A few weeks ago, we reviewed the latest album from Soapbox Army Reactor. Since that review, we kept communicating back and forth and we eventually had the brilliant idea to reach out and ask if they wanted to interview with us. They agreed! We spoke with Dan Tucker (vocals/guitar) and Simon Fishburn (drummer/backup vocals) the night before their show at Sullivan Hall. The following is a taste of our interview but soon you will hear the interview in its entirety on the InnerCityGeeks Podcast!
Q: Where did you come up with the name for Soapbox Army?
Dan – I started the band about 2007. I just started it as a solo project. I had a list of basically 100’s of names, and it just kind of came out. I mean, I don’t know exactly where it came from, but I just like the idea of it. I saw something on line about how a modern form of a soapbox is a blog, and I was kind of thinking about the fact that everyone and their mothers has a blog, twitter, or facebook now, including us. So it felt like putting together the soapbox and army kind of gave it a bigger vibe or energy to it. I just like the idea of everyone having their own voice nowadays. You can see any kind of opinion is put out there nowadays. I think part of the band, the music can be opinionated. It’s definitely not political. I think some people might see it and take it like standing on a soapbox definitely has a connotation of being political, but it’s basically about having strong opinions. I just like the way it sounded. When I pitched it to my producer he was like “There has to be another band with that name” To him it sounded like there was a band that existed with that name already. So for me, it was confirmation that it was a good name.
Q: What did you guys listen to growing up? What were your influences?
Simon – I grew up in Australia, and my whole family is from is from England. I listened to a lot of British Pop and Rock. The Police were massive for me when I was younger. Huge influence for me. I like a lot of American rock as well. Bon Jovi was my first ever concert. The “Slippery When Wet” tour. I was really young. Back in the 80’s! A friend and myself were allowed to go by ourselves. It was a rush! They all had the hair flying around. It was really cool. I think from that point on I was like “THIS IS WHAT I’M GONNA DO!” Including having that hair, but unfortunately, it didn’t work out.
Q: How long have you guys been performing?
Simon – Since, I was 7 or 8. So, quite a few years
Dan – I started playing when I was a kid. I started playing the piano and drums. Kind of dabbled in everything. In college, I really took on the guitar as a main instrument.
Q. For those who haven’t heard of Soapbox Army, how would you describe the music?
Dan – It’s hard. You can say there’s elements of rock, pop and funk. It all kind of folds into a rock feel. I think we inject all of our different influences and playing styles into our music. I don’t know how to categorize it other than, we’re a rock band.
Q. When you guys record, do you just jam or do you need sheet music?
Dan – I don’t read music. Simon does.
Simon – I need visual prompting. We all have different ways of doing stuff. Basically, we’ve been rehearsing for shows we’re doing, but we’re also dedicating time to writing new material, and we’re just been jamming out with that.
Q. If you guys had to do one cover song, what would it be?
Dan – In the past, I did a Van Morrison song I always wanted to do
Simon – I am thinking something more like a Radiohead song.
Dan – Or even taking like a pop song and doing it in a totally different way.
Simon – Like Alien Ant Farm doing the cover of Smooth Criminal.
Q. Where do you see the current state of rock music and what does rock music mean to you?
Dan – I’ve been thinking about just how “rock is dead”.
Simon – I think it may be in terms of top 40, probably not the current trend, but it’s certainly alive. A lot of people still love listening to it. The reason for that, it’s like a good three-piece suit. It’s always going to be fashionable.
Dan – It seems like there’s a little bit of a resurgence here lately. There’s a lot of 90’s band reuniting, there are bands like Gaslight Anthem, who are building a huge following, and I think people love this kind of genuine music. I think that’s where our music comes from. It’s very heartfelt and it’s a human album.