Plus One: Can you briefly tell me what Odonis Odonis is about and how it started as a project?
OO: Yeah it started demoing at my house around 2009 I think. I was unemployed so I had a lot of time to take advantage of so I just recorded everyday, like 3 songs a day, just tonnes and tonnes of demos and then I had like a huge collection together. Half of it I took to Vancouver and recorded with my friend Collin over 3 weeks and the other bunch of songs I did Hollandaze with, that was the record that’s out now. The one that’s coming out next is the one that’s the studio recording, this is like the bedroom recording that’s out right now. That’s kind of like the beginning of it and I spent about a year putting the live band together, that’s where we’re at now.
How has the UK tour been so far?
It’s good, it’s pretty early on. We played Amsterdam first then Brighton which was really fun and then Nottingham last night so this is really only our 3rd UK show so its still totally new for us.
Has there been a good response from the audience?
Yeah its been awesome so far, yeah!
Is there a different response from when you’re in Canada or the U.S.?
It’s hard to say so far but even in Toronto it took us quite a few months to build up and I feel like its gonna be the same here but so far everyone’s been really responsive so [haha] you know I hope it’s gonna stay like that.
With Hollandaze was there any specific approach to the recording or did you have a specific idea?
Because I had just done the studio thing I was just kind of curious, because what happened with the demos was they changed when I went to the studio, but with these songs as soon as I started to polish them it just changed the feel of the record so I thought it would be better as a kind of like dirty lo-fi record and to me it’s like a blend, lo-fi and a little hi-fi in there. It’s not like super dirty.
A lot of people have compared it to the sounds of Big Black or My Bloody Valentine, do you get annoyed at those comparisons?
No I mean I love those bands so hahaha it’s awesome.
There’s the song ‘White Flag Riot’ from Hollandaze which you can definitely hear the Big Black influence in.
Are those the sorts of bands you grew up with? How did that stuff get passed onto you?
Yeah all that stuff it was mainly just my sisters who were older than me and they were into really awesome music so I was just really lucky and I was listening to Mystery records when I was 10 so really into all that 80’s heavy stuff pretty early on and also Stone Roses and all that kind of stuff. That really influenced my guitar playing and everything.
What’s the Toronto music scene like?
Its really awesome right now. About 5 years ago it was kind of stale but there’s been like a huge resurgence in the past couple of years, mostly in the last year. It’s really vibrant, there’s tonnes of awesome bands coming out now. There’s so much interesting stuff happening, its really diverse and there’s just a scene that keeps growing and growing now there’s a lot of people really interested to see live music with tonnes of good bands. Every night of the week there’s a really good show that you want to see, its almost tiring!
Is there a good community that builds a lot of base for people to support each other?
Yeah exactly and a really felt like Denholm, the bass player in the band, he runs a venue called The Buzz Garage, it’s like literally a garage and they started to throw on shows out of there and that’s how I met them through The Garage and that’s how it started as our home base and every band that played there just created a community around there and the scene has just kind of been growing huge just from that and obviously now it’s a lot bigger. I would say it stemmed a lot from that.
Are there any bands that you’re currently listening to now that you’re quite excited about?
Yeah because we’ve been touring a lot we keep finding new bands like that or music just from out of the scene we’re really influenced by. A band out of Detroit that we’ve been listening to a lot called Bad Party, they’re really awesome. Some other local bands that are really good like Hussy and Metz, they’re buddies of ours and they’re doing some badass stuff.
Do you ever have a visual aspect in mind when you’re creating sounds or songs?
Yeah because I’m also like a visual artist and I do music videos, film making and art so it’s always kind of gone hand in hand so I think one influences the other. Even when I was writing the music there is a visual aesthetic to the band, I always want it to be there but I don’t know how conscious it is ha, I think it comes out in the music. I’m really into Ennio Morricone and stuff like that too so I like a lot of soundtracky stuff, David Lynch movies.
When you experiment with guitar sounds do you have a melodic vision first?
With this project I kind of worked the opposite of what I normally do because I’ve always been a guitar player and I was trying to get away from it and then when I started this I just got a bunch of old drum machines like 606’s and 808’s. I was just experimenting with those and everything started basically from drum machines then guitar. Because guitar is just second nature to me it was easier to layer it on top but what changed was I got better at drums and bass programming and that kind of lead to the sound of the project. Because I really liked Big Black and what was cool about it was they brought this drum machine aesthetic to punk music and I hadn’t really heard anybody trying to do anything like that since in the same kind of way. It’s always like electronica or something like that but nobody just goes balls to the wall with it and I kind of wanted to bring that back.
So you’re heavily influenced by industrial music of that time?
Yeah the repetition of it and how it gets you into like a dance groove but it’s really dirty and heavy at the same time rather than just pure dance music.
What’s the best live experience you’ve had so far?
Umm, they’re all kind of different, our release show was really fun and so was Phillidelphia and South by [south west]…
What was SXSW (South By South West) like to doing normal shows? Because I’ve heard it’s all very hectic and fast, straight on, straight off stage.
Yeah we had a really interesting experience because I guess like people are there to scout out your band or something so it’s not necessarily just fans there but we just had a really great show. We had a lot of pent up energy for that one so we were just raring to go and it was just a really great night for us just packed out. We played just after a band called Ceremony…
[conversation briefly digresses into stories about injuries sustained by hardcore attendees during Ceremony’s recent gig in Leeds just a few weeks previous]
…yeah I think they rip it up pretty hard haha.
So what have you got planned next?
The next release is due out around September but I think the first singles are probably going to start dropping in early summer, but yeah we’re going to do this tour, we’re here for the next month then we go back to Toronto, play North by North East then working on our new record. I always take cues from the OC’s and stuff like that because they have a lot of output and I really like that because we have tonnes of music that we’re sitting on. It’s good to keep the ball rolling, I think people’s attention spans are really short these days, you need to kind of really stay on it or you can just get lost and I don’t think you can wait 6 years anymore haha.