In Conversation With…OTHERKIN

OTHERKIN are the garage punks making rock music cool again for the streaming generation. The four-piece aren’t in need of warning flares when they have scorching tunes like ‘AY AY’ and ‘Bad Advice’ that set the hype machines a’chattering for them. News of their glorious debut album has been soon to follow, seeing release on 29th September 2017 – the record proceeds a feature-length tour that will embark on 30th September in Newcastle and won’t see the band stopping until December, where they see the year out with a show at the Button Factory in Dublin.

Whilst the band gear up for a triumphant close to a year of scintillating highlights, we scheduled in a brief chat to discuss the road ahead. Covering ground relating to the debut album ‘OK,’ supporting Gun’N’Roses, and the thrill of a life that involves making music and touring with your close friends.

The past year has been good to OTHERKIN, allowing plenty of opportunities to celebrate positive momentum and career-defining prospects. I’m sure as a band you all have your own individual takes on the best moment to come out of 2017 so far, so rather than delay on that side of the equation, we thought it would be nice to ask – which moment evoked the best ‘can’t believe this is happening’ reaction that you’ve seen within a crowd?

Haha, that’s a tough one. We’ve played a lot of shows already this year, and by the end of most sets, even if it’s a support slot, the crowd tends to get quite loose and have a good time. Due to the sheer magnitude of the crowd when we were supporting Guns’N’Roses at Slane Castle, it’d have to be that show. I’ve never seen that many people at one event, even the lads from Royal Blood commented on how insane the endless ocean of people was that day.

Since we last spoke, OTHERKIN have announced the release date and title of the debut album – ‘OK’. How important is it to the band, at this moment in time, that you release this body of work?

It’s very important to us, we’ve wanted to put out an album for so long but had to make sure it was perfect. We’ve also been constantly on the road so it became difficult to focus on writing, as our schedule was so disjointed for a year or two. We think we’ve nailed it on the head though; we can’t wait for our fans and new listeners to hear this album.

What would you say are the core themes and sounds we’ll hear on the debut album, ‘OK’?

It’s a fast paced, energetic and driven album. We recorded a lot of it live, and wanted to capture the essence of what we’re all about as a band, and that is having a good time and causing a bit of mayhem. There’s some moments in the album that are more mature and lean towards a sound we’ll be exploring more as we progress, but overall it’s an album that will hopefully soundtrack a lot of good times and parties.

When creating music, the band will share the majority of control under their own wing – what it will sound like, how many tracks will feature on the work, track runtimes, song placement, the list goes on. But when it comes time to release the album, the reaction is out of the band’s hands. So I guess what I’m getting at is – What are your hopes for the album, regardless of the critical or public opinion, what does this album mean to you as a band?

The main objective was to create an album we’d all stick on ourselves and enjoy. That’s why we do OTHERKIN, there weren’t any bands releasing the music we wanted to hear. We didn’t settle with the album until all 4 of us were 100% happy with every minute detail of the record. After that I just hope those who’ve been following us also really enjoy the album, we’re going to do our best to get it out to as many ears as possible and give it the success we think it deserves.

‘Come On, Hello’ is the new single release from OTHERKIN; it sounds like a track that will go down very well in a live format. Do you try to match the spontaneous feel of the live shows in your single releases?

Funnily enough the first 3 singles of the album were all written in 3 days while we were in the middle of nowhere doing our last writing session before the album was recorded! I think we were all just in a good place, having a good time and those songs came naturally. We do try to envision how a song will go down live though when we’re writing it, that’s always a big consideration to have when crafting a song.

I feel that from the visceral and frantic nature of your live shows, your gear must take quite the beating when it’s on stage. Have you had to replace anything significant over the years, just from the wear and tear the equipment goes through?

There’s been many a visit to Some Neck Guitars in Dublin. God bless the team in there, they repair our guitars on the regular. The worst accident we’ve had is the headstock breaking clean off my old guitar, but thankfully its mostly minor knocks that occur!

What’s your favourite piece of gear that is used in the live show?

We all have pretty straightforward set-ups when it comes to effects or rigs. We always love working with lighting engineers though, it’s important to us to put on a great production, so anytime we’ve the extra bit of cash to splurge on lights or visuals we’ll do that.

We were very happy when the news broke that OTHERKIN were to support Guns’N’Roses at a show of theirs earlier this year. What was the first thing you did after walking off-stage?

I think we all ran off screaming ‘FUCKKKKKKKK’, haha it was pretty surreal. We had a good time though, had a group hug, and then the drinks start flowing. Good times were had.

OTHERKIN has a mass of touring approaching from October onwards, where are you most looking forward to visiting? Are there any countries or places you are yet to visit but would love to play a show?

There’re so many new countries and cities we’re playing on this tour; I’m really looking forward to playing our first headline shows in France & Spain. Then we’ve shows in Serbia, Kosovo, Romania and a whole host of different countries that none of us have ever even been in, it’s going to be proper mental. I think we’re all keen to get over to America for some shows. We’ve a good few fans over there and feel like our sound would go down quite well in the states. Next stop: Cali.

For those of us watching from the outside, band life seems very exciting and ever-changing, if not also strenuous and very physically demanding. I wanted to get your opinion seen as your living the life: What are the best parts about getting to make music professionally, and on the flipside, what are the drawbacks?

The best parts are doing something you love with people you love. Not a lot of people get to pursue something they like, let alone are absolutely obsessed with, so we definitely don’t take that for granted.

The drawbacks are not seeing people for very long periods of times and just having a really disjointed schedule. It can be hard to have a personal life outside of the tour van when you’re constantly on the move.

OTHERKIN’s debut album – ‘OK’ – is due for release on 29th September 2017. Pre-Orders can be made here.

Find OTHERKIN on Facebook and Twitter.

Charlotte Holroyd
Editor, Creator and Founder of Bitter Sweet Symphonies. A lover of music and cinema, who's constantly attending gigs and in search of a great experience.

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