The Smoking Popes, set to release their concept album This Is Only a Test (about the life of a fictional high schooler) on March 15, know what it's like to tell stories through music. So is it any surprise lead singer Josh Caterer picked The Music Man as his all-time favorite soundtrack? (Oddly enough, "Pure Imagination," the song from the original Willy Wonka movie, which made them famous, was not his first choice.) He says:
The songwriting is amazing. I must have watched that movie a hundred times growing up. It really shaped my concept of how to write a good melody.
The Smoking Popes will be at the Slidebar in Fullerton on March 22 to test outThis Is Only a Test
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before a live audience.
"When I first got the idea to write from a teenage perspective, the individual songs came really quickly," Caterer says. "I wrote a song a day for five days. That's half the album in less than a week. I never write that fast! Each song stands alone as a snapshot from this kid's life. The story doesn't unfold like a narrative. It's more like a collage."