By paul

Paul: Hi, please introduce yourself and your role in the band!
Cartel: Will Pugh – vocals, guitar, piano, programming
Kevin Sanders – drums
Joseph Pepper – guitar
Nic Hudson – guitar
Jeff Lett – bass

Paul: ‘Chroma’ came out in 2005…for anyone who has not yet heard it,
please describe how it sounds and a couple of tracks you’d recommend
from it for people to listen to!
Cartel: Will – The songs on Chroma were very well blended. It’s a cohesive album.
Kevin – There is Rock, Ballads and Piano
Jams; it’s delicious. I would recommend “Burn this City”, “The Minstrel’s Prayer” and “Q&A”.

Paul: The album started off with a lot of publicity, then kind of died down a bit and then has gone through the roof…what were your expectations when you released the album and have those been exceeded?
Cartel: When we released Chroma we had a weird schedule. On an Indie scale we did really well. The issue with the release is the MTV hit before radio. We had to fight hard to sell 200,000. Before we had a lot of people putting their input in and now it is more of a united front.

Paul: Obviously a lot of the publicity that’s going around now is because of the ‘band in the bubble’ contest. How did that come about? What made you decide to record your album inside a big bubble on MTV?
Cartel: Dr Pepper and MTV approached our label and then they brought the idea to us. In the beginning we thought the idea was crazy. We all came to a decision. This idea has never been done in the United States and it gave us a chance to connect with our fans on a different level.

Paul: When you were mulling over the offer did you consider that although there’s the obvious benefit of reaching new fans, some people may not take you as seriously because it’s such an obvious publicity stunt? Have there been much, if any, accusations you have ‘sold out’?
Cartel: I Think marketing has become so bland when it comes to releasing music. There is no real shock a band can make. Although being in a band isn’t about selling records, staying in a band is. If we don’t sell music we have to go back to college and that would feel like the ultimate failure. Yes being in a Dr Pepper Bubble is a marketing stunt but it’s not about branding. We believe we write awesome music and right now this is the best place for us to be. Being the Dr Pepper Band in a Bubble lets us connect with our fans on a more intimate level, and as long as it draws people to the music it’s awesome (Kevin pipes in “shut up its awesome”). On selling out many people believe once you get paid to play you are selling out. No matter what we do nothing will change our standard of music we have set.

Paul: How is the new album going to differenciate from Chroma musically and lyrically? When can we expect to see the finished product in stores?
Cartel: The record hits stores on July 24th 2007 and will show the progression – we have grown a lot. When we recorded the first album we were 19 and the lyrics were upbeat and happy. Now we are trying to expand our influences. Our lyrics are a lot more mature.
Will – They are darker… not like make-up dark but also not “Everything is awesome”. We feel our record will reach a wider demographic.

Paul: Have you confirmed any song titles or even an album title?
Cartel; No album titles yet. If we do not think of anything cool we will have a self title album. With our progression it may just be the best to express where we are. Song titles we have 3:
LOSE IT – Which Will says will be the Summer Jam

Paul: Do you think in years to come people will remember you for writing some cool pop-punk songs or for sitting in a bubble on Mtv?
Cartel: I think they will remember us for writing awesome rock songs. It may not be the most integrity friendly thing to do, but to us it’s about the fans and interacting with them on a more intimate level. It is about the fans loving you.

Paul: Moving on, do you have any plans to tour the UK in the near future?
Cartel: Kevin: We are going to try to get out there this fall.

Paul: There was a lot of talk about you supporting CIWWAF over here in the UK in January…and then a lot of Sony-related conspiracy theories as to why it didn’t happen. Were you ever supposed to be on that tour?
Cartel: Will: There were talks about us possibly being on that tour but scheduling didn’t really work out. It conflicted with just coming off our headlining tour and we needed time off to practice and jam.

Paul: How much free Dr Pepper are you getting for the bubble stunt?
Cartel: Kevin: While we’re in the bubble the Dr Pepper is unlimited. Also, we were sent a huge case before we flew out to party down on. I am sure after this is over, if we called Dr Pepper we might be able to grab more.

Paul: If you could put any other band in the bubble with you, who would it be and why?
Cartel: It wouldn’t be just 1 band we would have to pick both Receiving End of Siren and As Tall As Lions. We went on tour with them awhile back and we have to say they made the most impact on our sound. On the other side they are just amazing dudes.

Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]