Thursday, 30 January 2014

Smallpools Interview - chicken, cilantro and goo! (Oh, and some music...)

Article by karla@thesoundofconfusion.com


Newly signed to Sony's sister label, RCA Records, I wasn't entirely sure what to expect when we were invited down to Sony Music Kensington headquarters in November of last year to have a chat with Los Angeles-based indie-rock four-piece, Smallpools. Armed with an unreasonable amount of chocolate chip cookies and free hugs, I promptly delved into what turned out to be more of an informal, friendly chat, filled with laughter and teasing than an interview with all four members of the band; Sean Scanlon (vocals), Mike Kamerman (guitar), Joe Intile (bass) and Beau Kuther (drums). Check out what we learnt about the foursome below!


TSOC: What would you call your sort of genre, is it guitar pop/indiepop or have you got another name for it?

Sean SP: Indiepop, rock, alternative... just a bunch of words!


TSOC: How long have you known each other?

Sean SP: I've known Mike since 2007 I think, and then we both moved to LA like two years ago. Then we met Joe through some mutual musical friends and then Joe brought Beau into the picture.
Mike SP: As a group we've all known each other for probably about a year and a half. We got together with the intention of starting a band so we were becoming friends as we were writing music together and stuff. Like, Beau's an amazing drummer, Joe's an amazing bass player...
Beau SP: We do what we can!
Mike SP: We kind of all got together to play this music and became friends in the process.


TSOC: Did you expect to be signed within a year of forming? What were you doing before you were signed?

Sean SP: No way! We just wanted to go out and play shows and just start, well, just start playing.


TSOC: How did you get found out? How were you discovered?

Sean SP: Well we brought some demos back to this guy *points to manager* .... I've known him since middle school and he was kinda like "Alright some of this is good, let me manage it, let me like, work the system or whatever." and we were like "SHIIIT! All we wanna do is play shows and he's telling us to hold off and be secretive?!"
Mike SP: The whole idea of the band... Well, we were working these jobs - at least Sean and I were working these jobs that we hated and Beau was working at a snowboard company which was awesome and Joe was designing shit, which he still does... But for me and Sean it was like, we just wanted to play some shows. It was like a creative outlet because working was just awful!
Sean SP: And karaoke was getting old...


TSOC: Did you ever do karaoke?!

Sean SP: Did we ever do karaoke(!)
Beau SP: We still do!
Mike SP: That was our creative outlet!
Beau SP: Where can we do it here?!


TSOC: What's your favourite song to sing on karaoke?

Mike SP: The New Radicals - 'Get What You Give'.
Beau SP: We incorporate it into our set. Mine's Limp Bizkit - 'Nookie'. I like to just change up the vibe and everyone kind of just stares at you when you play that song.


TSOC: There's been four remixes of your debut single 'Dreaming', have you got a favourite?

Mike SP: I like them all for different reasons I guess.
Sean SP: I think the most crazy whirlwind awesome one, I don't know if that makes any sense but... the one with a lot of energy was done by our friends Zookeper and its really intense and quite a ride. I think the other one I'd go to is the Magic Man one. It's quite ambient.


TSOC: I like the Charli XCX one.

Mike SP: Yeah that one was interesting: I actually really like the Chainsmokers one too. That one really exposed us to a new audience as well. They have a really good following. They do some really great remixes and we became friends with them.
Sean SP: We just dropped a Mason Jar remix yesterday. It's really good actually. We were very surprised by how awesome it was.


TSOC: You guys played Madame JoJos in London last night, how was that?

Sean SP: We didn't realise that a lot of our equipment isn't compatible. We've got adapters but they kept blowing out. The wattages are different. So it was definitely an interesting show last night. But Itwas fun. A lot of our instruments blew up!


TSOC: Have you got USA tour dates to finish up the year with when you get back to Los Angeles?

Mike SP: We just finished up about a month long tour. We did a little bit with Two Door Cinema Club. We toured with them in the US, they were really good and this band called Walk The Moon. We're gonna go home and do two weeks with this band called Twenty One Pilots. I don't know if they're really out here yet but they're doing really well in the US and then we're gonna work on our album.


TSOC: Imagine I was going to go to LA for the first time. Where would you recommend I go?

Sean SP: I would take you to the beach, that's where I would go.
Mike SP: But the beach isn't really that sunny until after one...
Sean SP: Right so you gotta go after one...
Mike SP: So we'd go to the pool first...


TSOC: OK, would we have cocktails?

Sean SP: Yeahhh... yeah!
Mike SP: We'd go to the Roosevelt pool, have some cocktails there, it's right by where Sean and I live. We actually threw a party there once. Things got kinda crazy... And then we would take an uber to the beach cos drinking and driving is bad
.

TSOC: What's an uber?! I've never heard that word before!

Sean SP: It's a taxi service.
Mike SP: Uber is an app on your phone where you put in your credit card and there's no tipping or anything, you watch the car come get you.
Joe SP: We don't work for Uber...
Mike SP: ...But we like them a lot!
Beau SP: We got a driver a ticket in New York the other day... he wasn't too happy with us!
Mike SP: Did you call them back?
Beau SP: No!
Mike SP: Yeah you should probably do that...
Beau SP: They never called me back...
Mike SP: Oh really? Right we've gotta figure that out... So! We go to the beach...
Sean SP: We go to Bubblegums to eat... We can maybe get Mike's discount!


TSOC: What's Bubblegums?

Sean SP: It's a delicious restaurant.
Mike SP: A shrimp restaurant, it's right on the pier. Santa Monica pier. I used to work there!
Beau SP: If it was Sunday we could go to Bagatelle, an awesome daytime party and we could have drinks where my room mate works and takes very good care of us.
Mike SP: And then we'd finish the night at The Woods.


