PAPA PAPA…muy guapa

Interview: PAPA

Published on September 19th, 2011 | Jonny Abrams

“American soul music with a punk-rock mentality” – that’s how PAPA singer Darren Weiss describes the sound of his Los Angeles-based band – but, then, he also says “everyone becomes sea urchins and rats at night”, so who knows what to believe? Doubling up as the drummer of critically-acclaimed San Francisco act Girls, and currently touring with both bands simultaneously, Darren is clearly a busy man but he still managed to find time to answer a few select questions from Rocksucker as he awaits the October 4th release of PAPA’s A Good Woman Is Hard To Find EP…

Congratulations on the forthcoming release of your EP. How did PAPA come into being? Can you give us a breakdown of all of your respective roles within the band?

Thank you. PAPA started in New York a few years back while I was a student there, and things tasted salty, and I wanted to perform music that was salty like the air, so I started to sing while playing drums which I had never done before. Danny Presant (bass) and I write the music, sometimes together, sometimes separately. We love things that are spicy, and it is our collective role to continue to love things that are spicy.

Why the capitalisation of PAPA? And had you considered the profound un-Googlability of the name before deciding to go with it?

The same reason you put wasabi on yellowtail hand rolls, even though technically wasabi is meant to be used to cleanse your palate between courses. And no, It’s not often I consider Googlability.

You are quoted on your press release as saying “everyone becomes rats and sea urchins at night”. Our question is this: eh?

Well that was in reference to the subject matter of our song “I Am The Lion King” but it’s like John Updike says, in either the second or third instalment of his Rabbit novel series: “You can’t trust anybody not to fuck.”

What does being the Lion King involve on a day-to-day basis?

Psychosis, explosivity, Tina Turner.  

What was the inspiration for “Let’s Make You Pregnant”?

I had a reoccurring dream about a woman I had temporarily fallen for and, in my dream, she was very sweaty, uncomfortable, and pregnant. And all I wanted was to do no wrong to that woman.

Presumably there’s a full album in the offing. (Technically that’s not a question but we’d appreciate some comment nonetheless…)

Yes, sometime in the future there will be a full-length album, but please don’t ask me about it anymore.

Are there any up-and-coming and/or little-known artists that you’d like to recommend or give a shout out to?

Slang Chickens, Mini Mansions, Dawes, Two Gallants, Superhumanoids, Louis Eisner, Nick Darmstaedter. No…

If we were to ask you right this moment to name your top three albums of all time, off the top of your head, which ones would you pick?

Talking Heads – Remain In Light, The Clash – Combat Rock, Brian Eno – Another Green World.

PAPA, thank you.

PAPA thanks you!

PAPA - A Good Woman Is Hard To Find

PAPA’s A Good Woman Is Hard To Find EP will be released on October 4th on Psychedelic Judaism/Hit City USA.

For more information, please visit papatheband.com

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About the Author

Editor of Rocksucker and the website's founder, Jonny is passionate about the music he listens to, both good and bad, as well as interviewing his favourite musicians.