Pop before Punk is what Hugo Mudie (THE SAINTE CATHERINES) and his Canadian bandmates from POWERNAP dedictated themselves to with their first EP. The Montreal-based band likes to drink and holy cow, those guys know how to write great songs! Every now and then, you can detect touches of post punk and power pop. And the because the band is more punk than they would like to admit, the name of the latest EP is super stupid. Oh well, the official press release almost instantly made me want to interview POWERNAP and learn more about their new EP “Oreosmith” and their “Live Slow, Die Whenever” philosophy.
Saturnine, melodic punk in the vein of The Lawrence Arms and Crimpshrine. You might recognize some of these guys from killer Quebecois bands like TEH SAINTE CATHERINES and MIRACLES.
POWERNAPwas started in 2012 when Fred Jacques (Miracles) was on vacation somewhere warm and Hugo was left alone without his 15 year old music partner to sing songs.
He then started writing with friend and Miracles tour manager (left without a job) Dan Césare (ex-Sober Dawn). They wrote songs in the basement of the Pouzza offices and asked friends Jepeto and Nick ( ex-Brixton Robbers ) and Frank (ex-Or Condor / The Sainte Catherines / Bonjour Brumaire) to join them.
They wanted to write songs and record them before Fred gets back from the beach. They did that. With the “pop pills not punk” motto behind the songwriting, they wrote a bunch of songs and then they played them a couple times. They will play them more times when their first record Oreosmith is released on Asian Man Records (AMERICA) and Klownhouse Recordz (EUROPE)
Live photo by Olivier Thériault.
Hey guys! Thanks for taking some time with IDIOTEQ! What’s up?
Hey. I’m working on the computer while my daughter is playing with Playmobil next to me. Pretty good friday morning.
Ok, so let’s start off with a brief history of the band. How did this band come together and how did you become involved in POWERNAP?
Me and Dan wanted to play music together. Dan is tour manager for MIRACLES and we hang out a lot, so when Fred went away on vacation somewhere, we had some time off from MIRACLES. We decided to write some songs. Dan brought the riffs and I brought some lyrics and melodies and that was it. We asked friends to join and that’s how we did the EP. In a month or so.
Apart from THE SAINTE CATHERINES and MIRACLES, what other bands have you been involved in?
I was also in Yesterday’s Ring for a long time. From 2000 to 2010 I think. We are doing some anniversary shows in a couple months actually. I have tons of other projects too right now. We stopped doing Ste Cath, I didn’t want to be playing only one style of music in one band. So that’s why me and Fred started Miracles, with no intention of doing the same type of music over and over. We wanna do lots of different stuff and collaborate with different people. Same thing for me as a singer. I wannna sing different things with different people of different background.
Do you still feel the same way about punk rock as you did back when you started playing music?
Not at all. When I started I imagined being something really spiritful and social and different from the mainstream art. I imagined that that there was no competition and that people we collaborating and helping each other a lot more than it actually is. There’s still some amazing people of course, but it’s not like that really. I also really enjoy other kind of music now.. when you are young, you are so proud of being punk and getting into punk that you don’t actually listen to other music. You close your eyes and your ears and miss out on a lot of great things. I consider myself more of a fan of music and a signer of music than a punk. I’m still more punk than you though. ah
Is there an appropriate age or time to retire from performing punk rock music? :)
No I don’t think age matters in anything really. If you are still able to do something and still enjoy it, why not do it. I’m not the one to judge.
Did you have a crush on other genres and wanted to perform a completely different style of music, but never had a chance to make it happen?
Like I said, I don’t care much about style of music. I don’t even consider it much these days. My favorite records from last year were MASTODON’s and Taylor Swift’s…
Ok then, back to the band. Is there a story behind the name POWERNAP?
I don’t remember, i just remember being really high sitting at a bar with Jepeto and trying to come up with a name that had POWER in it. We almost went with Worcestershire power.
Tell me a little about the songwriting process for “Oreosmith” EP.
Dan had some depressing riffs, I had some depressing lyrics. Pop pills not punk.
Did you find yourself fighting over song selections or other issues while recording? Are these tracks everything you’ve got so far?
That’s all we had at the time. We have 2 more now. Wanna record them and do a split 7 inch with BREAK ANCHOR.
You guys have released a bunch of video in support of this record. Can we expect more random clips, hockey fights, etc.?
I think we did a video for each song, so you’ll have to wait for new songs. I think we’ll do videos for every songs yeah. It’s a pretty modern concept.
When do you have plans to record some new material?
I’d like to do that this summer if we can come together.
Ok guys. So when are you guys leaving for Europe? :) Tell me about your touring plans.
I don’t know. MIRACLES is doing a week in August. I guess we could do something in the fall.
By the way Europe, how did you team up with Klownhouse Recordz?
Not too sure. I think he just liked to 1st song we released and wrote us on Facebook. Then it’s all regrets from there.
Haha. Ok, thanks for the quick introductory chat. Feel free to add your last words and take care! Cheers from Warsaw!