Glimpses of the South Florida Scene is a column devoted to the artists thriving within Broward and Palm Beach counties featuring interviews with the folks making it happen. This week, Kevin Popejoy.
Kevin Popejoy: I started teaching myself to play guitar when I was a kid, maybe 10 or 12. I didn't really take my guitar playing seriously until about three years ago. At that point, I started producing these sort of goofy instrumentals which got a little bit of attention here and there.
Tell me a little bit about your involvement with the Lake Worth "scene." I found out about you through other local musicians mentioning you. I know it's really a warm, helpful community. What's it been like playing local shows, especially compared to when you first started?
Lake Worth is pretty amazing. There is always live music and I try to go to as many shows as possible. That's the great thing about Lake Worth too -- musicians are always recommending each other to other musicians. One thing that has always impressed me is the willingness of musicians to collaborate, help out on stage or just jam for fun.
Your music has a very organic sound. What are some of your influences? What did you listen to when you were growing up and what hasinspired you recently?
As I was growing up, my mom would always have the oldies station on in the car while driving us around. When I was in high school, I listened to only three bands: Pink Floyd, Electric Light Orchestra, and Radiohead. My brother, to this day, still jokes that he can't listen to any of those bands because he had to hear them so much when we were growing up.
You have two tracks released on your Bandcamp. What are you currently working on, besides getting a bunch of local shows? Is there an EP in the works?
I'm actually in the process of writing it. I have all the music written for it, now I just have to write the lyrics, which for me is the hardest part. I'm considering maybe taking the last half of the summer off from playing shows so I can focus more on writing rather than practicing my older material.
That sounds exciting. What else can you tell us about White Hats?
Basically, White Hats is me and Mike sending each other tracks back and forth via e-mail. One of us will add something, send it back to the other for approval. As that cycle repeats itself, more and more layers are added to the original track. Some of the rough tracks we've done have been really great. It's very casual and there's a lot of room for me and Mike to both open up creatively because there's not really any pressure to please anybody.
Going back to what you said before, why do you find that it's difficult to write lyrics? Have you ever experienced an instance in which the lyrics came to you first?
When I write lyrics I have this inner struggle with striking the right balance between openness and vagueness. Finding the right mixture of both is the hardest thing for me. I'm a pretty private person when it comes to my personal life and my past so I don't like putting everything out there for everybody to see, but I do like writing about it.
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Since we're on the topic of songwriting, what inspires your music -- the lyrics that sometimes come first as well as the songs you've been playing without lyrics? I know it's a pretty free-flowing process for most musicians but I'm curious about your take on it, and what inspires you, if you can pinpoint anything at all.
It's actually really difficult for me to point to one specific thing. Most of my songs are about my convictions whether it be about society, relationships, etc. I also feel like writing songs sometimes gives me closure to certain things that are otherwise unresolved.
Summarize what's next for you. We've discussed your summer plans, writing songs, working on the E.P.... What else? Any shows? What are you looking forward to? And what are your summer plans that don't have anything to do with your musical pursuits?
Besides thinking about taking the summer off from playing shows so I can write more, I'm also taking summer classes trying to finish up my degree in Psychology at FAU. I'm really looking forward to the show I have on May 30 at Dada. I'm playing that show with Daniel Demosthenes from Your Umbrella. He's an amazing musician and a great guy and I'm grateful to be able to share the stage with him.
Kevin Popejoy. With Daniel Demosthenes of Your Umbrella. 8 p.m. Monday, May 30, at Dada, Delray Beach. No cover. More info available on the Facebook event page.