Noise Pop is here again! Rainy days working for the man mean nothing knowing you are going to be seeing so many awesome bands. This year’s line up includes Cake, Lyrics Born, Aqueduct, The Ponys, Josh Ritter, Spinto Band, Extra Action Marching Band, and so so so so many others. Load up on Red Bulls, hit craigslist for tickets to sold out shows, and spend the rest of the week happy. Oh, and who do you have to thank for all this great music? Kevin Arnold is the founder of Noise Pop. In addition to launching the festival this week he made time for an SFist interview. Read on for tales of Noise Pop past, present and future.
What led you to start Noise Pop?
It all happened pretty serendipitously. In the early nineties after college, where I had started promoting shows on campus at Cal, I was booking bands and tour managing, and had been talking to the booker at the Kennel club (what is now the Independent) about putting together a show there for a while. So when there was an open date at the end of January I went for it and booked 5 of my favorite local bands for 5 bucks: Overwhelming Colorfast, The Meices, Carlos!, Corduroy, and Bitchcraft, and the Fastbacks who were playing across town came in for a surprise set as well. At the time these bands were all part of a small local scene, and would sometimes play together but never all at the same time, so the goal was to put them on the same bill and make it a bit of a special event to shine some attention on the scene. Noise Pop was just a name I came up with to describe the sound (poppy and noisy, duh) that was catchy, and everyone loves a festival, so there you have it.
It was never designed from the beginning to be what is today; it just sorta evolved organically over the years.
What are the biggest changes to Noisepop over the 15 years?
Oh geez, I don't even know where to start. The size of the festival, the diverse genres we now encompass, the team of people that work on it instead of just myself for starters.
Best Noisepop show of all time?
Not a very easy question to answer, but the first one would have to take that honor as it's where it all started.
Tips for up and coming bands to check out this year?
I'd check out Annuals, The Ponys, Matt & Kim, Autolux, and Willie Mason for the headliners, So Many Dynamos, Malajube, Minmae, Georgie James, and The Submarines for out-of-towners, and Thao Nguyen, The Botticellis, Wooden Shjips, Scrabbel, Howlin Rain, and The Old-Fashioned Way on the local front.
Any hope for getting in to some of the bigger name, sold out shows?
Hmm, well you might be able to still buy a badge...
Advice for aspiring musicians here?
Just the basics: work hard, write great songs, be true to yourself and all that stuff.