Interview | Smash Boom Pow
Vancouver, BC's Smash Boom Pow is an up-and-coming act that synthesizes rock & roll and electronica with pop sensibilities. We had a chance to catch up with brothers Ulysses and Zane Coppard after the band's set at the Peak Performance Project's Top 12 showcase. We talked about their unique sound and ambition that sets them apart from the rest.
Smash Boom Pow?
We were hanging out with our producer at the time recording our first single "Some People". We had some down time and we were blasting "Nobody Loves Me And Neither Do I" by Them Crooked Vultures. There's this massive riff in that song, it's incredible. Anyway, one of the lyrics uses "Smash Boom Pow" and it seemed like a good fit for what we were doing - especially considering we were about to release music and had no name at the time.
How and where did you two get your start in music?
Smash Boom Pow has been going for about 4 years! We befriended an eccentric English recorder and producer, we had some good songs, and we had access to a studio, the time was right. We grew up together, and there was always music in the house. At a certain age, our parents were like, "so what instrument do you want to play?". We've been really lucky.
What approach does a band of only two members take in order to compete with bands averaging four or five members?
A big fat low end! We use synth bass. We don't have a lot of instruments sharing the same sonic frequency so each element really shines. We have to really sell it, half the audience is looking at you at any given moment, so you gotta keep up. Playing epic songs totally helps. In a band with five members, you can afford to chill a little more.
Does being related give you a dynamic that most other bands don't have?
Short answer yes. We're not really sure why but it's a thing, definitely. We've got a vibe, yeah!? It's easier to act on each other's behalf.
SBP's sound has a very distinct power and energy. Where does that come from?
We have so many musical influences and part of what we do is take those and turn them into something new. We're not chasing a trend, we make what we want to hear - and often that's something that draws from a lot of different influences. We have a lot of passion for what we do, so above all we want to communicate that to the listener.
What are your biggest non-musical influences?
Z: High-quality clothing. Design and Lifestyle. Photography. Coffee stuff. Studying people. The culture of Hip Hop aside from the music. Bikes (design). People being deliberate. The best of the best in anything. I can get inspiration from a pencil if it was thoughtfully created.
U: I'm into painters. Expressionists, mostly, like Picasso, Basquiat, Van Gogh. They have such interesting stories, and were living on the edge in a lot of ways. Fascinating. I like to read and train my brain to think good thoughts! Also, I follow street style a little bit.
If Smash Boom Pow were an inanimate object what would it be?
Powtato chips, all the way! Or a million, cash.
You guys are currently taking part in the Peak Performance Project. What sets you apart from the other bands, why should you win?
We're the whole package, and this is just the beginning. We're shooting for that #1 spot but even if they don't see it, we're on our way up. We've got a strong team around us and we've got roots here - this is bigger than just our band, we want to involve great creative people in our vision and create something bigger than just the two of us.
Does Smash Boom Pow have any new music or upcoming shows we can look forward to?
We just wrapped a day of recording at the Warehouse for Converse's Rubber Tracks initiative to get bands from all around the world in historic studios. That was a blast - thanks for the shoes! We'll be releasing a single from that session not too long from now, and we have an EP on the way, the release date is to be determined.