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VICE UK, 2017

http://vice.com/en/article/interviews/votre-populi-on-new-album-and

HOME // Entertainment // Interviews:  Votre Populi on their upcoming album ‘The Comedown’ and Married Life   

Rising from obscurity in the recent months, London AltPunk Revival band Votre Populi has skyrocketed to the top of the UK Alternative charts and has quickly made its way overseas to a budding North American audience as well. I had the pleasure of sitting down with all five members at VICE UK HQ on Monday for their second interview with us, and was thrilled to find what every other modern punk-loving publication has said so far to be true: all five rockers are as handsome and charming as they are talented.

Votre Populi's face and voice, Sirius Black, is the notorious Bromley Contingent-style punk prettyboy who has stolen the hearts of Instagram users of all genders, but the band is more than just his lovely face; guitarist Remus Lupin, bassist James Potter, drummer Lily Evans Potter (that’s right folks, they’ve got a GIRL drummer!) and Peter Pettigrew on the synth.

Lily and James, as pictured in our gallery, tied the knot in spring after dating for three years, and have a baby boy called Harry as of the 31st of July. I wanted to ask the big questions, and know how their life as parents and newlyweds has affected the band.

VICE UK: First of all. Welcome back to the VICE UK office. It’s so great to have you here again, and after such a busy year!

LILY: More like during, really. Album’s not ready yet, after all, and after that, there’ll be another bloody tour. 

JAMES: But thank you! We’re happy to be here.

SIRIUS: Yeah Lily, don’t be a sourpuss. 

LILY: (laughing) F**k off, you. Don’t tell me not to be a sourpuss until you give birth.

VICE UK: I can imagine it’s been very trying, Lily. A big wedding, a new baby, and then another album! How do you do it?

LILY: Drugs and alcohol mostly. 

PETER: She’s kidding.

LILY: Obviously. The real answer is making the men do everything else for me. What use are men if they aren’t going to wait on me hand and foot?

SIRIUS: Hear hear!

LILY: Okay seriously, of course being busy has been stressful, but it’s also been very easy. I have an incredible support system, between these idiots and my family and James’s family, and our friends… The list goes on, but I assure you, I’ve been very lucky.

VICE UK: Oh, that’s so sweet! I’m sure having your husband there with you helps quite a bit. What about the other three? It must be strange to have two band members married. Do you ever feel left behind, or do you have special someones as well? 

---

BRIDGEND, 2013

“Oh Jesus Christ.” Sirius says. “Prongs. Prongs. Jamie. Jamie, look.”

James, who is fiddling with the keys of his stupid fucking £2000 ‘76 Fender and therefore wouldn’t look up for even a nuclear fallout, waves him off. Lily and Peter aren’t paying attention either, the two of them are too busy being nervous about a crowd of ten people to humor him. Sirius groans dramatically, rolling his eyes, but doesn’t bother taking them off tall, dark and handsome across the bar. 

Okay, tall, pale and handsome.

Okay, he’s not exactly handsome either. He sort of looks weird. Too-long limbs and too-big nose and dark circles so bad that they almost look like eyeliner. Lily will, almost certainly, call him a walking cigarette and say he probably smells, but Sirius has never had the same reservations she has with men. Free love is punk rock, or something, and anyway, it’s not like the guy is completely ugly. He’s got lots of rather fetching scars across his face and long fingers and his patched together fucked up jeans fit him exactly right, from what Sirius can tell.

Tall and pale meets his eye for half a second, then drops the bag of ice he’s holding, sending cubes sliding and shattering all over the ground.

“I am definitely gonna sleep with that guy.” Sirius mumbles through a toothy grin.

“What guy?” James says, finally tuning in as he bounces up and down on the heels of his old red converse high tops.

“The one picking the ice up,” Lily says, not looking up from her phone. “Walking cigarette guy.”

“Just say fag,” Sirius mutters, put off at his own fulfilled premonition. “You goddamn homophobe.”

“The fag,” Pete says. Sirius takes a hair tie off his wrist and flicks it at him. It hits him right between the eyes. “Ow!"

Lily snorts. James cranes his neck to get a better look at tall and pale and almost topples off the stage, nearly making a complete fool of himself before Sirius pulls him back down.

“Stop it, stupid, you’ll give me away,” he says. “Listen. Jamie, listen. I bet you that guy plays guitar.”

“Yeah right.” Lily shakes her head. “You just want an excuse to sleep with him.”

“I don’t need an excuse,” Sirius scoffs. “I’m going to sleep with him anyway. But I bet you a tenner he’s down.”

“To fuck?” squeaks Pete.

“To join us, Pete, keep up,” Sirius says. Peter turns back to his synth like a droopy cartoon beagle, which is what he does whenever any of them bring up sex. “Lil, you keep saying how we need a second guitar.”

“For the toplines,” Lily agrees, cruel on purpose.

