if the barometer of success for a musician these days is internet memes, endless YouTube parodies and outrageous rumors, then there's no doubt gotye has hit the big time. the australian singer (real name: wally de backer) and multi-instrumentalist's global #1 smash "somebody that i used to know," featuring kimbra, is inescapable -- on the radio, on television, online; it's everywhere. he's about to embark on a world tour, including numerous stops in north america, to promote his latest album making mirrors. we caught up with him by phone monday to talk about the tour and why you should always avoid him and his crew at bar trivia night.
"i love pop music," says baron von luxxury. "there's something to be said for the song structure of verse, chorus, verse, breakdown or a bridge, and chorus. that format always appealed to me. i don't think anyone doesn't like it." talking by phone from his los angeles home last week, baron von luxxury (real name: blake robin) speaks emphatically about the joys of pop music. his passion for it is obvious and engaging. for if it's true that the best musicians are music fans, baron von luxxury is no exception.
after playing a half dozen songs to a packed crowd at the fillmore in san francisco last week, guitarist vicki peterson of the bangles said into the microphone: "we have a new album out. some of you don't give a shit, but don't worry. we'll play the hits." the hits, of course, are iconic. "manic monday," "eternal flame," "hazy shade of winter," "walk like an egyptian," to name a few. the bangles ripped through those, and others, with such intensity, such ferocity, that many standing around me were left staring with their mouths agape at the end of each song. the hits may have commanded the most applause, but the songs from their new album left the biggest impression.
pop singers are a dime a dozen. some have talent; others have staying power; while some have personality. to find one with all three qualities you'd be better off getting into a time machine and traveling back at least 40 years. but that's not always the case. five months ago we introduced you to one of the rarer breed: zak waters. talented and soulful, waters also has personality to spare. and with his new EP new normal recently released it's clear this boy will be around for quite a while. we caught up with him recently via email.
it's hard enough for pop stars to carve out their own niche amongst the thousands of other pop stars in the market. now try being an openly gay pop singer starting out at the beginning of a career. despite any odds ari gold has done the impossible: over the last decade he has established himself as a talented singer/songwriter, with four studio albums to his credit and several billboard charting singles, who has earned the respect of his peers -- both gay and straight. he's not only easy on the eyes, but easy on the ears as well. his special blend of pop, r&b and dance music reaches new heights on his latest between the spirit & the flesh. sir ari, the stage name by which he is now officially called, caught up with the Pop Sucker last week.
trading magazine copy for massive sounding electropop/disco-funk, fiorious is ready to burst onto the scene as ferociously as his name implies. sounding something like a hybrid of rick james, hercules and love affair, and sam sparro, the italy-by-way-of-the-bronx-based singer/songwriter recently unleashed his debut track, "elevator," a scorching dance floor burner. we caught up with him to talk about music and his burgeoning career.
when up-and-coming electropop artist BAKER releases his debut album, he might want to call it serendipity. if he wasn't sneaking into LA clubs with his fake ID, his career might be heading down an entirely different path right now. the Pop Sucker caught up with the recent harvard graduate, 23, via email to talk about his burgeoning career and the perfect recipe for a visual BAKER sandwich.
computers want me dead might be unfamiliar to u.s. audiences right now, but that's about to change. the new zealand electro/synth-pop duo -- sam harvey and damien daniels -- has been tapped as ones to watch at home, and it's no wonder. their second single, "in your blood," is one of the best songs of the year. while their first single, "we walk in circles," made big waves in new zealand last year; it charted in the top 40 and was picked up for use in a TV promo. the Pop Sucker caught up with sam -- who, for the record, is one of the nicest people you'll ever meet -- to talk the bits and bytes of cwmd.
as the old saying goes: timing is everything. just ask the limousines. the san francisco bay area duo released a single last year with the backing of a major label. but it was only last month that they self-released their debut album get sharp. "we got the attention of the right people at the wrong time. before we had any songs written, really," says eric victorino, lead singer and songwriter of the band. "there were a lot of industry expectations to do a full-length, which we weren't ready to do."