Easily one of the greatest joys of being a music fan is watching talented bands come up out of literal basements and continue towards the cusp of a real break-out. I’ve enjoyed watching the NJ-based rockers OWEL build on their limitless potential for a couple of years now as their orchestral, Sigur Rós/Radiohead-crossed stylings continue to grow in scope.
The band is gearing up to release a live album, Live from Audio Pilot Studios, with Impose Magazine happy to host the premiere of “All I’ll Ever Know” and “Be Quiet” today. To go along with the two videos, I sent OWEL some interview questions which you can check out below.
Hi, OWEL! Congrats on your new live album. Can you tell us a little more on who you are and how you first got into making music?
Jay Sakong: I sort of just got to know everyone through different avenues of my life. For example, I went to high school with our drummer Ryan and bassist Nunzio, and met Seamus during my stint at an Audio Engineering school. When I was trying to think of people to play with, the first and major criteria was whether or not I truly liked them as people.
What’s your songwriting process like? Who are some of your biggest influences?
Jay Sakong: I’ll usually write everything on Logic with a guitar or midi keyboard on my lap. Then after laying down all the pieces and seeing how they fit together, I’ll send the tracks to the other members for input. Radiohead and Sigur Ros have always been an inspiration of mine, but as you play shows and tour with other great bands, it’s impossible not to draw inspiration from them. The Soil and the Sun and Bent Knee come to mind.
What are “All I’ll Ever Know” and “Be Quiet” about? How did they come to be?
Jay Sakong: “All I’ll Ever Know” is about some of my selfish and sometimes destructive tendencies. Wanting everything, leaving nothing. That song was definitely written mostly on guitar. I’m always trying to stay a bit patient with sonics. Like waiting until the end to throw the kitchen sink at it, but it was nice to have a song that kicks in fairly early. “Be Quiet” is a declaration to myself that if my heart is ever not 100% into making music, then I’ll stop – that writing music will never be anything but pure desire and joy for me.
How did you arrive at the idea to do a live album? What was it like working at Audio Pilot Studios?
Nunzio Moudatsos: We really wanted to make something special and unique for our fans to kind of give a different perspective on some of our songs. Though we love to write and work in the studio, we really love playing live and touring. So we thought about doing this in order to kind of bring the live show to those fans out there who don’t always have a chance to come out to shows and be part of the atmosphere.
Recording this live album was super fun and made much easier since we recorded dear me at Audio Pilot Studios, so we were already comfortable and familiar with the space and the equipment. Rob Freeman (who owns the studio and also engineered and mixed) is such a cool dude and really helped bring this thing alive. We’re very grateful to him for lending a hand on this and being so accommodating to us.
We met Dave Patino (director) the day that we recorded this and he’s a really awesome guy, too. He had a great eye for the visuals and did a killer job on the video. We’re so happy with how everything turned out.
Any new New Jersey-based artists/venues/purveyors of the arts you could turn our readers onto?
Nunzio Moudatsos: We recently played a show at a brand new venue in Jersey City called White Eagle Hall. It’s such a great looking and sounding venue and the staff couldn’t be more helpful. Super cool place to see a show (they book sick shows) so we definitely recommend it.
Where can we follow you and where can our readers catch you live next?
Nunzio Moudatsos: Give us a follow on Spotify, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to keep up with our schedule! For anyone out there in the northeast, we’re going out on a regional tour with our label-mates in Northern Faces from December 9-18. Hope to see you there!
Any parting thoughts?
Jay Sakong: As always thanks for checking us out!