“For the rhythm,” Sirius corrects. James opens his mouth but Sirius doesn’t let him speak. “Come on. Take the bet. Best case scenario, he’s an amazing guitarist and we fall in love and he moves to London with us and me and him get us on X Factor or whatever, worst case scenario, he’s not a guitarist and I have mediocre sex and you get ten pounds out of it.”

“Fine,” Lily says, rolling her eyes and reaching out a hand to shake. “But we aren’t going on fucking X Factor.”

Sirius licks his hand before they shake, making Lily squawk. 

“Good luck, mate,” James bolsters. 

The little old lady they spoke to earlier comes back in from outside and gives him the thumbs up, effectively ending the conversation. There’s not much of a crowd to play for tonight, only a pack of teenagers that leer at him in a way he’s dreadfully used to by now and a family that looks like they’d rather be anywhere else, but all the world’s a stage, and Sirius, after all, has someone to perform for. He plasters on his mother’s smile and flicks on his mic.

“Hello, Bridgend!”

---

Everything everything

From the beginning to the end

Runs into the river

Runs into the river

 

Everything everything

Over and over

Over and over

A pattern repeating

Runs into the river

---

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK, 2018

The peach-colored sunshine and the tender springtime breeze in Central Park almost make up for the wafting piss smell of the New York City streets and the inherent horror of being in the United States. This is all of their first time and collectively they all sort of hoped it wouldn’t come to this, but unfortunately, they’re reaching something approaching fame, which requires them to visit the likes of New Fucking York.

Luckily, Central Park is massive, and they’ve found a fairly hidden bit of grass behind a strange stone footbridge where hardly anyone has walked by, and the ones that have are little old ladies and businessmen talking into airpods and little kids. No one who’d want an autograph.

Sirius is sitting in Remus’s lap, as far into his personal space as he can get, gnawing on a piece of brie on a cracker and drinking a fucking White Claw like he’s in Pride and Prejudice or something. James and Pete are tossing the conversational stress ball between each other about how big of a deal it is that they’re playing for such a big audience, and at Radio City Music Hall, no less, isn’t it fucking insane, mate, blah blah blah, the same conversation they’ve all been having for the past two months. Lily is taking pictures of them all on her phone for the Insta story and somehow keeping an eye on a half-asleep toddler at the same time. Sirius is silent, for once. He feels about ready to fall asleep with the beauty of it.

“Hey,” Remus mutters, tapping Sirius on his side, which is of course the universal sign for ‘get off me,’ but Sirius doesn’t.

He does look up, though, mouth half-full of fancy cheese, and follows Remus’s eyes to a group of goths who look no older than eighteen, all standing nervously in a little clump and staring at them like devotees at an altar.

“Excuse me,” says the one in the front, who is apparently their de-facto leader. They’ve got pink hair and a septum piercing and a little pronoun pin on their purse, which is shaped like a big pair of lips. “Sorry to bother you but… are you guys Votre Populi?”

“Yeah!” James says, much too loudly, the hyena-rabid mania from his conversation with Pete following him and making the kids visibly jump.

“I like your purse,” Sirius says. Pink hair looks at him like he just gave them his entire life savings.

“Oh. Um. Thank you. Forever 21.” They wince.

“Cool. Want a picture or something?”

They do take a picture. Actually, an entire album of pictures, more than they take on most professional shoots, at least three for each kid’s phone. They suffer through it, though, because the kids seem to really be genuine fans, gushing all the way about how much they love the new single, and how much they loved The Comedown when that came out, and one of them even brings up all the Catholic trauma shit Sirius wrote for Grimm, which makes him laugh like he’s drunk, and maybe he is a little bit.

“Also, um,” says Pink hair, their hands shaking. “I just wanted to say that it makes me really happy that you’re all so physical with each other. You hardly ever see cuddly, loving, affectionate male friendships like yours in the spotlight. It’s really cool.”

Sirius tenses.

“Male friendships,” he says. 

“Oh boy,” Remus mutters.

“Well, yeah,” Pink hair says, a little bit like a deer in headlights. “It’s just… it’s nice to see men so unafraid of openly loving their friends.”

Friends. Sirius feels like he’s going to throw up his brie. 

He and Remus are not friends. They’re in love with each other. Everyone who matters knows that. This is really not a big deal. He really should not be getting worked up about this. Who gives a fuck if people look at them and see, see fucking friends. Who cares?

(He does.)

If a tree falls in the forest and no one’s around to hear it, does it still make a noise? What’s the point of being a bloody rock star if he’s not screaming and crying and bellowing his love over every radio wave and Spotify countdown and fucking YouTube mashup, until everyone in the world is sick of it, until there’s no one left who doesn’t know?

And, how could they not know? Don’t the lyrics mean anything? 

Or. Or. Perhaps everyone already knows, and they just need Sirius to say something about it. The word, the name. Distantly he hears James wish Pink hair and their friends a good afternoon, but he’s not really paying attention anymore. There’s been a shift in the wind.

