The Mumble : Hello Victor Pope, so is that your real name or a stage persona?
Victor Pope : It’s a stage persona. It looked like my brother was going to make it big in the nineties so I thought I’d change my name so I wouldn’t be living in his shadow. The first pseudonym I had was Oliver Christ. But that seemed a little bit boastful, so I downgraded myself to the pope, and changed the first name to Victor after a nick name my old drummer used to call me. There’s always been some kind of religious theme.
The Mumble : Who are in the the Victor Pope Band?
Victor Pope : Me on acoustic guitar and vocals, Roy Jackson (aka Nice One Man) on mandolin, melodica, electric guitar, Swanee whistle, kazoo, xylophone and siren whistle, Jess Aslan (aka Terminator Jess) on synth, Graeme Mackay (aka Grime) on bass and Jon Harley (aka Cuddles McGee) on drums.
The Mumble : You have just released your third album, how are you feeling about the piece?
Victor Pope : I think it’s our finest work so far. We spent a lot more time on it than the other 2 albums which we tended to record live mostly in one day. On this one we recorded most things separately over the course of about 6 months. There were many obstacles in the way but we got the finished CD’s just in time for the album launch. We also produced this one entirely by ourselves, apart from the mastering which was done by Luke Woodbridge. It’s definitely in a slightly different direction than the other two albums but it’s a lot closer to the vision of the songs I have in my head.
The Mumble : You are one of Edinburgh’s most beloved of song-writers, your curious poetic genius winning many fans – what is the main impulse behind your songwriting
Victor Pope : Sexual frustration and death.
The Mumble : What are your favorite Cheeses
Victor Pope : Garstang red was the first blue cheese I enjoyed and from then on there was no turning back. I’m blue all the way, the smellier the better. Although I am also quite partial to a bit of Cathedral City on toast.
The Mumble : Edinburgh has a thriving music scene, what’s your take on it
Victor Pope : It’s a lovely place to be a musician. You get a lot of passing trade with musicians of all nationalities passing through for brief periods and leaving their imprint. It’s also very collaborative. It’s all kind of like one big hippy love in. Unlike Glasgow which seems a bit more competitive and edgy. Although you probably have to go their to make it I think I prefer the mellower vibe of Edinburgh. Edinburgh is kind of like the Hippy and Glasgow is kind of like the punk if you will. Although was it not just a couple of years ago that an Edinburgh band won the Mercury music prize? Also, a special mention has to go to Phil Ramsay and Baz Simpson who do wonders for up and coming acts in the city.
The Mumble : How does it feel to finally become a member of the Edinburgh rock aristocracy
Victor Pope : I don’t know if we’re quite there yet. But if we are I like to think we’re kind of the secret shame of the family. The deformed sibling twisted by too much inbreeding who they keep locked in the cellar and occasionally throw lumps of raw meat at. But one day, through monstrous Machiavellian machinations, he will rise to power to reek his terrible revenge. Kind of like Game of Thrones or summat.
The Mumble : What are the plans for Victor Pope in 2017
Victor Pope : Try and play some festivals. Try and get played on the radio. Try and work on some new material. World peace.
The Victor Pope Band’s latest album ‘Mental Illness isn’t Funny’ is a cracker.
The Mumble especially like ‘The Pacifist’ & ‘One of these Days.’