JohnPopper> Hi everybody!
JohnPopper> I'm really sleepy, but here I am! Ask any question, and you
will receive some kind of answer to one of life's mysterious paths.
JohnPopper> Spin the wheel if you dare.
MaxMule> Were there many songs that you wrote for
the solo album that didn't get through the final cut?
JohnPopper> There were a couple of songs.
A lot of songs on the solo record were songs that Blues Traveler had tried
to do but deemed no fit for use.
JohnPopper> Blues Traveler has a style of sound that is great for epic
JohnPopper> But not really for ballads necessarily...such as
"Home" on the new record.
JohnPopper> I saved the song for just such an occasion...but there are
other songs that I have written just for the record.
JohnPopper> Now give me your soul!
SiaPapp> John, will you be playing "Home" this
Friday at the Somerville Theater?
JohnPopper> Why as a matter of fact I will!
JohnPopper> It's quite a lovely song. What's cool is that the solo band
has the ability for nice background vocals.
JohnPopper> Now give me a piece of your soul!
LittlePopper> Jonny Lang is given credit for
co-writing How About Now. Does he also play on the song?
JohnPopper> Jonny is a friend of mine and he
didn't play on that song, but he and I got together one weekend to write
songs and this is what we came up with. His music is entirely the song,
and I threw words upon it.
JohnPopper> I'd like to play with him in the future - I'm sure someday
it will happen.
JohnPopper> He's dreamy.
JohnPopper> Now give me a piece of your soul!
Ivan> John, I have listened to Zygote 4
times already today, and its great. Do you plan on releasing "Tip the
Domino" as a single after "Miserable Bastard"?
JohnPopper> Thank you very much!
JohnPopper> I am glad you liked the record. The interesting thing about
"Domino" is that I didn't think it was going to work.
JohnPopper> My longtime friend and guitar player Crugie Riccio had
written the song entirely and it has a quirky kind of disjuncted rhythm to
the middle of it.
JohnPopper> It wound up being one of the strongest songs on the
JohnPopper> I'm not sure they'll make it a single - thats usually up to
the record companies as they're the ones who sell the records to the radio
stations and the retail marketplace. It's all a big sham.
JohnPopper> You the public are forced to eat whatever they, the
faceless nameless conglomerate, shovel at you.
JohnPopper> Keep your innocence and purity. Hold onto it as long as you
JohnPopper> And then give me a piece of your soul.
JP+Popper> What is the meaning behind "Evil In My
Chair"? Is it a separate persona or a struggle inside with an
JohnPopper> You have guessed it right on
the second try.
JohnPopper> "Evil in my Chair" is the feeling I have when I'm alone and
I suddenly have a craving to eat.
JohnPopper> My recent heart condition is symptomatic to a longtime
addiction to food. Being diabetic, it's a medical fact that there are some
foods that will kill me. Doughnuts come to mind.
JohnPopper> One night I was being very good on my diet and I saw an ad
for Dunkin Donuts comes on TV. Suddenly I feel as though I'm being pulled
to do something destructive, though I didn't want to. I then transferred
my addiction into the form of some guardian angel gone wrong.
JohnPopper> And the song kind of wrote itself.
JohnPopper> And then I had to give him my soul.
LittlePopper> John, "Once You Wake Up"
reminds me a bit of "Imagine". Between that and your mention of "Instant
Karma" in "Top The Domino", how much of this album drew from your
enjoyment of John Lennon's music?
JohnPopper> It is interesting that you
mention "Tip The Domino". And thank you, by the way. I must remind you
that I didn't write "Domino" - my partner did. But I think you caught
something valid in that I always thought that Crugie was very affected by
JohnPopper> I think those who know him can see the Lennon quality in
his music and his basic social underpinning. I too love John Lennon but
where Crugie is concerned it's very special. Crugie writes from the
JohnPopper> Me having written "Once You Wake Up", I'd say that is a
Lennon-ish song that I wrote.
JohnPopper> I appreciate the observation. "Once You Wake Up" is really
about revelations and how you can't ignore them once you make them.
JohnPopper> It was these very revelations about my life and myself that
made this record possible.
JohnPopper> So I feel "Once You Wake Up" is really sort of the theme of
JohnPopper> Now give me some fillet of sole!
FelowTrvlr> Of all the Blues Traveler
Songs you could have covered, why did you choose "Fledgling?"
JohnPopper> Firstly, it was a chance to
get the song on the radio again - get it played at least.
JohnPopper> As it is one of my favorites, I thought it would be nice to
dust it off and give people another chance to hear it.
JohnPopper> But the best reason is, when swimming in my indoor pool I
would sing the song in that wonderful acoustic reverb, and it sounded so
pretty with a very sparse arrangement.
JohnPopper> I wanted to try to see if I could give a new arrangement
and with it a new take on the song.
JohnPopper> I was supposed to have Brian May sit in on the end solo,
but at the last minute he could not attend.
JohnPopper> This gave me the opportunity to do a Brian May knockoff
guitar solo myself.
