ASL’s Exclusive Interview With Cartel

Cartel could very well be the pied pipers for a new generation of kids hungry for music deeper than gold chains, or big cars. Writing music about morals, love, and moving on – Cartel has been able to capture what human emotion is and evoke a crowd to just move. Issuing a challenge to their cohorts, Will Pugh calls out “pop punk today isn’t going anywhere–let’s make some moves.”

Already being tour veterans, Cartel already has a solid and devoted fan base. Cartel quickly garnered a devoted and noticeably growing fan base with a reputation for being one of the most fun, genuine, talented bands around. When Alternative Press compiled their 2005 list of “Bands You Need to Know.”

Why haven’t you heard of them? You have – you’ve sung “Lose it,” or “Honestly.” You’ve seen their pictures, and laughed along with some of their music. You just didn’t realize these boys from Conyers, Georgia aren’t asking for your attention, they’re taking it whether you like it or not, and will continue to rock in the name of good music. We here at ASL we’re lucky enough to get Will Pugh from Cartel to sit down with us, and give us some time!

Check out our interview with Cartel after the jump.

Josh: Thank you so much for giving me time out of your busy schedule to sit down with your new record coming out and all.

Will: No problem man. I actually just got in off the golf course. I love spending time with places I’ve read before.

Josh: Awesome, alright lets get down to it. How did your band start? You’re not even 25 yet and touring hard.

Will: We all met back in high school basically. Kevin and Nick had known each other since like they were 7 years old. A bunch of the guys played together in bands from an early age. I came in when I was a freshman in high school. We started playing in a band together, about sophomore year. We’ve been rocking out ever since.

Josh: What musical inspirations did you guys have growing up. Conyers isn’t exactly the new scene.

Will: Yeah we grew up backwoods. The guys got me into the underground scene. I, honestly was totally oblivious to it. There was a little venue in Atlanta called “Under The Couch”, and bands would come through there. Bands that people now go to arenas and see went through there. It’s like a hole in the wall. We listened to a lot of harder bands so the whole Pop-Punk sound we have is very DIY.
Josh: You released your own EP, before a record deal. How does your recording change being a backwoods group, to now you were producing with Wyclef Jean on your newest album?

Will: It’s been a gradual change. It’s never been crazy, of being in someone’s basement to a multi-million dollar studio. It’s taken 6 years to make all these progression. 3 years ago we were selling everything we owned to put out our own album, and not even to do anything worthwhile. Being broke used to suck, and we’d scrounge for change to buy a junior bacon at Wendy’s. So we’ve been from the lowest of lows, to highest of highs. It’s just nice we did it gradually, and it wasn’t just a huge blowup over night.

Josh: You’ve put in crazy hard work, do you feel pressure being AP’s Band To Watch, and Band in a Bubble?

Will: Biggy said “Mo Money Mo Problems” and he’s so right. The more famous you get, the different problems you have. It’s been awesome and a dream come true. Once we got to this level, we didn’t know what to do. You never really think past your record label. We have to re-evaluate our goals and figure new things out. We have to think about how we’re going have to figure out where we want to go with these amazing new opportunity.

Josh: So tell me about your new album? What can we expect, what’s your favorite song?

Will: We love the new album, it was a lot of fun. Our last album we recorded and mixed in 21 days, so we did this in just 20 so it wasn’t that stressful of a situation. We love the sound though, and we made damn sure we knew what we were doing. One of my favorites is “Wasted” with Wyclef. He was fantastic to work with, and our opportunities were un-paralleled. It was cool to blur the lines a bit, and really take our musicianship to a whole ‘nother level.

Will, the lead singer, being younger than me seemed really wise and down to earth. However, he’s still a kid in regards to his music. He was vibrant and emphatic about his music all while still being funny and open. Rarely do you find a rock band not jaded by touring. Attend a Cartel concert and one thing you will find… You will not ever feel let down or disappointed.

Look for Joshua Martin’s Cartel concert review on Friday. In the mean time, check out DJ Rossstar’s interview (parts 1 and 2) on Buzznet.

Tags: Exclusives