Have an interview today with some newcomers to the Boston music scene called The Young Pop Cherrys! The guys have been steadily increasing their presence as of late with their indelible song "Sugar Cubes" raising some earlobes and is a definite crowd pleaser in the live setting. Recently, Mike Swanson and Tommy Flynn (formerly of Red Star Super Giant) sat down to chat with the site as we get the scoop on their new project, plus the band's intentions for the rest of the year musicwise. Here is the transcript from our chat:
Give us your names and what you guys do in the band?
Tommy Flynn, I sing, write and play guitar.
Michael Swanson - bass and keyboards.
What is the overall sound of your group like to those who aren't familiar with you?
Tommy: The sound is melodic rock with a nice blues influence in there as well; definitely a classic influence, but with a modern twist. I'd say Tom Petty meets meets Ozzy.
Mike: The Young Pop Cherrys are definitely a rock band. We incorporate a modern rock sound with some classic tones which blends very nicely with each song.
When did you first become interested in music and how has it shaped or enriched you as the person you are today?
Tommy: Elvis was the first person I can remember who made me say, "I wanna do that", and from their I found the Stones and The Doors.
Mike: Joe had been into music from a young age and played in a couple hardcore/punk bands in his high school days. Mike M. has been playing guitar for nearly 15 years striving to live up to his guitar hero Nuno Bettencourt. Thomas has become a very dedicated singer/songwriter starting in his early 20s. Mike's has always played keys since 11 years old and really started getting into the live music scene directly after college.
How does the sound of this group differ from your previous band, Red Star Super Giant?
Tommy: The sound is much more raw rock; which reminds me of The Ramones a bit, not so much in sound but in the texture of the music. Its also a bit more complex.
Mike: Although some of the songs have been used from Red Star Super Giant with this current lineup, you might have a hard time recognizing them. We've really intensified the way we play everything. For example the track "Don't mind Molly" no longer uses any keyboards or acoustic guitar. Instead we've intensified it with punchy bass and over driven electric guitar giving it a vibe of "Come as you are" by Nirvana. Red Star Super Giant was more of a folk rock sound especially with our single "This Time Around". Both bands had a modern sound but it's evident that TheYoung Pop Cherrys possess more of a rock sound than their predecessors.
Can you talk about the process with recording your debut EP and what that whole experience was like for each of you?
Tommy: The process was actually really easy. I wrote these songs, and recorded it at Audio Fetish Studios in Tewksbury With Dave Weird Beard Mcafferty; fantastic producer. He really knew what I wanted and we got it, later on I showed the guys the cd and that was it, we started playing.
Mike: The EP was actually recorded solo by Tommy and a producer. Moving forward we all look forward to recording these tracks together.
Which songs off the new effort are your personal favorite?
Tommy: My favorite is definitely 'If It Gets Me High." Theres an energy to it that I fucking love. Lyrically its got a swagger that I love, too.
Mike: "Fell In Love At A Graveyard" is a favorite for many of us in the band. it's such a mysterious sound coupled with great lyrics and riveting melodies that really take the listener for a ride.
What do you guys love the most about playing together?
Tommy: I think playing together is a special thing. It always starts out a little rocky, but the more you play the better it gets, and when you all lock in for that one moment live and the just crowd's loving it; thats my favorite part of the day.
Mike: For this band every single member comes from an entirely different musical background. You have Joe from punk/hardcore, Mike M. from the 80s rock, Tommy from the 90s rock, and Mike S. from the current alternative scene. Although we have our differences and want elements of our favorite musical styles to really stand out, we have to work together and make comprises when we play together. We might not always agree but the end result is truly something special and surprising.
In your spare time away from making music, what do you like to do for fun?
Tommy: My spare time I like drinking copious amounts of beer and just meeting people, collecting records.
Mike: Joe is really into getting tatoos. I swear he is going to be in the Guinness Book of World Records soon. Mike M. is a borderline professional skier. Both Thomas and Michael really enjoy going to see live music and going to music festivals. We're all very social guys and love just hanging out before and after shows we have too with our friends and fans.
What's coming up next for you guys this year, planning any shows in the not too distant future?
Tommy: We are in talks with a few bands, trying to get a tour together, maybe do the upper east coast. We have some other dates, too.
Mike: We're definitely still in the developmental stages of the band. We really need to keep playing shows and work on our live sound while acquiring a local fan base. We will continue to do our best to market and get our name out there while continuing to create great songs.
Lastly, where do you see this band moving forward, anything you look to accomplish together down the road?
Tommy: As far as the future of this band; I think it all depends on what we want to do. I have no intentions of slowing down. I'm sure I'll write more stuff and will play it loud.
Mike: I have all the confidence that this band has some serious potential. We are going to move forward by playing shows and getting our name out there. We see no end in sight and plan on taking this as far as we can.
Thanks once again to Mike and Tommy for taking some time out to do this interview! I've had the honor and privilege of knowing these guys for over a year now, and I can tell you that they're the real deal and deliver on their promise to perform quality music to a captive audience. For more info on The Young Pop Cherrys, 'Like' them on Facebook here and check out their official website right here as well.