Stoop Kids fired up the stage at Trash Bar last Friday night in Brooklyn and brought some of their “Doo-Hop” grooves from the Big Easy to the Big Apple—and trust me when I say, they absolutely killed it. Pancakes and Whiskey sat down with the guys pre-show to find out what they are all about.
Where are you guys from in New Orleans?
Joe (Drums): Uptown…Uptown style, we’re gonna give it to ya.
Griffin (guitar + lead vox): We all go to Loyola University, we’re graduating this upcoming semester.
So you’re doing the bad boy rock’n’roll college thing?
All: Yeah (laughing)
David (keys +Guitar): Gotta get the degree first though.
Joe: Sex, drugs and college degrees.
What are you studying in college?
Griffin: Music industry
Thomas (Sax + vox): Philosophy and psychology
Joe: Music Education
David: Music industry
So how did you guys meet?
Griffin: He (pointing to Joe) lived across from me freshman year and we’re all in the same class.
Thomas: Me and Griffin started a softball league together ummm…so that was how we met.
David: I don’t know these guys, I’ve never met them.
Joe: Yeah, he’s just a tag along, just got in the car with us tonight (laughing.)
Thomas: No one bothered to question it.
How did your sound develop?
Griffin: When I write, two things I was really good at, from folk songs and stuff was putting harmonies on top of things but I also love making hip hop, so it was kinda like, I love harmonies but I love hip hop so I just fused the two together and brought it to these guys.
Thomas: The rest of us have a bunch of different influences, we’re from all over the country so we all came together in New Orleans. All of our different ideas of what we liked about music came into this one thing on the basis of what (Griffin) was doing.
Griffin: Yeah like (Thomas) is the guy with the jazz sax thing/psychedelic rock, (Joe) is like the ghetto rap/surf rock and this guy (David) is kinda like the experimental…I don’t want to say prog but…Like more emo?
Griffin: (laughing) Yeah, more emo.
David: Yeah I’m the hardcore emo guy…that’s my job.
Where did the Stoop Kids name come from?
Griffin: Episodes of Doug, Nickleodeon.
Thomas: The 90s.
Joe: It’s more of an aesthetic name, it’s not something you should read into super hard.
Thomas: We’ve given it meanings but none of them are worth telling.
Griffin: We like it enough to not change it.
Joe: Yeah we stopped fighting about it. There was a time when we would but…it kinda stopped.
What adjectives would you use to describe your music?
Griffin: A psychedelic groovy beat-driven very harmonious vocal based adventure.
Thomas: It’s a journey.
Griffin: We don’t like to be put into one genre or box.
David: I think it ties a lot of different decades of music together, like from the 40s and 50s to the 2010s, they’re all represented in there in one way or another. It’s not so much intentional it’s just the things that we listen to come out in the music.
Griffin: Like a doo-hop overtone.
When you’re starting to write a song, where does it begin?
Griffin: It starts in my room, that’s where the seed is born. Take it to the band and flesh it out, that’s usually how it happens. I make a little demo of it and bring it to them. And they say yay or nay.
Thomas: Especially with the recording process, like this most recent album, a lot of it was Griffin’s demos and he’d bring them to the band and then we’d re-write them, record them, we’d use some overdubs, it just really evolved throughout the whole process and even after it’s finished on the record we’re still making changes in the live shows. It’s a constant evolution.
So would you say you’re one of those bands whose music comes alive when you’re performing it?
Joe: It’s very different. We view them completely differently. They serve their respective purposes so even though we’re playing the same song it can sound completely different on the record as opposed to the live show. There’s a lot of similarities of course but, they’re the same songs, we just go about them differently.
Thomas: Generally we just wanna get people moving and entertain.
Joe: We’re much more upbeat and wild live.
Griffin: Recordings are supposed to be something you just chill out to.
Joe: Yeah, you can sit alone and just put your headphones on and get lost in the music.
Griffin: Where as the live shows I wanna dance and have a crazy time and rock out.
Does the energy or the vibe of the crowd depend on how good the show is?
Joe: Yeah unfortunately that’s kinda true. Cause we like sometimes to rock out to three people but it can be really hard to do that and us specifically we feed off of people digging it and if there isn’t a crowd, it’s hard to get into it. That’s something we have to work on, just ignore it and do what we have to do but it’s easier said than done.
So you guys are a pretty tight knit group, if you had to give high school superlatives to each other what would they be?
All: (laughing) Ooohh, yeah…
Thomas: I think Griffin is most likely to…ummm…I don’t know actually, what a good question…that’s kinda hard…
Joe: Yeah maybe don’t start with Griffin…
Griffin: Well, Dave is like the Most Likely to Open the Door For You type, Most Chivalrous.
