music should be available to as many people as possible. This comp is a handy way of introducing people to our music.
You were vocal in your support for Joe Corré when he burned punk memorabilia left to him by his parents – do you view yourselves as a band with a message and is this reflected in your music?
We thought Joe’s burning was immense. The establishment run punk now. They decide what it is, what it means. The commodity fetish of our modern world is sickening to witness. In some ways, those pieces were too good for today.
Punk was about freedom, an ethos. Not some reissued collector’s edition Record Store Day release or a Vivienne Westwood studded shirt. It scared the powers that be and when that happens, they have to take control. The ethos remains, as does the music. And frankly, that’s all that really matters.
Our messages are more like mirrors to the listener of the society we have created through apathy. Take control of yourself, do what you want to do, be a decent human, question whatever you want.
Finally, what does the future have in store for PoP Campaign – gigs, releases, new ventures?
What we like about bands like The Fall and Shellac is that there is no plan. They do what they want, when they want and play gigs and release records on an ad hoc basis when it suits them. It really depends on what opens up. There are some awful events and promoters out there. For all its posturing and proclamations, the so called ‘scene’ in London is still a sexist, racist and often unaccessible place. Most events in London involve boring white men stroking their chins and getting high on their own ego. Yawn.
It’s about finding the right things to do at a time that suits us. That has meant getting out of London in the past. We’ve played shows all over the world for interesting people who are actually interested in music. If the event or time feels right, we’ll do it.