Minneapolis keeps serving up garage rock and we keep licking the plate clean. In May, Forged Artifacts will release the self-titled debut of Some Pulp, a garage-y, bubblegum trio of former Mitten state residents that found themselves in the even colder isolation of Minnesota. The debut runs the gamut of rock n roll high school curriculum with passing grades in all the 101 courses. On second single, “Tell Me Ur Mine”, the trio even rip up the syllabus in favor of writing a catchy song that exists as the sum of their high school experience.
If you catch hints of stalker-ish creeping in Some Pulp's “Tell Me Ur Mine”, read on in our interview to discover they final cut is actually a far tamer version from the original lyrics. It's difficult to determine how serious Some Pulp are being (most likely not), but if anything, it speaks to a self-awareness within the band. They had a vision for “Tell Me” of glammy vocals, bubblegum tenderness, and the hormonal exaggeration of pubescent doo-wop—and they aced it.
Is it safe to assume your band name is in reference to the orange juice selection at the grocery store? Is the band in agreement that “some pulp” is the preferred consistency?
You know, despite the past run-ins we’ve had with the press regarding the band’s consistency/viscosity (we won’t mention who… *cough cough* Grapefruit Weekly… OJ Aficionado *cough*…), we've actually been forced to accept ‘some’ as our preferred pulp consistency. We can all totally agree this whole viscosity war that's blown up in the last 26 years has proven to be an emotionally scarring one. Like, there used to be those aggro bands who (we won't mention who… *cough* The Beets… *cough*) would get some sadistic kick out of cutting bands like us down, and for what? We're not about to, like, apologize if our songs aren't about tofu on some sort of pigheaded killing spree.
We've almost become desensitized to all the slander and stigma our name has generated over the last couple decades. Disparate statements like “you guys suck cuz you're not viscous enough to be heavy,” or “I think you're dumb and I want less pulp,” were pretty commonplace among audiences thru-out the …And Juice-tice For All tour we did back in '94. So it's refreshing to celebrate our comeback with a new rind and a safe, non-partisan consistency preference. *holds back tears*
Going to into the recording of your debut record what were some of the goals you wanted to achieve?
Since we approached the album as an entirely DIY project, we had to really get our ducks in a row with recording and distribution the same. The number one goal was to make an album we were happy with and excited to show peeps– simple as that––and we're definitely suuuper stoked to get this thing out. It sounds crazy better than the first tape and the songwriting is fairly focused and streamlined. The second goal was to find a super legit somebody to release the damn thing with, so we sent some demos out here and there and waited. Suddenly, as the nuclear clouds parted and the acid rain ceased, we gazed upon the beautiful tweet reply from the Minneapolis-based Forged Artifacts that read, “k”––his words, not ours. The remaining 139 unused characters represented an instant life bond and brotherhood. A get-together and a couple blood contracts later, we joined the Forged Artifacts family and are ecstatic to say so.
Can you elaborate on the track “Tell Me Ur Mine”, for example what's the benefit in being guaranteed double confirmation of commitment by your estimation?
“Tell Me” is the definitive anthem for all them deep homies tryna get a hunny on lock, despite their obsessive and creepy strategies in acquiring such. The nature of the subject matter was so sensitive and so freaking relatable to all of us in the band, that we really wanted to convey the perfect amount of desperate/clingy an anthem like “Tell Me” deserves. So we took to our windowless Astrovan and drafted out what was to be our swan song. The original lyrics to the A section as follows:
Tell me I'm the only cool dude that ever lived on Earth.
Tell me what do you think the chances are
of a guy like you and a girl like me ending up together?
Tell me once, tell me twice, get in my van.
But the CEO at Forged Artifacts took one listen to the demo version and said, “no”––his words, not ours. So we just revised here and there and it soon became the version you hear today. We've come to grips with the fact that our die-hard fans seem to think it's lost any intrigue or adventure since the revision, but swan song or not, we're still singing it each and every forlorn day, creepy to the max for sure.
Do you feel region factors into the songwriting process for Some Pulp? Is there a presence of Minneapolis we should listen for?
As Southeast Michigan transplants, I feel the Minneapolis community and immersion has influenced much more of the sound, than the writing. There's a definite vibe that Minneapolis brings to the musical table with siiiiiick acts emerging, most of which have that garage-y sound everybody's eating up these days. I'd say most of the songwriting aesthetic spawns from years of listening to WCSX and obsessing over whose version of 'Maybe' is the best (*cough* The Utopias…). Also All Killer No Filler and Vernors.
Vernors (˚ ˃̣̣̥᷄⌓˂̣̣̥᷅ )
But, yeah, Minneapolis rules and it'd be great to attribute the entire songwriting/creative process to the scene here, but it's definitely the marriage of that and Mitten state roots that defines it.
The album, in its doo-wop qualities, has a strong sense of teenage longing, crushes, and heart ache. What is it about those formative years that translated into the songwriting?
When compared to young-adult life and relationships, those teenage years, though delicate and formative, tend to have a weak replay value for memories and emotions, on the surface. We're just trying to refocus the lens of the average love song by harkening back to the years we used our hearts more than our brains.
In other words, it's pretty much like how Dawson's Creek holds onto a single emotion (angst, teen lust, crying) for, like, an entire season and packs it all into this incredibly relatable and dynamic character that you love to hate (shoutout Abby Morgan R.I.P) and soon realize the Dawson's experience would feel completely empty without all that angst, lust, and crying, had season two revolved solely around Andie McPhee's ears. Or it's like how Donna Hayward can somehow get away with taking advantage of the entire town of Twin Peaks, even if it means to basically kill a super cool agoraphobic dude, just to steal her best friend's secrets, yet still gets to pout and compete for Miss Twin Peaks with no remorse. Nice.
But, the cool thing is that classic doo-wop groups were comprised of actual 16 and 17 year olds, probably dabbling in puppy love and break-ups of their own. Whether or not their love/heartache did truly shine thru their craft, it was those teens that gave the tunes such a timeless innocence, and we wanna emulate just that.