---

---

 

VICE UK, 2015

http://vice.com/en/article/interviews/who-is-votre-populi

HOME // Entertainment // Interviews:  Who is Votre Populi? These Five Alternative Darlings Could Symbolize the Return of Punk

With a rapidly growing following on their well-curated and hilarious social media and the release of their second album “Evil Geniuses”, London AltPunk band Votre Populi has been making waves. Their popularity is the product of a rise in Punk Revival bands all over the UK that’s sure to be mirrored across the pond, and we want to know what makes a Punk band in a Post-Punk online culture.

Composed of Sirius Black and Remus Lupin on guitar, Peter Pettigrew on synth, James Potter on bass, and Lily Evans on the drums, Votre Populi sat down to chat with me on Thursday, and I was enchanted to find that, just like the Punk days of yore, they were nothing more than beautiful, excitable, and passionate young people.

VICE UK: First of all, welcome! Thanks so much for agreeing to hang out with us today! How are you?

PETER: Nervous.

JAMES: Nervous, also.

LILY: This is the first time any of us have been interviewed by a largish publication. It’s sort of a big deal.

SIRIUS: There’s champagne waiting in the hotel and everything.

VICE UK: Well, if it’s any consolation, we think you’re phenomenal! Your sound is reminiscent of old punk, and it makes me feel… well, your age again.

REMUS: It’s the lyrics. That much sex talk would make anyone feel young.

SIRIUS: You’re welcome.

VICE UK: So you write most of the lyrics, Sirius?

SIRIUS: We split it pretty evenly, but all the sex ones are mine.

JAMES: He’s a parody of himself, really.

VICE UK: Well, they’re very poetic. Are they about anyone in particular?

SIRIUS: Jesus Christ, already?

REMUS: Sirius.

SIRIUS: I’m not mad, I’m good. I’m good. It’s funny isn’t it, though? That the first question is about my love life. James and Lily are dating, isn’t that interesting?

VICE UK: Sorry! With a face like that, everyone’s going to be asking. But moving on, Lily and James…

-----

Everything Everything

Everything Everything

Runs into the river

A long and braided flow

Runs into the river

---

BRIDGEND, 2013

“You’re amazing.” Sirius says, sprawled out as much as he can be on the tiny twin bed in Remus’s mam’s basement. The bed did squeak, just like Remus said it would, and the headboard beat against the wall like the drums in Seven Nation Army but hopefully mam is a heavy sleeper. If she raised a guy like this then she’s probably a nice lady, and definitely did not deserve to hear Sirius performing his heart out, howling like a hellhound or a fallen angel or some other biblical metaphor that he can’t rightly come up with at the moment.

Remus sighs, raising a hand to wipe the sweat off his brow. Sirius follows that hand with his eyes, imagining a stigmata, then rolls over so that he’s sprawled on top of Remus instead.

“Oof.” Remus pushes him so halfheartedly that his arm winds up around Sirius’s waist. Sirius grins, catlike.

“So,” he says, drawing circles over Remus’s chest with a long fingernail. The hair that grows there is darker than blond, but not quite, and it’s softer than it is coarse, like one of those kind of hairless cats. “Are you coming back to London with us?”

Remus is quiet for a moment. There is, right in front of Sirius, right there, within fucking kissing range, a giant red hickey on his neck. Sirius can’t stop looking at it. It’s huge. Some of his best work.

“For Christ’s sake, Sirius,” Remus says. “I haven’t even--I haven’t even fucking cleaned up yet.”

“So clean up, then.”

Remus groans. “You’re purposely misunderstanding me.”

“Yeah,” Sirius agrees. He presses his lips to the stupid hickey. Remus hums.

“I think you’re insane,” he says, but his breath is heavy and warm on Sirius’s fringe. “I don’t even know you. You’re a total stranger. I can’t just-- I can’t fucking uproot my life to fuck off with you and your mates to London.”

“Why not?”

Remus doesn’t say anything to that. Sirius smiles against his sweaty skin. He smells like the stupid bar and stupid Budweiser and stupid cigarettes and stupid sex, but somehow he makes the whole combination feel like incense, a holy holy thing. Sirius is distinctly aware, in this moment, that he would kill everyone he’s ever loved and then himself if it meant getting to jam with him even once.

“I don’t even know you,” Remus says again, but this time it’s a little quieter. Reverent. Sirius pulls away to look him in the eye.

“I’m nineteen as of twelve minutes ago. I went to Catholic school and then dropped out when I had enough. All my cool family members are dead and all the uncool ones hate my guts. My first kiss was with Batin Greengrass right in front of the baldacchino on a class tour of Westminster Cathedral and his brother beat me up three days later. My favorite album of all time is George Michael’s Faith and my favorite movie is Alien 2. I’m a Scorpio. I play guitar in an okay punk band and I desperately need someone to join me in that endeavor, so if you wouldn’t mind--”

Remus can only hold his silence that long, and bursts out laughing, a birdsong straight from that lovely, kiss-bitten throat. 

