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Interview: Nich Oswald of OBB

ME: For any readers who aren’t are familiar with OBB would you mind introducing yourself and telling us a little bit about the band and OBB’s style of music?

Nich: Yeah, well, we’re a band of brothers. There’s three of us. I’m the youngest brother, my name’s Nich. We’ve been at it for a good while. A lot of people think we’ve probably just started in the past couple of years, but it’s just been a slow build, the whole process of this whole thing. So, I think back in 2009, we started playing around in Atlanta, our hometown, then about six years ago, we signed a record deal with Curb Records and just started developing our sound, writing, and growing as artists and as a band. And now we’ve toured all over the country playing in every state in America. We haven’t yet gone out of the country. Just recently we started putting out a lot of music that we’ve been working on, and so we’ve got I think four or five singles out now, and we’re getting ready to put out a new single on Friday. Yeah, we’re just new in the scene, but then again, we’ve been doing it for awhile.

ME:: And who would you say are some of OBB’s greatest musical influences?

Nich: Man, since we’re brothers we grew up listening to a lot of the same stuff. Our dad kind of really was into the classics and stuff like Rolling Stones, The Police, that type of music. So, that I think influenced us more than we probably even know. Even some of the stuff we write now, I think it’s definitely really current pop, but, because we’re actually a band that plays instruments, we don’t just make everything on a computer. I think a lot of that kind of classic stuff back before they had all those digital sounds, when they were just recording on tape, I think that stuff influenced us and it gives us a little bit of a different sound than what you maybe hear every day on pop radio.

ME: You guys just wrapped up your Summer 2019 Tour, how has it been being back on the road?

Nich: It’s my favorite part of the whole thing. The whole band would agree our favorite thing to do is get out and tour. It’s fun to be in the studio, and write, and be creative, but at the end of the day it’s pointless if you’re not going to go play those songs. And so, the whole time we’re writing, we’re always in the studio saying like, “Hey, we need a song that’s going to be good to open our set up with.” And we’ll sit down and literally think like, “Okay, when we walk out on stage, what do we want the first thing that we play to sound like?”

I think we actually think more about how the songs are going to translate in our live set rather than like, how’s this going to translate to radio? How’s it going to look on the album? We’re all constantly thinking like, “How’s this going to fit in our set live?” So, when we get out, and get to tour, and get to meet the people that are listening to our music, that’s our favorite part. That’s where we thrive.

ME: Did you have a favorite show from tour? Or any shows that stood out to you in particular?

Nich: Yeah, actually, I think the last weekend of the tour, which was just last week, we played a show out in Vegas. It was like the wrap up of our tour, the last thing we had booked. It was a little different than the rest of the shows, but it was a show called Bite of Vegas that the radio station out there put on, and it was just this super cool show, right in the middle of downtown. They had put up a stage and AstroTurf out for the crowd. It was a really cool vibe out there.

And then actually right after we finished that show, we drove to Utah and just filmed a music video. We just got back so that was pretty fun. So we went out to Vegas and played the really awesome radio show with James Arthur, Rob Thomas and Shinedown, and then right after that we left and headed to this beautiful place in Utah called Monument Valley and filmed the music video. Yeah, that was pretty good time all together.

ME: You mentioned earlier too that you have a new single coming out Friday called “Foolish”. Can you tell us a little bit about it?

Nich: Yeah! So with a lot of pop music now, you have a lot of solo pop artists that aren’t per se a band. For the live show they’ll have a band, sure. But when they’re in the studio working on their album, maybe they’re not as conscious of like, “Okay, we need live drums on this. We need an actual guitar.” Like, we get in the studio and we think, “Okay, we’ve got to play these songs live.” And I’m personally the drummer. So, if we do a song that’s has no real drums then it’s like, “Okay, what am I gonna do when that song comes up?”

