Friday Night with TPOBPAH

After their performance at Laneway Festival in Australia and a bit of tour around Asia, last Friday (03/02) this New York based band had the chance to pay visit to Jakarta after a long waited from their indiepop-rock listener. Thanks to Chambers online and Revision as the promoter, SP had the chance to spoke with the happy-go-lucky-talkative Kip Berman about their touring to their thoughts about the indie scene nowadays.

With positive critique for both of their self-titled and Belong album, you can expect light and very much revered, accompanied by simple chords and drumbeats alongside the occasional teasing fuzzy guitar riff from the band, which in other words their upbeat tunes are easy to digest for everyone. Here’s our interview with Kip:

Hi Kip, you looked tired, many interviews and sound checking, huh?
No no, I’m not tired, see I still can do this (jumped excitedly)

Hahaha ok ok.. We believed you! Where are the others then? Are they tired?
Ha-ha sorry for the jumping I’m just so exciting! They’re so tired…No, they were just finished up with the sound check and had to pack up their instruments, so White Shoes could also do their sound check, so we split up! I did this, which is more fun then packing up instruments.

It’s true then you guys did sound check also yesterday until 3am?
We don’t really do that, this is funny.. the thing is the stuff that they have here wasn’t really working, so they have to get more stuff and they got caught in the traffic so we have to waiting around but once the stuff was here its totally fine. But you know we haven’t slept well the night before cause we just arrived from Manila early in the morning, and we just sat there for hours and didn’t really know what to do except tweet about it. Eventually they order some pizzas and it’s great, and so everything went fine we have pizzas and sounds.

So which country in Asia you like the most?
Well it’s obviously Indonesia, that’s actually not a joke. To be fair there’re a lot of cool countries in Asia but I’ve been looking forward to come to Indonesia the most, simply because we receive so many people writing to my facebook page, and asking when we’ll you gonna come, its like a genuine appreciation of the style of music that we’ve play, and every time I tweeted something it always picked up by bunch of people which mostly from Indonesia, so we think this place must be really cool, so we really looking forward to coming here and it took a long time to get here, that’s also why we spent a long time make sure the sound’s good, its like important for us that the show is good tonight.

Or are you trauma because of what had happened at Laneway Festival?
Oh that’s the other thing too, its like everyone in this region like not just in Indonesia, but also people from Philippine, Thailand, Malaysia went to Singapore, and was the PS or something was broke on our two songs to our sets, and have to turn all off and turn it on again. It’s really awkward we just standing there on the stage, its kinda hard to explain to people that it’s not your fault, people was just thinking why aren’t you playing? Well the promoter ask us to stop, so I really hope this show goes well, so people doesn’t have to think of those kinda thought as well.

Yeah, actually I was there to and yeah its kinda weird
its weird! I can tell that lots of people so excited about the show and I was excited and you really wanna be good and its like… yeah its all weird, but the other band was really good, so maybe someday we’ll be good too..

Today you mean?
Ah ya today! today.. (laugh)

How do you see the Indie scene nowadays?
Its so diverse! Even in New York there’re so many kinds of bands its like big bands like MGMT, The Strokes, and probably you gonna think its that what New York’ sound? And another band like Vivian Girls, Crystal Stilts, Frankie Ros, you know typical band which very verb out kinda 90s feel a bit, which I really loved about it, and there’re also bands with low-fie guitar band called Capture Track, which like four blocks away from my house, this guy put lots of record that kinda melancholic, sort of post-punk, indie music which is really cool, I like the esthetic of the label.. yeah I cant really tell you how’s the New York sounds is, well obviously the famous one is like JayZ and Beyonce, when they have a song its like everyone knows about it. But in my little world, there’re 30-40 bands that I’m interest in, that very different and I respect, that may sound nothing like the music that we made.. Well that not really very good answer, I’m sorry about that.

Most of your songs reminds me of teenage drama or 90s movies, is there any shows you want to be a part of it, like as soundtrack or playing as guess star?
Hmm. I think about Empire Records, do you know about it? Well, its not a really good movie though, you know sometimes the soundtrack of this movie is better than the movie itself. One of my favorite 90s movie was movie called Clueless, with Melissa Silverstone and its was sort remake of Jane Austen’s’ novel, its like contemporary California and there’s a lot of cool bands on the soundtrack, one was velocity girl, which the guys from velocity girl had produced our first record.. I think Clueless was pretty cool to be a part of. Yeah I think it would be fun to have any song in any movie, even if it was weird movie, or horror movies, that would be crazy, I wouldn’t be able to watch it cause I don’t really like horror movies.

I read your fb wall, and there’s amount of people protesting about your decision to cancel tour to Israel, and how they’re quite disappointed because you mixed music with politics, which obviously not all of your fans agreed of with your decision. What’s that all about?
Oh that one, I already delete all of it from the wall (laugh) Well we’re not such a political band and it wasn’t something that we really engaged in. I mean there’s a lot of people who understand about it far better than we do.. But whatever the right things is, its always hard to figure it out and we just didn’t wanna do something bad I guess. There’s some band out there might think it’s kinda bad, like punish people in certain country which have nothing to do with the policy, they might say we’re self-righteous or something, well its seems like a sketchy thing and we just don’t wanna be part of something, you know could like really wanna hurt people and so we playing in Kuala Lumpur instead, its like an easy solution.. Its like hmm KL seems like a nice place.. (laugh)

In your interview with Pitchfork, they’ve asked about how you end up working with Alan Moulder and Flood and then I read that Alan had interest with mixing then Flood, and you also said that it was like a fantasy world, because your band’s level doesn’t get those kind of experiences ever. Can you describe in which level are your band in?
Well, I like the level that we’re in, because it allows us to travel. Its like super underground floor when you making music that’s you can have really good time and the chance to come and travel..It’s like we have far long time we can come to Indonesia, we’re not like Morrissey, you know when Morrissey comes to Indonesia maybe he just play for like 45minutes but its going to be super awesome and I hope you guys be able to watch it also.. But we just kinda happy being on the level where we can continually making music and making record, you know you have to some level of success just to be able to continue doing it and its sort of the goal that we want to to be, consist in making music. If there’s any ambition from us is just simply to keep on being a band, and keep on making records, making show, hopefully we have the chance to come back here someday, you know its kinda sad if we think is this gonna be the only time we get to play in asia and I hope its not. Yeah that’s the kind of level, which I don’t even really know actually where we’re in, but im glad we’re on the level where we are now.

Yeah so you have to make a good impression tonight then!
yeah I hope so, that’s why we do lots of sound checks (laugh)

Watch message from Kip to our reader :)

Not long after our interview session, we met the band again at @america where they had a meet & greet session with their fans, which we think its was great to have such session where people can talk and chat normally with the band. So we managed to get Alex, Kurt, Kip and Peggy to answer our 10-second questions that are represent things SP concerned about, like food, travel, and even politics!

With Peggy & Kip

With Alex & Kurt

More photos from the event here