“Your favorite album is fucking Faith ?!” Remus demands. He’s laughing so hard that he doesn’t even notice that he’s gripping Sirius’s hip but, oh, Sirius does, and it feels good, it feels so good.

“Yeah my favorite album is fucking Faith !” Sirius smiles with all his teeth. Remus’s eyes are a wonky sort of yellowish and they crinkle up at the sides when he laughs. “It’s a good album!”

“Alright. Alright,” Remus says, catching his breath. “Okay, fine. Sirius, whose favorite album is by George Michael. I’ll join your fucking band.”

“What, really?”

“Yeah. Fuck it. Whatever.” Remus adjusts himself so Sirius isn’t entirely on top of him, but he’s still a little bit on top of him. A compromise. “But I’m not moving to London.”

“I’ll pick you up.” Sirius feels his cheeks start to hurt and his head start to buzz. “Or you can take the train. I’ll pay for it.”

“You’re insane,” Remus says again, more sure of it this time.

“I am,” Sirius agrees, nodding. “Can I give you another blowjob?”

---

---

PENRITH, 2015

“Sirius,” James whispers. “Hey, Padfoot. Are you awake?”

They’re laying in pushed-together bedrolls in the back of the van. Lily is driving them up the M6 through the Lakes District on their way to Glasgow for their very first (nearly) sold-out show that isn’t at some boring bar in nowhere towns like the ones undoubtedly zipping past them into the endless night. Towns with more sheep than people, all rolling hills and summer homes and nothing to do except make out with Remus.

Remus himself is asleep in the passenger seat, looking ethereally lovely out of the corner of Sirius’s eye in the light of the waxing moon. He’s wearing one of Sirius’s shirts and it makes him feel like Remus is living in his skin. He probably is.

“Yeah, sorta,” Sirius whispers back, tearing his eyes away to face James. Without his glasses, he looks approximately fourteen years old. “What do you want?”

“I have to tell you something,” he says seriously. He’s looking at Lily, who can’t hear him over the softly playing Lush she’s got on repeat over the skipping and scratching CD player. “And you can’t tell anyone, even Remus.”

“No promises, mate.” 

James sighs.

“I think I’m gonna ask her to marry me,” he whispers, and it’s so quiet that under different circumstances, Sirius could pretend he didn’t hear it, could convince himself that James didn’t say it, and Mitski did, or that he dreamt it, and the pit in his stomach was from the cheap Chinese they all shared four hours ago, but the circumstances are thus. His best friend is going to ask his girlfriend to marry him, and she’s going to say yes, and then they’ll all be grown ups.

“Holy fuck,” Sirius says, loud enough for Lily to turn from the endless road for a second, quirking an eyebrow.

“What?” She asks.

“Nothing.” Sirius and James say in unison. James is burning a hole through Sirius’s face with his eyes, but Sirius is looking at Remus, still asleep in the passenger seat.

---

DÔME DE PARIS, PARIS, 2017

Sirius is laughing like something is holding him down and tickling him. Nothing is, of course, but he’s crossfaded and buzzing manically with aftershow euphoria and they’re still applauding out there and Remus is kissing him and Remus is kissing him and Remus is kissing him.

“You--!” Sirius says, but Remus kisses him again before he can finish his sentence. “Stop it, you, you maniac!” Remus kisses him again, this time laughing into his mouth.

“You’re insane,” Remus says, dragging his mouth up to Sirius’s cheekbone. He steps forward, forcing Sirius back until he’s against the wall. They’re sharing lipstick now, tacky and gross and smelling both of weed and beer, but Remus is tugging on Sirius’s hair and breathing on Sirius’s mascara and Sirius feels like half a painting, still being painted on. 

“You’re insane,” Sirius repeats, his lashes fluttering.

“We should be signing things right now, you know,” Remus says against his cheek. He lifts up Sirius’s leg with one sturdy hand, and Sirius hooks his ankle around the back of Remus’s thigh, letting himself be lifted up with a well-practiced glee.

“James’ll handle it. His French is better than mine anyhow,” Sirius says, nonsensically, his voice coming out breathy and staggered. Remus kisses his neck and he feels like floating away.

“True,” Remus murmurs, teeth against his ear. “Besides, wouldn’t want the adoring masses to see you looking like this, now would we?”

Something is set in motion. Sirius pushes Remus off of him, staring with wide, hungry eyes, his mind wandering to exactly what the adoring masses would think, exactly what they would say, knowing exactly what he’s been doing and with whom. Remus smirks, pretending he has no idea what he’s doing.

“Come on,” Sirius says then, wiping himself off. He grabs Remus’s hand and drags him off in the direction of the merch table and VIP area. Remus laughs, high and carefree.

