DTK interview with Smallpools
Smallpools makes the music you know and can’t help yourself for liking at least a little bit.
Blending the unique hooks and riffs in with sing along choruses, their first full length “LOVETAP! “ is that stadium ready rock pop LP fit for mass enjoyment. The group came together from opposite coasts of the US and linked up in Los Angeles with a production team perfectly fit for their needs in trio Captain Cuts. What songs came to fruition in the early sessions proved popular in a short amount of time and has put Smallpools on the map as a young talented group of musicians with many avenues to explore. Record and licensing deals have come on the merits of these early songs but through my time spent with them I can admit the men stay humble and down to earth as a friendly bunch just trying t make great pop songs.
Can you speak on the relationship you developed with production trio Captain Cuts while writing the first singles as a band?
Sean: “Ya well we haven’t hung out with them in a bit but they did the whole album, pretty much. We were very lucky to meet those guys through my friend and another friend and we just jammed some ideas together and it was a chemistry that clicked. They were kind of up and coming guys trying to master their craft and we were kind of doing the same thing. There were zero egos, everyone could kind of talk shit on everyone’s parts and no one would get offended. As opposed to if you get thrown in with some massive produced and they’re talking down to you… and it’s either their way or the highway and your afraid to be yourself in front of them to where they’re like “we need an oo oo oo part here” and you’re like “ok” but maybe you hate that idea, but you don’t want to offend this producer guy so. But in our case we were trying to make the best songs possible and nobody is going to be offended.”
Mike: “They had the same drive that we were feeling, we wouldn’t settle on a part. There would be times where we would even settle and they would be like, ”No we got to keep going, we can do better”. You know, so it was really just good chemistry, we’re really like best friends now and they’ll be here tomorrow."
Sean: “There were a couple of songs that needed to be completely rerecorded from scratch because we thought it needed to be one key different or one beat different and they would be down because they just had that drive."
In terms of young musical influence, can you describe your early encounters with music?
Beau: “I grew up listening to a lot of 80s stuff that my parents listened to, like Phil Collins, The Police, Toto, Dire Straights, that was all the stuff that my dad was really into. That was my first taste of rock music, and then as I grew up I got into Smashing Pumpkins and Pearl Jam and now the list goes on and on. Those early bands are the ones that get stuck into you.”"
Joseph: “I grew up a little differently, my parents weren’t ever really super into music, I think they’ve still got the same five or six cds in their disc changer from when I was born but I grew up listening to a lot of classical music, instrumental stuff, jazz music which is kinda still what I listen to in my free time too."
Sean: “Things that were blasting out of my house at parents barbeques were just like James Taylor, Eric Clapton, Paul Simon stuff that’s like lyrically cool and funky but like we said overall digestible awesome sound. So good songs, I’m not a hug fan of any one band but a fan of good songs."
Mike: “I guess kind of a lot like Beau, a lot of stuff from the 80s, pretty much what was playing on the trips to the supermarket, stuff like Billy Joel, The Police, and Phil Collins too, Tears For Fears. My mom played a lot of guitar when I was younger, so she would always play to me when I was going to sleep, she would play Rolling Stones songs or like Blackbird or other stuff by the Beatles. A guitar was always around and I always thought it was interesting how she could make these sounds come out and my dad was big Springsteen fan I’m from New Jersey. I guess those were the early influences and then I got into the Smashing Pumpkins, Foo Fighters, Deftones era and now I’m back to what I grew up listening to.”
Sean what would be you biggest interest outside of music?
Sean: “Booking hotels, I really enjoy I do that for us still, try and find the best deal. I got a really intricate method to that so call me up if you need to stay somewhere. What else do I do, I like Russell Brand.”
I feel like he has had an interesting evolution as a human being.
Sean: “Ya, I have seen him for awhile now and his comedy is great. The best thinng is his interviews on late night shows or YouTube because he is so quick witted and smart that it's inspiring. Being that smart, knowing that many words and talking to another human so eloquently. He is definitely the whole package. “
For you Mike, what is your best method to dealing with stress?
Mike: ”I am still working that out (laughs), I wish I had something, I guess I could say go for a run or something. I mean for me I just try to look at the big picture a realize that if I am stressed out about this now I am probably not going to be stressed out about this in a week so its not really worth worrying about it anyways.”
Sean: “And In a hundred years we’ll all be dust anyways.”
M: “(Laughs) I don’t want to go there, but ya at the end of the day it really doesn’t matter, as long as it isn’t effecting someone else in a negative way but it’s a problem of mine, my problems will be so insignificant when I’m dead (laughs).”
For you Joseph, can you recall a vivid dream you had recently?
Joseph: “Wow, I am horrible at remembering my dreams, I swear I just had on the other night, but you know I can’t remember it. My most vivid dream as a kid though, have you ever seen the Rocketeer? Awesome movie, it's about this guy who finds a rocket pack and he fights the Nazis and it's just amazing. My recurring dream as a child was finding the rocket pack in my back yard and flying around while friends were chasing me to tag me, it was the best. Never happened in real life though.”
For Beau, what is your favourite type of dance at the moment, or one that you would like to learn?
Beau: “Man, I wish I was as good of a dancer as I am a drummer, I would be able to crush it out on the dance floor, but no (laughs) I think tap dance would be something that I would really enjoy. My friend Channing, he plays drums in Capital Cities and he’s a big tap dancer and I hung out with him about a month ago and he was telling me all about his tap dancing and all the stuff he does and it inspired me. It's actually a great idea. I remember in second grade we had to tap dance, we had an hour a day that we would do tap, maybe I should pick that back up as an adult.”