Noise Pop's 15th anniversary festival begins today (2/27) with the opening, "FREEDM Night" event at Mezzanine. The annual event will feature over 100 artists packed into clubs around San Francisco from Tuesday 2/27 through Sunday 3/4.

In honor of this monumental event taking place in our own backyard, JamBase has put together a little teaser interview with two of our favorite artists set to appear at Noise Pop. Both John Vanderslice, who will be headlining at The Independent Wednesday 2/28 (with Damien Jurado, The Submarines and Black Fiction) as well as Mike Drake of Oranger (who will support Roky Erickson and the Explosives on 3/1 at the Great American Music Hall) are ready to give us all a little insight into Noise Pop's big event.

John Vanderslice
Noise Pop is a unique festival, what's your favorite aspect of Noise Pop and what are you most excited about?

John Vanderslice: Well, Noise Pop was my first solo show ever, opening up for Bob Mould and then the Mountain Goats! I've only missed it once and it remains something that connects me to San Francisco. I love the opening night party [taking place Tuesday 2/27 at Mezzanine]. The booking is always eclectic and interesting.

What bands on the bill do you think people should make an effort to check out, and/or, what bands do you want to see?

John Vanderslice: Midlake [3/4 Bottom of the Hill], Vic Chesnutt [3/2 Swedish American Hall], Annuals [3/2 Cafe Du Nord], Ted Leo [3/2 Great American Music Hall], St. Vincent [3/2 Fillmore], Brightblack Morning Light [3/3 Great American Music Hall], tons more [see the complete schedule here].

John Vanderslice
What is it about San Francisco that makes it one of (if not the) greatest city in the world?

John Vanderslice: Well it's definitely not the greatest city in the world! That's like saying America is the greatest country in the world. There's a LOT out there! I would say it's one of the best cities I've ever been to. There are remarkable things about San Francisco you won't find anywhere else: the food culture, the light, Marin and San Mateo county beaches, Golden Gate Park, the Ferry Building...

Do you have a pre-show ritual?

John Vanderslice: I am VERY nervous before shows so usually I'm pacing or pretending to pay attention to a conversation backstage. It is impossible for me to focus until we start playing, then the feeling completely changes, I'm calm and very happy.

What should everyone know about you that they probably do not?

John Vanderslice: I am beyond lazy. If I didn't have a deadline I would never do anything. People have a strange preconception that I'm prolific. I am happiest when doing nothing.

Continue reading for Mike Drake of Oranger's responses...

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