Sunday, 18 May 2014

It's My Kind of Interview - Ron Pope

Ron Pope is making his way back to Australian shores in June for a national tour that coincides with the release of his new album, Calling Off The Dogs. Ahead of his arrival, Ron stopped by for a chat about the new single, 'Lick My Wounds' and marsupials, while offering up some excellent advice for budding musicians. Enjoy! 

Interview by Matt Bond

Ron Pope! Welcome to It's My Kind of Scene and thanks for joining us. How are you on this fine day?

Ron Pope: Doing great. Thanks a lot.

You're returning to Australian shores in June to tour your soon to be released album, Calling Off The Dogs (out June 6) and this time you're bringing your full band along with you. What will the Ron Pope live experience be like for your Aussie fans this time around?

Ron: My last tour in Australia was more like a “preview” with just me and my guitar. This will be the full live experience that other fans around the world have been getting from me for years. I’m excited to get on stage with the band and deliver that energy! Expect to walk out of the show with your clothes drenched in sweat and with your voice hoarse; that’s my goal.

We've had a taste of Calling Off The Dogs in the form of the incredibly catchy single 'Lick My Wounds'. What's the story behind the song?

Ron: “Calling Off The Dogs” is a concept album that follows two people from the first moment they meet each other on through falling in love and then falling out of love. 'Lick My Wounds' is about that first moment when two people see each other; that moment when the possibilities of what might happen between them are absolutely limitless. I’d never written a song about that experience and it’s such an exciting, powerful moment. To me, that song is really about hope.

And how does 'Lick My Wounds' fit into the rest of Calling Off The Dogs? Does the sound give us a good idea about where you'll be going musically with it?

Ron: For “Calling Off The Dogs” I’m painting with a pretty varied palette. You’ll find great big orchestral arrangements, choirs, huge electric guitars, drums, bass, wild synths, soundscapes that take you to the moon and back, and all sorts of other exciting twists and turns blended together to make something distinctive. All the things I love are in there.

I have a confession to make. The first time I heard your music was while watching The Vampire Diaries. I have a thing for teen angst and vampires. Let's not make a big deal out of it. You've also been featured on other shows like 90210. Is it pretty cool having your music show up in these formats? Do you find yourself with thousands of new fans whenever it happens?

Ron: It’s always quite flattering when someone takes a song you created with one thing in mind and then uses it for something else entirely. When I see videos of people doing wild choreographed dances to my songs, or when the tunes are placed on television, I’m honored. It’s exciting to see people incorporate my work into their own art. In terms of where my fans come from, I don’t know how many of them come from hearing me on television. That’s a good question that I don’t know the answer to!

What is your favourite and least favourite thing about Australia? Go on, be as brutally honest as you like. We can handle the truth.

Ron: My least favorite thing about Australia is easy to pick; it’s so incredibly far from the US! That flight from LA is a killer. I love so many things about Australia, it’s hard to pick just one. I really love the plethora of marsupials y’all have down there. The marsupial situation in the States is pretty dismal. Your marsupial game is really on point; as a marsupial fan, you can’t help but have love for Australia. Also, the Thai food? Are you kidding me? And the waves; I really love to surf (I’m absolutely terrible at it, but I love it).

What do you think the most important lesson is for an aspiring artist to learn? And what's the best piece of career advice you've ever been given?

Ron: If you’re meant to be a musician, you won’t give up. People will tell you to be reasonable, to have a backup plan, to take a job with good benefits and make music at night in your free time. People who don’t absolutely need to make music for their mental well-being will give up and walk an easier road and that’s totally fine. Making a career out of music is incredibly challenging; if you’re meant to do it, you won’t ever back down.

The best piece of advice anyone’s ever given me? “Remember that they can’t stop a hit record.” I came to believe in that adage and it’s served me well over the years and has always buoyed my hustle.

When they air the Ron Pope 'Behind The Music' special in thirty eight years time, what are they going to say about you?

Ron: I don’t even know what people would say about me today, and honestly I don’t really care. I just do my thing and hope for the best; you can’t control what other people say about you.

After the Australian tour, where will you be jetting off to? And you've been known to be quick at heading back to the studio after an album's been released. Are you already looking ahead to what comes next?

Ron: I’ll be headed to Europe for the rest of the summer after Australia. I love “Calling Off The Dogs” and want to give it time to reach as many people as it can, so I’ll be promoting this record for the foreseeable future.

I'll leave you with one of my favourite YouTube comments on the 'Lick My Wounds' clip. This one is from Romango Sorbet - "Idk I love this song and Ron Pope no matter what he sings. He could rap Nicki Minaj for all I care and still be incredible." That sounds like a challenge to me. What say you?

Ron: I’ve released two Kanye covers, so this is not totally unprecedented! You never know what I might do next.

Massive thanks to Ron Pope for stopping by for a chat! The new album, Calling Off The Dogs is set for a June 6 release, but you can stay up to date by checking out Pope's official website and Facebook. For local fans, June 6 is also the first date of Ron's Australian tour. Tour dates are below! 

Ron Pope Australian Tour 2014

Fri 6 Jun Brisbane | Princess Theatre (All ages) | 132 849
Sat 7 Jun Sydney | Factory Theatre (All ages) | 02 9550 3666
Sun 8 Jun Melbourne | Workers Club (afternoon) (Under 18 show) | 1300 762 545
Sun 8 Jun Melbourne | Workers Club (evening)    (18+) | 1300 762 545
Fri 13 Jun Perth | Astor Lounge (Solo acoustic) (All ages) | 08 9370 5889

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