---

---

LONDON, 2016

The wedding is beautiful, because of course it is. It lasts the entire weekend, with an intimate Ganesh Pooja on Friday and a raucous sangeet on Saturday and finally the ceremony and the reception today. There’s color everywhere, red and pink and orange, and food that would make the angels cry, and approximately everyone James and his entire extended family have ever met even once in passing is in attendance. 

The past few months, full of tension as they have been, seem to have been forgotten entirely. Weeks and weeks of figuring out whether Lily would wear red or white (red, after an apparently very tearful heartfelt afternoon with Effie and a near-physical fight with Lily’s family’s pastor) and whether they would serve alcohol (yes, but only at the reception and only after the aunties had all gone to bed) and whether Lily’s yuppie sister and her weirdo racist husband were invited (yes, but they didn’t show) and whether the paps were allowed in (no, but they hired a few photographers to sell them the photos) have all culminated into one incredible weekend that has left everyone, including Maid of Honor Sirius Black, exhausted.

Luckily, it’s almost over. The aunties have finally gone to bed, and only about forty people are left in the giant dance hall the Potters rented out, milling about and half-dancing to the Punjabi music playing over the speakers. 

Sirius and Remus have been swaying in the same spot for nearly half an hour, stopping only to take shots and trip over the fringe at the bottom of the blueish green saree that Effie insisted Sirius wear. She’s been incredibly supportive of the gender identity shit Sirius has been fucking around with lately, and Sirius suspects that it’s because she always wanted a daughter to dress up. He isn’t complaining. He doesn’t have to be a woman to want to look pretty.

“This is so fucking weird,” he says for the five-hundreth time this evening, muffled by Remus’s shoulder. He’s wearing a matching blueish green sherwani looking thing that somehow makes him look even taller. 

“So you’ve said,” Remus says. His voice is smooth as the water-worn stones at the bottom of a river, but Sirius knows he’s drunk. He might not act weird or messy or whatever, but Remus Lupin is six feet five inches of lightweight. “Is it really so weird, baby? It’s not like we didn’t know it was coming.”

Sirius stills in Remus’s arms, snapping his head up to look him in the eye, which throws him off and makes him trip over the saree again.

“Oof,” he says, gripping Sirius’s shoulders. “Why’d you do that?”

“Baby.” Sirius’s shoes squeak on the linoleum. “You called me baby.”

“What--” Remus looks like a deer in headlights, which is entirely fair, because that’s how Sirius feels. “No I-- I didn’t.”

“Yes you did,” Sirius presses. “You did, you said ‘is it really so weird, baby?’ That’s what you said.”

Remus’s eyes widen, and then he closes them tight, like the conversation will go away if he can’t see it. 

“Alright,” he says finally. His voice shakes just a little. “I suppose I did.”

Sirius lets out a little breath and looks at his shoes. For all he wants, for all he sings about, it isn’t right. He’s the poison in Remus’s veins, parasite under his skin, knife between his ribs, but he isn’t his baby.

“That’s not--” Sirius tries. “You don’t--”

“I know.”

“No, you don’t,” Sirius tries again, gripping the smooth fabric of Remus’s sherwani thing with shaking fists. “You don’t get it.”

“Right.” Remus doesn’t even bother to hide his hurt, completely misunderstanding him. Sirius wishes he were a little paisley amoeba on his saree, because at least then he’d know how to fit himself into something that makes sense. He isn’t Remus’s baby because, for all he knows how he feels, he also knows he doesn’t deserve it, and well, he and Remus just don’t do that. They’re soulmates, perfect for eachother, two chunks of the same flesh, a steady oak tree and the bioluminescent mushroom growing up inside it, but they aren’t together. Not like “baby”. Not like Lily and James.

“You’re drunk,” Sirius says, and Remus removes himself from Sirius’s arms, a scimitar chopping the meat of him in two.

“Right,” Remus says again. “I’m going to grab another drink.”

“Okay,” Sirius mumbles, or doesn’t mumble, or screams.

---

COBHAM, SURREY, 2011

“I have nowhere to go. I have nowhere to go, oh my God, Mother Mary and all the saints, I have nowhere to go!” Sirius is crying so hard that he thinks he might throw up, shaking bodily, full of the knockoff Tesco Grey Goose and heaving, soaking through James’s shirt like a torrential downpour.

“Don’t be stupid,” James says, rubbing Sirius’s back with both hands, arms wrapped around him with the force of a boa constrictor or a vacuum compressor or his own mother. “Of course you do. Of course you do. You’re staying here, idiot. Obviously, come on.”

James continues to say shit like that, but even now, knowing him in his entirety for a year and a half it takes several minutes for Sirius to have faith that he’s saying it all because he means it. Even though James is his brother already, in everything but blood, they’re two halves of the same bloody coin, two pieces of the same fucking Jammie Dodger or communion wafer or something, body and soul. Because James Potter doesn’t do anything by halves, not jokes or music or love, and doesn’t ever need anything in return, doesn’t ever have an ulterior motive or a point to make or a father, son and holy spirit to impress. 

