Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Interview with David Bash, CEO and President of International Pop Overthrow

Power Pop to Nearly Every Corner of the Globe

By Henry Lipput

This year marks the 19th worldwide International Pop Overthrow (IPO) Festival. With concerts in every place from Los Angeles to Stockholm to Liverpool at the Cavern Club, IPO has brought power pop to nearly every corner of the globe.

As the current festival season draws to a close, the IPO will be in Manhattan at Pianos from November 7th through November 10th featuring 35 pop and rock acts from the New York area (there will be both afternoon and evening shows on Saturday November 9th and Sunday November 10th). A complete listing of the musicians and bands appearing at Pianos is on the IPO website.

I had the opportunity to interview David Bash, CEO and President of International Pop Overthrow, through email about the New York City shows and some more things relating to IPO and power pop in general.

Henry Lipput: Hello, David. Congratulation on the success of the International Pop Overthrow Festival.

David Bash: Thank you very much, Henry!

Henry: The International Pop Overthrow 2019 season is three cities away from finishing up and the shows have played everywhere from Stockholm to Liverpool. What has the response been from audiences? 

David: It varies from city to city. When we began the festival in '98 we had tremendous response, and that continued for the first few years. Then, when we took it on the road, the response was always great for the first year or two. Other than in Liverpool, at The Cavern Club, the response has diminished somewhat since then, but that's much more a reflection of the general response to live music than it is to IPO. I'll definitely say this: Those who do come to the festival virtually always have a great time!

Henry: The next stop on the International Pop Overthrow Festival is at Pianos in New York City on November 7th thorough November 10th with bands from the New York area. How were these bands selected?

David: More or less the same way we always select them. My wife Rina and I do a lot of searching on the various internet music pages, going through tons of bands to find the ones we like. Also, bands will apply to IPO, either through our web partners, Sonicbids, or via direct e-mail. It's a fairly exhaustive process, but in the end it's all worth it because the bands are excellent!

Henry: The CoolDad Music review of Volume 22, the latest International Pop Overthrow CD compilation, mentioned that many musicians seemed to be influenced by The Beatles, The Kinks, and Marshall Crenshaw. Do you feel that there are other musical touchstones that influence the current crop of power pop musicians?

David: Well, most cool 60s bands for sure, e.g., The Beach Boys, The Kinks and The Who, 70s bands like Big Star, ELO, etc..., and several indie-rock bands of the 90s and beyond.

Henry: The International Pop Overthrow Festival has been around since 1998. Over that period, what changes have you seen in the music industry and how musicians make their music available?

David: Do you have 10 hours? Seriously, the changes have been profound. First, of course, the advent and proliferation of the internet, allowing for vast communication and avenues for bands to get their music heard all around the world; the further developments of web technology, where bands now had the, ahem, bandwidth to put their music online; Pro Tools and other home recording software, which allowed artists who otherwise wouldn't have the resources to record their music at home; social media like Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, etc...; music platforms like Napster, and then Reverbnation, Bandcamp, Soundcloud, and of course wider-reaching ones like Spotify and Pandora.

It's become a whole different animal. As for the, again ahem, industry, it began imploding in the late 90s, mainly because they couldn't, or wouldn't, see the writing on the wall. Bands no longer perform because they're trying to get signed, they do it almost solely because they love it. I think that's a lot more genuine.

Henry: What’s next for International Pop Overthrow?

David: Hopefully to add more cities, especially international ones. Maybe we'll have a surprise or two in 2020...and to keep doing this as long as I can. I can't have an office job.

Thank you, David.

International Pop Overthrow NYC takes place November 7th thru November 10th at Pianos in New York.

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