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INTERVIEW: Omega Swan

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

Thank you! Busy and enjoying the ride.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Autonation”?

Of course! ‘Autonation’ was written almost 2 years ago. After our last single release, ‘Hate Love’, we recorded all kinds of music in different studios around Nashville, but ended up scrapping a lot of it. The vision wasn’t quite there. ‘Autonation’ is us starting to find that vibe we’ve been looking for, and it’s the start of much more music to come in 2017.

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

I was super inspired by Nile Rodgers the time, and was listening to a lot of records he’s produced – Chic, Madonna & David Bowie in particular. We wanted a song that had a solid groove and a great snare sound like those records do, but also wanted the guitar to jump out of the speakers. I must have listened to “Let’s Dance” on a daily basis for a month while we were putting the arrangement together.

The lyrics were inspired by technology, which is definitely an interest of mine as a millennial. I was trying to draw a similarity between binary code, software, and how humans have the tendency to act like a computer program sometimes. Funny story – a week or so into writing ‘Autonation’, Mr. Robot debuted on TV, and their second episode was called “ones-and-zer0es”.  The show coincidentally hits the same chords I was trying to get across with ‘Autonation’.

And then the election happened…and now the lyrics are even more relevant than when I wrote them. I think it’s important – in this age of mis-information – to stay true to one’s passions and core values. It’s easy to get dragged down when everything around you is so negative and daunting. I don’t have a solution to any of the problems we face today, and the only contribution I can think to offer is to keep working hard at what I love.

How was the recording and writing process?

Recording is our favorite part as a band. We went into this one with some very defined references – Material Girl, Let’s Dance – and tried to use that sonic palette as our foundation. We’re snare junkies, so we had some fun getting that big, 80’s style dance snare going on. By the time we went into the studio, we were well rehearsed and had this arrangement dialed in so we could really focus on the sounds.

We cut it at South Track Sound in Nashville, TN. It was a home studio in Green Hills with some of the most incredible gear you’d ever find in a home studio – only in Nashville. They had an amazing “live” room, which was actually just the living room & kitchen of the house. It was wide-open, super tall ceilings, and very live & reflective. That room was a huge part of the drum & guitar sounds on this record.

Once we got the basic tracks down, we took the session over to Redact Studios (Edsel’s place) and went wild in post. I think we tried mixing Autonation like 3 different times, starting from scratch each time. Edsel and I will talk for hours about frequency, compression, space…we learned so much mixing this track together, and those lessons have crossed over to mixes we’re working on now.

How has Nashville influence your songwriting?

Nashville’s influenced my writing more than I would have ever thought. I recently produced an EP for an awesome Nashville band, PONCÈ, and working with Carson & Michael (the brothers that make up the band) really inspired my writing. They got me on a huge Springsteen kick, and that will obviously have a huge impact on anyone’s writing. Getting hit with the Bruce wave will change your life, not just your art.

Nashville is just an inspiring place. It’s obviously a songwriter’s town, and sometimes in modern Rock music the songwriting aspect overlooked. I take a lot of influence from some of the great modern country writer’s who are HUGE in Nashville – Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson for example. With Omega’s newer material, we’re definitely more conscious of what it means to write a song, and that’s thanks to this city.

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

Absolutely. All of this music we’ve recorded over the past year doesn’t fit together like an album, so we’re going to release the best of what we’ve got as singles over the course of 2017 – one at a time, giving each record a life of it’s own. That’s how I consume music nowadays anyways. Like when Slide dropped last week…that made my whole week. I didn’t even need an album. We’re going to play the singles game until we perfect that sound we’re going for, and if people really love one song in particular, we’ll do another one (or a few) in that style. We just want to keep the door open to try different things and collaborate in the studio right now.

Any tentative release date in mind?

Don’t want to give too much away, but more music is definitely coming very soon.

What else is happening next in Omega Swan’s world?

So much is happening right now, all I can say is stay tuned. We’re lucky to have an amazing team around us supporting our vision and helping us get these records out there. Facebook and Spotify are the best places to stay in touch with us, so find us there! Cheers!

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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