So, this song I would say embodies that, like, we actually just picked up a guitar in the studio and Jake started playing this cool riff, and I was like, “Oh, yeah, this is the jam right here.” And so we just wrote it as if we were going to get up on stage and perform it the next day. It’s got more of almost a rock vibe to it that just, it’s a little bit of a different tone than some of the other singles we’ve put out, which I think is exciting.

ME: Prior to this new single coming out, you guys have also released the singles “7 billion” and “Close By” earlier this year. You guys even directed the music video for “7 Billion” yourselves, can you tell us a little bit about the process of directing your own music video and how you kind of came up with the concept for it?

Nich: Yeah, so for “7 Billion”, we wrote that song and as soon as we sent it over to our record label, they were more excited about that single than they’ve ever been anytime we’ve sent them anything. And we knew like, “Okay, we gotta get a music video for this.”

So, I came up with this idea for a music video that was like, the whole song is talking about how out of everyone in the world, 7 billion people, for Zach who is singing the song, there’s only this one person he found, the one perfect person. So, I had this idea, what if the video centered more around something like just a shot of Zack and some type of horrible situation. What if he was laying in his bed in his apartment, and his whole apartment was just flooded. There’s water flooding all around, but he’s just like singing the song, looking at this girl in the bed with him and just, he doesn’t care, nothing bothers him. And then cut to an alternate shot, which is, If you’ve seen the video it cuts to a shot where he’s laying on the same bed with the same girl in the middle of just this huge white open, nothingness which is Salt Lake, the Bonneville salt flats in the Salt Lake City.

A lot of people watched it. A lot of people have watched it and figured out what the message was. A lot of people watch it though and they’re like, “I don’t know what any of that is talking about. I’m completely confused, but it looks awesome,” haha. It was fun, just challenging ourselves to do something different. And we went out there and brought our best friend with us. He ran the camera and shot the whole thing. I directed the whole thing, and we were just hands on every single part of it.

Actually, the room in the opening scene of the music video, he’s laying in a flooded room, and it’s kind of hard to pull that off because most people won’t let you go flood their house. When we were on tour, we had one day off and we got home and went to some field somewhere we got approval to use and we built a house. Me and my brothers, we built a room threw up studs, plywood, everything, screwed it all together, put drywall in it, waterproofed the bottom and flooded it and filmed the thing in one day in the middle of our tour, so, it was really hands on.

ME: With the release of these singles that have been kind of sprinkled throughout the year, does OBB have any plans for an upcoming album or EP?

Nich: We’ve talked about it a lot. Definitely, at some point we’re going to put out an album. But the thing is it just takes so long to get all the songs together, get them all mixed and mastered and get artwork for it and all that stuff. By the time you actually get the album finished, like some of the songs that are on that album, we would have wrote a year ago and the album’s just now coming out.

So, we write something that we’re passionate about and we feel like it’s something that represents where we are in our career right now. We’re just trying to put it out as quick as possible. So, like, “Foolish”, we just finished that song probably three months ago and we’re already getting it out. We were working on that when we were releasing “7 Billion”. We’re already talking about the next song that’s going to come out after this one, which we just wrote about a month ago. We’re trying to get in the studio and finish that one up and hopefully that will be the next one after “Foolish”.

ME: Lastly, what does OBB have in store for the rest of 2019?

Nich: Well, as you know, obviously our new single “Foolish” is coming out Friday. The music video, keep your eyes peeled because the music video is going to be super awesome and it’s coming out, I don’t know, probably a couple of weeks after that. Hopefully within two or three weeks after the song comes out. Then I think we’re going to try to put out a couple more songs before the end of the year. I know we’ve got a lot more dates coming up. We’re finished with our tour. We still have a lot of one off dates, so if you want to see us live, go check out our website.

Yes, other than that just writing, releasing music as much as we can, and playing shows.

Upcoming OBB Tour Dates
10/4 – Newport News, VA @ Christopher Newport University
10/15 – Morehead, KY @ Morehead State University

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