New York industrial punk band POP.1280 will return on 6th December with their new album ‘Way Station’ on Weyrd Son Records. The band have also shared new single ‘Under Duress’ adding,
‘Under Duress started out as just a drumbeat that sounded like it had a song inside of it. We layered synthesizers and samples onto it and took it into the studio. There was an upright piano there, and spontaneously we decided to play that on the intro and throughout the song and it affected the mood incredibly. The swells of analog synth and samples that bounce off each other like waves after the choruses really affect us and are very satisfying to play live.
Lyrically, this song is very open to interpretation, but it’s about losing people to death, empathy for them and for the other people who were close to them. It’s also about our inability to fully know another person’s experience and the frustration, comfort, guilt, and hopelessness that this can create. This feeling can even extend to how humans seem to look at huge issues that affect all of us. There’s hurting and empathy, but then a feeling of hopelessness and an inability to grasp the vastness of our problems. The car crash in the song was a real event, but stands as a symbol for that moment that changes everything, and we show up on the scene later to try to figure out what happened and how to move forward.’
Listen now – https://youtu.be/x4Zq9v20ZT0
The album’s genesis took them back to when they were putting the finishing touches on their third LP, Paradise (Sacred Bones, 2016). The band comment,
‘Not long after we had finished mixing the record, we got word that our drummer and close friend, Andrew Chugg, was leaving the band. While we still had him as a friend, this left us without a key partner that we had come to rely on during his two years in the band. Soldiering on we continued with the tour cycle, scrambling between fill-in drummers across the US and Europe through the end of 2016.’
Returning to New York, hungry to write new songs, the band decided to rethink their musical model, ‘We spent months taking the band apart and putting it back together using drum machines and samplers. Just as momentum seemed to picking up, we found out that our synth player of five years, Allegra Sauvage, was moving cross country never to return. People get to move on in their lives with no ill will harbored, but we were left suddenly alone on the shore of a stange island.’
Their weekly band practice nights became sampling sessions, the exploration of new and disorienting sounds that they could adapt to their new confinement. The simplicity of the duo led to an aesthetic of minimalism, and they could figure out how to perform the songs live later. Now was about expunging their systems of the creative virus.
The door began to creak open when Matthew Hord (Running, Chicago) moved to New York last year and the band discovered he knew more about analog synth hardware than anyone they”d worked with before in Pop.1280. The band adding,
‘He started jamming with us and our sparks of ideas became a spreading wildfire. Hungry to record, we went into Andrew Chugg’s studio and tracked 11 songs using a myriad of synths, guitar, sampler, drum machine, acoustic 12-string guitar, piano, scrap metal, and anything else we could find around his studio. We invited Scott Kiernan (YOU., ESP TV) to add guitar to two tracks (Hospice and Secret Rendezvous). At the end of many weekend sessions, we emerged with a strange, atmospheric record laced with electronic and industrial sounds and rhythms. Our sonic risks paid off as we let songs announce themselves to us, materializing from the fog of our experiences and thoughts, our creation capped by a mastering session with long-time collaborator, Josh Bonati. We had written some of our strongest hooks and at the same time some of our most idiosyncratic songs.’
Lyrically, POP.1280 plumbed the deepest depths of their inner selves and also allowed themselves to translate those painful and fearful themes to new extremes of purpose. Themes emerged without coaxing: the idea of transition and the image of people abandoning a cause to go set out and find their own way; the idea of personal space and the need for community; death and the aging of people around us; and both personal loss and the greater threats to people at large. The semi-certain end to the human moment on this planet was on our minds. Water rising, birds, car crashes all ended up in multiple songs without a conversation between them.
‘We can’t explain this phenomenon because we don’t know ourselves what happened. We just notice the patterns. With the tools finally at our disposal, we threw the product aside to explore the factory that created it, the origins of human nature that propel us, free of self indulgence.’
‘abrasive, atonal, and grotesquely depraved glory‘ – Consequence of Sound
Pre-order now – https://weyrdsonrecords.bandcamp.com/album/way-station