Joe: (laughing) Yeah, Most Likely for Your Mom to Fall in Love With…
Thomas: If you have a mom, she will fall in love with Dave.
Griffin: We refer to him as the Golden God sometimes. A little Robert Plant reference?
Joe: He’s got the same hair.
Thomas: No offense, Joe but I think you’re the Most Likely to Go the Keith Moon Route.
Joe: Oh what, die of an overdose? Alright, I’m down!
Griffin: Ok, so (Joe) you’re Most Likely to Die Early, what’s Tom???
Joe: We’re going to remember this question later and come up with really good answers.
Thomas: We’ll talk about it in the van.
Joe: What is Pat?
Griffin: Pat the bass player…ummm…
Yeah, where is he? Where’s Pat?
Griffin: He’s back at the bar. His brother is in town and they haven’t seen each other in years. He doesn’t like the spotlight.
Joe: Yeah, Pat is Most Likely to Avoid the Spotlight.
Thomas: Yeah, Pat is Most Likely to Skip an Interview.
Griffin: So what am I?
Thomas: Oh you’re the Bad Boy.
Griffin: I’m bad?
Joe: Most Likely to….ummm…
Thomas: Griffin was such a different person in high school. His superlative then would have been Most Likely to Join a Jason Mraz cover band.
Joe: And sing show tunes on the side.
So if this doesn’t work out we can look for Griffin on Broadway?
All: (laughing) Straight up.
If you could put together a band, a rock band, using anyone from any point in history, who would be in the band?
All: Oh wow, that’s…wow…
Thomas: Well, I think Nick Moran has gotta be in it…
Joe: Yeah, Nick Moran is someone we’re all super into. His guitar is something we all love. I’d put Roger Daltry on vocals because I’m super into The Who and put ummm…
Thomas: I’d put John Bonham on drums.
Joe: I’d put Philly Joe Jones on drums for some reason.
Griffin: I’d put Huey Piano Smith on piano. Or Fats Domino.
Joe: We’d put D’Angelo on backing vocals.
Thomas: Let’s just make a band of people who would never play together.
Griffin: Yeah D’Angelo would just make sex sounds in the background.
Thomas: I’d take Larry Graham on bass.
Joe: Ray Hargrove on trumpet.
Thomas: Yeah, I like that.
Thomas: Let’s put the Billy Joel sax player in it.
Joe: Wait, we have all these hip-ass motherfuckers in and then you wanna put in some old ass 80s sax player?
David: I’m totally down.
Griffin: Guys, can we have Brian Wilson arranging everything?
Joe: Yeah, we’ll have Brian Wilson and then David Byrne can just manage everything. He’ll be the choreographer and just wear a big suit.
Thomas: I don’t think any of us would be in this band.
You guys seem like you get along really well but I’m sure there’s drama?
Joe: Oh yeah, there’s drama out the asshole.
Thomas: Out the asshole? That sounds dramatic.
Joe: Honestly, we’re probably the best when we’re out on tour.
Thomas: And we just have this group, just each other to do this.
Joe: When we’re all just here in the moment, that’s when we’re at our best. When school and other stuff is happening it’s just, you know.
Thomas: Just other logistical nonsense from social media, to scheduling things.
Joe: Always causes unnecessary conflict, we’re pretty aggressive and one of us will say some off-handed comment and then everyone will get pissed and start yelling.
Griffin: But it’s a big family really, you can’t be afraid to say fuck you but you can’t say it too many times.
Thomas: We talked about making a jar and if you say fuck you to someone in the van you’ll have to give money.
Griffin: Man, we’d be rich if that was the case.
David: Yeah, seriously.
What do you tell some kid in high school who wants to start a band?
Griffin: Oh wow, if you really want to do it it’s going to be way more work than you thought to make it but you have to keep on that path.
Joe: But if you’re in high school, just do it. Just start doing it.
Thomas: Find people you can work with and just do it. That’s gotta be the vision.
Griffin: Yeah, make sure everyone is down with the vision. If you’re all on the same page then there won’t be conflicts.
Thomas: Yeah, we do have our fights and arguments but at the end of the day we know it’s just about making the music. And you know…social media.
Joe: Just find a group of guys that you can work with and your first band isn’t probably going to be your last band but it’s all about the experience.
Thomas: You know, you guys never gave me a superlative…
Griffin: Most Likely to Be Forgotten.
Joe: Yeah, Most Likely to Be Forgotten at the Mall.
The new Stoop Kids album is hitting the scene in January 2015.
Article by: Hannah Soule