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Around The Guitar Pop Globe
Music From Ireland, Malaysia, Canada, New Zealand & The U.S.A.
Great guitar pop is happening all around the globe these days.
Some of these talented musicians have been producing hooky, high-energy music since the ‘90s, while others only recently debuted on the world stage. But they are all part of an international rock and roll Renaissance bubbling up from the underground.
These artists may come from different parts of the world, different generations, and different backgrounds, but they share a common passion for the music we love that goes by a thousand different names—power pop, indie rock, jangle, alternative, etc.
I asked members of five bands from around the globe the same five questions about their music, influences, and local guitar pop scene.
There’s a song and quote from each of them below, along with a link to their FULL INTERVIEWS (and even more great music).
It’s impossible to cover the entire guitar pop globe with only five bands, but hopefully this will help you discover some new pop rock music from around the world—including the many other local bands these artists recommend.
Maybe I’ll turn this into a series. For now, join the conversation in the comments.
There are a lot of great bands playing guitar pop around the world these days—but there are many different terms for it. How do you describe your own music?
Oisín Walsh: I like to say ‘rock and roll’ because it's more of an ethos than a genre, and generally people know what you’re getting at with that label. We would describe a certain single as having a genre of sorts but we wouldn’t necessarily attach that same label to our band as a whole. We like to keep things very open in that regard.
We try to avoid describing ourselves too much because we never seem to get it right anyway! I would say our last three singles are very power pop influenced but others tend to label us as more garage/psych rock.
How do you feel about genre labels in general?
Aidil Rusli: I'm all for them, even if nowadays things tend to blur together way more than they have in the past! It's not so great if you think of them as boundaries to stay in, but they can be infinitely more useful if you think of them as a kind compass to be used so that you won't get lost (or lose yourself) whenever you're out exploring music.
Who are some of your biggest influences?
Vic Wayne: I grew up a lover of all-things-mod (the ‘60s and beyond) but also have an affection for ‘70s rock and ‘80s new wave. Tops for me: The Jam, The Who, The Beatles (d-uh?!), The Kinks, Big Star, but also the original Alice Cooper Group, Led Zeppelin, ‘70s Aerosmith, Echo & The Bunnymen, Simple Minds, Julian Cope, Stone Temple Pilots, Oasis, Sloan, The Odds, The Soundtrack Of Our Lives, The Grapes Of Wrath, The Pursuit of Happiness. (The last three I have personal relationships with but, even if not, I’d love their stuff.) A couple lesser-knowns I love: The Rosenbergs and The Lucy Show (check ‘em, folks!).
Best Bets—New Zealand
What's the local music scene like where your band is based?
James Harding: We live in Ōtautahi Christchurch in the South Island of Aotearoa New Zealand and there's a great scene here. It’s super tight and everyone seems to play in each other's bands. Our label Melted Ice Cream is a good place to start for anyone interested in what’s going on down here. Some great local bands off the top of my head are Wurld Series, Hög, Violet French and the Horrible, The Tacks, Ben Woods Group, Imperial April and Nervous Jerk.
Anyone who likes our band should check out the Transistors, which features me and Best Bets drummer/singer Olly, and Salad Boys, an amazing jangle pop band which is one of our bass player Joe's many projects. Everyone in Best Bets has played in Salad Boys at one time or another, to my earlier point!
What's happening for your band right now? What's next?
Andy: We are putting out the next single off our upcoming album, Eternal Friday, on May 9. The song is called “Out of Step.” After that, we will have a video for our own glam rave-up song sometime in July, and we will be touring the Southwest in late August. Everything is working in our favor!
Candy: And the gradual descent into madness! And maybe a commercial placement! That would be cool.
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