Smash Boom Pow: Digital won’t kill this video star

by Yasmine Shemesh

For Smash Boom Pow, the Vancouver rock band comprised of brothers Ulysses and Zane Coppard, there was no need re-adjusting to the post-MuchMusic era because they didn’t grow up with it. “This is the only way we know it to be,” Ulysses says. “We didn’t really have TV. We watched movies a lot, but [our parents] never wanted us to see any advertisements at all when we were kids. Never had cable. They wanted us growing up with as little consumerism influence as possible.”

Taking cues from an artist mother and a father who bought them David Bowie concert DVDs for Christmas, the Coppards find beauty beyond the surface, cultivating appreciation for visual elements that translates into how they approach music. “[Our mom] has always been pointing out things she likes aesthetically in paintings and in sculptures,” Ulysses explains. “It’s just always been a part of creating—trying to make sure the end of things are really polished. It’s so much more interesting than just focusing on only how it sounds.” As musicians in the Digital Age, the technological landscape is their playground—an ironic notion, considering their unplugged upbringing.

One of the groups Smash Boom Pow has collaborated with are filmmakers ROOM Collective. A partnership that began with the kaleidoscopic cut for alternative power pop gem, “A Girl,” pairing resumes for the band’s new video for the title track of their latest album, Do You Feel?.

The video incorporates expressionless mannequins Ulysses found outside his workplace and was shot in a massive abandoned building the brothers stumbled upon. Shots also feature dousings of red paint, plenty of underlying meaning, and scenes that promise to make the viewer do a double take—intentionally and appropriately offbeat to support the song’s woozy, glam-meets-punk stomp.

This is just the tip of the iceberg for Smash Boom Pow, who are already plowing full steam ahead in preparation for a busy year that includes a new record and, possibly, a tour. “Coming to a YouTube near you,” Ulysses laughs.

Keep your devices charged.

Smash Boom Pow release their music video for “Do You Feel?” this month.

Published in print and online at www.beatroute.ca, January 2015

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