Elliot Friar ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Pop! Fiction, an up and coming pop band from Orange County, California, is looking to make their mark in 2014. Emertainment Monthly had a chance to chat with Justin Tyler, the lead singer of the band, about new music, promotion methods, and moving forward.
Emertainment Monthly: Can you talk about your new single “California Kids” and what will come along with it?
Justin Tyler: We did an awesome photo shoot earlier this month for it and got the artwork after that, and we just wanted to put it out because we’re really anxious for all of our fans to hear it. It’s going to be a very upbeat song. It’s all about being from California and having a good time there and the awesome weather. We’re going to put that out as soon as possible. And soon after that, we’re going to film a music video for it around Venice Beach, or somewhere in LA, just to get the vibes of California and just having a good time in California for the music video.
Speaking of your music videos, your “Wild and Young” video is the your latest video. It’s kind of like a party anthem song, and it seems to define what Pop! Fiction is all about; it’s like a “we have arrived” type of song. What’s the meaning behind “Wild and Young?”
“Wild and Young” is our most recent release. It’s a song that we did with John Fields who has done work with very well known, respected people like The Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus, so it was insane to work with him. I was completely surprised. It was such an honor to work with him. When we recorded that song we wanted to zone in on a sound that we want and we all agree on, so this was definitely a good song that was going to represent Pop! Fiction. And when we were filming the music video we wanted to make sure it was going to be a fun vibe. It’s definitely about being wild and young, and just having a good time.
Was that a big moment for you working with John Fields, who has worked with Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus and The Jonas Brothers? Did you look up to those artists in the past?
As a band, we’ve promoted a lot of stuff in the past like selling CDs and just talking to people outside concerts and the people that are lined up to get into the concerts. That’s how we built our fan base, and we’ve done that on The Jonas Brothers’ tours [and] The Vans Warped Tour. So, it’s really cool that we got to work with the producer that produced all of those bands and looking in the studio he has all of these platinum records. It’s insane.
That’s an interesting way to build your fan base. Boy bands are really big right now. For example, One Direction is one of the biggest acts on the planet. Would you say that you’re a boy band or do you categorize yourself differently?
It’s funny you say that because when [One Direction] were here for four dates at the Staples Center back in August, we went and promoted at all four of [their shows]. Just passing out stickers and stuff to everyone, and it was a huge buzz when we were doing that and everyone was just eating it up. Our music is very similar to One Direction. [Though] I wouldn’t say we’re a boy band because we play [our own] instruments. I would compare us to The Jonas Brothers because they play all kinds of instruments and everything. But they were also labeled as a boy band, so I mean you could technically say we’re a boy band. I like to say we’re a band because we have instruments and play music live.
Do you think during the next One Direction tour you’ll be promoting around their concerts and doing the same type of thing?
For now we’re doing local stuff. We like to go to the tours that come around here in Southern California. We like to go out there and talk to all of the fans. That’s how we really like to interact with all of the people and just get our band name out there. We want to put out new music this month and next month, and new music videos, and eventually put out an album and then tour hopefully this summer across the country. If not, maybe half of it. We just want to play to kids that we have promoted to.
So you’ve already worked with John Fields. Who else would you like to work with in the music industry in the future?
We’d love to branch out and work with the brothers from Good Charlotte, they do some good song writing. Also the lead singer of Boys Like Girls, Martin Johnson. He’s very, very talented and has been doing a lot of awesome stuff lately. Also, John Feldmann who just did a lot of 5 Seconds of Summer’s stuff, that would be awesome too. And, touring wise, it’s very hard nowadays to get on tour unless you have a lot of money to get on to it or unless you are best friends with a band. We’d like to tour with something that’s logistically, maybe something like 5 Seconds of Summer or this band called Before You Exit.
5SOS has actually gained a lot of attention because they opened for One Direction. Do you see yourself sort of piggybacking on that, and that maybe opening up for them will gain more of a fan base for you?
Exactly, that’s how it works. I think [One Direction member] Niall knew the guys from the band, and it’s insane that they got to open for them on their world tour. That’s, like, every band’s dream, to open for one of the biggest bands in the world. They’re so big right now just from opening for them. They created a giant buzz and are building a fan base from opening for One Direction. A step below that would be us opening for [5 Seconds of Summer] because they have a fan base from opening for One Direction.
You said you already found your sound, especially with “Wild and Young”, so where do you see yourself going with future projects? Do you see yourself changing that sound or sticking with it?
Well, this new single kind of went off of “Wild and Young.” It’s very upbeat and dancy, and I guess it has a bright element. I’d definitely define our music as very bright. It doesn’t sound dark. Of course we want to grow as musicians. You can always write a better song. You would think the best song is one that you just wrote, but you’re going to write a better song no matter what you do because you’re going to get better as a musician as time goes by. But, I guess we don’t want to stray too far away from our genre because this is who we are and this is what fans like. But, we want to make sure our music grows as we get older too. I don’t want to stay in this teeny-bopper thing, but the fans love it, so I don’t want to stray too far away from it.
So, do you see yourself growing along with the fans?
Yeah, because they’re going to get older and they’re not going to like this type of music forever. It’s just how it goes, people get older and they like to listen to new stuff.
Finally, what are your favorite songs right now?
I just listened to the new Hot Chelle Rae song “Don’t Say Goodnight,” that’s really cool. I’ve always been a huge fan of Hot Chelle Rae, and they kind of influence our music. This band called NKTO is really cool, they went on tour with Emblem3. I really like Fifth Harmony too. They’re really, really good right now.