November 22, 2017 Interview – New Politics Discuss Lost In Translation
No path is ever straight. In fact, there is a high probability there will be plenty of detours along the way of any journey. This is especially the case of music where styles, influences, and inspirations can flip in a moments time. Wearing their influences on their sleeve proudly, New York based Alternative Rock trio New Politics have had a wild ride over the past few years. Breaking big with their smash hit “Harlem” in 2013, they followed up with more success in 2015 with the single “Everywhere I Go (Kings & Queens),” but is it really all about singles? New Politics thinks not, and they would be right, it is about writing music that is true to who they are. Doing just that, the three friends reconveyed after a short break to put together their most mature album to date, Lost In Translation. Released on October 6, 2017, the album is still picking up traction, but once it does, it will be the envy of many. Recently we caught up with the fun-loving New Politics to talk the last few years of success, the work behind Lost In Translation, the growth of the band, plus much more.
CrypticRock.com – Last we spoke, in 2015, New Politics had just released Vikings and were prepared for more heavy touring in support of the album. What have the past 2 years since Vikings been like for the band?
Søren Hansen – I guess since we tour so much, we did three years nonstop. Vikings, we had the song “Everywhere I Go (Kings & Queens),” which was a pretty big Spotify hit. We did a bunch of shows, college shows, and festivals. Then we took a little bit of time to work on this and re-discover ourselves. We wrote most of Vikings back in a bus on the Monumentour. This album, we wanted to dive into more personal matters and try and write an album where we focused a lot on the lyrical content. When we wrote Vikings, it was a time where we were just living off the high of all the touring. With Lost in Translation, we were ready to try something new. The last few years was tons of shows and festivals, then working on the new album.
CrypticRock.com – It seems the band has been very busy in all areas. New Politics has been spreading their wings for some time and really do not hold to one specific style. With Vikings, you had said the band sort of married where you started with the newer style. Is the band’s stylistic approach ever changing?
Søren Hansen – Yes! We love music.
Louis Vecchio – Totally. I think we are always developing our sound and we forever will be. For me, once you stop doing that as an artist, you probably get pretty bored, right?
Søren Hansen – Also, we love music and that is probably our biggest problem. We will write 5 songs that sound similar and 5 songs that are in a different direction. I also think that is sort of common and it is how we find out what feels right. There is something fun about that.
Louis Vecchio – Yes, it is growth, to reinvent yourself over and over again. I think it makes things more interesting, especially live in the studio. One time Søren is going to have green and he is going to reinvent himself (laughs).
CrypticRock.com – It certainly keeps things interesting for listeners as well. The lead single off Lost in Translation, “One Of Us,” is quite an uplifting song. It is also accompanied by a visually fun music video. What was the inspiration behind “One Of Us?”
David Boyd – They kind of go hand in hand in their own way.
Søren Hansen – The inspiration for the song, especially after taking this little bit of a break, it was really about our friendship and how we wanted to do this. There are a lot of changes which have happened – we have lived together, toured together, in the studio together, nonstop 24 hours a day. At some point, no matter how close you are, you need a little bit of a break. I think maybe this break was a lot about that. The song was written because there is nothing else we would want to do but write songs together and tour. It is really just about our friendship. The vocals are from the night we recorded the song, because there is a lot of emotions in it. And the video…
David Boyd – I think it is just paying homage to a lot of modern and older bands that we like, much like we do with our music. What I really like, what I really find fascinating with us as a band, is we are so blessed to be able to do this and make a living off it – we are not walking around with gold chains or have Ferraris and stuff. That alone says a lot, we breath, we dream, we listen to other people’s music. Music is everything we do. We are learning about music from bands we already know. We are learning new sides to bands. There is all this great music coming out – whether it is Hip Hop or whatever genre, there is so much great stuff out there, and we get to be in bed with it everyday. You can’t help but experiment, try out things, develop, and want to grow. The inspiration is always there. What I really like with this album is there is not that much thinking, it is just writing songs, and it is fun!
We wrote around 80 songs or something. Even though a lot of them are incomplete ideas, there is a ton of potential here and there. It really explains a lot about us having fun, and I think these songs reflect that. There is a certain simplicity to it now. I think the video for “One of Us” is like that. It is not like we overthought it, we just thought, “Let’s go with it.” If this is something that works, let’s go with it! The video has a bit of a Queens homage and Kendrick Lamar. We get to experience everything and we try to incorporate that into music and put our own vibe to what is going on.
CrypticRock.com – Listening to the track, you could say there is influence from Queen and The Beatles. That being said, for those who have yet to pick up Lost In Translation yet, is “One Of Us” a good sample of what they can expect?
Søren Hansen – I think so. There is a little bit of everything. I think the majority of songs definitely have this grand feel to them. It is weird because I don’t think we ever saw it like that, but it is cool to people we would mention all these bands it reminds them of. You get to a point in your writing where you first try and write a bunch of singles, they suck (laughs). You realize nobody is going to want to listen to that, not even us. Then, at some point, you do something because you just want to do it. I think that was the key for this album, we just wrote these songs because we wanted to do it. It just happened and we loved it. I definitely think a lot of the songs came naturally.
David Boyd – We tried to keep that consistency once we decided to go with “One Of Us” as a single. We have a lot of songs lying around and we narrowed it down to a consistency for that. I think it is really interesting because I think the last time we did that was on A Bad Girl In Harlem (2013). I think we have a little bit of trouble with that sometimes because we are so open to all genres and styles. I think narrowing it down to a world that is sort of happy and anthemic. The album is in that world but there also those oddballs and New Politics classic sound.
