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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Artist Of The Week - Foreign Born
Monday, September 03, 2007

Foreign Born is a band that doesn’t really live up to its name. Made up of four California natives, Matt W. Popieluch (lead vocals, guitar), Lewis Pesacov (guitar), Ariel Rechtshaid (bass) and Garrett Ray (drums), the band came together in San Francisco in 2003 when Matt and Lewis were going to San Francisco State University. The duo went down to LA to work on some recordings with mutual friend Ariel and there they met Garrett. Matt remembers “Garrett had never heard the songs but he got them in the first take or two, so we just moved down here to play with these guys.” Inspired by everyone from The Fall to Roy Orbison to John Lennon, Foreign Born released their first full length album, On The Wing Now, last month on Dim Mak Records. This week I caught up with lead singer Matt W. Popieluch (far right in the picture) to find out more about the band, what makes them so unique, and their interesting connections to both The Plain White T’s and one of the biggest blockbuster movies of all time.

Adam Bernard: You’re all at least fourth generation Californians, so how’d you come up with the name Foreign Born for your band?
Matt W. Popieluch: I was making lists and that was at the top of my list. I was searching for a name that was in a sense almost not good, a name that would really depend on the context of the band as to whether it was good or not. When a lot of people first heard it they were like uhh, no, it’s kinda hard to say, I don’t like it so much. Any name that challenges people and makes them question whether they like it or not, I think is a better name because it inspires more thought. It inspires turmoil a little bit. And we all have foreign last names if that counts for anything.

Adam Bernard: Why do I like your album?
Matt W. Popieluch: (laughs) I don’t know. I think to me it doesn’t really sound like anything that’s going on right now. It’s super eclectic but it’s in this weird niche where it’s all put together. Our band is so all over the map really it’s a smattering of things. There’s a lot that goes into the music. I think that’s maybe why you like it because there are all these different things coming together from all these different people.

Adam Bernard: Talk to me about the album. What’s On The Wing Now all about?
Matt W. Popieluch: It’s tough trying to capture what your band has been doing over a period of time but it’s about that and it’s also about putting a message forth, capturing an aesthetic. We put out an EP (In the Remote Woods) before but I think this album captures more the progression we’ve been on with touring and growing and developing. We self-record everything we do so I think our production has developed and gotten better. We’re getting a lot more rhythmic and I think a lot more interesting as we go. I guess it’s really an open armed invitation to our future.

Adam Bernard: What do you guys do outside of the band?
Matt W. Popieluch: Lewis is a composer, a new music composer, and he’s had pieces performed in Europe, Austria, Germany, really experimental stuff with cellos creaking. Ariel is a music producer and he’s produced albums for We Are Scientists and The Blood Arm. He also produced the single “Hey There Delilah” for The Plain White T’s a long time ago and it’s on their new album. Our drummer is a crazy surfer guy and he was living on a couch for a while.

Adam Bernard: Finally, are you all living the lavish life of a rock star yet?
Matt W. Popieluch: Actually, we’re all living in LA pretty broke trying to make music, working really stupid weird jobs and there’ve been some really weird ones. I do moving jobs through Craigslist some of the time. I answer if someone needs a chair moved and often it’s been porn actresses. I’ve been moving furniture for one porn actress in particular, I don’t even know her name she just told me a lot, she was very talkative, she was a porn actress / comedian. Me and Lewis have worked at a caterers doing the lowliest jobs like picking up the trash at the Spiderman 2 premier. I do temp work and I had to label 5,000 bottles of bubble blowing fluid for children to blow bubbles with at weddings. And right now I’m on the way to work at Barney’s as a cashier at the Barney’s warehouse sale in an airplane hangar.

For more Foreign Born check out myspace.com/foreignborn, dimmak.com & foreignbornmusic.blogspot.com.

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