I had the chance to meet the mastermind of the wild satirical party-pop group Wallpaper. - frontman Ricky Reed. Ricky Reed and his band members were lounging backstage waiting for their opening performance before The Dirty Heads at the Ogden Theater. Sitting coolly on a comfortable leather seat, he leaned back on his chair as he polished off a fresh banana, ensuring he'd be potassium-enriched enough to answer a slew of questions. After a brief, friendly introduction, it was time to get down to business.

Ricky Reed of Wallpaper.

Concerted Effort: The First time I heard your music I didn't get the satirical aspect of it I just heard what it sounded like and just thought, "oh great, more party music." It took me another listen before I realized what you were doing and now I think it's really awesome. Do you think most people understand your message right away while you are on tour or does it take a little bit for people to catch on?

Ricky Reed: I think when we're on the road people gravitate towards the immediately pleasing aspects of our records, and they will slowly dig into those deeper, darker, more special places. But satire or not, art or not, the main goal is to make people feel good and however way that they do feel good is fine with me.

CE: Pop music used to mean something but now it seems a little more diluted - a little more in the background...

RR: ...like wallpaper...

CE: ...yeah like wallpaper. [That's the reasoning behind the band's name. They feel modern pop is meaningless and in the background, much like wallpaper in a room.] What do you think happened?

RR: Wow. I could do like a ten minute diatribe... It always comes in waves. Some of the worst bubble gum, light weight, meaningless, awful records were made in the late '50s and early '60s. So much terrible bubble gum doo-wop garbage from that era. In the late '70s it was Captain & Tennille, you know, that Lawrence Welk type shit. In the '80s some of those hair bands were terrible. And here we are now with our own version of this awful shit. There's always been great pop records and there's always been awful pop records. Right now we have our own brand of awful, but the problem is we don't have any superheros, and that's what we need.

CE: What are you doing to give your brand of pop music a little more substance?

RR: I don't know how to not imbue my music with substance. I would have to actively remove things from it. To do that I just spend time with it. I don't release the first thing I write. I don't write a lot of songs. I write just a few and the few that I do are special.

CE: If you could have a superpower what would it be?

RR: This is one I always had since I was little. When I was young I wanted to be a basketball player. If I had any superpower it would be to be able to make a basket from anywhere without looking or whatever. Because I thought that if I could do that then all of the money, the riches and the fame would be mine anyway and I'd be the illest basketball player of all time.

CE: What was your favorite subject in school?

RR: Probably P.E. - physical education, gym. Because I liked running around playing kickball and shit and talking to girls and just fucking digging life.

CE: "Safety Dance" or "Humpty Dance"?

RR: The "Humpty Dance". "Humpty Dance" is the fucking dance, dude. The "Humpty Dance" is like - I mean, you asked me what my favorite subject in school was, if you asked me what my second favorite subject was it would be the "Humpty Dance". That's something that's real...well...the "Humpty Hump", Shock G, Digital Underground was very instrumental to me. Like the kind of music I was raised listening to, you know? We heard the "Humpty Dance" on the radio just last night and it's still so funky.

CE: What do you listen to while traveling on the road?

RR: It varies, you know? I won't say anything specific but I'll say the way we listen to music on the road is usually one of two ways. You listen to albums - those great, big, rich, raw records. We have those and then we have our series of like kinda inside joke jams. Last tour's was "Pretty Boy Swag". So it's like real records and a couple wacky songs spliced in there.

CE: So you've got some musical guilty pleasures?

RR: Oh yeah, but I'm not guilty. I was found innocent on all charges.

CE: How was your last experience in Denver at the Summit Music Hall?

RR: It was good, man. That show was tight. We had a really good time. We were with Awolnation - I think they're playing in Fort Collins tonight - but yeah that was great. The fans were in to it and I believe it was our last show of that tour. We flew out of Denver International Airport the next day, which is covered in freemason art, signs of the occult and shit. Pale horse of death out front.

CE: Yeah, there are a lot of conspiracy theories about that place. Did you see the mural in there?

RR: Is that the one with the little kids dying? Yeah dude. W-T-F.

CE: Who's your favorite comedian?

RR: Probably Andy Kaufman, Richard Pryror...Chris Brown.

Check out the live review of Wallpaper.'s performance. Wallpaper will continue touring with The Dirty Heads through November 19.

One Response so far.

  1. MacKenzie says:

    I really enjoyed seeing a different side to Ricky Reed in this interview. These guys have such fun music and I think it is so cool that they are doing a contest with Spotify right now. I've been listening to some fun playlists created for their Good 4 It Challenge!

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