Rock Eupora’s Clayton Waller has grown to embrace the power pop label. His latest album, Pick At The Scab, was recently named “Best Power Pop album” by Nashville Scene.
“For a long time, I felt a lot of resistance to claiming a genre,” Waller told 360°Sound. “Maybe it’s because I wanted to be fully independent and didn’t want to be boxed in. I’ve changed my mind on that. I think it’s actually helpful to claim something so that people will have a reference point.”
Power pop is typically marked by catchy hooks and Beatlesque melodies. But while the subgenre has been criticized by some for having superficial lyrics, Waller cannot be accused of such as he tackles weighty themes on Pick At The Scab.
“Vulnerability is a common theme in my life,” said Waller, who wrote all the songs and played all instruments, save for the horns and strings, on the LP. “I’ve just found that being honest is the best route. On this album, I really did dive deep. I went into territories that I think I’ve always been scared to go into.”
Calling the album his most personal to date, Waller said it’s largely about the intersection of his sexuality and his Christian faith.
“If you listen to my catalog, God has always been there,” Waller said. “I would never say I’m a ‘Christian artist.’ I think ‘Christian’ isn’t a genre, and it’s been marketed as such. And it’s kind of bastardized a little bit. In the same way that I don’t think ‘queer’ is a genre. I would never describe my music as Christian, but I write about what’s important for me and what I’m dealing with.”
Waller has been much more open about being gay in recent years. Growing up in a conservative Southern Baptist church in Mississippi, for years he thought his sexuality was at odds with his faith.
“There’s a ton of bridges that have been burned between queer people and Christianity, and I hope I can be a voice that’s like, ‘Hey, yes, people have hurt people and the church has messed up, but I still think that God loves queer people.’ He loves everybody, and at some point, religion gets in the way of God. Especially in the South, those things can feel at war with each other, and I hope that I can bring a little bit of commentary and redemption to that conversation.”
Check out the music videos of singles from Pick At The Scab below, and catch Rock Eupora live on tour!
“I Would Tell You”
“Ode To My Friends”
Rock Eupora’s Upcoming Shows
Oct 27 – Proud Larry’s – Oxford, MS
Oct 28 – Blue Canoe – Tupelo, MS
Oct 29 – Singin’ River Brewery – Florence, AL
Nov 05 – Petra’s Bar – Charlotte, NC
Nov 06 – Local 506 – Chapel Hill, NC
Nov 15 – The Government Center – Pittsburgh, PA
Nov 18 – Revival Room, Southgate House Revival – Newport, KY