If Danish-American pop-punk trio New Politics actually were to form a political party, it would probably involve a large amount of dancing, incredible hooks, and a fervent constituency. Ever since "Harlem," the band's breakout hit in the States, New Politics (vocalist Daniel Boyd, guitarist Soren Hansen, and drummer Louis Vecchio) has been dazzling crowds across the country with showmanship rarely seen in live music as of late.
For them, it's simply an extension of who they are and what they do. And as long as it adds to the fun factor and the spectacle, the audiences seem to be all for it. New Politics will take that energy and bring it to the Main Street Armory on Friday, January 29, for the annual Rover's Holiday Hangover show with Joywave, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, and Coleman Hell.
City talked with Louis Vecchio to discuss the band's current path and how the members think they fit in with the other upcoming rock and alt groups out there. An edited transcript of that conversation follows.
City Newspaper: New Politics really bridges the gap between radio pop-rock and the punk scene. Is that how you see where you fit, or is it much more fluid for you?
Louis Vecchio: I think, when we write, we don't put ourselves in any genre category. We just let it flow, and whatever comes out, comes out. We're lucky enough that our fans take to it. We're influenced by everything.
The live shows you guys put on are some of the most energetic and acrobatic out there. How important is showmanship to you guys? Is it a bit of a lost art in live music?
We think that's a giant part of what we do. We take pride in entertaining people, and the live show is a big part of us being creative; it's just as important as the writing and the creating. I wouldn't say that art isn't lost, but we've always been high energy, and David has always been flipping off things, Soren has always been throwing his guitar, and I've always been banging my head off while playing. We're always trying to one up each other on stage.
Is the title of the new record, "Vikings," more about the heritage of the band and crossing the ocean, or is it about the kind of energetic music that you guys make that precedes a total pillage and plunder of the airwaves?
That's actually great and I wish that was the real reason. The name of the album came about through me. Everybody thinks everyone in the band is Danish, and I'm not. I'd be interviewed and people would ask me what it was like coming from Denmark. After a while I would just answer like I was. I said as a joke we should call the record "Vikings" because of the Danish thing
I get the sense that you guys are always firing on all cylinders. What do you guys like to do to relax a bit? Is there a place in Rochester you plan on going before the show?
If we are relaxing, our version of that is getting a nice dinner and a couple drinks. Rochester is awesome. This time we have more time to check out more restaurants. David is a giant foodie. Soren and I are the exact opposite, we'll eat anything. When I relax, I'll just watch horrible daytime television.
The show you guys are playing is an awesome showcase of who's who in upcoming alt-rock. Is it exciting to be sharing a stage with people on similar paths that you're on?
It's amazing. That's the best part about doing shows like this. You're meeting other artists who are coming up with you. We're a part of this alternative movement now and that's awesome to say. But you also get to meet so many new friends as well as people that you haven't seen in a long time. We're bridging the gap between all the fans that are there to see all the different artists. It's a big hangout.
Punk-metal icon Wendy O. Williams will be inducted into the Rochester Music Hall of Fame on Sunday. Plasmatics guitarist Wes Beech and Rod Swenson, the band's creator and Williams' life partner, talk about the legacy of the singer.