24 Minutes with Oh Sees
Oh Sees. (John Dwyer Photo)
Veritable music veterans and San Francisco-based rockers Oh Sees are now 20 years in and have 20 releases to show for it. The band's latest album,Orc, “re-examines the quieter roots of it all in particularly baroque and homesteadly fashion.” Joe Leary spent 24 Minutes with vocalist John Dwyer.
You’ve undergone a number of name variations and lineup changes over the years. Throughout any personnel change or variations on imaging, has the musical vision always remained consistent or does that tend to vary as well?
Yeah, there has been a change over time. Different players bring different skills to the table.
The band seems to incorporate any number of tempos and touches on various genres. Is it simply that you like to branch out and evolve regularly rather than stick to something more formulaic?
We like to branch out yes.
How does an Oh Sees song get constructed? Does it start with a theme, a chorus or a certain sound?
It varies from song to song. Some are written full band from improvisations. Others have a seed of an idea that grows into what you hear on the LP.
Where do you tend to draw inspiration from?
Music, art, world events, life experiences. Really we draw from all the usual places.
You’ve amassed quite the body of work over the years. Are you constantly writing? How long is the recording process generally?
I am constantly writing. Each LP varies, but I spend about a year ironing everything out.
How’s life on the road? Have you spent much time in Canada - specifically Vancouver?
All is well. We’ve played there (Vancouver) many times. I have not spent much time there otherwise.
What can folks expect on this tour?
The double drummer, guitar, bass and synth machine. Lots of new and old material. And we brought a goat on tour this time.