I have discovered the French band Stoned Popes a couple of months ago and I have really enjoyed the mood brightening effect their songs had. The band features a ukulele and their songs have a catchy rhythm and feature many instruments, borrowing from different musical styles.
I couldn’t resist asking them a few questions to find out more about their music.
U&L: When and how was your band Stoned Popes formed ? Can you tell us a little about the different members of the band, where everybody is from and what instruments everyone is playing ?
Stoned Popes: The band in its current form was formed two years ago in Paris by 6 crazy frenchies:
U&L: Where does the name of the band come from?
Stoned Popes: It’s a well-kept secret…
U&L: Your music creates a contagiously happy atmosphere and before you know it you feel like clapping along to the rhythm of your songs. Who are your musical influences ?
Stoned Popes: Thanks! We mix a lot of musical influences including British and US pop, Caribbean music such as reggae, rock, folk and all music with good rhythms and vocal orchestrations!
We try to create a happy and contagious melting-pop with all these influences. We were influenced by The Beatles of course, Cake, Beck, Calexico and innovative projects such as Gorillaz. All good bands who are not locked in any stereotype! We all listen to different music styles and we try to put that in our music.
Listen to What’s Coming After by the Stoned Popes:What's Coming After - The Stoned Popes
U&L: Where did you learn the Dum Clap?
Stoned Popes: Seb, our drummer, lived in Brazil a few years ago. He learnt typical body percussions there. He tried a combination on Loser song and we all loved it. That’s how Dum Clap was born!
Stoned Popes performing Loser Song live.
U&L: A question aimed at us ukulele fans: how did you discover the ukulele?
Stoned Popes: We were lookin’ for kind of an “island sound” in our meting-pop. What instrument is better than a ukulele to get this sound?! Plus the ukulele has a lighter sound than the guitar so it allows us to have complex orchestration while having a very soft sound.
We use it as well in Loser song. This tune has a rocksteady rythm, the ukulele helps to push the song further, far from the classical reggae sound.
U&L: You have just released an EP called Stereo On. Can you tell us a bit about it? How many tracks featuring the ukulele are there?
Stoned Popes: Our EP Stereo On is now available on all good download platforms!
There are 3 songs out of 5 featuring the ukulele: What’s comin’ after, Loser song and Money on my mind.
Listen to Loser Song by the Stoned Popes from the EP Stereo On
Loser Song - The Stoned Popes
The Stoned Popes performing their song Money on My Mind
The Stoned Popes YouTube channel
The Stoned Popes on MySpace
The Stoned Popes on Facebook