CrypticRock.com – Well, Lost In Translation has been out since October 6th, so it will be exciting to see people’s reaction as more discover it. Is it safe to say you feel very comfortable with this process?
Søren Hansen – It is funny, once you have the first single done, there is some sort of weight that disappears. For example, with A Bad Girl In Harlem, we had “Tonight You’re Perfect,” then we wrote “Harlem” the next week because we stopped thinking. I am sure everybody can relate to that, whenever you do something where you care, you want to make sure it is so good, sometimes you overthink. With Lost In Translation, we had the single and we also ended up writing some songs that also ended up on the album that just happened. I think that is something to be really proud of because those are songs that are the glue on the album.
CrypticRock.com – You all come from different musical backgrounds. David grew up with more mixtapes and DJ peers, Søren more of a Rock foundation, and same with Louis. At this point in the game, how do you find your individual influences meshing together with New Politics?
Louis Vecchio – It is funny you say that because after time, I know if I come to the table with something, I know what Søren is going to say.
David Boyd – I never knew anything and I still don’t. I only known what I know. I just can tell you what I personally like. That doesn’t mean anything. I believe in every single song. I believe it if gets the right attention, the right push… That is why there are songs on the Top 40 which I will never understand that are number 1. To me they are very separate things. Of course they go hand in hand and they help, but it has a lot do with timing and this and this. To me, I only know what I know, which is not a lot (laugh). That is the truth, really the only thing you can do is write and if someone likes it, someone likes it.
Søren Hansen – I think that is what Louis is trying to say – everybody has their style and taste and we know each other well enough. Sometimes one of us is excited to play a song for the other – I know when Louis will flip out when he hears this and I know when he is going to hate it, the same thing with David. I think that is healthy because sometimes if you do something on your own it turns into something very specific. Not that it is bad, or worse, or better, but sometimes people will like it and sometimes they don’t. I think what gives you a unique sound is that everyone chimes in. We have always been good at that.
Sometimes we fight and sometimes, when I am not too stubborn, my mind starts to give in the suggestion I absolutely didn’t want to listen to at first. We listen to it and I say, “You’re right! Of course it didn’t work.” I love that and that is why teamwork works. We all have strong personalities when it comes to writing. I think most artists do have strong personalities, because otherwise, how are you going to get anywhere? Then you are just a subject to what everybody else thinks and you will never bring your own personal tastes and parts to the table. That is important.
CrypticRock.com – Yes, it is about knowing when to make the compromises at the right time. The band had a really nice run with 311 this past summer. 311 is another band which never really fits a specific genre. How did the tour go for the band?
Louis Vecchio – It was great! The shows were big because 311 is huge and they were awesome. It was great to catch the show, those guys are legends at this point – they just have hit after hit. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t hard, winning over the crowds were a little harder than we have been used to because their fans are a little older than our fan base. That was a good thing for us because we had been off the road for so long – we found ourselves pushing even harder and going 100 percent more on stage to win people over, that was a good thing. Overall, the tour was amazing. It felt good to be back on stage playing songs again and seeing the crowd react.
CrypticRock.com – Very cool, and it is great that New Politics had the chance to be in front of a different audience. You have a few shows to wrap up 2017 and it will be interesting to see what 2018 brings. As you may know, CrypticRock covers Horror movies; David is a fan, Louis is a huge fan, Soren, not so much. What are some newer films you have seen that you enjoyed?
David Boyd – We went and saw It Comes At Night together. The reviews were 97% on Rotten Tomatoes. We went in there, the movie ended, and we were just in silence. I don’t know what to say, we just didn’t have the best experience (laughs).
CrypticRock.com – (laughs) Louis, being the Horror fan, even you didn’t like it?
Louis Vecchio – It was rough to get through. All I am going to say is you are always waiting for something to happen. The only positive side is if you are a gore fan there are a couple of parts that are pretty gorey. It is like It Follows (2014), the same constant of pulling back, but at least It Follows had a great soundtrack.
Søren Hansen – It is interesting, the one thing about movies is if someone says it is going to be awesome, you are almost always disappointed. Like John Wick (2014), it was the most predictable thing I had ever seen in my entire life.
David Boyd – The greatest thing is I was on a flight, and I said maybe I should watch a film, so I picked John Wick. I had no idea what to expect and I said this is just action-packed and it was awesome. Then we told Soren how incredible it was.
Søren Hansen – It was the night before I watched and he was just raving about it, he was just so into it. I said, “Oh my god, I have to see it, it sounds like the most perfect movie in my life.” At first, it started, I said, “Please start.” Then it was the intro, then I said, “Ok, it actually started.” Then, every time I said, “Now this is going to happen”… guess what… it happened. That was just the whole movie, I just wasn’t into it.
CrypticRock.com – (laughs) Everyone has different tastes so that is understandable.
David Boyd – This past summer I saw War for the Planet of the Apes and it was really good. I was sitting next to someone, this guy was probably two heads taller than me and a bulky kind of big guy. It was funny because he was so into it that he started crying and talking to himself. It was so hard to concentrate because when something would happen… I was about to tell him, “It’s monkeys man, it’s alright It’s not real!” He would just start weeping. The movie is very dark though, it is really good.
2017 Tour Dates:
NOV 30 THU The Kerfuffle Before Christmas Buffalo, NY
DEC 1 FRI The Big Ticket Festival Jacksonville, FL
DEC 2 SAT Riptide Festival Fort Lauderdale, FL
DEC 6 WED X107.5 Holiday Havoc Las Vegas, NV
DEC 8 FRI KRXP Holiday Show Colorado Springs, CO
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