Interview by: Grace Dearing:
Burn Bridges, Burn Pies is your third full-length album, what can fans expect to be different on this album in comparison to the last two?
AS: I think there are two big differences between BBBP and our other records. First: We really paid attention to what makes OhBree sound like OhBree and worked hard to implement that in our music. Our first album, We Miss You Edward Come home, was very silly, and our second record Death By Broomstick, was decidedly darker. This time I think we’ve got both sides of our personality represented very well.
The second difference is that our arrangements are much more thoughtful. We have a lot of band members, and in the past we’ve had everyone playing at the same time for a huge wall of sound. As awesome as that is – we wanted to take a step back and figure out how to weave the instruments in and out of the arrangement – giving each melody and rhythm a chance to shine on its own.
Stop animation and Indie music seem like polar opposites, what inspired you to merge the two with the trailer for your upcoming album?
AS: Honestly, I think the original inspiration came from our inability to get everyone together for several video shoots. We are currently working on a video game to accompany our discography and it requires a ton of video content. One day our drummer Adam was like “What if we just… used puppets so that we can do it by ourselves.” Eventually we decided on stop motion animation (a little classier than puppets). It has been an awesome thing to learn, and we can’t wait to share the whole weird weird weird weird video.
AL: I really like making masochistic art. In general the projects I try to do are very grueling and require ridiculous time commitments for little reward. (spending a year editing and mixing our 100+ track per song album, doing a annual 24 hour noise jam with my noise group, designing a video game with no experience). Stop motion seemed to fit the bill perfectly and also captured some of the cartoony aesthetic of our music and art.
It is very rare to see an 8-piece band, how does having twice as many members as today’s “nuclear” bands benefit your sound and overall experience?
BI: I personally love having so many people in the band. It gives us a ton of potential for different instruments on our recordings, and most of us do play a couple instruments to some degree for each record.
For playing live it really helps to make our shows feel exciting. We will always fill up the stage, and some of the horn section usually ends up running around into the audience. It also lets us do things like having six people yell backing vocals or having a trumpet and guitar duet instead of a solo.
The only real difficult about having so many members is definitely scheduling. Our band practices can’t always have the full band present, and even at our live shows we’ll occasionally have to play down a member or two.
AS: We have twice as many ways to keep a song interesting – and I think we use that to our advantage all the time!
Based in both Boston and Philadelphia, what are the challenges you’ve had to overcome with long-distance dynamics?
AS: The first biggest challenge is that we can’t do things last minute. All of our shows and practices require planning ahead – so we don’t have too many last minute shows. Some might say that’s a good thing though, haha. The other challenge is band practice. We can’t practice together too often, so usually the band will get together without me on piano and vocals, and whenever I can get myself down to Philly we play as a full band! It’s work, but generally, we make it work pretty well – and thanks to the vast amount of incredible podcasts out there (I’m talkin to you Comedy Bang Bang and Welcome to Nightvale) I don’t mind driving an extra 25-30 hours a month.
AL: Coordinating is a really big struggle for us. I end up video chatting with Andrew for many hours a month to work on songs, art ideas, and anything else we need to do for our shows and content. It’s strange working remotely and I’m sure Andrew’s back will be permanently sore from sleeping on my couch several times a month, but to me making music with people who get what I want to do is worth any long distance struggles.
If you had to convince someone to listen to your music, using only five words, what would they be?
BI: As Much Sound As Possible
AS: I’ll Give You Fifty Dollars
AL: Watch School of Rock Instead