Oh no no, Opopo, yes, yes, yes

Opopo live at Virgin Festival By: Sheena Lyonnais
September 22, 2008

There’s something to be said about a band whose drummer plays a show decked in tribal paint while the rest of the group chants “I don’t feel like dancing” to possibly some of the most fun, electro beats I’ve heard all summer, and that something is Opopo.

Opo-what?  You may ask yourself.  Opopo.  If they were a bag of Doritos Collisions they would be four flavours: dance, house, disco and punk. The Toronto four-piece had one of the best sets of the weekend at this year’s Virgin Festival with music so energetic, loud and electrifying, even the photographers couldn’t help but to dance. 

It’s a long leap from their ska roots, the type of band original members vocalist/guitarist Bryan Sutherland, synthesizer Corey Poole and bassist Craig MacGregor played in back when they were in high school.  Their band broke up, but thankfully a love of partying helped bring the musicians back together.

Opopo at Virgin Festival 2008“With ska, you have to be wired a little differently I guess,” Sutherland said.  “We were a little bit younger and had that type of enthusiasm, but when we were old enough to drink and go to these amazing clubs throughout the city, you hear beats differently and we just didn’t have that in ska.  The whole ska thing ended when we were sixteen or seventeen.  Then the band disbanded and then I guess when we hit 21 or 22 we started going to these clubs and hearing the stuff they were playing and we thought lets do that but be a band about it.”

Thus the recent edition of tribal drummer Sean Dunal who may or may not have been dug up from the bottom of a pool, found frozen in a block of ice, but able to play dance music on the drums once thawed.   

Opopo Live“You can only go with a machine for so long it turns out.  We’re going to keep the electronic beats in there, but if we really want to rock out then yeah [we need a drummer],” Sutherland said.

The band is currently in the writing process of their upcoming full-length album, a record they intend to produce entirely on their own exactly to their liking.

“We know what we want and so much studio time is wasted on little tiny things,” Sutherland said.  “We know how to make the magic happen ourselves and we have the gear, we don’t have the cases but we have the gear. We all believe we can take it into our own hands.  I guess [we might] get the levels mixed by someone professional, but we know how to get what we want out of our songs.  Those first takes have the real magic in them and you don’t want to try to recreate those when you’re on the clock in some studio somewhere.”

Toronto Band Opopo LiveTheir next scheduled Toronto show isn’t until November 14 at the Rivoli.  Until then, this should tide you over: www.myspace.com/opopotunes.


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