Recently we featured The Perfect Pop Co-op on the site, an indie label reminding of days past with their DIY attitude and energy and excitement with the kind of sounds and releases already unveiled. Formed by members of outstanding, one of a kind UK band the Tuesday Club, The Perfect Pop Co-op is ready to stir up the music scene with pop bred revelry. We set about getting to the heart of the label with creators Andy, John, and Dave…
Hello and thanks for sparing time to talk with us.
The Perfect Pop Co-op has been around for a while now, tell us about its beginnings.
Andy: The Perfect Pop Co began as an idea around 2011. All of the members of the Tuesday Club were in different bands at the time and we were looking at a vehicle to release material through. Previous to the PPCO, we (John and Andy) were in a band called The Scratch and used to release our material through our own label Ponyland Records; PPCO was based on those lines, but basically the idea was a Rough Trade style collective or Factory Records, which was more accurate in the fact that both they and we had no budget or business acumen… (allegedly)…
So it is fair to say that the label was formed as much as anything because of The Tuesday Club but was also diverted from realising its initial intent because of the band’s success?
Andy: Well as we said we had already had the idea and done the vinyl renaissance thing too, our first 7″ (The Scratch) came out in 2002 when vinyl most defiantly wasn’t hip, but yes especially as at the time of starting the Tuesday Club we were an 8 piece so there was budget, desire, and more than a little material ready and waiting. Jordan had Recharged Radio, Andy, John and Terry had The Scratch, Dave was in We are White Worm, Minki had 50ft Woman, Lozz had been in loads of bands and since left to form Knock Off and Brian had been in lots of bands too and worked as a session player.
John: Yeah – as Andy said, we’d originally set up the label to release all the different bands we were in – but as the Tuesday Club was such fun the other bands went on the back burner and the TCs became our main focus.
Dave: The mistress became the muse if you like. For me, it was like falling in love with being in a band again; limitless possibility and no baggage. Remembering why I wanted to do this in the first place.
Why form a label in the first place. I know The Tuesday Club is not exactly a band which is ever idle so it was not because of wanting to find something to do.
Andy: Basically we were overflowing with ideas and concepts and needed a way of archiving them coherently, but at the same time giving the world a chance to listen in. Since it’s conception The Bleeed, Andreas and The Wolf and two or three other off shots have happened, not least The D.O.D.O from 2011 and Reverse Family that has been in existence since 2006.
John: We’ve always been pretty prolific on the writing and recording front… not everything always fitted with what we were doing with the Tuesday Club, and with 8 of us in the band, getting the time to get us all together to write, rehearse and record material meant that there was always a surplus of tracks – so with The Bleeed, that was 4 out of the 8 of us recording some of those tracks in the gaps between working on the Tuesday Club.
I am assuming The Tuesday Club came first, a fair time before the start of the label? Give us some idea to the background of the band too; how you all got together etc.
Andy: Actually the label may have come slightly earlier; we started putting on nights at a local pub in St. Albans, The White Hart Tap. The Scratch generally headlined, 50ft Woman played and we had other bands come down as support. We had these loyalty cards that got stamped and we gave away free stuff to people who collected enough stamps. I think the Tuesday’s were only rehearsing at this time, I seem to think 2011 November, Electrowerkz in London being our debut.
What was the spark to Perfect Pop Co-op returning to its original idea and bringing other projects to ears?
Andy: There had been a lot of upheaval in the band, the tragic loss of Terry hit us all very hard; Lozz and Brian had already left, I guess we were unsure of the future and kind of thought we need something solid and positive to focus on
At the moment, the bands and releases on Perfect Pop Co-op are all linked in some way or another to members of the band?
Andy: Yes at the moment, each project features at least one or more past or present member of The Tuesday Club, but we do have dreams of samplers featuring other bands, we are basically trying to raise the profile of PPCO to see where it can take us
Can you give us some insight to the bands currently filling the label’s cast?
Andy: Each band has a different sound, though most in fact all have Andy singing on them; there are a lot of styles. We see The D.O.D.O for instance as a 60’s tinged – psych experiment. The Bleeed is our goth, Hammer Horror side, but we also have 2 or 3 experimental pop acts and an 80s synth duo! We never set out to write in a style, and tend to go with where it takes us. Our latest plans are for a PPCO invasion of Irish 4 piece Girl Band, who blew our minds when they played in St. Albans last year.
John: We often write and record tracks concentrated bursts with whoever is about – for example The DODO album was written and recorded in 3 weeks over Christmas a few years back with 3 out of the 5 of us in The Scratch – and so that became one project. Another, as yet unnamed project, which still needs mixing – was an albums worth of stuff recorded by 3 of us from The Tuesday Club last August – so that will become another project – so I guess these bands are all just different permutations of a wider pool of friends – so each one is different as we all bring different things to the party.
