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Home » Lyricist Lounge

Electro-rock duo get digital on first full-length

Submitted by on July 21, 2011 – 6:11 pmNo Comment

Like the two-man band’s name, OPOPO, its new album, Lightwork, is built of more than a cleverly conjured title.

“We’re very aware that our use of lights tied in to us calling it Lightwork,” said lead guitarist/vocalist Bryan Sutherland, recently over a pint at a Paddock pub in downtown Toronto.

“That definitely was intentional. But the characters in the album are representations of our higher selves – the inner light overwhelming the outer body. That’s why we made light suits and armor for them.”

Much like the interview under a fading Southern Ontario sun that warm summer evening, the electro-house rock duo’s first full-length invites listeners on an introspective journey into the ‘universal school of thought’ of OPOPO.

Lightwork can be interpreted as a 1984-style Orwellian metaphor, symbolically stating that the world is being taken over by ‘Big Brother,’ – computers, robotics and biometrics – as people lose human touch at an exponential rate.

However, it’s best to not let the in-depth narrative and trippy electro blues on disc fool you into thinking that these guys spin tracks on stage. OPOPO describe its live shows as the equivalent not of a DJ remixing a song, but as a rock band remixing their own songs with the instruments they imitate digitally.

Having come full-circle to a band of two (now minus bass player Craig Macgregor and drummer Sean Dunal, who still make occasional live appearances), the duo’s live performances are enhanced instrumental representations of its album works.

“It was nice to be off the clock when we have all four members,” said the other half of OPOPO, drummer Corey Poole. “Up till then, we were always on timers and tracks. It was nice to ditch the beats and have that freedom.”

Being that Lightwork is mostly digitally produced – with synthesizers, beat machines and effectual guitar licks – playing live, Poole and Sutherland intensify their instrumental energy.

“It’s not like anyone’s lost,” Sutherland added. “The four of us are the brethren of OPOPO. We’re really able to push it out live with all four members, but we wanted to make this project as efficient as possible, which Corey and I do well without instruments – only using electronics and vocals.

“We’re not a ‘cool’ band, but we’ve been an extremely theatrical Cirque de Soleil-style OPOPO for a bit. But now (next), we’re ready to make our gritty blues/rock album. Without the light suits and digital production.”

Story by Devin Size; photograph by Daniel Vella

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