Interview: P.O.S.

P.O.S. (Minneapolis)
By Kandis Knight

“I was nervous last night,” recapped P.O.S. about his debut cd release party for his first solo project, Ipecac Neat. “I usually play a lot of shows so I never get nervous but I was nervous last night because I have been trying to have a CD release party for this record for like two years,” said P.O.S., 22.

First Avenue was packed for the early all-ages show on Sun., Mar. 14, and the second show sold out. “I had the Plastic Constellations backing me up and I never played my songs with a live band before but it worked just fine. EPL and Snakebird played the best show they ever played and so did I. It was a really great show.”

Ipecac Neat was officially released last week, two years after P.O.S. (born Stefon Alexander) began work on the project. “[The record] has been hugely refined since the project started,” explained P.O.S.

The song writing process is complicated for most artists as P.O.S. explains, “You write 12 songs you like and then you write five songs you like better so you scrap the first 12 songs and you stack it like that.” When everything was over and done with P.O.S. wrote nearly 35 songs and only 15 made the final cut for Ipecac Neat.

“Right now my favorite track is probably ‘The Kidney Thief,’ although it changes. I sampled from a punk band out of Chicago called Baxter and I used the bass line and I get to sing on that song, loud.”

All of the songs on Ipecac Neat offer different feelings and emotions. P.O.S. was not shy about collaborating with local Hip-Hop champs including Crescent Moon of Odd Jobs, Toki Wright of The C.O.R.E. and I Self Devine of The Micranots. These collaborations added color and character to the 15-track project.

“I hope people get ready to listen to louder, more abrasive punk rock and Hip-Hop. There are some pretty personal tracks on the record, and listeners are going to take out of it what they can. I’m trying to write songs that cover newer ground, like different approaches to social politics and the way we look at the world around us,” touts P.O.S.

Like most artists the road to finalizing P.O.S.’ debut solo project was bumpy. His motivation to finish the project came from a typical source, an ex-girlfriend. “I went through a very serious breakup while completing this album, and that contributed a lot to my motivation for completing the record. One of the things she told me when we were breaking up was to get a real job. I guess it’s reasonable to want your boyfriend to make real money, but I was like, ‘This is my dream and I’m 22 and I should be able to fucking work on what I want to until I’m 30 and if it doesn’t work out by then I can go ahead and get a job.’”

In addition to making music and performing P.O.S. works at Rick’s Cabaret as a men’s attendant. “I give out cologne and whatnot,” said P.O.S. For recreation P.O.S. likes to spend his time drawing and skateboarding.

When asked to explain the sound of Ipecac Neat, P.O.S. explains “The CD sounds like me. It’s definitely Hip-Hop. I don’t think it’s punk/Hip-Hop. You can hear the punk aesthetic and influence if you know punk music—but if you’re not familiar with punk then it just sounds like harder Hip-Hop.”

From track to track, I can truly appreciate P.O.S.’ drive to be different by fusing two music genres. And is it fate or just a sign of the times that the same week P.O.S.’ album is released coincides with Minneapolis’ purple one being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
P.O.S.’ brand of Hip-Hop/punk music is different and compelling enough to carve out a distinct place for itself here in Minneapolis. “When I was in punk bands I made punk rock because it was fun and super energetic. I do Hip-Hop because I can rap and it’s fun and I found a way to do it in an incredibly energetic way that has the energy of punk rock without necessarily being loud all the time.”

P.O.S. plays Mon., Mar. 22, at the Loring Pasta Bar. With Illuminous 3. 9 p.m. 327 14th Ave. SE, Mpls. 612-378-4849.

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