Population Game

Population Game

 Los Angeles, California, USA

High energy, introspective and soulful rock music that spreads infection on the dance floor. Funky, raw and yet highly refined, these four Michigan natives demonstrate just how refreshing a good pop melody can be when mixed with some riskiness and sophistication.


After spending the last few years winning over crowds with their energetic live performances and close stage camaraderie, Los Angeles based Population Game releases their second full length album, "Wake Me Up/Let Me Down", a more evolved sound that departs from the quirky power pop of their previous record and moves into rock realms that are funky, raw, yet highly refined, spreading infection on the dance floor. These four Michigan natives brilliantly demonstrate just how refreshing a good pop melody can be when mixed with some sophistication, riskiness and all out groove. Conjuring up the boundless, explorative musical spirit and freedom that was afforded in the 1970's, "Wake Me Up/Let Me Down" is ahead of it's time and will move the listener with songs that are as original and diverse as the band members themselves. Justin Avery's captivating vocals and acrobatic melodies will command your attention with an almost gender-bending arousal as he belts out contagious and witty hooks that have reminisce of Police-era Sting, Freddie Mercury and Prince (yes, Prince), yet a style all to his own. Inventive and well-crafted guitar parts intertwine with piano and vintage keyboards, bold bass lines and crisp drumming to create an unbreakable rapport somewhere between David Bowie and Stevie Wonder.

Originally meeting while attending college in Kalamazoo, Michigan (a small town two hours west of Detroit and two hours east of Chicago), Population Game began making music in 2001 under the name, Doc Brown. Upon jamming together, Justin Avery (lead vocals, keys), Brett Farkas (guitar), Joe Ayoub (bass) and Jevin Hunter (drums) quickly realized that their musical upbringings and backgrounds were quite separate and different. Difficult at first, the band's chemistry began to click, and kept clicking until it had melded into a unique and uniform new body of work, showcasing each member's range of influences and personalities. They began performing their new style of funky prog pop around the area and released a full length album the following year. As their popularity grew around town, Doc Brown disbanded in the fall of 03' when Joe and Brett graduated college and relocated to Los Angeles to begin working as freelance musicians. Keeping busy over the next two years, the guys kept in good touch and kept alive the idea of getting the band back together. Soon enough, both Justin and Jevin had moved to the west coast, and by January 06' all four guys were making music together once again, only now calling themselves Population Game.

Upon emerging from their air conditionless North Hollywood rehearsal space, Population Game debuted a five song EP of quick and concise, carefully branded power pop, and eagerly hit the ground running playing gigs around the LA club scene. They were named in Music Connection Magazine as one of the top 100 bands of 2006 to watch and they filmed a live segment for the music website, Rehearsals.com. Following up, they quickly began working on their first full length album, "This Room's Too Small For Two Of Us" with friend and producer/mixer/studio mastermind Ryan Hewitt (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Avette Brothers Band, Alkaline Trio) recording at John Frusciante's home studio. The album was released in the summer 2007 and the guys hit the road in support, playing dates up and down the west coast, southwest and in the midwest.

Over the next year, Population Game's shows began to grow musically as they incorporated more improvisation and experimented with new sounds and grooves. This gave birth to the material that was to be recorded for their new album, "Wake Me Up/Let Me Down". Set for an October 09' release, WMU/LMD is an eleven song pop opus that distinctively unfolds into a frenzied, yet focused adventure, paying homage to classic funk and soul, riff-filled rock, and psychedelic prog. As the album opens, "Wake Me Up"'s drum beat calls attention and swiftly moves into a brisk, chant-like chorus at speeds made for roller skating. Everything from sinister booty shakers like, "Wish Luv" and "Shake Your Body", to the dark, loop-like droning and introspective subject matter of, "Let Me Down"; from the deep grooved, reckless rock anthem, "Dare-Devil", to the marooned marching fanfare of, "California, You've Gone Mad", WMU/LMD's assortment will compel and entertain listeners on numerous levels.

-Anthony Robinson


"Self Titled" EP (2006)
"This Room's Too Small For Two Of Us" full length (2007)
"Wake Me Up/Let Me Down" full length (coming Oct 2009)


Lithuania (streaming and radio airplay)
Untouchable (streaming and radio airplay)

Set List

You're Not But She Is
Dare Devil
This Room
Wake Me Up
I Don't Want to Wait
Last One Out the Door
Always in the Middle
Sky is Falling
Sleeping with the Enemy
Dreamers and Drug Addicts
Run Away
75 Last Minute Favors
Drive Away
Take My Life
Wish Love
Let Me Down
California You've Gone Mad
You Never Said a Word