By Cameron Crowell /// Arts Editor and Ciara Dolan /// Staff Writer
Peach Kelli Pop originated as the musical project of Ottawa-native, Allie Hanlon (her playing and recording all instruments). She has since moved to the rock-n-roll neverland that is Los Angeles and added a full backing band to complete her Nintendo-fi punk sound. Her third album, “III,” is streaming on the New York Times’ website.
KLC: Could you tell us a little about the new album?
PKP: Yeah totally! The new album is the third PKP album, and it’s kind of a big deal for me personally because it’s the first one that I recorded in a studio. The first two I did just me playing all the instruments and mixing it and stuff, and you can kind of tell it was done by someone who didn’t really know what they were doing because it’s pretty low fidelity. But this new album I was excited to try something new and instill trust in someone else where I was always too controlling with my last albums and sort of worried that it wouldn’t sound the way I wanted it to. Also booking studio time is expensive, so it was a financial thing but also wanting full control. I was ready to step outside my comfort zone, and it was totally worth it because it sounds better and like a better version of Peach Kelli Pop. I’m happy that I tried that.
KLC: Where’d you get the name Peach Kelli Pop?
PKP: Peach Kelli Pop is the name of a song by Redd Kross, which is a band that I really like. Lots of people think that I’m just Kelli, so some people just come up to me and say “Hi Kelli!” It’s semi-obscure so I don’t expect people to know that reference, but that’s what it’s from.
KLC: Your name sounds like it matches your music either way though. It sounds like those peach donut gummies.
PKP: Well, we do love candy. But that’s kind of why I chose it, phonetically our name just kind of sounds like the type of music that we play.
KLC: What’s your favorite kind of candy?
PKP: Well, I love chocolate. But I love all candy, I love Swedish fish and gummy worms. All candy is good.
KLC: What’s your favorite place to tour?
PKP: That’s a good question, because so many areas are good in their own way. So I mean obviously somewhere like Portland we’re always excited about coming to because there’s great people and food and it’s beautiful here. But then it’s also fun going somewhere really weird, like Chattanooga, Tennessee. That’s not really a destination for people, but there’s weird vintage shops everywhere and nothing’s picked over so you can find really cool weird stuff there. So I’d say most places have their own charm. But I like the Midwest a lot, like Chicago and Wisconsin and stuff. I don’t know why, I think for me being from Canada it’s kind of like home. It has the same feeling and weather, so I think subconsciously that’s why I enjoy it.
KLC: So you’re from Ottawa, what’s the Canadian music scene like there?
PKP: It’s actually really good! It was a little bit quiet maybe five or six years ago, and then bands started forming and it got kind of exciting. I think for me timing wise it was really good, when I was about 18 or 19 I started trying to play in bands. I guess it coincided with when the music scene in Ottawa started to get a little more active. It’s definitely a good place to be in Canada for music.
KLC: Do you have some favorite Ottawa bands?
PKP: There’s actually a lot of bands. The Sedatives don’t play now, but they’re a band that includes the White Wires singer which is the band that I play drums for. They’re really good, they’re kind of gothy-punk but really cool and catchy. There’s more that I can’t think of right now.
KLC: So Avril Lavigne and Alanis Morissette are also from the Ottawa area, do you feel any kinship towards them?
PKP: I feel a kinship towards Alanis, she’s a cool woman. Ottawa’s a pretty small city. My parents were at a party with her parents and they were casually talking and her parents were saying “Our daughter plays music,” and my parents were like “Oh ours too!” Then I guess other people there told my parents that they were Alanis Morissette’s parents. I’m not really on her level at all. It’s a small world, especially Ottawa since it isn’t a big city. But I guess her parents still live there and they’re really nice. But I definitely feel a kinship with Alanis, she went to my local high school, she was a few years older than my big sister but they were at school with each other. She’s cool, I totally respect Alanis. Avril Lavigne, not so much. I don’t hate her, I just feel like I can’t relate to her at all.
KLC: How did you end up doing the Lolipop Records’ “Lolipop Connection” theme song?
PKP: Oh yeah, Wyatt [Blair] just sent me a text and asked me to write it and I did that day. I love short catchy things like that. It was really fun! One take and they were happy with it. I just made the most theme-sounding thing that I could
KLC: Who are some of your musical influences?
PKP: I like the Ramones, obviously. They’re like the coolest band ever, I love them. I love Cyndi Lauper, and girl groups like the Ronnettes. Phil Spektor, he’s a psycho but his music rules. I like the really full, harmonic, melodic sound with harmonies. I love the Ramones’ super punk, fast, really simple but effective. Less is more, that’s what I like.
KLC: How is it being in the LA independent music community?
PKP: It’s really good, it’s inspiring because in Ottawa people don’t really do music as their job but being in LA it’s cool because I’m surrounded by people who are really going for it and ambitious and inspired. Lots of people can live off their music which is really awesome and inspires me to continue playing. It’s cool for it to be normal to play in bands and go on tour. Lots of jobs understand if you say you’re going on tour and stuff, which is nice. It’s really nice being surrounded by people that are trying and ambitious.
KLC: What are three words you would use to describe your music other than Peach Kelli Pop?
PKP: I’d say, Rock and roll. I don’t even know, that would be difficult to say. If I choose three words people will dismiss it if they don’t like the three words, but I’d say sugar. That’s it.
KLC: We interviewed Colleen Green recently and we talked about her “Uncomfortably Close” interviews and she said she did one with you, can you tell us a little about that?
PKP: Yeah! I was playing drums for her, that was the only other time I’ve played this bar, was backing her on drums for a tour. Maybe it was during that time or slightly after, but I think it was a year or two ago and it was really funny she asked kind of obscure questions and put the camera right up in your face! It was fun, I don’t remember what she asked but hopefully it will come out one day. It’ll be a surprise for me too because I haven’t heard of it at all since then. She’s saving it for a rainy day.
KLC: How was playing Burger-A-Go-Go?
PKP: It was really fun! That was Burger Records’ girl-centered festival. The lineup was crazy. The focus was that it was bands with girls in them, but it just ended up being all the best bands. It was the best Burger show we ever played. It just kind of showed like, yeah I guess the best bands just happen to have girls in them. We had such a good time and there were really good vibes. It’s definitely a fond memory to look back on.
KLC: Thanks so much!