Thursday, April 15, 2010

Interview: Our People Versus Yours

>> Remember a while back when I mentioned that I'd be interviewing Our People Versus Yours ? Well, the emails finally went through and now I can finally say that I have interviewed a band from another country :) OPVY is a group of guys straight out of the UK who love Thrice & fried chicken. Read the interview and, who knows, you may just fall in love with the band.

Hi, I'm James and I'm the founder of OPVY, for no reason other than practicality I shall be answering questions on behalf of the band.

Introduce yourselves. (Who does what in the band?)
James Sweeting; Guitar and vocals, Steven Ralph; Guitar, Dan Clark, Bass and vocals, Harvey Freeman; Drums, Joe Miles; Vocals

Where are you from? How would you describe the local music scene there?
We're from Romford/ which is in essex in the UK. Although there are some good Venues around Essex as a whole, our home towns have nowhere you could really call a "venue" and although the scene is ok, it is quite small.

Is there anything specific to your hometown or country that inspires your lyrics? (Maybe something not as popular in the States.)
Not really in all honesty, we don't sing about where we're from because nothing paticularily interesting happens here haha

What are some of your earliest memories that made you want to get into music?
For me (James) it was hearing Linkin Park on the radio in America. I was getting into metal before but hearing something a little different to the usual dross they play made me realise that there is a market for it.

What kind of music did you listen to growing up?
As a kid we were all brought up on the usual hits (spice girls ftw) but i thi
nk we all started on the usual alternative stuff: Blink 182, Slipknot, Linkin Park, Green Day, Korn, Metallica etc etc. It's only when you start growing up a bit you realise theres a lot of better less mainstream bands out there.

How’d you guys get together to form this band?
It all started when I was in a band called severance, we only played a few local shows and weren't really serious, but Levi came to one of the shows and enjoyed the music. Me and Levi decided to form a band as Severance were breaking up (the others were leaving for uni) after doing a bit of searching on social networking sites we found enough members to form a real band. Levi's left now, and many people have come and gone but I'm the only original member.

Who named the band? How’d you come up with that name?
The band was named by our old vocalist James Davenport in about january 2008. Basically it's a lyric from an architects song, it doesn't have any inherent meaning, we just thought it sounded cool

Have you ever heard a song and thought, “Wow, I wish I wrote that!” ?
we've never discussed this as a band. I'm sure everyone of us have
an opinion on amazing songs that we should have written. For miles by Thrice is probably one of the best songs i've ever heard, but we should have wrote something like bohemian rhapsody by queen so we could be raking in the millions haha

Do you have a certain process you always use when it comes to songwriting?
Usually one of us picks up a guitar and writes a song and brings it to practice and says "hey check it out" it's that simple really. Then Joe or someone else in the band will start writing lyrics for it and we just practice practice practice, add bits, remove bits, tweak it till we think it's good enough to record or play live.

Out of all the songs you've written, which are you most proud of?
it might sound arrogant but all of them. Bands grow up and change so of course we look at some songs and think "oh i wish we hadn't done this" but we wouldn't actually finish, record and perform songs that we weren't proud of.

What’s your favorite part about being in this band?
Writing music and jumping around on stage with your mates. It really is quite a bit of fun.

For those who haven’t heard it yet, how would you describe your music?
I think it's quite hard to describe the band, we have so many different infl
uences at work i don't really think we sound like one paticular genre. Obviously over all we are under the "metal" branch, but we have songs that are slow and epic and beautiful, then songs that are fast and heavy and strange time signatures. We don't want to limit ourselves to one genre. The last song on the new EP "Southern Colours" is an accoustic song with very personal lyrics. I'd simply describe our music as "good" haha

Have you been compared to other bands?
No not really, it's frustrating trying to tell people what we sound like in all honesty so if you have any suggestions be our guest!

Do you think some people expect your music to sound a certain way because you're from the UK?
We've never heard any comments about the fact that we're british, in fact the majority of our sales from iTunes are from America. Maybe they expect us to sound English? haha I don't know to be honest

How do you respond to negative criticism?
We don't get too much in all honesty, all the criticism we do get is about the way we look about our fringes or whatever. It's ironic how the people say that it's about the music are the ones that turn round and start insulting people based on their appearance. Mind you if it's constructive criticism we'll happilly listen.

