Remember a few weeks ago when I told you that now that the weather has taken a turn for the warm, I’m on a hunt for new awesome summer jams? Well, you can put today’s featured band and single on that list…fo’ sho. The afro-pop-synth sounds of Reptar immediately caught my attention with their song ‘Blast Off’ because I’m a huge Vampire Weekend fan… and, well, the comparisons come naturally. Since Ezra and Co. haven’t put out any new music since 2010′s Contra – let’s just say, I’ve been jonesing.
Luckily I found Reptar, a foursome out of Athens, GA who are filling that void and then some. Sure, their band name (taken from a Rugrats dinosaur character) might be self-admittedly “the second stupidest band name we have ever heard,” but their music is refreshingly awesome and not at all stupid. It is, in fact, infectiously groovy and super fun with powerful vocals from singer-guitarist Graham Ulicny that sound like they were custom made for blasting out at live shows. The Athens boys first gained attention by playing raucous local house parties and still keep those kinds of shows a vital part of their band life…even rounding out a much-touted SXSW appearance this year by playing a free show in a friend’s backyard. Another reason to love Reptar? Their amazingly retro website, which functions like an old-school version of Windows software and also has a full stream of Body Faucet that you can listen to before you go and purchase it on iTunes.
They are currently on tour with fellow HelloGiggles favorite and previous Now Hear This featured artist Grouplove and I was able to catch up with frontman Graham for a mini interview so that all my Gigglers could learn a little bit more about this about-to-break-big buzz band. So check out my chat with the lead singer of Reptar and then take a listen to my favorite track off of their debut album, ‘Sebastian’ and let me know if you agree that it is a perfect addition to any Summer playlist.
See Also: ‘Blast Off’ and ‘Sweet Sipping Soda’
5 QUESTIONS FOR REPTAR
1. You’re currently on tour with another HelloGiggles favorite, Grouplove…so where are you right this minute and what has it been like opening for them? Any cities coming up on the tour that you’ve never played or are super psyched to play?
I am backstage at the Varsity Theatre in Minneapolis drinking beers with Andrew of Grouplove. He drove our bus yesterday because he’s an All-Star and he rocks. Grouplove are super nice. We are gonna play a Peter Gabriel song together tomorrow. We’ve known them for a couple years. I can’t wait to play in Denver. Last time we played there we had nice fun!
2. Your debut record Body Faucet just came out. For HG readers that might not know you yet, what is your sound all about and why should they go buy your album immediately?
Go buy our album because you like it. If you don’t know for sure, email us about it. We will answer all questions you may have!
3. You’ve drawn comparisons to other indie power pop favorites like Vampire Weekend and Walk The Moon. Who are some of your main musical influences and how do those influences take shape in Body Faucet?
Our sound comes from the South and is influenced by Pylon, Kate Bush, Peter Gabriel, Deep Sleep, Javier Morales, cool people, pizza and friendship.
4. You guys are infamous for playing righteous house parties over the years and it being a big factor in developing your grassroots fan base. Now that you are opening for big bands and headlining bigger shows, will you still have time to play someone’s living room? What was the best house party you ever played?
We played in our own living room a couple of weeks ago and had a bunch of friends over. The band was living in a house named the “Dream Operator” in Athens, Georgia and we had our last show there recently. Some bands that played were Cocorico, Bird Names played on the staircase, James Thomas Crawford, Imperceivable Shifts in Latitude and Thick Paint.
5. Being from Athens, GA do you constantly feel pressure to play R.E.M. covers? If not, do you ever incorporate covers into your sets and which ones get the Reptar treatment?
No one covers R.E.M. in Athens because everyone writes their own awesome songs. We rarely play covers but we like to play Peter Gabriel songs sometimes and also ‘Kiss’ by Prince. Thanks Hellogiggles!