The Soda Pop Kids

The SODA POP KIDS have just released their first and awaited album, a good opportunity for us to know more about this colourful band through their amazing singer Jonny P Jewels.

How was the recording of your first album « Write Home »?

Recording “Write Home” went exactly how such things are meant to go, it was a bitter-sweet tasty treat. There were moments when everyone was on such a high from the way things were turning out and how quickly we were pumping out the songs, to the moments where we felt that we were at an absolute standstill. It was difficult because we didn’t have the luxury of much time, primarily because we simply couldn’t afford the cost of being in the studio for much more than a few days and a few hours per day, but also because we were packing camp to relocate the band half-way across the country. Amazingly almost every song was nailed within only one or two takes. The trials and tribulations ultimately are what makes being a band such unique and wonderful experience though.

Is the recording like you wanted it to be? Are you fully satisfied with it?

Absolutely. Diet D and our producer/bass player on the album, Dustin Habel, were perfectly in tune with each other and knew exactly how to produce the sound we all wanted from the finished material. Dustin was an incredible addition to the recordings themselves and his post-production work was equally flawless.

The band went through several line-up changes since you started, can you tell us why?

A band is such a tricky thing. Even when you are in middle school playing in your parent’s garage. There are so many elements that have to communicate with each other. Everyone has to get along with one another and be able to form strong bonds with each member equally, everyone must contribute an equal share and feel that they are given the freedom to do so–and there must be some more blatant commonality as well, as much as we’d like to deny it, appearance is part of the package and does make a statement about the connection between the members. But there is also that tricky business-side to the whole thing, as much as you try to avoid it, if you achieve any success or actively tour and make any sort of money at all…it becomes a business. And it is hard to mix family and business. I think the main thing with us seeing so many lineups to date has more to do with circumstance than anything else. We did part ways with our original bass player, Gianna Stiletto, after our first tour as the Kill City Thrillers; it wasn’t the prettiest of splits and we really wish it could have been otherwise, but circumstance lead ultimately to finding a replacement. When Dustin Habel stepped in to fill those shoes, it was only a couple months before our relocation from Denver to Portland was scheduled, and it was agreed that he was only on board for our time in Denver and not interested in making the move with us. We lost our beloved drummer, Jason Walker, for the exact same circumstances, he simply couldn’t leave Denver. I miss him dearly, he is one of my favorite people in the entire world. Once in Portland, we were immediately on the prowl for a new bassist and drummer, which came together shockingly quickly…literally with a couple weeks of being here. The fantastic Tony Mengis signed on from The Riffs to play bass and our new wild animal behind the drums, Stevie of The Weaklings, followed suite immediately as well. Unfortunately, our sweet lil’ lass, Rox.45, was not fending tremendously well with the relocation and decided it in her best interest to return to Denver. Ironically enough, one of our best friends, also from Denver,from the band Call Sign Cobra, Zach Brooks, decided he was heading to Portland. There was no question as to who would be stepping in on rhythm duties.

Was it difficult to find a record label or did you get plenty of offers?

To be honest, we can’t believe how quickly everything came together. We truly are still a baby band, we’ve been around just over a year and already have a single and a full length that will be in our hands any day now…especially coming from the midwest and a location very difficult to tour out of and find exposure (Denver), we can’t believe our luck. Full Breach Kicks was in contact with us within a couple weeks of the single being released and we honestly didn’t bother communicating with any other labels. They are small and grass roots and we certainly relate to that, but also honest and genuine and incredibly generous. We hit it off with Full Breach right from the start and we are very proud to claim our spot in the family tree.

Can we know more about your influences ? Any particular musicians?

This is probably best a group response, but in brief, I think what makes us sound the way we do is that all of us have very scattered interests, we all have many common favorites, but Diet D is a real historian and is incredibly versed in very underground blues from 1900 through the ’50s, he also loves the Phil Spector acts and modern pop. We each have very diverse musical tastes and they differ from member to member, I like everything from the ’60s girl groups to underground hip hop and gangster rap to metal to punk to all the glam and glitter of the 70s…but my roots are in Zappa and the original punks. I can’t speak for everyone here, but such is essentially the case with all of us.

You seem to be followed by lots of fans from Denver to Portland, am I wrong ? Are you close to them?

No, I think it is true, it feels really good to get messages and feedback from home, not just in Denver, but all over Colorado, everywhere we have played. Colorado Springs was HUGELY supportive of us and always brought out big shows that were an absolute blast. As for Portland, we are stunned at how quickly we have anchored ourselves, we’ve only played two shows since moving here and our first one sold out and oversold the door by 50 people ! We were totally shocked !! We absolutely love this place and all our new friends in the music community. Portland is incredible and was definitely a necessary evolution in the band’s progress.

Can you describe a SODA POP KIDS show for us?

One big temper tantrum. 3 parts sugar. 2 parts sweat. 2 parts blood and bruises. 1 part broken equipment. Shake it up and you’ve got carbonated hits.

Can we expect a European tour in a near future ?

Absolutely ! We want to get over there as soon as is humanly possible. We had hoped to make it out there this coming summer, but since relocating and reforming, our focus for the summer touring will be covering the majority of the U.S. But if you are out there reading this…HELP US GET TO EUROPE…WE PARTY WITH OUR PANTS OFF !!!

Avril Lavigne or Skye Sweetnam?

Gosh…some would consider this one of those stuck between a rock and hard place scenarios…but for me, there is no question. Avril Lavigne owns the key to my heart and the power supply to my stereo. Metal Mike from the Angry Samoans thinks I’m crazy for this…but he just isn’t willing to get down and get with it.

Jonnny, you witty boy, can you say something to put an end to this interview?

See you on the Swing Set !!!…or maybe the jungle gym ???