What do you consider your biggest accomplishment so far as a band?
Hmm, this is probably just managing to stay together. So many weaker bands will break up after 6 months or something, they'll do a few shows and just split. The thing is with bands is that you have 5 or maybe more members all with different opinions on how things should be done and it really can get a bit nasty. We've had so many people leave and stuff that i'm amazed that we're actually still going and stronger than ever.

Do you guys have any shows coming up?
yes just a couple at the walthamstow standard which is a really good venue. We're gonna hold off gigging for a bit so that we can write loads of new material for our tune coming up in june

Have you played in the States before? If not, would you like to?
no we haven't unfortunately and yes i really really would! the states gets a lot of criticism but I love it there and being able to go over there to play would be awesome

How would you describe your stage presence?
we understand shows aren't just about the music, but about the spectacle, we flip our guitars and headbang and all sorts, we don't just stand there and look bored

Do you guys go to concerts a lot? If so, who would you like to see/who have you seen recently?
I personally don't go as much as I used to, i think Harvey goes to a lot of hardcore shows. The last band i saw was brand new with thrice supporting. I really love Thrice

Who would you love to tour with?
I'd like to tour with thrice haha, just because they're my favourite band, although i don't know if we'd really fit the bill, but we'd probably fit in with someone more like Architects.

Who would you want to collaborate with?
Probably have Sam Carter from Architects doing guest vocals, i think he's one of the best screamers in the business and has an awesome singing voice too

Where would you want to play in the future?
everywhere and anywhere! love to headline big venues like wembley and also to play in countries like Japan America and Australia

How do you guys find new music to listen to? What have you been listening to a lot lately?
Usually word of mouth, or i look at suggestions on iTunes. I've been listening to a lot of Holly Springs Disaster, a southern rock band from canada haha

What are the best and weirdest gifts you’ve received from fans?
Unfortunately fans very rarely give us gifts :( we'd love some chocolate or something though!

Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Eat fried chicken!

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and what would you do there?
Probably Japan because it's culture is so different, and play a massive show

If there was a television show about your band, what would it be called?
Our People Versus Yours on the loose haha
check that out and see some of the shit we get up to

Does it ever bother you when people try to imitate your accents?
when we play shows far away we're the ones imitating them! haha

If you could have any superpower, what would you choose?
flying.... or maybe invisibility ;)

Fan Submissions:
What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you to sign? - Dublin
nothing too strange, our fans must be boring! we had to sign a page from kerrang once for someone because we were in it, that was more surreal though than weird...

How would you spend your time if you weren't in this band? - Pete Lawnes
I'd be playing xbox. bit of a geek!

Bonus Round:
Movie? Anchorman, 300, watchmen or something more sensitive like forest gump
CD(s)? My favourite album is probably vheiussu by Thrice.
Song to play live? Probably "New Beginings" because it's an awesome song!

TV show? South Park
Sport? Probably English football
Food? Chips
Quote? "The south will rise again"

This or that:
Plugged in or Acoustic? Plugged In
Summer or Winter? Summer
Calling or Texting? Texting
Albums or Singles? Albums

Behind The Scenes:
What else should we know? We're nice guys and we'd appreciate it if you bought some merch as band makes you super poor
Special talents? Steve can play Hand Flute.... it's basically what it sounds like, he uses his hands and blows in it like an instrument. it's mental
Age? I'm 21, Steve is 21, Joe is 18, Harv is 17 and Dan is 18
Pet peeves? people saying we're shit when we're clearly not...
Nicknames? everyone used to call steve stig back in college so i call him that
a lot, i'm not sure why though.

Members Only: In the band, who is
Funniest? Steve, he's the joker
Most creative? Maybe Dan? he's good at drawing as well as a few other things
Most organized? Probably me now and i'm pretty damned disorganised
Biggest flirt? Probably Steve again, Joe used to be quite bad but he has a girlfriend now haha
Strongest? That one will have to go to me ;)

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