Combining heavy sample-based rhythms with slowed down synths and bellows comes ODESZA, the creative project by producing talents Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight. Stemming from a variety of genres, ODESZA’s sound has been difficult to classify. What is constant in their music can only be described as sun soaked melodies, something that translates perfectly with West Coast living – an understanding that all of us Vancouverites recognize. With countless back to back tour dates (including the recently sold out show at Venue on April 10th & the nearly sold out Victoria set the evening before) alongside their latest My Friends Will Never Die EP, Clayton Knight discusses his experiences and upcoming album with Blueprint.
You guys just released that remix of Pretty Light’s Lost and Found – how did that come about in terms of making it for a feature film?
When we started making it, we had no idea that it was meant for that. We did one for him earlier off of Colour Maps of the Sun and that did pretty well – he really liked it. And then he offered us a chance to do another one, which is the B side of that album. We jumped on that opportunity and we got told that it was going to be in a movie, basically a month later after we made it. We didn’t have any idea that that was going to happen but it was really great news.
I know that the My Friends Never Die tour hasn’t started yet but you guys have been going strong non-stop for more than half a year now and you’ve been touring with a lot of artists from the Pretty Lights label. Is it safe to say that the Pretty Lights label has taken you under their wings in terms of musicality?
Yeah, we’ve always been a big fan of his music but we’ve toured with other artists and we try to keep it as open as possible. He’s definitely showed us a lot and it was nice of us to have him on the road. We just finished a tour with Emancipator who we had our first tour with so this is our second time with him and it was good times. He’s been really nice to us, letting us cruise on the bus with him, showing us and sharing music and production ideas, so it’s been a learning experience for sure.
Have you learned different skills from Emancipator since they’re more of a live band experience?
Yeah definitely, just being on the road and seeing how he does everything, you learn new things every day.
Now with this upcoming tour, you’ve got D33J and Kodak To Graph as support which is quite similar to your first albums aesthetics musically, yet different in terms of genre than your past tourmates. How did you guys get them on board?
We’ve been big fans of their music for a long time now, and when we had the opportunity to pick our own support, they were high on the list so we went after them pretty tough and eventually everything came together. We’re stoked to have them on the road with us and I think that the vibe will be a good one.
Anything specific from them that you like?
Anything off D33J’s most recent album and Kodak To Graph had some singles I really like – I’ve just been a big fan for a long time, pretty much anything they do.
One of my first times seeing you guys was at Sasquatch and then again at Decibel. Will you guys be returning to any of those this year?
We aren’t returning to Sasquatch. We’re actually keeping it light on the festival circuit this year. We’re actually trying to do a new album this year so we’re trying to get that all together and taking the time off allows us to do that.
You’ve played Vancouver once before with Beat Connection. How did you like the city and have you been here before?
We’re good friends with Beat Connection, we did a little stint with them after we did our first Emancipator tour. I use to play hockey when I was younger and I also went to school in Western Washington in Bellingham so I was right on the border so I was off and on. I haven’t really explored the city as often as I’d like to but hopefully I get that opportunity.
And lastly, what’s coming up in the future for Odesza?
Hopefully some more shows and festivals, and hopefully new music. It’s our big push right now to work on this new album we’re putting together. We’ll be putting around 13 tracks on it so it’ll be a full LP this time.
Will you be working with new sounds and genres this time around?
We’ll definitely sound a little differently this time. We’ve been working with some singers that we like and trying to experiment with new sounds, new song structures and the whole process in general so it’s definitely an adventure and new ground for us. It’s coming out pretty well so hopefully the fan base will like it.
– Vanessa Wong