There is an insane amount of talent in Owenstone and I can't describe my excitement when they agreed to an interview. I see great things in the future for this band if they stick with it. The first song I listened to by them was "The Next Day We Get Paid," which the music video for was released today! It has a really sick sound starting with some keyboard and introducing some violin (which, admittedly, I'm sucker for). Then comes this electric sound that complements unbelievable vocals. Key Percussion got a sneak preview of the video and it certainly didn't disappoint. It takes on a sci-fi look with cool costumes and backgrounds. It's all very unique much like the band's music style. I have to say, the only thing I'm disappointed about is their rather small following. This band far exceeds "garage band" status with their professional sounds and deserves to headline in major venues.
Check out their new video here:
And vote for Owenstone's video in the Silver Jeans Battle of Bands Contest. If they win, they go to New York and record with the Fader magazine!
Nathan, the band bio on the website says you lent your voice to japanese animation, what animation was that? Also, what is the most difficult aspect of doing a voice over?
I couldn't even tell you. I've never seen any of the animations once I was done singing the studio. All I can say is the lyrics were incredibly weird and hardly ever made perfect sense. Once I had to impersonate Ricky Martin's "La Vida Loca" for a video game. Try having to learn that song and have it stuck in your head all day...ooof. The most challenging parts were when I had to sing and even rap in Japanese. I don't speak Japanese.
What do you hope to achieve with your music? Is there a message or series of messages you wanna get across, or are you just looking to create entertainment?
We as a band all have a dream of sustaining ourselves with music, and taking it as far as we can. I do believe in creating entertainment. After all, when people come to a show, it should be "a show", but ideally I want to inspire as well, whether it's motivating people to dance or laugh, or work the nerve up to buy that girl that drink, or decide to start writing their own songs.
What makes you excited to do this when you wake up every morning?
I'm never excited when I wake up in the morning. Usually because I tend to get inspired at night, and it can keep me up late. Mornings have never been my thing.
What was the most memorable thing to happen to you at a show?
It has to be the time when we were on tour playing at this place in New Orleans called Siberia. This guy had let us practice at his house earlier that day, and showed up to the gig with a bottle of homemade alcohol with a real cobra inside of it. Looked like something a witch doctor would have on a dusty shelf for the purposes conjuring evil. He handed me the bottle when I was on stage, and I took a swig. Not only did it taste more than a little gross, but a piece of what I assumed was snake drifted into my mouth, and I had to use every bit of will power I possessed to swallow it and not immediately throw up. I think we have it on video somewhere. But I definitely have the bottle- he traded it to me after the show for a t-shirt and an Owenstone pendant. I refilled it with tequila and occasionally try to get visitors to take a sip. Nobody ever does.
If you could meet anyone in the past, present, or future, who would it be and what would you say/talk about?
I've thought about this before. Probably Rasputin, "the Mad Monk". The guy came from extremely humble peasant beginnings and despite being famously smelly and unkept, made a lot of friends and charmed his way into the trusted company of the Russian Czar, had an affair with his wife, cured his son of hemophilia with psychic powers of suggestion, and had to be poisoned, shot, and drowned to be finally killed. Seems like an interesting guy. Either him or Mozart, especially if Mozart is anything like Tim Holt's character in the movie Amadeus. We'd party in powdered wigs.
What is the most played song on your iPod? (Ya' know, or Zune if you're into that.)
A few come to mind. "Neck Brace" by Ratatat, "Default" by Django Django, "Rattlesnake" by Saint Vincent, "Ballad of an Onion Sprout" by The Burning of Rome, also been really into the Tune-yards, Tycho, Black Moth Super Rainbow, and still love me some Explosions in the Sky or the XX.
What unusual superpower would you want to have?
Flying isn't so unusual as a superpower, but duh. I want to fly. I'd also settle for not having to hold my breath underwater so I could explore and hang out in coral reefs and shipwrecks. Or be able to eat anything and never get full.
SXSW is one of the greatest musical festivals, what's it like performing among so many other talented musicians? Who did you get to meet at SXSW that you were excited to meet, if any?
When we went we weren't on any official showcases or anything, and the two gigs at real venues that we had booked got double booked, so we went all that way and got booted off our only real shows. We attempted to salvage the situation with a pool party, and that was the only day it rained. The most fun was taking a bucket for the drummer, the violin, and me playing baritone ukulele and playing random street shows, and meeting people between every song, and crashing parties to play surprise sets. SXSW is like being a sardine in a sea of bands. As a music lover, it's really fun. As a band, it's pretty daunting, but I'd do it again.
Your music video "The Next Day We Get Paid" is all about working endlessly to pay for things we need, only to work again in an endless cycle. What drove you to create a song about the "rat race"?
What inspired me is what 99% of people go through- making ends meet, and falling short, and wondering how it can be changed. I never feel this more potently than after I find a parking ticket on my truck and realizing I just worked half the day to pay for my parking spot. That's how I'd characterize the emotion of the song- it's me yelling "Fuuuuuuuck!" when I find a ticket on my car and then sulking about it for at least ten minutes.