JohnPopper> This was a lot of fun.
JohnPopper> Now, my shoe needs to work on its sole.
JCat> Do you enjoy your visits with Howard
Stern? I know my friends and I do! We look forward to tomorrow!
JohnPopper> Thanks, me too!
JohnPopper> I love going on Howard's show. I've often said that Howard
Stern is the philosopher of our age. I think he is. I get so sick of
people talking about Lenny Bruce.
JohnPopper> The only reason is, I never got to know his comedy on a
personal level. Lenny Bruce spoke to an entire generation and helped
people redefine what is important by pointing out what is so silly.
JohnPopper> With Howard Stern, he's in my generation. I really
understand all that stuff about Lenny Bruce in a real way. I would say in
my lifetime, there are two main comedians/philosophers I can think of.
JohnPopper> One is George Carlin and the other is Howard Stern.
JohnPopper> There are a lot of good ones, but these two take the
JohnPopper> And Howard is willing to be completely honest every
JohnPopper> And he wants your soul.
a100yearslynda> Regarding Zygote,
are you the Sperm or the Egg?
JohnPopper> Am I the sperm or the
egg... is this one of those sexual internet letters? If I were French
Doors I'd definitely swing out, and up is certainly my direction.
JohnPopper> All 72 inches. Woo-hoo!
JohnPopper> I guess what I would have to say is, I am probably the
JohnPopper> But Zygote very definitely has its own soul.
JasonMillner> John, can you talk a little
bit about your relationship with God... "Open Letter" appears to be an
affirmation in your belief, but "The Way" seems to at least question the
actual existence of God...
JohnPopper> Oh, I absolutely believe in
JohnPopper> I think everyone's beliefs are going to be different, and
no one belief is going to satisfy someone else - this being the problem
JohnPopper> I think every belief is valid in this regard. It's like
there are 4 billion equally valid religions throughout the world.
JohnPopper> For my part I don't see God as some old man in a sheet
throwing lightning bolts.
JohnPopper> I think God is more a way that we are.
JohnPopper> Thats what Daoism is all about.
JohnPopper> But I have to assign a little more personality to that
JohnPopper> I think that things that live and are alive come towards a
system that involves a certain kind of justice. I think that when we feel
loved or real happiness, that's when we are aware through practical
application that we fit into this system.
JohnPopper> And I know for a fact, if you ask out loud for help you
will get it, in whatever form it comes.
JohnPopper> Not that I'm trying to save your SOULS...
stonewall> Carter Beauford is a great
drummer, kudos for getting him on the album - did that change the creative
process on the album, or did he just walk in, play, and leave?
JohnPopper> Holy crazy hell yes!
JohnPopper> Carter almost couldn't do the album - he was only
available for four weeks and I needed him for six weeks. I'd never done a
record on my own before and was worried about scheduling. I had no
JohnPopper> I had to make the gamble or not, and I chose to make
JohnPopper> It wound up being the best move I made for the entire
record. Carter made the record breathe, and a lot of the drumming had to
be unique for what I was asking him to do.
JohnPopper> He's a drummer with a lot of soul.
Riddler> Do you every take lyric ideas
from outside BT or the John Popper Band?
JohnPopper> If they're good enough,
JohnPopper> Lyrics need to pass the simple test, and you can take this
down if you would like to submit lyrics to me:
JohnPopper> 1. Are they catchy?
JohnPopper> 2. Do they rhyme?
JohnPopper> 3. Are they lyrics that I, John Popper, could steal and
pretend that they're mine?
JohnPopper> 4. Could I win the ensuing lawsuit?
JohnPopper> 5. Is there any way to crush and destroy the actual
JohnPopper> 6. Can I squeeze the writer's family for any money?
JohnPopper> 7. Can I somehow take the writer's stuff - move into his
JohnPopper> 8. Can I have a piece of the writer's SOUL?
Harmonica Slim> Why did HORDE end this
JohnPopper> There are perhaps four
reasons, all of which I'll tell you now. On a personal level, I had my
hands full with this record. I can do Blues Traveler and one other thing
well. This year I chose my record. I'm a better songwriter than I am a
JohnPopper> Promoters are a sad, twisted lot who urinate in their pants
often and experience prostate problems.
JohnPopper> They can't spell very good and their use of grammar is
JohnPopper> They liken to Mafia Dons, and some of them even like
mastadons. I wouldn't want to be one if you paid me $40. $50 - we'll
JohnPopper> Reason #2 - people were getting sick of coming to a
festival tour they feel they'd seen already. Lollapalooza, HORDE, Lilith
all suffered this fate, as will any festival tour that continues
JohnPopper> Some things were not meant to be yearly, bi-yearly or
JohnPopper> Reason #3 - factualism. It is my opinion that with every
categorized music, be it the all woman tour, the alternative tour, the
live jamming tour, the all Filipino tour, the all gastrointestinal
surgical tour - you get good women and you get bad women. Heavy metal
alternative, punk metal alternative.
