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Asian Dan Q&A: Penguin Prison

Greetings Blogosphere. As you all know I have been raving about Penguin Prison for the past few months for his ability to craft such polished and catchy pop tunes with substance and conviction. April 8 marks Penguin Prison’s first full band live debut – a new incarnation of these pop songs in a live and raw environment at NYC’s Mercury Lounge. I am quite excited to see what a live band will do to these polished tunes. Chris Glover aka the ringmaster behind Penguin Prison was kind enough to answer a few questions about his musical endeavors.

[audio:http://diestruktur.com/asianmandan/music/March%202010/Penguin%20Prison%20-%20The%20Worse%20It%20Gets.mp3]
Penguin Prison – The Worse It Gets

[audio:http://diestruktur.com/asianmandan/music/April%202010/Golden%20Silvers%20-%20True%20Romance%20(Penguin%20Prison%20Remix).mp3]
Golden Silvers – True Romance (Penguin Prison Remix)

Asian Dan Q&A: Penguin Prison

1. Who is Penguin Prison? How would you describe your music.

Penguin prison is me. I’m penguin prison.
I would describe my music as pop music by someone who cares.

2. What was your first musical memory?

I remember having a Michael Jackson doll and I rememeber my parents having the thriller record and playing it on a fisher price record player. I remember taking the Michael Jackson doll around with me. One of my earliest foggiest memories is of me holding the Michael Jackson doll and being at NBC studios behind the scenes because my best friend’s mom was a producer at NBC.

3. What are your influences, musical or otherwise?

I am influenced by people I know mainly. For some reason it helps me to actually know people who make music and see them doing it firsthand. It makes me feel like I can do what they are doing.

4. Last year I feel marked a new era of pop within the indie scene – an amalgamation of electronic, pop, rock with acts such as Grizzly Bear, Miike Snow, Passion Pit and Phoenix all leading the way in this “Intelligent Pop” music scene. I feel like you are definitely going down a similar path. Thoughts on this? And what sort of vision/perception are you trying to put out of yourself through your music?

Intelligent pop is a good term probably. I am trying to make pop music but goof pop music. There is a difference between the backstreet boys and Michael jackson. Both are labeled pop but everyone can tell the difference.

Hopefully the vision of what I am trying to put out there will slowly be revealed as time goes by.


5. You have a very polished production and songwriting style – could you give a brief run down on how a tune like “The Worse it Gets” came about? Thematically and lyrically I feel like you touch on 2 the most important themes in pop music in “The Worse it Gets” – cars and women 🙂

I wrote the worse it gets with Alex Frankel from Holy Ghost! We started with the chorus. And then we wanted the lyrics in the verse to be totally different from the lyrics in the chorus. It’s about a guy who hates his job and feels like he has no friends and can never do anything right but then on the weekends he drives around in his car and escapes his life.

6. Who are your top 5 favorite producers?

I like Quincy jones in the early 80s, Prince in the early 80s, Brian Eno and Talking Heads in the early-mid 80s, anyone who produced any Stax Records in the 60s/70s and the RZA

7. What are your top 5 favorite pop tunes?

Kiss by Prince
Billie Jean by Michael Jackson
Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough by Michael Jackson,
[audio:http://diestruktur.com/asianmandan/music/April%202010/01%20just%20one%20look.mp3]
Just One Look by Doris Troy
Any Nirvana song.

8. Future plans for Penguin Prison?

Everything imaginable.

11 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. PP sounding delicious!

  2. real delicious! fresh!

  3. HenryAxel

    Hello, i like your blog! I check often for me to discover new groups. But this time it is for me to introduce you to a French group. I hope that you will love.

  4. Brak

    Cyk!

  5. “intelligent pop” i love it, sounds like the term has been around for a while but it’s the first time i’ve read it. spot on!

  6. Hi Asian Dan,

    Just found out about Penguin Prison. I believe the band is going to be the Top. I’m glad you posted your own news Q&A with the band, and the other reviews/interviews from other mags at the bottom. I’m a newly fan of Asian Dan and Penguin Prison.

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