What do you think about the current state of post-punk? Is there a big scene in Chicago?
Christian: The scene in Chicago is sick, there’s so many great bands and venues out here. It’s great to be in a place that’s not as gatekeepy as it was in Boston and LA. Its really refreshing to see bands work together or even bands and venues work together really. I love it here in Chicago. Definitely go see a show at Empty Bottle, or Schuba’s, Beat Kitchen, or Coles. Go see bands like Atheena, Cruel, Daundry, Ok Cool, Pink Squeeze, Soft Charm while you’re here too.
Can you tell us more about your ODD HAUS collective?
Paul: Over the years we’ve collaborated with so many great visual artists, other bands, bookers we’ve contacted, videographers, editors, writers etc. After a certain point we realized that the only difference between a band with a label/representation and our operation was that other bands have these various departments organized, whereas our community not only lives all over the country, but also has hands in so many different aspects of the industry. In the same way we write, record, book, and create all kinds of different content to push this band along, we’ve also been fortunate to work with friends who make those endeavors easier and way more enjoyable, and so we came up with the collective to (hopefully) give such friends and collaborators the same sense of belonging and purpose that we feel within this project. Everyone that’s worked with us is a member of the collective, and everyone brings something valuable and unique to the table.
Congrats on the upcoming release of your latest album Misremember! What do you hope listeners take from it?
Paul: I want people to take away great memories, feelings of relation and deeper self understanding, a comfortability with freely expressing themselves, and most importantly the feeling that they can start a band themselves and make music and play it all around – the only thing holding you back is yourself! DIY!
Christian: What he said + I hope they want to hear it live? Or feel like they need it on more than just a digital platform, or wish they had a really cool shirt that the band made,
Any special meaning behind the title?
Christian: The title came to me from the idea of how fears and desires can shape your memory to detrimental consequences. When we go to the past, it is obscured and different, survived only by some pieces of paper or pictures. We look to it to shape our future and ourselves, and to measure our growth. I think that’s one of the scariest things about it. We misremember things to fit the narrative of our lives, or focus on the most obscure aspects of our being to continue on living. We reshape our mind and selves to fit into that definition, in order to achieve some dream, or to simply just get through the monotony of life.
What are some of the driving themes in the album?
Christian: Expectation vs reality, self growth/self image, the importance of relationships both harmful and helpful
What was the experience like crafting the album?
Christian: It’s the first time we ever worked in a studio, which was as exciting as it was an intimidating experience. It was quite insightful, as it taught us how to be more efficient with our time, how to play better, and how to use our gear more intentionally. I feel like it made me not only a better guitar player, but a better songwriter, because in a demo you do at home, you can hide so many layers that when it comes time to re-record a song for not only your whole band but also an engineer, you get to see what’s really necessary or what’s good for a song. That’s something that’ll definitely stay with me.
Paul: For all of the writing and rewriting and demo-ing and re-demoing and recording and re-recording and the tons of different versions and iterations of these songs, the actual final recording process was a breeze. I think I recorded all of my parts, various tracks where I’m also on drums (I’m on bass on all of the tracks) in like 4 hours total. It was a great lesson in making use of the time and certainly in making sure you’re ready to rip it going into the studio. I definitely get how big time rock star bands can blow shitloads of money on studio sessions… but at the same time… I don’t get it at all. Know your parts!!
Do you have a favorite track (or tracks) from the album? Any that you look forward to playing live the most? I personally love “Moaner”, “Music Video”, “Enough.” Such phenomenal grooves!
Christian: I’d say my favorite is either “Let Down” or “Uneventful.” I remember writing them within a day or two of each other and each song just came pouring out of me. I was trying to just demo the idea at first, but each part, each line, each lyric came out in moments and had finished writing and recording every part within an hour. These were the two first tracks written for misremember, so I knew that we had something new/something special coming up.
Paul: My favorite tracks are all on Part II so you’ll have to listen to that asap… JK. I love them all like children but also my favorites to play live (from part 1) are “Moaner” and “Music Video”. You can’t beat that energy. They’re exhausting to play, but I’m looking forward to seeing the crowd moving and stealing some of their energy to keep chugging.
We like to say to be a creative and put yourself out there to the public eye that you have to be fearless. Do you agree with that?
Christian: I don’t know if you have to be fearless, but it takes courage and mindfulness to share your thoughts, dreams, poetry and music with the public, because that you want to be sharing is some kind of experience, that stayed with you, wouldn’t you really have to think about it to even have it be worth sharing? Some of our tracks have been about pain or longing or heartbreak, but I think you have to be more mindful than anything to share with the public, because everything you do or have done is a reflection of yourself.
Paul: I think you have to be really fearFUL, and a bit anxious, and a good deal of angry. There’s a lot of uncertainty that comes with a life like this, and part of what makes it so fun at the end of the day is channeling that insecurity and putting everything you’ve got into your performance. There’s no time to waste up there. I like to feel exhausted when we’ve finished playing, physically and emotionally. I usually end up pretty wired. Sometimes it feels like blacking out up there (and we’re never too drunk when we play, for like all of these same reasons lol). Perhaps bands or artists come off as fearless, but I’d wager any artist that actually cares gets pretty nervous before going up there, no matter how many people they’re playing to… but that just means that they care!
Any special plans for the future? Tour? Shows?
Christian: You get Misremember Part II on September 1 <3
Paul: That plus
CULTURE (counter, pop, and otherwise) and the people who shape it.