JohnPopper> These factions destroy the unity. We were discovering on
HORDE that there were old jam bands and young jam bands. The trend for
these factions to avoid each other was getting difficult. This is the
problem with categorized music.
JohnPopper> Fourthly, I believe that the festival tour is doomed for a
much better reason. The reason I like this reason is that it deals with
natural selection and Darwin's theory.
JohnPopper> There is simply a better avenue.
JohnPopper> The radio show.
JohnPopper> Every town has the KFOM Rompkapade, Summer Super Motherfunk
Fest or Super Wacky Beach Party in which new and good young bands get to
play for large groups of people.
JohnPopper> The radio stations buy these young bands with air time, not
with money as the festival tours do. To a young band, air time is the most
precious thing they can acquire.
JohnPopper> That, coupled with the massively low overhead of all these
radio shows in every major market, have resulted in a very effective
method, and more efficient mousetrap, and in short, the absolute decline
of the dodo that is the recurring festival packaged tour.
JohnPopper> And I say thank God for it!
JohnPopper> Because they take your soul!
TiM_Beam> John -- what was your
inspiration for "Miserable Bastard" is it about anyone?? is there a
"miserable bastard" somewhere out there?
JohnPopper> Yes there is.
JohnPopper> He lurks inside of me.
JohnPopper> The song was - and I know what you were thinking, I don't
go around exposing myself to little old ladies - anyway, the song was
about my ability to manipulate personal relationships.
JohnPopper> With merciless aplomb. I think that I've learned a whole
lot these last couple years. "Miserable Bastard" represents a part of
myself that I am perhaps not too proud of. I like to think there is a
little miserable bastard inside all of us. The Machiavelli in me is alive
JohnPopper> Musically, "Miserable Bastard" has nice grooves, as I
borrowed from the likes of Prince and De La SOUL.
Harmonica Slim> What words of wisdom would
you give young musicians?
JohnPopper> Wise up.
JohnPopper> Never turn down free money.
JohnPopper> Wear a condom.
JohnPopper> Actually, theres that old crew thing I always heard. If
it's wet, drink it. If it's dry, smoke it. If it moves, fuck it. If it
doesn't move, throw it on the truck.
JohnPopper> A musicians life is full of adages like that. Someday I'll
tell you the difference between a slut and a bitch...but seriously, if
there is one word I can give you that will save your neck more than any
other time it would be SOUL.
CrystFlm> What are your feelings on the
current music scene?
JohnPopper> Which one?
JohnPopper> The general music scene, I think, is very general,
musically. The music's musicality makes a musical music musing in musical
JohnPopper> I think that music is a dancer. No, I'm sorry, that's
rhythm that's a dancer.
JohnPopper> Music has been known to have written the songs, apparently.
Music is that little twinkle in Sinatra's eyes.
JohnPopper> But can you answer me this question?
JohnPopper> If music can resound to the hills, to the point of making
them alive, why do we tarry so in our daily labors?
JohnPopper> What in fact would we do without music?
JohnPopper> What indeed would we do without song?
JohnPopper> If a train left Chicago at 300 miles an hour and there was
no music, who would care that it got to New York when it did?
JohnPopper> I think that the most important thing to remember about
music is that it is every bit yours as it is mine.
JohnPopper> Music is like God. Everybody's got their version of what it
means. I could sit here and spew crap at all of you about my theories of
JohnPopper> It won't matter a whit. What should matter is what YOU
think about music.
JohnPopper> The great thing about art - and supposed experts want to
keep this secret to protect their jobs - is that beauty is really in the
eye of the beholder. What you think is what is true to you.
JohnPopper> That's as true as it can be. Did you know that "the sun" in
Latin is pronounced SOL.
JasonMillner> Any chance we'll see some of
the old solo material on tour this fall... Princeton Eyes, Ain't That
Life... Dream On...
JohnPopper> What I'm trying to do is play with the band and do the
JohnPopper> That should provide a nice little lift to the show.
JohnPopper> I really hope you guys like this stuff.
JohnPopper> I don't want to piss any of you off and have you throw
fondue forks at the stage.
JohnPopper> Or octopi.
JohnPopper> Or fillets of salmon.
JohnPopper> Or, perhaps a nice piece of SOUL...
JohnPopper> I hope you guys got something out of this interview. Sleep
deprivation has left me a bit surreal.
JohnPopper> If you want to chat again, let these wonderful servers know
and we'll do it again.
JohnPopper> Doing these kind of interviews brings out this neurotic
need in me to talk to everyone there.
JohnPopper> Logistically, this becomes impossible, and I'm left with a
slightly empty feeling, as though there's some kid out there in Muncie, IN
who strove really hard to put one question up there to get chosen, only to
have me swat it down with some glib, sarcastic answer.
JohnPopper> If that is even remotely the case, please forgive me.
JohnPopper> But I do want you to know that Muncie, IN has no good
Chinese restaurants, and aside from being referred to as a backwater town,
has been known to have a history of sewage disposal problems.
JohnPopper> I thank you for your time and your SOULS.
JohnPopper> PS - I just realized what the capital of Korea is.