Children of Pop has been lighting up the Houston music scene over the past year, hustling the way that dedicated musicians should. Following an album release, Chase DeMaster's musical alter ego has played countless headlining and supporting slots, sometimes even DJing or hosting a troupe of local acts. And though we've come to know him fairly well by now, perhaps, he's already shown that the unexpected is what he does best.
Rocks Off caught up with Children of Pop to discuss his upcoming 7" release, "Pre Madonna," which will get an official release party this Saturday at Fitzgerald's.
Rocks Off: A few weeks ago you covered a set of Madonna songs at Fitzgerald's for their annual benefit show series. I know you love a play on words, but is there any correlation between that set and your 7" being named "Pre Madonna"? Children of Pop: Yeah, I think there probably is. It's the nature of association with creation ... adding to the stream/canon/legacy that is pop music...
So tell us a little more about "Pre Madonna." "Pre Madonna" is going to be released digitally on my label, #veryjazzed, and then I'm releasing a physical copy through Treaty Oak Collective. It's a limited edition, clear white 7" with two new songs, "Jealous Lover" and "Taking Over." Album art was done by Vince Mckelvie and Ben Godfrey.
How many copies are you releasing of the "Pre Madonna" 7-inch? There are only going to be 100 -- all hand-numbered, and we'll have them for sale at the show.
What are some differences you've noticed between the music you've been writing recently and the work we've become so acquainted with? When I first started Children of Pop, my goal was to write one song times ten. The process after that was kind of foggy. This time I was very in tune with the goal of writing one album one time and having it deliver a very strong and clear aesthetic.
Plus, I think my ear has gotten better. I was very limited in knowledge of recording and physical/gear when I was working on [2013 LP] Fiesta/Drift; it sounds lo-fi squared. I have really tried to push my production vis a better understanding of the physical world in which sound waves resonate. Sounds are physical. Space is finite. Like a pizza, there are only so many slices (frequencies) you can fit in a pie (speaker) before your slices overlap (frequencies disagree).
What about the context? I've been writing about things that make me feel instead of things that make me think. Fiesta/Drift was like a rollercoaster think tank, and that's great, but this new record is more like...eye contact. And I think that is really fun to articulate as well! So these two songs are a glimpse at the new record in terms of production and theme Story continues on the next page.
I know you typically work on everything -- from writing to recording and producing. Did you have any special guests help on this release? Just myself, with the help of John Allen Stevens on the mixing of "Jealous Lover."
Are the songs going to be featured on your next full-length? Yes, I've been working on it really hard and forever. The working title right now is "Dark Side of the Feels." It's about 80 percent complete, so when I wrap up the recording process and then decide the best means to deliver to the Internet/in real life. I'm hoping for early 2015.
Do you have any tentative plans for a Children of Pop tour at the moment? Yes, I'm doing a small Texas tour with Ronnie Heart from Neon Indian this week. I'm very jazzed on it! My booking agent is putting together an East Coast hang for mid-January, and we're scouting for a West Coast tour next summer, possibly supporting an act with some weight.
But all of the shows are going to be quite possibly the best shows Children of Pop has ever played. I can't wait to Frisbee these 7-inches out to everyone.
Children of Pop headlines Fitzgerald's downstairs this Saturday, with special guests New York City Queens, Black Kite, Ronnie Heart, Josiah Gabriel and DJ Knife Emoji. Doors open at 8 p.m.
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