Are these all on-going projects too; bands we can expect more releases and new songs from in the future?
Andy: Yes, we have plans to release something new for every month of this year; generally when a new mag (IN THE CLUB) is out. In the club 028 May 16 comes out so a new release will, not only older material, but we are intending to record a new track a month in our bunker, under the Perfect pop review.
What are the differences, if any, of releasing just one’s band’s material and having many projects to take care of?
Andy: There’s no difference really, other than the style of the artwork.
I read somewhere about the labels’ idea of the ‘perfect’ pop song. Can you elaborate on that and does it mean we are safe from hearing meandering ten minute epics from you? haha
Andy: Well everyone’s idea of perfect pop is slightly different, none of us are Queen fans, but Bohemian Rhapsody wasn’t 2 minutes or O Superman by Laurie Anderson. Personally my favourite ever single is Buffalo Stance by Neneh Cherry, but I don’t think you could beat Ride a White Swan by T.Rex or Tainted Love by Soft Cell, they are more the area we are dabbling in I’d say.
John: I think we all have a love of the 7 inch single – fitting everything into a 3 minute blast of perfection is quite an art and growing up in the 70s and 80s we were spoilt with great examples – what I liked back then was that often really quite weird tracks could get onto top of the pops. Laurie Anderson is a good example – but things like the Flying Lizards – I Want Money… or Pump up the Volume by MARRS.
Dave: Speak for yourselves. Queen is a bit of a guilty pleasure. Great pop music is like that elusive thing where a song hits the spot, first time, and it lives with you forever. It’s just…..right. No thought required, no second listen, just perfect.
Is there a plan in motion with Perfect Pop Co-op in regard to expanding artists and where you hope to be in say two or five years?
Andy: Yes as we said earlier, first we need the world to know we’re here, from there who knows
Will the label remain an in house bed of creativity or are you looking at some point in releasing records from other bands?
Andy: The Creativity bit is key to us, but yes we’d love to one day have PPCO numbers all over people’s record collection.
The remit will always remain pop in its varied guises?
Andy: Yes, I think a catchy chorus is always they key
Tell us more about the online magazine from Perfect Pop Co-op.
Andy: The mag started as a vehicle for The Tuesday Club and everyone contributed daft columns, and we did a monthly podcast of tracks we liked by new and old bands. But as the band evolved/changed we got less TC and more PPCO, plus now we have more outside contributions. We like getting bands we like involved too, our In the Club section has already featured Richard Norris (Beyond the Wizards Sleeve), John Robb (Membranes), Will Crewdson (Adam and the Ants), Maggie Demonde (Scarlet Fantastic) and Pete Jones (Department S), plus loads of local St. Albans bands we like too. The idea is defiantly ‘fanzine’ in the style of the Old punk zine ‘Sniffing Glue‘, very DIY, rather than the old NME or Melody Maker – there’s no time for loads of editorial, but that’s not to say that we wouldn’t welcome an editor Pete 😉 – trouble is the pays crap… £0 per hour! Basically the mag is a free way to support and PR our musical community and hopefully tempt people into buy our wares!
What is in line for our ears and imagination rom the label in the coming weeks?
Andy: Next up we are going to put out an Andreas and The Wolf single track and with the June mag is Zerox, The Tuesday Club cover of the Adam and The Ants classic, we recently did a gig with Adam’s current guitarist Will Crewdson – top bloke and in more bands than our own Rogerio TC, so we thought what with Adam back on the road too why not get that baby out in circulation!
And from our favourites The Tuesday Club?
Andy: We’ve just been back in the studio with our producer the fab Steve Honest at Hackney Road and recorded 4 tracks towards a new album (3), which we hope to have out in the spring of 2017.
Will there be a live aspect to the label, i.e. shows with your bands together at any point?
Andy: That was something we spoke about which is where the PPCO review idea came from, it’s definitely a possibility
Once again big thanks for the chat and time shared. Anything you would like to add?
Andy: Our thanks is to you Pete for your continued support. All we’d say to the world is get over to our bandcamp and get involved 🙂 The Perfect Pop Co-Op
Read out feature on The Perfect Pop Co-Op @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2016/05/17/introducing-the-perfect-pop-co-op/
Keep an eye and ear out for what comes next at, musically https://theperfectpopco-op.bandcamp.com and in word and vision @ https://issuu.com/perfectpopco-op/docs/in_the_club_028_may_16/1
The RingMaster Review 02/06/2016