INTERVIEW: Odette/Odile

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

A:Hey, thank you! We are doing super good!!

K: Great!

Can you talk to us more about your recent single “Ceases To Beat“?

A:This is a song we’ve been working on for a long time and has gone through many changes. We think it’s a good representation of our style, which we hope is fun and energetic. The lyrics are about unrequited love.

K: Musically, I’m super inspired by the Japanese composer Yasutaka Nakata who composes for a lot of J-Pop artists. This one was largely a love letter to KyaryPamyuPamyu, one of those artists. It actually started out as a simple punk rock song, on guitar – kind of like a Ramones sort of thing. But then we started the Odette project and I thought it really worked with this J-Pop aesthetic.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

A: Actually Keith originally wrote it as a possible theme song for a show a friend was making. We never ended up using it for that but when we started the new group we thought it would translate well to what we were hoping to do. Of course it has changed drastically since then. For the lyrics, I wanted to play with sort of overly specific or almost medical kind of imagery and have it contrast with the cute playful vibe of the song.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

A:Yes! We have some fun ideas and we are hoping to take that on pretty soon!

How was the recording and writing process?

A: We’ve actually been learning a lot about both of those things. Our usual process has been that Keith will come up with the basic sketch of the song and send it to me so I can start coming up with ideas for lyrics. It then usually goes through a bunch of different versions until we feel we are ready to start recording. The nice thing is that we have a little studio set up in our house so we are able to work around our schedules and redo things a million times until we feel that they are perfect! Or as close to it as possible 🙂

What drew you into J-Pop?

A: I have always really like exploring music and movies from other cultures but I think mostly anime and video games are what made us aware of Japanese pop specifically. For me, I loved the theme songs and music in the shows I would watch and sometimes they would have a pop singer singing them so I think I probably looked them up to find more of what I loved, which was a lot harder back then without YouTube and all that. I also feel like I was drawn into J-Pop and Rock because it was so different and unique compared to what I was hearing here.

K: When I was a kid, I was really into 90’s house dance music. It kind of felt like a continuation of the project of disco: marrying dance grooves with classical song composition techniques. When I first heard some of my favorite Japanese pop artists about five or so years ago, my reaction was kind of like, “this is what I was looking for the whole time”. Especially Nakata’s stuff.

What aspects of the inherent angst in a relationship did you get to explore on this record?

A: So I think there is a bit of a frantic energy to the song, which I thought would lend well to the subject matter. I was really trying to think of the panicky desperate feelings one has when they really want someone’s attention and are hitting a brick wall. I think we’ve all had times where we have been on either side of this type of relationship so I hope it’s relatable in that way.

What games get to inspire the material?

K: There’s a lot of videogame music I like that is a subtle inspiration: Michiru Yamane’s Castlevania soundtracks are some of my favorites, as well as Soyo Oka’s Super Mario Kart and Sim City soundtracks. But probably the thing that influences our aesthetic the most is KatamariDamacy. I would *love* to achieve the pop songwriting brilliance of “Lonely Rolling Star” with Odette someday!

Any plans to hit the road?

A: Not yet! We are really focusing on creating some new tunes and videos but we will start to play some local shows soon.

What else is happening next in Odette/Odile’s world?

A: Oh man, so many things! We have a bunch of new characters and stories on deck for the comic which I’m excited to get out there. We are currently working on a new song and will probably do some acoustic videos in the meantime. Make sure to follow us so we can tell you about all this stuff!

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About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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