Pop Noir: Interview + FREE Download
Though twin brothers Joe and Luke McGarry have been playing together as Pop Noir for roughly five years, it wasn't until yesterday that their group, rounded out by drummer Nico Saavedra, released its first single. Those who have had the chance to catch Pop Noir at their fairly regular gigs across Los Angeles and Orange County will instantly recognize "DIY" as a staple of their sets. The song also serves as a mantra for the band: Joe and Luke not only produce their own material, but direct their videos and design all flyers, t-shirts and even the digital magazine that serves as their press kit.
We chatted with the McGarry brothers about coming of age as a band and taking the slow-and-steady route to a music career.
Pop Noir plays in-store at Origami Vinyl tonight.
With your background in design and animation, how much of it inspires what you do musically and vice versa?
Luke McGarry: I'm not exactly sure. It's all so tied up in each other that it gets a little confusing.
Joe McGarry: I think music doesn't affect, the music and the illustration doesn't necessarily affect each other because they're two entirely separate entities. Luke's illustration, as much as I like it, is kind of ugly, or "grotesque" is the word we use. The graphic design side is definitely influenced by our aesthetic sensibilities. The music and the graphic design are very interwoven. Our music is sort of dark and forward-thinking.
LM: And our graphic design is, oh, I don't know, we're kind of bullshitting.
When I first saw you play, you might have just turned 18. What have you learned since then?
JM: It's weird because it's a very cutthroat business. You can't just be good at what you do and affable and fun-loving. You have to go out there saying, "I am the best." You have to stay on all the time, say "This is best fucking thing in the world, pay attention."
We've been taking it very slowly. This is our debut single and, like you said, you saw us when we were 18. We haven't been going for too long before that. We're still young, we're 22, so we still have plenty of time to do it. I think we sort of spent this time learning the lessons that needed to be learned, the self-promotion aspect of it.
LM: The other thing we've learned is that it's a lot easier to be taken seriously, especially in LA, once you're 21.
JM: Even though we've been doing this since we were sixteen, we kind of had to start over once we turned 21. Not that we re-imagined the band, but it is like starting over because now that you're 21, you can actually stay inside Spaceland once you're done playing, network with people and stuff.
LM: It's like there are two worlds. It's not like we're Miley Cyrus or anything. You can get as big as you're going to get at age 18 and then when you're 21, it's like entering a different scene, especially in Los Angeles. It skews older because everything is 21 and over.
JM: It is sort of starting over again, which is cool. You meet so many people. This is the first band that Luke and I have ever been in. You meet people who have had bands before and with their new project, things take off so much faster for them. It's sort of like that for us. You can pretend that you're a new band when you turn 21 because it's an entirely different world. It was cool to take things slowly and hone our musical identity and what we wanted to do before we turned 21. Once you turn 21, it's the starting point essentially.