One band is hoping to flip pop music with a fresh coat of wallpaper.
Base-thumping techno band Wallpaper is scheduled to play at Newport Music Hall with Gym Class Heroes and The Dirty Heads at 7:30 p.m on Tuesday.
Ricky Reed, otherwise known as Eric Frederic outside of the musical world, is the lead singer of the dance band, which hit the scene in 2009 with its debut EP, “Doodoo Face.” Reed has left his writing on the walls of the music industry ever since.
The band started as a satirical joke on the nature of pop music at the time.
“Pop music has, maybe in the last decade or two, reduced itself to that exact thing — wallpaper,” Reed said. “It’s sort of around us and (we) kinda see it and we don’t think about it. It’s there surrounding our lives but it doesn’t affect us if we don’t engage with it.”
Reed said he’s determined to change what pop music is today back to what is used to mean to him during the reign of pop music’s greatest contributor, Michael Jackson.
“His early records, to me, are pretty much what pop music was,” Reed said. “At the time, his music was not only cutting edge, but it was well thought out.”
To Reed, Jackson did then what he said many pop musicians should do now to succeed – be better than the best.
“I think often times people aspire to be … as good as the artist they like or be a combination of the artist they like,” Reed said. “If you want to be truly great, you have to aim to be better than the best that there ever was. In that way … Michael was everything. His greatness is definitely something I aspire to achieve.”
While on his way to beating the King of Pop at his own game, Reed finds inspiration in the weirdest places.
“I do a lot of writing in the shower,” he said. “It’s more fun writing in unconventional spaces. You never know what’s going to inspire you, what that special thing’s going to be, so you’ve got to be willing and open to accept inspiration at all times.”
Reed also finds a lot of his inspiration for his dance tunes like “#STUPiDFACEDD” on the dance floor after long nights of drinking and getting into trouble.
To him, it’s all about “trying to find that special time of night when everything is just right … before you pass out,” he said.
To some students, that party tone to Wallpaper’s music is what would drive them to see the band live.
Rebekah Agosta and Melissa Dick are first-years in psychology and engineering respectively who said they would love to see Wallpaper perform live, but its music would not be the first thing they played on their iPods.
“It’s not one of the first songs I would turn on, but I would if I needed energized,” Agosta said. “I would probably listen to it if other people think we’re listening to it.”
Dick added that while she isn’t a fan of Wallpaper’s style of music, she could appreciate his deep, booming voice and thought the band was catchy.
Both students added that Wallpaper would make great party music, which means Reed succeeded in obtaining his most prized audience: the college student.
“The college crowd tends to respond to our music really well,” Reed said. “I think the college experience is something that I understand.”
Keeping his music real and relatable to the average college student is what Reed says is the key to win over the college crowd.
“Nobody wants to hear about platinum gold chains and crystal,” he said. “I tend to deal with the actual American experience.”
Tickets for the show are $22 in advance and $25 the day of the show.