JamBase Questionnaire: O’Death

Welcome back to JamBase's baker's dozen to the bright lights of the music world. Last time we heard from Antietam.

While pegged early on as an alt-country band, O'Death has steadfastly resisted any such simple genre-pegging, and they’ve done so not out of obstinacy or a desire to be obscure but because the path of their music is for their steps alone.

To wit, Outside (released April 12 on Ernest Jenning Record Co.), O’Death’s singular third album, which feels distinctly modern – a convocation of sounds inconceivable before the 21st century – yet weighted with ancient ways and grown-in-the-dirt solidity. It twangs but beyond the recognizable banjo strains there are wild things in the woods, twitching on the edges of this music, shadows whose forms remain elusive but present all the same. This isn’t folk-pop and it sure ain’t traditional but it still swings, only to a metronome of their own making.

Outside is a record haunted and haunting, akin to the mood Elliott Smith nailed in his bedroom taken out into the world where all the pressures inside begin to push out into something larger, something more mysterious than what lurks inside a single mind. It’s not always pretty - bloody handprints and drained lakes littering the landscape, clanging rhythms and untamed electricity beating the trees - but it is music sturdy and true for the life’s long walk. (Dennis Cook) (Dennis Cook)

Here's what O’Death singer-guitarist Greg Jamie had to say to our inquiries.

O’Death by Larry Mills
1. Great music rarely happens without…
A perspective of some kind.

2. The first album I bought was…
The first two tapes I bought - at a small chain called The Wall, somewhere on Long Island - were Alice in Chains' Dirt and Peter Gabriel's Us.

3. The last song or album to really flip my wig was…
I love the whole Mississippi Records catalogue. Big Michael Hurley fan. Also been listening to Micah Blue Smaldone's Red River album alot lately.

4. When I was a kid I wanted to grow up to be…
I think it changed around a lot. Is it bad that I don't remember? I remember performing in a sort of play when I was in nursery school called "Hats for Sale" where I played a hat salesman. I did always like hats when I was a kid.

5. My favorite sort of gig is…
Oh it changes. I like some of the ones that are crazy where people are dancing and sweating, but lately I've been more into the ones where people are quiet and paying attention. We had a crowd in San Fran recently where some people were talking during our set and some people were smoking weed during our set, and I hated both of those things. But that’s all more the audience than the gig. I like gigs where the venues are excited to have us and are passionate about what they’re doing. It makes you want to play well for an appreciative venue, staff or audience.

6. One thing I wish people knew about me is…
I actually don't want people to know too much about me. I think it’s better when there's a mystery involved in the people making music. But I guess it’s too late for that.

7. I love the sound of…
I'm so into quiet lately. I just moved to Maine from NYC and its quiet. I'm sick of sounds. Maybe I'm losing my hearing.

8. One day I hope to make an album as fantastic as…
Bonnie Prince Billy's I See A Darkness. The ultimate enduring touchstone for contemporary folk music.

9. The best meal I ever had on tour was at…
This festival we played in Vermont, The Northeast Kingdom Festival, had the most amazing, farm fresh, awesome food. All vegetarian. Insanely good stuff. I know pesto was involved in a lot of stuff, and polenta in some things. They fed us two of the best meals I've ever had on the road. Also in New Orleans, we ate the best breakfast I ever had. What was the name of that place.....

10. I always find the coolest audiences in…
Been enjoying audiences in Ireland for years.

11. The worst habit I've picked up being on the road all the time is…
Being mean. I 'm turning into an asshole when I don't get enough sleep. That and drinking. Do I need to drink every day? No, but we play bars, and it’s so hard to not drink when you're at a bar - especially when they give you alcohol for free. For now, I'm ok with it, but it can't be a good habit.

12. Led Zeppelin or Radiohead, which flips your switch the most and why?
I'm not a fan of either band, but I do enjoy some Radiohead.

13. The craziest thing I ever saw was…
I can't think of it…What is it?

O’Death Tour Dates :: O’Death News

JamBase | Back of the Garden
Go See Live Music!


[Published on: 6/21/11]

Take full advantage of all JamBase has to offer by signing up for an account!

You'll receive

show alerts

when your favorite artists announce shows, be eligible to enter contests for

free tickets

, gain the ability to

share your personalized live music calendar

and much more. Join JamBase!