On Friday, June 2nd, Futureman Records will release Thrift Store Troubadours, the new record from It’s Karma It’s Cool. On the same day, the band celebrates the release at the International Pop Overthrow festival in Liverpool.
James Styring tells the story.
A new record coming up, what can we expect?
Yes, a brand new album, ‘Thrift Store Troubadours’ will be released on Friday 2nd June. We’ve been hard at work in the studio on a real strong set of songs, some of the band’s best. There’s some rockier songs, some pop kind of things, some acoustic folky stuff. Folks who have followed us this far won’t be disappointed, but there’s certainly some surprises on there. We also have the legendary Peter Holsapple (The dB’s, REM, Hootie & the Blowfish) guesting on a bunch of the songs. We can’t wait for you to hear this record.
The band has become a fixture in the Power Pop community. Does that create obligations or freedom?
We’re very grateful that the Power Pop community seem to enjoy what we do, though we’ve never labelled ourselves as a power pop band; I guess there’s elements of power pop in some of what we do, but you’ll hear a whole load of other influences in there too. We listen to rock, alternative, indie, folk, it’s all thrown into the pot. We’ve always left it up to other people to label us, as long as they’re listening and enjoying what we do, we don’t mind how they catorgorise us. We try not to pay too much attention.
I think your lyrics don’t get enough attention. Is it always easy to find the right words?
Thank you. It’s always good to know people are listening to them. I always keep the words open to interpretation, and not too obvious. I’ve said it many times, but it’s far more important what the listener thinks they’re about, than what I was thinking when I wrote them. Everyone can hear something different in them and that way the song becomes more personel, it belongs to everyone, in their own way.
What makes you happier: finding a great melody or finding the right words for a certain emotion or thought?
I would say both go hand in hand. The mood of the music will often dictate to me where the words are going to go. I’m always looking for an unexpected melody, or a curve ball, to catch the listener out and keep it interesting. We write big emotional stuff, so my melodies and lyrics have to reflect that.
How did you end up with Futureman Records?
They have a great reputation and put out some cool music. We’ve been on the Kool Kat Musik label up to now, but just felt it was time for a change; there’s no bad feeling between us and Kool Kat, it’s an amicable parting of ways. Ray is one of the good guys and has always been supportive of the band, but we just thought it was maybe time to move on.
How will you promote the new record?
You’ll be reading about it nearer the time, I guess, and we’ll be out playing shows to support it; we’ll have a load of new songs to play for people! There’s also a series of digital singles currently being released from the record, so look out for those.
Any gigs planned?
Yes, we have a very special album launch. We play Liverpool International Pop Overthrow festival on release day, Friday 2nd June, at the Cavern Club and Cavern Pub. The IPO Liverpool is always a great time, and we get to see some great bands too.