Update: Hey Nimrods! We've got another interview for you guys and it's from Andrew Scott of OhBree. Enjoy it, everyone!
Nimrod Street: Why have you chosen a lineup of 8 members as opposed to a traditional small group?
Andrew Scott: Before OhBree, I played in an 11 piece band so this was a real scale back for me! I’ve always loved playing in big bands. My main afterschool activity in high school was playing in the pit orchestra for the musical, and I think that style really stuck with me.
NS: Working at a PR firm like Reybee Productions, why are you now choosing to do music?
AS: It actually happened the other way around. I’ve played music nearly my entire life, and that eventually lead to a degree in Music Business, and a job doing publicity! I’ve loved doing both and feel really lucky that I can spend all day working with amazing musicians - then go out at night and play to an audience.
NS: What’s the meaning behind the band’s name, OhBree?
AS: The meaning is pretty nebulous - Partly from a famous cyclist - Partly Desperate Housewives - Overall very easy to google (that’s my publicist take on it, lol)
NS: I can tell you’re into Monty Python and musical theater for the song “Stuck In A Wave”, so why have you chosen really oddball influences to inspire your sound?
AS: There are a lot of goofy songs that people take for granted, assuming that the goofiness means it’s not masterfully crafted. Songs like Ween’s “Polka Dot Tail” and Monty Python’s “Oliver Cromwell” have these delicate nuances that only those performers could ever pull off - and it turns them into a real pièce de résistance. I also adore the way musical theater handles chord changes. They burn through them like chiclet gum or weekend breakfast Oreos. Playing pit band music gave me a taste for stupid looking chords, and there’s no going back!
NS: Do you like any bands from the 60’s and 70’s? I also hear a bit of that era in a few of the tracks.
AS: YOU BET. Harry Nilsson is a definitely a big influence. I also love The Band although it’d be tough to hear that in our tunes.
NS: How was the creative process for “Burn Bridges, Burn Pies” different than your previous records?
AS: We were much more thoughtful on this record. In the past, I would write chords melodies and lyrics and then the band would come in and we’d throw some stuff on top. This time I came up with the base for each song, and then we really worked through each track making sure that every moment was intentional. We tried to weave each instrument in and out of the songs, instead of just having everyone play all at the same time for 45 minutes, haha. Less wall of sound (although it’s still there in some places) and more intricate weaving.
NS: What was the most enjoyable part of creating “Burn Bridges, Burn Pies” and what was the worst?
AS: The best part of making this record was the auxiliary percussion. Adam and I went into the studio with just a vibraslap, slide whistle, acme siren whistle, some shakers, a tambourine, and a cowbell, and it really felt like we were putting the icing on the cake. Aux perc is the chocolate chips in the cookie, the onions on the hot dog, the bleu cheese on the buffalo wings.
The worst part, hmmmmm - I think our trombone/guitar player Tyler Mack got the worst of it. I wrote a lot of the horn parts, but instead of putting them on paper like a normal person - I simply hummed them all into our demos. Tyler had to listen to my stupid humming and turn it all into sheet music. TYLER IF UR READING THIS, I’M SORRY.
NS: If there’s something you could redo in making this record, what would it be?
AS: I’m really happy with this one so it’s a tough question. If I could redo anything, though, I would probably use more acme siren whistle. Our producer, Adam, said I could only use it a couple times or it would hit a point of diminishing returns. He’s probably right.
NS: Since you’re a huge fan of sci-fi, They Might Be Giants and gaming, do you think NERD ROCK will begin to surface during the next couple of years?
AS: I sure hope so! We need more music about outer space. Maybe some subtle LOTR tunes - I guess that was Zeppelin’s thing tho.
NS: If you’re diving into gaming and stop-motion animation, is OhBree more of an art project than a band? If so, why have you chosen this route?
AS: Interesting thought! I think at some point we’ll have almost spent as much time on this game as we did on the record. Not sure what that says about us, haha. I’ll always think of us as a band, but we have a ton of creative artists in the band and as friends (including Debbie Fong who did the art on all our LP’s!) and we love to get them involved any way possible!
NS: Are you thinking about touring at some point and what would the concert experience be like?
AS: Most definitely. We are going to be playing a bunch of shows throughout the spring and summer including Spazzfest at the end of March (Greenville, NC here we come!). Hopefully, we’ll be doing a more complete tour in the Fall!
NS: What’s next for OhBree?
AS: Welp - first we gotta get this record out - then the game - we’re gonna play as many shows as we can - then repeat!