TSOC: What?! What's that? I'm scared(!)

Joe SP: It's not an actual forest...
Mike SP: It's a bar.
Joe SP: It's where the night goes dark!


TSOC: Do you have any interesting hobbies?

Joe SP: I like to cook, although that's not very interesting.

TSOC: Okay Joe I'll ask you this one personally. Imagine you are hosting a dead or alive dinner party and you can invite three people, whoever you want...

Joe SP: John Mayer...

TSOC: I haven't even finished asking the question yet! What would you cook, and who would you invite?

Joe SP: I would make... there's this pesto dish where you mash up avocado with a spicy pesto and then you put roasted vegetables on top of that. It's delicious.
Mike SP: Will you make your Granola bar?!
Joe SP: Granola bars... Home made Granola bars for dessert with coconut ice cream and maybe some Moroccon mint tea! And then do I choose three people that I'd like to invite?

TSOC: Yeah any 3 people!

Joe SP: John Mayer... don't really know who else I'm going to pick.
MikeSP: (teases Joe) John Mayyerrrr, John Mayer's Dad...

TSOC: It doesn't have to be musicians...

Mike SP: He could say some of John Mayer's hot exes!
Beau SP: I think Jennifer Aniston is coming up.
Joe SP: I wouldn't mind Jennifer Aniston being there... that could be fun. I was going to say Gandhi but he probably wouldn't eat much.

TSOC: He wouldn't drink your tea! Why wouldn't he eat much?

Beau SP: (sarcastically) Gandhi! What a dinner party.
Joe SP: He did the whole fasting thing... but I guess that wasn't for a looong time.

TSOC: Yeah I don't think he did it for his whole life.

Beau SP: (sarcastically) That sounds like a real fun party Joe!

TSOC: What about the rest of you, can you cook? Who would you invite?

Beau SP: I can cook. I' do some sort of salmon, like a smoked salmon of some sort. Classic mashed potatoes maybe some asparagus, nothing crazy.

TSOC: No Moroccon tea?!

Beau SP: No, we would drink shitty cheap beer!

TSOC: Who would you invite?

Beau SP: I'd probably invite John Bonham, Michael Jackson and...
Mike SP: A little boy?
Beau SP: ...I gotta get a babe in there, what babe would I invite?
Sean SP: Pregnant Jessica Alba?
Beau SP: Ermm, uhhh emmm... We'll go with...

TSOC: I wish I didn't ask Beau now!

Beau SP: I'd invite you! That would be my three people.

TSOC: Ah thank you, that would be amazing! Not sure that I like salmon though...

Beau SP: Ohhh...
Mike SP: She doesn't want to come to your party!

TSOC: I'll come if there's cheap beer, what beer would it be?

Beau SP: PBR.


TSOC: Here's a similar question. Imagine you're headlining a fantasy festival and you can have five artists or bands support you, past or present. Who would you pick?

Mike SP: We're headlining? We have to play after them?! Hmm. I don't really want to play this show! But I'd like to see U2, Michael Jackson would be good, Phil Collins in his prime...
Beau SP: Journey
Mike SP: Journey with Steve Perry
Sean SP: I want to see Billy Joel go in it.
Mike SP: That's five already... But we could throw Nine Inch Nails in the 'Pretty Hate Machine' era, actually 'The Downward Spiral' era, I wouldn't mind seeing that.


TSOC: Would you ever do a covers album or EP?

Mike SP: I don't think so.
Sean SP: Waste of time.

TSOC: Why do you think that?

Sean SP: Um well you don't get credit for all the songs for a start! And its more fun to create something from zero that you've done and just see it be a thing.
Mike SP: Any song that I'd wanna cover, I wouldn't be able to do as good a job with as the original. What's the term... if it ain't broke don't fix it. But Joe will probably wanna cover John Mayer songs!
Joe SP: I'll do all of 'em on my own! The bass line to John Mayer...
Beau SP: I'll do a covers album when I'm like 60.
Mike SP: They're fun to play live though. Covers are fun to play live.


TSOC: And lastly, if you could create your own burger what would you have in it?

Sean SP: Erm, there'd be chicken and cilantro.

TSOC: Would you have a beef burger in it as well?

Sean SP: Nah.

TSOC: Just chicken and cilantro?!

Sean SP: There'd be like other gooey things that make it great but those would be the two main things.
Mike SP: So... chicken cilantro and goo.
Sean SP: Chicken and cilantro goo.

TSOC: ...Okay!... Well thank you very much for talking to me today!

Sean SP: I guess only my answer then...(!)

TSOC: I don't think anyone can better that.

Mike SP: That's going to be the headline isn't it. "Smallpools Interview - chicken, cilantro and goo!"






Smallpools' website

Catch them live:

Mar 21 Buku Music + Art Project, New Orleans, LA
Mar 27 Terminal 5, New York, NY
Mar 30 9:30 Club, Washington, DC
Mar 31 9:30 Club, Washington, DC
Apr 01 9:30 Club, Washington, DC
Apr 03 The Tabernacle, Atlanta, GA
Apr 05 Stubb's, Austin, TX
Apr 06 Stubb's, Austin, TX
Apr 07 House Of Blues, Houston, TX
Apr 23 Marquee Theatre, Tempe, AZ
Apr 24 Rialto Theatre, Tucson, AZ
Apr 28 Diamond Ballroom, Oklahoma City, OK
Apr 30 KC Power & Light Distric Outdoor Stage, Kansas City, MO
May 02 MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheater, Tampa, FL





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