ALL SHOOK UP
Every now and then, new artists emerge that are impossible to describe aptly. These are the ones that should be cherished; they seemingly have far too many errant pigeons to wrestle into holes too narrow. Maybe The Sodapops are like Nicholas Cage’s career – utterly confusing, but in the best possible way. Maybe their brand of self-described experimental jazz pop fusion is purely designed to make you forget what you were supposed to be doing. Or maybe it simply doesn’t matter – because of that gut feeling that tells you when something is simply incredible.
“This band is unpredictable. In both song and nature,” says Grant Rutups, The Sodapops’ guitarist and songwriter. “I just wanted us to sound like no one else… and we really do sound like no one else. I couldn’t even tell you what we sound like.
“We didn’t choose to be unique. It just kind of happened. I just wanted to write songs which sounded fresh to me, and when I first started writing Sodapops, I was learning a lot about jazz. I thought, like, jazz is the next level of musical quality, and I tried to incorporate a lot of that into our songs – which kind of melded into all the other stuff I was listening to at that moment. And I’ve always had a thing for a good pop chorus; I don’t really care about the pop scene these days…”
One of The Sodapops’ many strengths is in their live show, which constantly alternates between berserk technical genius and ephemeral sweetness.
“The stage is where I belong. I’ve done a lot of theatre. Whenever I’ve hit a stage at any point in my life I’ve tried to make the most out of it. If you’ve ever seen a Sodapops show, you’ll know I put everything into it. I really just want to entertain people, so I guess that’s why I’m particularly drawn to playing gigs. But I’m really critical of The Sodapops and where I am as a rock star…”
Grant pauses, and a huge grin creeps over his face.
“I am not a rock star,” he says, bursting into maniacal laughter. “I’m a try hard rock star. I’m always hitting the stage in outlandish outfits and trying to break the stage and stuff... knocking over mics and things.”
On the verge of releasing their first release – a dense debut album replete with a hidden bonus track – Grant is confident that variety is the key.
“I reckon if you picked it up, chances are you’d like it. I mean, chances are that there are a few moments you won’t like; it depends what you’re into.
“At the very least, there’ll be something in it for every music listener.”
The Sodapops will be gracing the stage at ANU Bar on Friday September 2. Tickets are $14 at the door.