Call & Response: OPOPO
Electro punk band OPOPO are not your average local indie group. They are equal parts electronic production team and live band. This interesting approach to indie rock has helped them take things to the next level. They've had an amazing year so: getting signed to Toronto-based label URBNET, releasing their debut EP, and even playing overseas.
In addition to their main Myspace page (which also currently serves as their official website), the guys also have a remix page called OPOPO R M X which features work they've done with other people's songs. And proving they aren't playing by the rules, they also have a third page up for their minimal electronic productions called OPOPO MNML.
OPOPO play The Boat this Friday. You should go. Want to know why they're called OPOPO? Want to know what it's like partying in Denmark? What about their favourite thing to order at Sneaky Dee's?
Keep reading for the complete interview.
blogTO: Why are you called OPOPO?
OPOPO: See question 2.
How would you describe your sound using only a noun?
How did the band form?
The four of us (yes there's four now) originally played back in high school, but we split in 2002. Eventually, one by one, the members crept back in and we evolved from a docile lizard to a four headed electro thrash menace called OPOPO.
How did you hook up with Urbnet Records?
The Steamwhistle Brewery sealed the deal. They have this UNSIGNED series which has done lots for unsigned artists... like getting them signed. Everything aligned that night too- we played one of our best sets and URBNET had plenty of drinks (which may have helped our cause). We met Darryl (manager) backstage talking about club music while eating sandwiches with The Carps. We originally got the gig cause a friend named Matt Weed bought one of our hand painted hats, and he saw others wearing them at Daft Punk's Alive tour... By November 16th we were in the brewery. I had taken my robot costume off by then.
You recently played Denmark. How did that go? Any crazy stories you feel like sharing?
Yes, we played SPOT festival, and Aarhus is an amazing place. They have free bikes that you can take anywhere in the city. Also, bouncers let you bring your drinks on the road in a plastic cup...I bet they're even biodegradable. Toronto bars should take a lesson: less muscle, more hospitality. As for crazy stories? Jumping off tables into piles of sod. The security enjoyed watching, and a large group of us eventually started drumming with bottles/objects to make the DJ keep playing music. Then we went swimming.
You also produce straight-up electronic tracks and remixes. What came first...the band or the producing?
OPOPO itself was definitely based around producing first. We heard these amazing tracks in clubs and tried to match it on stage. We are still getting there, but have only explored the tip of the iceberg. The inclusion of live drums over top will add a whole new dynamic to the sound. There will be more...
Have you guys always lived in Toronto? What do you like best about it?
Some of us were born here, some of us moved here and stayed longer than the others but we're all within biking distance now. What do we like best? Sneaky Dee's. Veggie nachos.
We all know the weather this summer has been pretty shitty. Where do you guys prefer to be when it rains?
At the venue - it always rains on show day. You could fill a pool with the water our gear has absorbed.
Have you started working on your debut full-length yet? Will any EP tracks be on the full-length?
It will be entirely new material. We have lots in the vault, lots to get down. We're pushing for a solid gold pressed record too, but haven't mined enough Ore yet.
What can people expect to see/hear/feel at your show this Friday?
Red carpets, with sea flair on the walls. This should be the last show with the original 3...
Friends Explode presents: "Room Party"
Feat. OPOPO w/ DJs Hi Mom and Tom Croozbeh
Friday, August 1
158 Augusta Ave
Call & Response is a series of weekly Q&A's with artists from or playing in Toronto. Photo: David Waldman.
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