“I love you.” Sirius chokes. 

And then he does throw up.

---

Everything Everything

Tangled together

A web of intention

Runs into the river

Our personal childhoods

Our cruel educations

Runs into the river

Runs into the river

---

BUDAPEST, 2017

“I love you.” 

“I love you.” 

“I love you, oh, I love you.”

Sirius can’t stop saying it. It tumbles out of his mouth and into the moistened air around them, where he can no longer control it. He doesn’t want to. He wants to let it go. He wants to give it to Remus.

“You’re insane,” Remus says, but he’s smiling like it hurts. “I love you too.”

Sirius kisses him like a starving man. He wants to bite into him, devour him like a piece of prime rib or a spring salad or a regular old man who turned him cannibal. Instead, he slides his tongue past Remus’s teeth and his hands up Remus’s shirt.

He pulls back in a daze, moments later. Remus is ragged, clinging to him with those long fingers that Sirius loves.

“Is that all it took?” he muses, gazing dopily up at Sirius, who is in his lap in their big king bed in their stupid celebrity suite at the local Hilton. “Just seeing me with someone else? Not even that. I wasn’t even with them. I just wasn’t looking at you.”

“I always want you looking at me,” Sirius concurs, lowering himself to kiss the vast expanse of Remus’s neck. 

“I always am,” Remus says, breathy. Sirius kisses him again, and allows himself to get lost in flesh and tongue and the grinding of hips for only a moment, before the need to say it again overtakes him.

“That’s not--” he huffs. “That isn’t it... I knew. I’ve always known. Since the beginning, remember? You remember, don’t you?”

Remus stares at him.

Sirius continues, “I’ve loved you since the very start. You know I have.”

A beat comes and goes. Remus opens his mouth to say something, but doesn’t, and pulls him down for another messy kiss instead.

---

BRIDGEND, 2018

“I think we should tell people.”

Remus has just left the shower in the lazy, sunny mother-in-law suite they stay in whenever they visit his mam lately. (Remus’s first order of business upon seeing the size of his wages had been buying a big house for his mam, and his second was making sure that house had a place for him to stay. Sirius, of course, found it all terribly charming, as much as he finds everything Remus does terribly charming, and anyway, mam Lupin is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, his favorite person in the entire world.) Remus, blinks at him, looking at once out of place and intensely, ridiculously, saccharinely beautiful, wrapped in a towel that, despite Hope Lupin’s newfound wealth, looks about a hundred years old. He smiles at Sirius like he knew this was coming.

“Is that so?” he says, voice warm and comforting. Sirius puts his phone down and slides off the gingham-patterned bedspread. He’s in stocking feet and a little silk nightie, and the lace tickles his thighs as he watches Remus try and fail not to ogle at him. 

Sirius’s fingers, which have been growing soft with unuse over their two-week lie in, find their way to Remus’s sides like second nature. He breathes in, winds his arms carefully around Remus’s waist, and breathes out. His chest is wet, but Sirius places his head on it anyway. 

“Yeah,” he says. “Been writing a song about it, while you were in the shower.”

“You’re always writing songs about it,” Remus snorts. He runs his fingers over the smooth silk of Sirius’s nightie, and immediately a chill runs up his spine. “If you want to say it, then say it.”

Sirius smiles. “What do you want?”

Remus is quiet for a moment. Sirius listens to the soft bass of his heartbeat, waiting like a patient dog while he turns the question over and over in his head. Finally, Remus shrugs.

“Honestly,” he starts. “Whatever you want, baby. I’ve always just been following you.”

---

---

CHELSEA, LONDON, 2002

“Here.” Says Uncle Alphard, holding out a big square with a man on it. Sirius, from his seat on his Uncle’s lap, grabs at the square with little hands, hands that are not calloused, hands that have never known hardship, and have had everything placed gingerly in them, just like this. Hands that are currently about five seconds from spilling juice all over Uncle Alphard’s slacks.

There is music playing in the room. Sirius likes the way it tickles his ears. Mum never plays records at their house.

“What is it?” Sirius asks, not even noticing the way his “s” sounds more like a “th,” or the way it makes Uncle Alphard smile.

“It’s the cover,” he says, plucking the glass of juice from his nephew’s hand with practiced efficiency. Sirius doesn’t notice that either. “Of the record we’re listening to. Thought you might like to have a look.”

Uncle Alphard is right. Sirius would like to have a look, and look he does. The man on the cover doesn’t look like anyone Sirius has ever seen before, not at church or at mum’s afternoon tea with the ladies from church or at Good Shepherd Catholic Primary School or anywhere else. He’s got a black jacket that’s shiny, like the one Uncle Alphard has, and it’s open onto his chest which is, thrillingly, naked. He’s soft in the way men usually aren’t, at least not any men Sirius knows. He’s even wearing an earring.

“Faith,” Sirius reads out loud, tracing the title with his pudgy little fingers. 

