Now That We Can Dance

Think of the lineup for Warren Live as a miniature version of the Sun God Festival we really wanted. It’s two parts dance, one part rock and unlimited parts awesome. While San Diego natives Delta Spirit ease us into the evening with a nicely homespun brand of blues-rock, electro-poppers Junior Boys and Pop Noir really set the grind: Get ready to sweat and choke on glowsticks all night long.

Pop Noir — a Los Angeles-based dance-rock trio formed by British-born twins Joe and Luke McGarry — has been quickly picking up speed from debut single “DIY.” The music video recently peeled some eyelids after scoring a spot on the rotation for MTV’s new show “The Freshmen,” setting their signature sound with an mmm-bop chorus and driving beat straight out of a long-forgotten pop ballad by Manchester luminaries New Order.

Pop Noir Guitarist Joe McGarry took a moment to talk with the Guardian about the band’s identity, starting a record label and whether we can expect a little tasteful violence at the show on Friday.

G: “DIY” is kind of your signature song and aesthetic. Why the decision to start your own label and do all of your own publicity?

JM: I think the main thing is that we’re control freaks. We do everything. As well as the music, we do illustration and graphic design, and we wanted to have the excuse to do all of our own artwork and promotional materials. We don’t have to pay anybody to do it, and we enjoy it. Then we figured while we’re doing that we might as well keep total control over the music we release, and all the rights to it, too. We are sort of weird about anyone else having input on it.

G: As both musicians and artists, what’s more important? Does the music ever influence the illustration, or vice versa?

JM: I do think it all sort of feeds off itself. The art does influence music. I guess it’s really aesthetic sensibilities that influence whatever you do artistically. So I think the music we like and make is somehow reflected in the type of art we do and what we think is visually cool.

G: Your father , also an illustrator, notably designed record sleeves for bands like Joy Division. How did growing up with a father so engrained in the Manchester/Factory Records scene influence your own music? Did you subsequently try to steer clear of the sound from that movement?

JM: We certainly haven’t tried to steer clear of it. We just decided to make the music that we would like to hear. The whole Manchester scene has influenced us, specifically late ’80s bands like the Happy Mondays and New Order. I think more of that comes through with what we’re doing. I mean, it’s not really a conscious decision, but we’ve been listening to that stuff since the day we were born. I think it definitely has permeated. We are trying to make hip dance music, so there is no escaping it, really.

G: Yet you guys got your start in the States, and are really more of an LA band. So what American artists are influential to you guys?

JM: The American artists that have influenced us the most are from when we first started going to shows locally. Bands like Dance Disaster Movement — who were originally a duo — were running everything through loop pedals so they could play everything themselves. And that’s actually how we started out: with the two of us, a drum machine and two or three loop pedals, just looping everything. So they were a major influence on us when we started out. And I think that’s sort of why we went into dance music so naturally. There’s really no other choice when there’s two of you and a drum machine.

G: Do you consider yourself more of a Manchester band or an LA band?

JM: It’s sort of tough for us because we mostly play in LA and are based in Orange County, but we’re from Manchester and our drummer is Chilean. So we don’t really consider ourselves anything. We’re not an OC band really, we’re not an LA band really [and] we’re not a UK band really. It’s sort of like our accents — it’s neither one or the other. We’re not American or English. We have no identity, I guess.

G: So what’s the twin thing like? Ever get all Liam/Noel Gallagher on each other, or do you work well together?

JM: We do get in fights, but it’s never Gallagher-esque. I guess that’s the benefit of being brothers or twins in a band, especially having moved between the U.S. and the UK so much. We’re sort of each other’s best friends, whether we like it or not. We don’t have to worry about each other’s feelings. If Luke is doing something that I don’t like, I can just tell him, “That’s stupid. Stop it.” I don’t have to be tactful. Even if he’s upset with me, we’ll be fine in an hour. We have this close relationship so that we can say anything to each other.

G: It might be more interesting if you guys started blatantly hating each other.

JM: We probably should have more animosity between us. I’ll work on that. At the show on [April] 9 I’ll just punch him in the face on stage.

G: Apart from brother-on-brother violence, what else should we expect from the show on Friday?

JM: So far, we have yet to have a terrible show. If there [are] people there, I think everyone can have a good time. If nobody is there, whoever is there can expect to have a good time. My theory is that people tend to dance more if you’re in a huge group of people and no one can see you dancing — as long as you don’t stand out. But I am expecting to have a good time, so I hope everyone else is too.

Pop Noir will take the stage at Warren Live on April 9 at 6:30 p.m. at Warren Mall. Free.

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