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Chicago band Drinking Poppy (Bandcamp) will perform at CHIRP Night at the Whistler on Tuesday, November 7th. We caught up with Cisco (Bass), Mig (Backing Vocals, Keys/Synth), and Doug (Guitar, Synth) recently to ask a few questions about them and their music…
So...What’s going on? Tell us about your current releases and/or upcoming shows (such as CHIRP Night at the Whistler!).
Doug - Clarence, thanks for having us on the blog! After releasing our debut EP in May, we had a busy summer of performing all over the city and suburbs incl. Cubby Bear, the Palatine Park District, 95 WIIL Rock’s Bandemonium and more.
Our final show of the year will be CHIRP Night at the Whistler Nov. 7th! We’re ecstatic to be releasing four new singles in the upcoming months. We’re building a community of friends, family and diehard music fans. It’s fun to watch it grow.
How do you go about turning your thoughts, ideas, and feelings into sounds?
Cisco - It's more of a symbiotic thing between whoever I'm writing with.
Mig - It just depends on the idea. For example, with keys/synths it does take me a bit of thinking. Almost like solving a mathematical equation. However, doing harmonies and additional background vocals come to me as organically as breathing.
That said, I'm very big on collaboration, and I rely on my bandmates heavily to get these ideas to come to fruition.
Doug - I try to put myself into a state where I can feel creative and appreciative. I travel, spend time in nature or with my kids. I’m always listening for naturally occurring patterns and rhythms, especially outside or in a new place. I try to keep my stress low.
Eventually, I find myself humming or whistling something that I think is catchy. From there, I craft it for about a month until I have the bones of a song that I can share with these guys and we can collaborate on it from there.
If your music was a kind of beer, ice cream, or coffee (take your pick), what would it taste like?
Cisco - Rainbow sherbet, definitely!
Mig - Hmmmm? Well, our music is fun and poppy -see what I did there- but also, it's tinged with this sort of early '00s pop punk/emo sensibilities. Just enough to hit the nostalgia factor. So, if I were to interpret this as a drink - my apologies now to the beer bros, but I’m not really a beer connoisseur - I think we would be a Tequila Sunrise, that, or a Gin Rickey. If we were ice cream, we would for sure be some type of Neapolitan or like a raspberry lime sorbet.
Do you have any particular or unexpected influences? Are any other artists or bands catching your attention at the moment?
Mig - I genuinely listen to everything, so I can be influenced musically by any artist as long as it resonates with me. I can go from listening to Portishead to say BTS -which I surprisingly like a lot! Kpop really is THAT bitch!- or like, Soundgarden to Juan Gabriel. It truly just depends on my mood. Right now, I’m really into Poppy, Cannons, Xdinary Heroes, and Calva Louise.
Cisco - I'm a child of '90s hip hop and Salsa. Those two genres have a pretty heavy influence in my playing style.
If you couldn’t make music or be involved with music, what would you be doing right now?
Cisco - An Oil Rig Welder.
Mig - Probably doing what I currently do now. Lol. I’m a profesional theatrical Wigs, Hair, and Makeup artist. If you’ve ever seen a theater production in the last decade either at Chicago Shakespeare theater, Marriott Theater, or Paramount Theater, you’ve most likely seen some of my work!
Doug - I’d start with a nap and go from there.
What’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever done in a basement?
Mig - I try to live my life not regretting the small things, ya know. So I don’t know if I’ve ever done anything “dumb” in a basement before. Does getting locked in one count? Lol
Cisco - Ha! I guess my safest answer would be trying to ride a toddler's bike...as a fully grown man. Yes, there were some elements involved.
Doug - Believed that a “Garden Apt” was not a basement and still rented it.
If you were someone’s life coach, what are the top 2 life lessons you’d teach them?
Cisco - #1 Your life is an occasion, rise to it. #2 Showing up is 80%
Mig - I wish I could say something deep and profound, but really, it doesn’t get any simpler than “mind your own business!” I think people would be so much happier if they did. Whoever said “live and let live” they were on to something. Lol. The second, It is 100% alright, and probably healthier for you, to cut ties with people who don’t really have your best interests at heart. Especially family. Sharing blood/DNA doesn’t automatically mean you are a family! Now, this doesn’t mean that they will just agree with you on everything, but rather, they are constantly challenging you to be the best person you can be.
Doug - I feel sorry for anyone who has me as a life coach. They’ll be doing dumb things in a basement in no time.
Are there any stories or anecdotes you want to share but haven’t been asked the right question to do so? Or do you have anything you’d like to declare to the world? Feel free to share…
Doug - Drinking Poppy is about creating art in the form of music in order to build a community of friends, family and diehard music lovers. It starts with the five of us: Brian, Andrew, Cisco, Mig & me (Doug) and spreads to our family and friends and fans.
Our kids are our #1 fans. Our spouses enjoy spending time together. Our family and friends are becoming friends with each other. It’s very cool to see. Shout out to our homegirl Shelby, our favorite CHIRP volunteer and friend. Thanks again for having us on the blog and we’ll see you Tuesday November 7th for CHIRP Night at the Whistler!
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