“Yep,” Uncle Alphard says, stealing a sip of Sirius’s juice. Sirius, of course, doesn’t notice. “That’s the name of the song we just heard.”

Sirius nods. “What’s this one?” 

“Listen.”

He does. The song feels happy, in the way that quiet things are happy, but also in the way that birthday parties are happy. He hasn’t even been to many birthday parties, but he’s not stupid. He knows what celebrating is, or at least, he thinks he does. It’s flowers blooming in spring, pinky promises, laughing out loud. 

I will be your father figure 

Put your tiny hand in mine 

“Oh,” he says. “That’s nice. It’s about a daddy, right?”

Uncle Alphard coughs, doubling over and jostling them both, the glass of juice he was trying to get away with finishing splashing across the record cover. His cough turns into a loud, barking laugh, uncharacteristically bodacious, and Sirius laughs with him, though he isn’t really sure what the joke is.

“Yes--” Uncle Alphard chokes after a minute, wiping his eyes. “Sure, yeah.”

“I don’t get it.”

“You will,” Uncle Alphard says confidently. The song ends and the record player pauses for a moment, and then starts to squeak, before the bass picks up with the beginning of a new song. “Ah. Let me up. Your mother would have my head if you came home singing this one.”

---

NOT DEAD PRESS, 2019

notdeadpress.com

NOT DEAD PRESS

NEWS   REVIEWS   FEATURES   TV   RADIO   NEW RELEASES   ARTISTS   CONTACT

FEATURED| VOTRE POPULI Top Alternative Charts With New Single

By NOTDEAD

London-based Alternative/Punk band Votre Populi have dropped a new single, “Flow”, after months of social media teasing, and the haunting, dreamlike tune has skyrocketed to the top of Alternative charts. 

Frontman and guitarist, Sirius Black, who is the mind behind the lyrics of the new hit, said on his Twitter: “this ones abt fate, n how everything you ever do leads you to where ur supposed to be. its also abt gay sex.” (1)

Later, on the band’s Instagram story, drummer Lily Evans Potter clarified: “Sirius loves George Michael. It’s sort of his love letter to Faith . But, yeah, it’s also about gay sex.” (2)

Check out the single below, and keep your eyes open for tour dates with our mailing list.

ARTISTS: Votre Populi

TAGGED: New Releases

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Everything Everything

Everything Everything

Runs into the river

Runs into the river

That feeds, oh it feeds

The ocean of you

 

Everything everything

From the beginning to the end

Leads to you

---

THE SSE ARENA, WEMBLEY, LONDON, 2019

They’re playing a hometown show in London, except it’s not really a hometown show because there’s upwards of ten thousand people in the audience, their biggest yet, bigger even than the one at Radio City Music Hall, which capped out around five. 

Somewhere between that dinky little bar in South Wales and now, they all became rock stars. Pete alone on purpose and dressed like Men in Black in his three piece, Lily with her uneven red bob that she still cuts herself flying around her face as she beats on the drums, James jumping around like a maniac and wearing a tee shirt with a picture of his son on it, Remus looking exactly the same as they found him, except for the stars tattooed on his neck and looking at Sirius with open and unrepentant adoration, and of course, Sirius.

He feels the same, and also entirely different.

The song ends in a clash of cymbals and synth, like Lily and Pete are swordfighting right there on the stage, and James bursts out laughing because he knows what’s about to happen.

“Hello London!” Sirius calls, and it’s returned by the cries of thousands and thousands of people. “This is our biggest show ever! You people are fucking insane!”

The crowd goes wild again, and Sirius turns to watch Remus roll his eyes. They fought for weeks over this one, all five of them, but in the end, Sirius won, as he so often does.

“We’re gonna do something a little different, okay? Girls and gays, I wanna see you on your feet!” 

Pete opens up the synth like a church organ and the lights around them turn purple, and Sirius fights to hold back laughter. He starts the upbeat little tune on his guitar like second nature, and then the crowd is laughing too, at least the ones that know the song. He’s almost drowned out by the wicked cheering of at least half the audience.

Well, I guess it would be nice if I could touch your body

I know not everybody has got a body like you

Remus is shaking his head. He was the biggest nay-sayer, and also the first to give in. He didn’t grow up on George Michael, Sirius knows, but he also knows that Remus would do absolutely anything for him. There’s something there, about having Faith and all. Some sort of always meant to be written in his code kind of nonsense. Like Sirius knew him before he knew him, like, they were always meant to be here, in front of all these people, singing fucking Faith.

Remus leans in so they can share a mic, and it’s sloppy, it sounds awful, it sounds like Pop Goes Punk but even worse, and it doesn’t matter even a little bit, because it’s theirs.

