Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Ron Pope in Toronto

Hey everyone!

Last week, I stopped by the Horseshoe Tavern for a quick interview with Ron Pope, who was playing in Toronto for the first time. His other Canadian stops included Ottawa and Montreal and he was looking forward to coming up north, since he has only been up here before as a kid on vacation.

If you're not familiar with Ron Pope, you should definitely look him up on YouTube or something and listen to his songs....his voice is great. Here is his most recent video, just posted up a couple days ago: "In My Bones"

Tell me a bit about your latest album, "Atlanta" - what went into the making of it?

"Atlanta" is something very different for me. I decided I wanted to put aside any of the “you shouldn’t do this” and just wanted to create a palette of all the stuff that I liked and put it all together. It’s different than anything I’ve ever put in a record. There are rootsy elements, there are banjos and fiddles, but there’s also crazy guitar stuff and big harmonies; all the stuff I love. And luckily we put these things all together and it didn’t suck - it could have. I had never heard anyone do it before, so I didn’t know if it would work. I felt I restricted myself in the past.

And at the end of the day, if I’m satisfied with it, then I will consider it a victory. I feel like it’s the best thing I’ve ever done and I think as an artist, you have to be excited about that. When your new work feels like your best work, then you’ve got to be doing something right. 

Where are you originally from?

I'm originally from Georgia, like country Georgia. But I’ve lived in New York for 11 years. 

Has New York influenced you as a musician?

Absolutely. No one listens to me in New York. I was able to just create and do exactly what I wanted in New York. No one was paying attention because there isn’t a scene over there for what I do. It’s funny because some people get discovered in New York, but for me, it was good to not be discovered. I played music in the subway to make a living for a long time, so that’s something I couldn’t have done anywhere else but New York City.
So that was a blessing.

For his latest music video, for "Atlanta," Ron worked with his filmmaker brother, John Pope and had a great time shooting throughout New York, from an apartment in Tribeca to Coney Island. Check out the video here:

His other project is the band called The District, which he said is similar to The Band (his homework assignment for me was to listen to The Band's music, which I did!). So with multiple music projects, he's definitely busy.

Mostly I do this, I’m a solo artist and I spend my time on the road with my band that backs me. And we go all over; we’re supporting my new album Atlanta that just came out about a month ago. We did two weeks in America, then 2 weeks in Europe, and now 5 more weeks in North America. After that I’m going back and going to do another record with the District and then I’m taking August off, because I never take any time off. Completely off. I don’t know what I’m going to do, I’m kind of freaking out. I’m going to lay down a little and rest and nap. And then I’m going back on the road in September. It’s going to be a busy year.

From your first album to your most recent, has your sound evolved over the years?

Oh absolutely. My first album was an album with The District back in 2004. First of all, your first album, regardless of how good you are when you make it or how old you are when you make it, isn’t going to be as good as the ones that come after it. Unless, well some people are very lucky I guess. Not everyone. But for me, that was the case. I learned a lot from all the records I made, I’m proud of all of them, and I’m glad people enjoy them, but I’d say the difference now is that we know a lot more about production and we know a lot more about what we want out of the music.

We’ve made a lot of records and I’ve been in the studio a lot since then, so I’d say that’s the biggest difference: I know what I want to do now. But anyways, I love the new record. 

Unfortunately I wasn't able to stay after the interview to catch the show, but I'm sure he rocked the stage! I shall leave you with one of my favourite Ron Pope songs, which has been featured in various TV shows and movies, "A Drop in the Ocean"

This is just a fan-made video, but it's gotten around 20 million views - crazy!

Anyways, for more from Ron Pope, visit his website and follow him on Twitter: @RonPopeMusic

- Christina
Follow my adventures on Twitter: @christinaaa28

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