From the wilds of Grand Rapids, Michigan comes Stepdad: A ferociously fun-loving, electro-pop outfit comprising music-making animals, ultramark, Ryan McCarthy, Alex Fives, Jeremy Malvin, and Nathan K.
Having created somewhat of an web-frenzy with their theme for Axe Cop, the band self-released Ordinaire in 2010—featuring Jungles and My Leather, My Fur, My Nails—to the appreciative cries of music journos everywhere. Soon after, on the scent of right time meets right place, Stepdad killed another web series theme (for Atom.com’s Top Rope), then pounced onto producer Chris Zane (Friendly Fires, The Walkmen, Mumford and Sons) to spawn Wildlife Pop, released this past June on Black Bell Records.
Excitingly, this week, thanks to the dexterity of cunning publicists, we succeeded in corralling the band’s co-founder, ultramark, to have him reveal random, fascinating details about the wildly goofy but undeniably majestic gaggle of pop-beasts who call themselves Stepdad.
What’s behind the name Stepdad?
A question mark.
So what’s with the jungle-y, wildlife theme on Wildlife Pop?
Wildlife is huge and majestic. Those seemed like decent guidelines for writing a pop album.
Can we take this to mean you’re a pack wild and crazy guys?
Not at all. We normally spend our nights with each other by the fireplace drinking tea…and murdering drifters for coke money.
If you could shapeshift into a wild animal, what would you become?
Personally, I’d probably transform into a rhinoceros because…why not?
Have you ever had a wild, exotic pet like a monkey or a lion?
The most exotic pet I’ve ever owned is one of those stupid beta fish that they used to sell by the checkout lanes of megastores, like, 10 years ago. That was a really odd trend. ‘Let’s just sell these fish all over…’
Have you ever been in a jungle?
No, but I’ve seen First Blood, so I consider myself something of an expert.
If you did go to a jungle, would you be more freaked out about the big, toothy, mauly things or the small, biting, stingy things?
The strange, tiny shit for sure. The suspense of not knowing whether a bug bite is eventually going to rot your entire leg or just end up being a little red bump is unbearable. When you get attacked by a panther or something, there’s no wondering what will happen. It’s going to eat you.
And what kind of wild battle are we watching in Must Land Running? What’s it all about?
Chris Birkmeier, our director, had the wild vision one night. Basically it’s a futuristic sport involving cyborgs connected to crazy retro-tech controllers that kids go to strange dank warehouses to watch while they bet money and drink forties.
What exactly made you question, ‘Will I Ever Dance Again’?
What are the most are the most classic sitcoms ever?
1. Arrested Development, though I assume we’re supposed to be thinking in the vein of 80s and 90s three camera sitcoms, so: 2. Full House 3. Fresh Prince of Bel Air 4. Seinfeld.
And if you were transported to the alternate dimension of TV land, which one would you live inside?
Boy Meets World. Everyone was pretty and innocent, and there was no crisis that couldn’t be solved in a half an hour.
So all that being said—what’s the verdict? Will you in fact ever dance again?
Only time will tell.
What’s your best dance move?
Last night Joey from the band Emily’s Army taught me the “Downhill Skier.” I’m planning on making that one of my signatures.
Speaking of dance, you’re not totally dance but you’re not totally pop. Describe the music Stepdad makes.
We just call it pop music. The term leaves so much room for change and gives us a wide spectrum of possibilities, so we just prefer to keep it simple.
One online mag said this about you: “If Passion Pit and The Postal Service got drunk one night and had a kid out of wedlock, the result would be Stepdad.” My question is, who’s the mom and who’s the dad in this scenario?
They both reproduce asexually, which is why our existence seems so unlikely.
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