'Cause I gotta have faith

I gotta' have faith

Because I gotta have faith, faith, faith

I gotta have faith, faith, faith

---

VICE UK, 2019

http://vice.com/en/article/interviews/sirius-black-and-remus-lupin-talk

HOME // Entertainment // Interviews:  Sirius Black and Remus Lupin of Votre Populi Talk Love

You’ve seen it on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and tattooed on all of our faces. Sirius Black and Remus Lupin of popular AltPunk band Votre Populi have announced their relationship for real. I was lucky enough to gossip with them about it.

VICE UK: I have to say, I’m so glad to be talking about this.

SIRIUS: About what?

REMUS: (laughing) Give her a break, baby.

VICE UK: No, no, it’s fine. My excitement got ahead of me, which is a problem everyone seems to be having surrounding this. I’m talking, of course, about your relationship announcement.

SIRIUS: Oh yes. Everyone’s losing their minds about it.

REMUS: Almost as if it were planned that way.

VICE UK: Planned that way?

REMUS: Sirius Black doesn’t do anything by halves.

SIRIUS: And I love fanfiction!

REMUS: And he loves fanfiction.

VICE UK: So you wanted to make a big show of it?

SIRIUS: All the world’s a stage, baby. And to tell you the truth, I was sick and tired of hiding it. Loving Remus is the most important thing I’ve ever done in my life, and I kept it to myself for so long, and then we kept it from our fans and now it’s like. F**k it! I’m in love with this man! I love him like crazy! I’m sick with it, and I want everyone to know!

REMUS: It was hardly a secret, what with you hanging all over me everywhere we go.

SIRIUS: Shut up. I’m being poetic.

VICE UK: How long have you been together?

SIRIUS: Depends on who you ask.

REMUS: Officially, a little over a year.

SIRIUS: But if you ask James, since we were eighteen.

VICE UK: Whoa, wait, isn’t that when you met?

REMUS: Yes.

SIRIUS: It’s complicated. We’ve been figuring it out since about five minutes after meeting.

VICE UK: But you have it all figured out now?

SIRIUS: Yeah. Yeah, we have.

---

WEMBLEY, LONDON, 2010

James Fleamont Potter, the kid who introduced himself middle name and all with a flourish far too golden retriever for the DIY red and black punk thing he’s trying to pull off (though Sirius is having trouble determining if he’s going for Robert Smith Siouxsie Sioux dishevelled-on-purpose with the hair or if it’s just, you know, like that) five seconds after first making eye contact and hasn’t left him alone since, nudges Sirius in the arm. 

“That’s Lily,” James sighs, nodding to the girl that just walked into Music Tech. She’s got a lot of facial piercings and very little hair and a look on her face that suggests initiating conversation would result in immediate violence.

Sirius says nothing. Historically, he’s not been particularly good at complimenting women in ways that don’t make him sound like his mother’s hairdresser, and admittedly, he’s more than a little crestfallen. Sirius has known James for all of three hours but he was at least 80% positive he was being hit on. If James is actually straight, then he’s a sociopath.

Although, Sirius muses, watching James wag his tail like a little weiner dog, it’s entirely possible that James is dressed up for this girl specifically. Wouldn’t be the first time Sirius has seen a guy behave like an idiot for a girl’s attention. He can safely say he’s never done anything to impress a woman, unless you count growing out his hair and giving himself several shitty stick and pokes, and by “impressing” you mean “enraging” and by “a woman” you mean Walburga Black.

And also, Sirius continues to muse, it’s entirely possible that James is just very, very friendly.

He shakes the thought out, tugging on the ring in his left nostril as he diplomatically ignores Lily verbally tearing James a new arsehole for his friendliness. As if. If there’s anything Sirius learned from Catholic school, aside from the names of all the saints and all the ways he, personally, is going to hell, it’s that nobody is nice for no reason. Nobody’s intentions are pure. Everyone wants something from someone.

“I’m going to marry her one day,” James sighs dreamily, pulling Sirius out of whatever weird mental spiral train he was about to get on. Sirius snorts.

“Okay,” he says, just a little bit cruel. James doesn’t seem to mind, and smiles at Sirius in a way that on anyone else would look offensive, but on James just looks kind.

“Don’t sound so disgusted,” he says. “You never know. Maybe you’ll be as bad as me one day.”

Sirius snorts. “Yeah right.” 

---

BRIDGEND, 2019

“Hey,” Sirius whispers, rolling over onto Remus. “Are you awake?”

Remus groans. It’s four in the morning or so, but it feels like an extension of yesterday, in the way all-nighter mornings do. Sirius hadn’t meant to stay up all night for no reason, it just sort of happened that way. He couldn’t sleep. The birds aren’t even awake, but Sirius is, and now Remus is, too. 

“Am now,” Remus grumbles in pathetic confirmation.

“Cool,” Sirius says, and before he gets the chance to think any more about it, he blurts: “D’you wanna get married?”

---

Everything Everything

Everything Everything

Runs into the river

Runs into the river

That feeds, oh it feeds

As it’s always fed

The ocean of you

You, oh, you baby,

It always led to you