During her Main Stage West set at Reading Festival earlier today (Saturday 27th August), Poppy debuted a new song, ‘FYB’ – an explosive, 105 seconds of fury and frenzied riffs.
Speaking to us just before her set, Poppy revealed that ‘FYB’ stands for “Fuck You Back” and is about “somebody getting what they deserve, without you yourself having to lift a finger.” It’s a revenge anthem, but “you don’t do anything about it. You just let it happen.”
Live, “we’re all on the edge of our seats. I have a lot of fun performing it.”
That karmically charged burst of energy is the first from a new four-track EP called ‘Stagger’ that’s pencilled in for release this October. People can apparently expect “a couple of fun songs, and one slower song”, with Poppy confident about the new songs. “They’re very enjoyable.”
She refused to give away what direction she’s taking with this new record but did promise more guitars after the industrial might of ‘I Disagree’ and the alt-rock of ‘Flux’. “At this moment in time, guitars are important to me. Maybe I’ll rebel against the guitar one day, though,” she teased.
“I have just been going where the wind takes me,” she says of her genre-switching. “I always create music based off of how I’m feeling in the moment. The songs that are on ‘Stagger’ were written in December, so they’ve been in existence for quite a long time now,” she added. Poppy “absolutely” knows what’s next as well, telling us it’ll be “a new chapter.”
Over the past few years, Poppy has gone from social media oddity to celebrated musician, at the forefront of rock’s rapid charge back into the mainstream.
“Rock’s relationship with pop music? I feel like that’s a loaded question,” she starts. “It will take me a lot longer than a minute to answer. I just try not to pay attention to whatever is happening and just do what I love the most, and what most represents Poppy, and who I am at that moment. I always view the music that I make as chapters. So any body of work that I release is encapsulating one specific point in my life, and then making something else that encapsulates the next.” She goes on to say she doesn’t feel part of the current wave of exciting guitar artists breathing new life into the genre. “I don’t consider myself a part of anything. I’m just Poppy.”
But does she think people’s perception of her has changed? “I don’t really pay attention to their perception,” she explained. “Because I think if I did, it would really do a disservice to me as an artist.” Talking about her seemingly newfound confidence, she said with a grin, “Well, I have been doing this for a moment now.”
Following the release of ‘Stagger’, Poppy is set to tour alongside legendary bands The Smashing Pumpkins and Jane’s Addiction. Despite the generation gap, Poppy has no fear about the run of shows “because I’m just Poppy all the time. And if people like it, that’s wonderful. And if they don’t, that’s also wonderful. At least you feel something.”
She hopes her music “makes people feel empowered, and inspired to create art in whatever mediums that they choose. And start a conversation.”
Ambition-wise, Poppy “knows where I want to go, but I don’t really believe in speaking the ambition out loud. That can sometimes be limiting.”
Talking about her constantly evolving musical style, Poppy explains how “it’s the artist’s responsibility to change things and reinvent. And if you don’t, then why are you doing it? I think every artist should want to push past what their previous works have done,” she adds. “Don’t aim for the floor.”