Photographer Diana Mantis
Location Sunset Marquis Hotel
Bellus Magazine had the chance to meet up with the incredible musician Ron Pope for a photo session and interview…
Bellus Magazine (BM): Where are you in the world these days?
Ron Pope (RP): Today, I’m in Sydney. It’s raining, so I’m sitting here in my pajamas staring out the window. Not the worst way to start the day. After our interview, I have most of today off, so I’m hoping to get out and see a bit of the city!
BM: You recently released a new album, “Calling Off The Dogs.” Tell us a little bit about the creative process for this record.
RP: I wrote “Calling Off The Dogs” as I traveled around the world on tour. Some of the songs began in Georgia while I spent a month living by a lake in 2012, between European and US tours, some were written in Brooklyn, others popped up in Mexico and Australia. I spent two months in Paris in early 2013 writing songs and sketching out arrangement ideas then went back to Brooklyn to record the meat of the album. I wanted to create something unique and challenge myself to compose without boundaries. That’s why you’ll hear songs in mixed meter, tunes with movements like classical pieces, and all sorts of other adventures on the album. This record was, without question the most difficult one I’ve ever created, but also the most fun and exciting.
BM: You’ve in the midst of an incredibly lengthy tour. Tell us about something incredible that you’ve seen in your travels.
RP: It’s hard to pick just one! In the past two years, I’ve been to Sweden in both the dead of winter and the height of summer, stood atop the Great Wall of China, surfed in Bali, run from the Sacré-Cœur to the Arc de Triomphe and on to the Eiffel Tower while listening to Pink Floyd in the rain, sold out shows on three continents, wrote at least 75 songs, held a koala, and a million other things that have flashed by in a blur. I got married in October; so the most exciting thing I’ve seen was my bride walking down the aisle. That sounds cheesy, but it’s real!
BM: The first single from “Calling Of The Dogs” is “Lick My Wounds.” What’s special about that song and why did you choose to release it as the first single from this album?
RP: Well, “Calling Off The Dogs” is a concept album. It follows two people from the first moment they see each other on through falling in love, falling out of love, and ends with their final interaction. “Lick My Wounds” is about that first instant when two people see each other. That’s a moment of absolutely infinite possibilities, because you don’t know anything about each other yet; there’s just that spark and nothing else. That’s an incredibly exciting moment in people’s lives and I’d never written a song about it before. To me, the song is special because it’s about hope and possibility. After that first instant when two people see each other, anything could happen, and that’s an exciting idea.
BM: What’s one piece of advice you wish someone would’ve given you when you were a brand new artist?
RP: “Making it” is going to be harder than you can possibly imagine; strap in and be prepared for a bumpy ride. When you feel like the universe is telling you to give up, put your head down and keep on charging forward. You can only lose if you surrender.
BM: We know that you just released a new album and are touring all over the world quite far into the foreseeable future. Is there anything you’re working on that we don’t know about yet? Tell us a secret!
RP: After writing somewhere in the neighborhood of fifty songs for “Calling Off The Dogs” and then going right into the studio to record, my brain was fairly fried. I didn’t write a song for about a year, which is the first time since I began writing tunes when I was twelve years old that I’d gone more than a few weeks without writing something. I just started writing new songs recently; so eventually, there’s going to be a new album. I don’t know when, and I’m sure it won’t happen for a long time, but new songs are happening, so that means eventually a new album will happen, too!
BM: What are you listening to? Tell us the last ten things that played on your iPod.
RP: I love the new self-titled Frances Cone EP that just came out, so those four songs have been in constant rotation. Lots of Jackson Browne and Bruce Springsteen are par for the course for me on any given day. I’ve been listening to the new Ed Sheeran single “Sing” a bunch; he’s a beast. And Haim…lots and lots of Haim.
BM: For our last question, let’s get deep: today’s your last day on Earth. What are you going to eat for dinner?
RP: Assuming I’m in Sydney, it’s going to be Thai food. The Thai food here is unreal. If I’m in New York, Ethiopian food at Awash in the Village. In La? Tacos, homie.
Check out his amazing music video for Ron Pope’s song “Lick My Wounds”
Stay up to date on all things Ron Pope here www.ronpopemusic.com