New Noise Magazine is in a daze thanks to “Slice” by Pope. Hailing from New Orleans, Pope’s identity is as bright as the city; vibrant with comforting grooves and motifs. “Slice” is a track that vibes like a relaxing night, smoking the stress away, lost in thought. It’s less about the anxiety of the day and more of the thought process of clearing one’s mind, as the guitars bounce to a steady rhythm. It’s a song that feels like the change in season, transitioning to a more lush color palette and a decisive awakening. Pope are gearing to release their brand new album, True Talent Champion, via Community Records on November 3rd, 2017. Listen to “Slice” below and read an interview with Matthew Seferian of Pope!
“There was never really any intention or meaning when I first started writing the song. It just sort of happened. I enjoyed the chord progressions and was going through a rough patch, drinking alone at night a bit too much and that’s really what the song is about. I found myself letting down all the people who were important to me. I hate doing wrong to the people I love and I got caught in a vicious cycle for a short time.” – Matthew Seferian of Pope
With a lot of Pope songs, there’s always a really nice sway to the music, kind of like how Elliott Smith songs would move freely, is that intended or does that happen rather naturally?
Elliott Smith has been in our lives for a long time – I think it’s fair to say that Elliot’s sound shaped a lot of our sound and songwriting styles as well. That being said, I don’t think we intended it to sound that way, but we are a band that definitely wears our influences on our sleeves. We are suckers for catchy pop music and groovy grooves.
How does “Slice” fit into the realm of the rest of the album, thematically or sound wise? I love the steadiness of the track.
The song sounds very different from the rest of the record but if you know us and know the kind of music Alex and I enjoy and play outside of Pope, it’s really not that much of a stretch. In fact, I think I think its kind of funny that Pope ended up sounding the way it does. I can hear many different influences in our band, but I feel like young us wouldn’t have expected us to sound the way we do. Too simple, too heavy, and not enough guitars. This song is a pretty good representation of the music we were listening to in our early development as musicians. Stuff like Wilco, Neil Young, Deer Tick, Dr. Dog, Pavement, Bruce Springsteen, etc. I also think “Slice”’s sound is also a bit of a break from the heaviness and density of the record. Kind of a rest for your ears and way to clean your mental palate for the rest of what’s to come.
What are the emotions and feelings now that the album is soon to be released?
We are so excited to share the record! After two years and everything that has happened between our previous record and this record, its been a long time coming. That being said, we are looking forward to showin you what’s cookin in the kitchen if you know what I mean.
How does the community that surrounds Pope help in continuing to create music?
Living in New Orleans really pushes you to be the best musician you can be because the talent in the city is unbelievable. From the local bands like Fishplate, Caddywhompus, Video Age, Sharks Teeth, Casual Burn, Lawn, and too many others to name, to the traditional jazz and funk music in the city, you really have to put your time in. On top of that, we have the amazing the music scene we get to be a part of. Over years of touring, and hosting touring bands in New Orleans, we’ve been able to have so many meaningful friendships with the most passionate and sincere musicians as well as people that love music. Its such an incredible community of people supporting each other with the unique talents they have. We just want to be able to do our part as well.
What other plans for Pope are there?
Right now, our focus is to be on the road as much as possible and record new music all the time. In a way it feels like we are trying to make up for lost time because other projects have made us move slowly, but steadily.. We have a good opportunity now to throw everything into this band and we intend to.
Thank you to everyone who has supported us in Pope and all of our other projects through the years. Thank you for still believing in us, we’re just gonna keep trying lol
$1 from the sale of every record will be donated to T.E.J.A.S. Harvey Fund.
Photo by Julie Leiby