(Photo Credit Creigh Lyndon)
Thurday April 8th @ The Music Farm in Charleston
Friday April 9th @ Jillians in Columbia
On Tour with Manchester Orchestra and Biffy Clyro
O’Brother is currently on tour with Manchester Orchestra and Biffy Clyro and will be making their way into Charleston and Columbia this Thursday and Friday. We caught up with OBro guitarist Aaron Wamack and chatted about their current dream tour and how it’s been going for them.
Describe your music for those who aren’t familiar. Recommended if you like who?
Right for the jugular, eh? The question that plagues every band: what do we sound like? I suppose the best approach would be to pretend I’m not in the band, just hearing it for the first time. i would probably hear some thrice influence, maybe some Radiohead or Mogwai or something. It certainly has its ambient parts, alongside some heavier stuff and indie rock elements. I’m going to be honest though, I hate categorizing music and especially trying to pinpoint a bands influences. I don’t understand the obsession people have in doing so when listening to music, though I do see it’s aesthetic purpose if you have never heard the band before, such as the question at hand. It makes complete sense in that respect. upon actually hearing a bands sound, it just seems like some sort of ego boost knowing that you can break an artist down to who they rip off. Not to say that I’m not guilty. I, too, often write someone off as a _____ rip off or too this or that. There is something very special about accepting art for what it is and nothing more. There are only like 11 different notes on a guitar or piano, there’s only so much one can do. The best way to know what O’brother sounds like would be to look it up and check it out for yourself. A self-review can only go so far.
After all this time touring, y’all finally hit the jackpot and are on tour with Manchester Orchestra and Biffy Clyro. What does it feel like?
Relieving, to say the least. I don’t think i or any of us could have done another tour where we simply scrape by. After awhile it starts to get quite discouraging, to say the least. stress levels are high amongst band mates, money is tight, the van technically shouldn’t still be running, it can be incredibly discouraging to continually play small shows in the same city over and over again to the same amount of people. I do think, however, that it was both necessary and enlightening to see what it’s like to start from nothing and try to get your music heard. As the saying goes, reaping a reward presents itself sweeter when accompanied with hard work. I can’t imagine how dissatisfying it must feel to be a new band in search of fame, which gets immediately placed on a big tour and given fans. i feel that it would be the most empty feeling regarding something that should be one of the complete and fulfilling creative experiences there are. We’ve been talking with Manchester for last year or two about touring together; we’ve just been waiting for the time to present itself without forcing anything. And now here we are, on the best tour of our still brief career, playing to hundreds of people every night who have never even heard the name O’brother. Every night, we walk on stage to a room filled with people, and I feel as if our music can stand up against even the most cynical person present. Plus, we have gotten to spend time with new friends Biffy Clyro, the features and Chris staples, all great people. It’s been a blast to be a part of this.
The Blue Indian asked you in a past interview if you could tour with any band who would it be and one of the bands you named was Thrice. Dream come true?
Without question, yes. Personally, I have listened to thrice since high school, and I know that the rest of the guys share a similar story to my own. They have even influenced my musical taste over the years, so to be able to open for them is nothing short of a dream come true. I completely forgot about that question in said interview, just goes to show that anything is possible. The most absurd part of this upcoming tour is that thrice actually loves our band and is excited to tour with us. It feels so backwards to me and I cannot believe how fortunate we are. I can’t wait to see what happens with us afterwards. I feel great things will happen.
What are the biggest differences between this tour and past tours and how has fan reaction been?
This most prominent thing I’ve noticed is the earlier load-in times. I’d say we’ve all gotten used to arriving at the venue anywhere from 5-7pm. this time around, we are arriving more in the neighborhood of 2-3pm, which means a lot of overnight driving, sleeping in the van, and way less partying after shows. The latter doesn’t affect me as much because I am lame, but I’ve heard it’s not quite the bee’s knees 🙂 i also really love the routine that comes with our daily activities. Everything is planned out, from dinner to set times to travel schedules, something we are not used to. It’s a very secure feeling knowing that you have guaranteed gas money to get to the next city, and knowing that there will actually be people watching you play. So far our crowd reception is beyond expectations. Making a lot of new friends, selling merchandise, etc. it’s reassuring knowing that the last two years have not been in vain.
What is the craziest thing that has happened on tour so far?
Our tour stories are not too exciting, we’re a pretty chill band. But a few nights ago, we were playing the end of one of our songs called ascension. It’s probably the heaviest part we have, and usually everyone kinda goes a little crazy (especially Anton). Well, this day was no different, and Anton was rocking and spinning about like a madman as usual. I stand next to him stage left, and was facing the other way at the time, but i turn around and I feel this extremely hardy sickening thud against my guitar as he was on his way down mid headbang. It almost knocked me back a bit. He fell straight backwards onto the floor and you could tell his clock got cleaned because his face was kind of in shock and his eyes rolled back into his head. He layed there the rest of the song. So now he has a mild black eye and of course I’m the bad guy who did it on purpose. It’s not too bad, but let’s just say one eye looks a bit more Asian than the other.
If I were to tell you I heard a hint of Tool in your music what would you say?
i would say that is awesome because they are a great band who writes some amazing songs. None of us really listen to them regularly, but I know if I got into them, I would probably get obsessed. Everything I’ve heard was pretty mind blowing.
If you were gay or a girl, which member of All Get Out would you date and why? Would you make them shower or love them for who they are?
I think I’ll be a girl in this situation, I’ve always wondered what life would be like as a girl. I might be one of those types that have a thing for lead singers, in which case Nate would be the obvious choice. He got a tender side and would treat me right, as a lady should be treated. And then I would probably get some songs written about me, so bonus there. And I don’t shower incredibly often, but if i was a girl would i be a daily shower girl? Who’s to say, but I think I would be ok with him not showering while on tour, but once around me, maybe a quick dip would be in order. I’m not looking to smell every venue he’d occupied for the last few weeks.
If you were to show up in Columbia, SC and a cute girl were to give you a care package, what would be in it?
I completely misread this earlier when I was scanning all the questions. I thought it was saying which cute girl would I like to have in a care package, but it makes a lot more sense to me now. Regardless of what was in the package, chips and candy or medicine, I would say “I’ll trade you all of the items in this bag for your phone number.” 🙂