Is it possible to be a creative indie artist, and still be comfortable existing under that oft- scorned genre of pop music?
The feisty female lead singers of two bands taking the stage at Zaphod’s tonight — Zolof The Rock And Roll Destroyer and Bad Flirt — think it is, and they’re not afraid to be labeled as “pop.”
“I define pop music as any music that’s based around a vocal melody, and that is in fact our focus,” says Rachel Minton, the adorable, blonde vocalist for Philadelphia’s Zolof the Rock and Roll Destroyer.
With their energetic beats, cutesy lyrics and colourful melodies, Zolof isn’t your run-of-the-mill indie artist. In fact, they’re so comfortable with their peppy image that they’ve coined the term “spunk rock” to describe their sound.
Though they cite a mish-mash of old school artists like The Go-Gos, Genesis and Van Halen, in their list of musical influences, it is just as easy to envision one of their songs popping up on a compilation featuring the likes of Avril Lavigne or Hilary Duff.
But what separates Minton and her band from the aforementioned pop starlets is an underlying depth to their music, which is built on skillful instrumentation and arrangement.
Cheery as they may be, the Zolof kids aren’t afraid to wail on their guitars and bang their drums.
“I think a lot of our spunk is brought by the audience,” explains Minton.
“When we play live we have a great time and I’d like to think that’s infectious.”
Montreal’s Bad Flirt is another catchy musical outfit fronted by a bubbly lead vocalist who doesn’t think of pop as a dirty word. “To me, pop just means music that’s fun and not afraid of being a little indulgent,” says Jasamine White-Gluz.
“I think the Nelly Furtado record is amazing and that Justin Timberlake’s music is incredible, and there’s nothing wrong with that.”
But White-Gluz says she and the other five members of Bad Flirt are just as appreciative of more obscure, artsy musicians, and classic rockers.
“I think the labels can disappear when a band is on stage showing what they’ve got,” she adds. “Good music is just good no matter what you call it.”