Population Four sat down with us ahead of the final of Ready To Rumble Unsigned tonight at 53 Degrees to discuss the final, the future and food.
Why do you think you got through to the final?
They said on stage we won on the crowd vote. There was a tie between us and another band so the crowd voted for us. It would have been a bit embarrassing if we haven’t won the crowd vote in Preston, but we were really chuffed to get through.
You headlined Cedar Tavern in Blackpool a couple of weeks ago, how did it go?
Great, good turnout we had a good day apart from one of our heads breaking. We had a good day though and we bought this ball. [Picks up small American football] So we were there in the centre of Blackpool going long. We liked Nandos too, Pop Four like Nandos.
Any other chicken restaurants you can recommend?
Chesters, chicken cottage in Oldham. Every single gig we play, we go to a chicken restaurant. There’s a street in Oldham where you can get every kind of fried chicken you could ever want. They must love chicken down there.
So Pop Four like chicken?
Pop Four do like chicken, you can put that down.
The band are writing a new album, is it finished in terms of the songs being written?
It’s getting there, we’ve got seven songs written, and one on the way to almost being finished, so were on the way.
So how will the album sound?
The song we released, “This Town Will Drag You Down”, it will be along those lines. We picked favourites really, ‘I Am’ is going on there, I really like that song it’s about vampires.
How does the band write, is time set aside?
Recently we’ve said we won’t gig that much, so there’s time set aside for writing, but usually it just sort of gets done.
Do you all tend to sit down together or is it just when one of you might be walking down the street etc.?
Nomads happened like that, which we have a video for on YouTube. Si was on his post round and he came up with an idea for a song, what each of the instruments would sound like, and we just went from there. Also, the name for “This Town Will Drag You Down” came from some graffiti I saw in town, but that just sort of gave us an idea for a cool name for the song.
So ‘This Town Will Drag You Down’, is it about Preston?
Not especially. Well you see I said once on the radio that it wasn’t specifically about Preston but then one of the lines is “The bright attraction of the newest cities lights” which is specific because Preston is England’s newest cities so there are sort of references in there that it is, but then again we don’t want to get booed in our home town. I think everyone has a bit of a conflict with their hometown. One of the thing we want to do in terms of music is go and see other places and go on the radio so I think for any band trying to get out of their home town it’s not an easy thing to do. On our facebook group the video was posted along with the asking what town the song was about, and people from all over the world thought it was about their town. It’s easy to think that way about your town because the more places we have been, the better Preston seems. Music scene wise in particular, Preston has a great music scene but no-one realises.
The band is very well known within Preston, do you think the next album will be able to target a wider audience?
Yeah, well that’s what we’re trying to do with ‘This Town Will Drag You Down’ that’s why we’re still plugging that, and trying to get it on the television, so hopefully if people see that they will buy our album.
Have you got any idea when the album might be out?
Summer time, and that’s when we’ll be gigging.
If you could take one of your lyrics and use it as a piece of advice or inspiration for life, what would it be?
We had a lyric, from an old song, I can’t remember which one it was, and the lyric was “and for the love of god let’s end this on a high note.” and I loved that lyric. It was from Given Up, the song wasn’t great but that lyric… Try harder, that’s good advice, it’s not in a song though, maybe we could put it in one. Also there’s “you can’t take us anywhere.” It is basically saying we mess around. There’s a lot of time to kill between sound check and when we play and we get creative about how we keep ourselves entertained. I bought that ball for example.
Will you debut any songs from the album at Friday’s final?
We did in the heat. We debuted a song called Sink or Swim when we played with Twin Atlantic, and we played it again in the heat and I imagine we’ll play it in the final.
How has the reception been?
Good, people have said it hints at a more melodic side of us, it must be the beach boys style harmonies.
When did you each decide you wanted to be in a band?
We have all known each other for a long time from being in different bands and such. We don’t know what we might do if we weren’t doing this.
If you could be any food what would you be?
Si would be a coconut, if not a coconut, Steak.
Because it’s damn juicy and awesome. In fact maybe something completely not interesting, like a stick of butter. Or maybe cheese, cheese freaks him out.
There’s five of you, and the band’s called Population Four, what happened there?
We’ve been subtly undermining the concept of Maths for a while now. Yeah, we don’t like the metric system. There were four of us, one was killed fighting a grizzly bear on top of Everest we decided, and now someone else has joined and there’s five…
Interview by Joel Durkin and Sam Bennett.