All The People is the fourth album by eight-member Chicago band Bumpus. The band has worked hard over the past 10 years to build a musical reputation for its solid and soulful studio albums and its breath-taking and funky live performances.
This album represents a departure from their last release, Bumpus LIVE, recorded at Chicago’s Metro in 2003. “In the past, we’ve always viewed successful songwriting from the standpoint of how well the song would go over live,” Johnston explains. “We have so many up-tempo songs in our show that anything down-tempo or a little moody couldn’t compete for the audience’s attention. So with this album, we chose songs that would be enjoyable to listen to without worrying about how they will be received in a live context. We also took the songs that go over well live and gave them a new identity on record.” Bumpus’ growth is evident throughout the album with a wide range of sounds from the poppy “Yeah You” to the bombastic “Open the Door” and the meditative “Hi-Tek” and “Wasting Time.”
The result is a collection of their most soulful work to date with an internal dialog about fighting to stay conscious and hopeful as dreams change or fade and the mundane creeps into one’s daily ritual. “It’s something that I always think about, both for myself or if I’m riding the train watching people,” Johnston says of this internal struggle. “And it’s true for the band as well. We’ve been a band for 10 years now, trying to realize our own dreams and make music for the love of it while hoping that we can make a career out of it as well. Being a band that long is like any job and it’s so easy to lull yourself to sleep. How do you stay in the moment? How do you stay sharp? And you have to keep asking yourself why you still do this when things are up and down.” With All the People, Bumpus asks these questions and provides some answers.