Interview :: First Rate People [1.19.09]

With summer-style slam, "Girls' Night" burning up stereos, we shot some emails back and forth with the hotly buzzed and Toronto's own First Rate People. With insight about their nomenclature, a bit about the ubiquity of "genre-hopping" and a new song, here they are.

32Feet: Where did you all dig up the name First Rate People?

First Rate People: We actually never intended to be "The First Rate People" which is what some people call us. We're not the First Rate People the name is referring to. Is that confusing? Our old band had a song called "First Rate" so we basically stole our name from that song. We've considered abbreviating the name to just FRP but we don't wanna make R.E.M. or MGMT mad at us.

Top 5 desert island albums?

The Queen Is Dead - The Smiths
Illmatic - Nas
Since I Left You - The Avalanches
All Is Well - Samamidon
Boxer - The National

Talk about some of the sonic influences on the first group of songs you have floating around, It's Never Not Happening. It seems like a delicate mixture of r&b, bedroom pop. What are you shooting for?

It's not a super-conscious thing but we're always up for making music that, in theory, shouldn't work. For example, one of our songs called "Dress So Fine" was our attempt to make a country reggae song. Country reggae sounds awful on paper, right? Our friend Dave tells us Willie Nelson once made a country reggae album to mixed results...

What should we expect from FRP in 2010? Big tour? How close are you to signing with a label?

We've been really lucky with how things have picked up in the past couple weeks. For the moment though, because most of us are still in school, we're gonna focus on making the live act really exciting and tour around Ontario and into the States in the fall.

What is the one thing everyone should remember about your band, no matter what happens in the coming months?

First off - that we're thankful for the attention. We hope to be able to continue changing styles (almost excessively). Tossing around the term "genre-hopping" has been overdone lately, but we really do have great respect for the Jonis, Sufjans & Becks of the world.

Listen :: First Rate People - "American Life" [zshare]

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