Q&A with TOPS

Start your summer off at Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) for the second edition of CURRENTS, presented by Defy, a progressive audio-visual immersive cultural experience. Enjoy a live concert by indie rock band TOPS on the museum’s waterfront terrace and a flash theater experience, by Miami Motel Stories, in the galleries. Grab your tickets to CURRENTS here.

We caught up with TOPS’ Jane Penny (vocals and keyboard) ahead of CURRENTS.

DSC01100.jpgPhoto by WorldRedEye.com

How does your background, upbringing, and current location influence your music?
We all have pretty different backgrounds and upbringings, and we all live in different locations at the moment, so it’s honestly hard to measure the effects of all these different factors. Making our last record in Los Angeles definitely impacted the lyrical content as well as aspects of the sound though. I’m back in LA right now for a couple months and when I’m driving around the city, I’m reminded of how much the lyrics to certain songs, like “Petals” or “Dayglow Bimbo,” were informed by the city, the heat, the sunshine, and the strange characters you meet out here.

What tends to be the band’s starting point when it comes to creating a song?
We either start with a song that David and I have been working on or with a musical idea that one of us has. Sometimes, if we’ve been playing together a lot, we’ll just start playing something and a song will pop right out.

Has the creative process changed a lot over the years?
Not really. David and I always spend a bit of time together working through melodies and arrangements before we bring something to the band, and then we pour over the lyrics at the end to make sure they hold up. Lately, we’ve been working with a five-person band on writing, and recording stuff live with everyone playing. That’s been a new and very fun development. In general, we’ve always produced and recorded everything ourselves, so nothing has changed but we’ve gotten a bit better at it.

TOPS will be taking over our terrace overlooking Biscayne Bay. Can you spill some details on what the band is cooking up for CURRENTS?
We’re gonna be doing our usual show, playing our songs for everyone. Who knows, maybe we’ll cook up something on the road, a special treat for everyone in Miami, since it’s our first show in the city. None of us have been to Miami before and we’re all really looking forward to it. It’s our last show of the tour and some of us are staying for a couple days so we’re gonna be looking for suggestions of cool shit to do!

What can fans expect from TOPS in the near future?
We’ve been finishing up a new record, but it always takes a while to get everything together, so I would say maybe don’t expect too much from TOPS in the near future, but know that it will be worth the wait!

Don’t miss out! Buy your tickets to CURRENTS here.

TOPS - Photo 1.jpgPhoto courtesy TOPS

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