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INTERVIEW: Onesie

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

Hi there! Been doing great. Just arrived back in NYC from a long journey through the Southwest. Visited a bunch of places for the first time. Palm Springs, Joshua Tree, Grand Canyon, Zion, Big Bend, Cora Pink Sand Dunes, Vegas. I’ve ingested a lot of insane landscapes in a little over a week. I’m feeling refreshed and happy to be back in the belly of the beast.

We had a sneak peak at the video for your latest single “Daytime King”. What’s in the box?!

Ha I can’t reveal! It’s like when Yoda answers Luke’s question about what’s in the cave- “Only what you take with you”. We left it open ended intentionally but whatever it is it’s bringing about a range of different reactions depending on who receives it. That said, the dude I’m playing is really just going about his day delivering these things and we get a peak at the aftermath. I thought the concept of a guy who casually ruins or totally uplifts lives was ripe with entertaining subtext.

Can you share with us a little bit about the concept of the video and the process of bringing that vision to life?

Sure. Based on the beat and repeating guitar hook of the song I had a vision of a sort of janitor or delivery person just kind of bouncing merrily through their day. It’s always fun to receive a package and it’s funny how that can be a moment of profound change in your life, like, here’s a letter saying you’ve gotten into grad school or here are your x-rays and you need to call the doctor right away. It’s the same with phone calls since texting and email have taken precedence- you dread it just because it might be severe. I started thinking about this dude whose job it was to deliver a ubiquitous white box that every person regardless of who they are is required to receive. So, sort of post apocalyptic in a benign, Fed Ex kind of way. I pitched it to my homie Grim Futures who helped me on our last video and he was into it. We’re old friends with and can have fun taking a few hours to craft some entertainment.

As for the filming process, this was shot in your hometown of Brooklyn, NY, correct? Was it directed, filmed and edited all D.I.Y. or did you get a team to put it together?

Yeah most of it was shot in Greenpoint, Brooklyn where Zack and I live. I got a bunch of local friends to appear in it. A few scenes were shot near Phoenicia, NY and Greenport on the north fork of Long Island. We worked off of a shot list but once you’re out on the street goofing off you wind up going with the flow and being spontaneous which is really fun. I actually shot a few things but Grim Futures did the stuff where I’m on camera and helmed the editing. We have similar taste in making things wacky and a little disturbing. We’re also both musicians and would rather be shredding Megadeth riffs in our spare time so we work fast and just try to make each other laugh. It’s just a video after all.

The single comes off your new album Leos Consume – what’s the story behind the title?

Well, not to make it all about ME but full disclosure: I’m a Leo. At some point I read that Leos are prone to dissension, drama, strife, etc. They are constantly trying to illuminate others to some truth only they have access to and tend to overdo everything they participate in. For example, Leos don’t just eat, they devour, they CONSUME. I started thinking about how in moments of self-pity you can start to think life as a game is rigged, like we’re all cursed to some pattern or born into a caste system that’s out of our control. In a way it’s comforting to have a ridiculous astrological excuse when you’re considering the hand you’ve been dealt.

You have taken part in a number of bands in the past. Is this the first one that you personally have fronted? If so, how do you feel this experience differs from the others? I can imagine it may add a certain level of stress in taking on numerous rolls.

I’ve fronted or co-fronted other bands and often been the arranger and workhorse with booking or promo, but this is the first band where I’ve really put in the time to fully flesh out my own songs and be the main songwriter. I’ve certainly never been the “lead singer” before Onesie just because I’m working with a limited range. That said, I draw inspiration from artists who create a greater totality when you combine their guitar style and a voice with personality. Blake Schwarzenbach or Stephen Malkmus are big influences in that way.

You have drawn us in with the video for “Ballad of the Boomerang” last October. Did you have this record and these videos recorded/filmed from a while ago? If so, is there a reason behind it?

Grim Futures and I shot that in 24 hours and I posted it just to have some evidence that Onesie existed in 2015. We took a bit of a hiatus after that so it just sort of sat there for awhile. Life happens!

I see you have your release show coming up in addition to a Northside Festival showcase, can we expect any upcoming tours whether it be an extended weekend in the tri-state area, a national run of the US, or even heading overseas?

Yes! We’ll be doing a run of shows in the Northeast during the last week of June and early July including shows in Boston, Albany, Connecticut, Long Island, Philly, DC, and maybe a few more spots. We’re excited to play outside of our comfort zone here in Brooklyn. I’ve toured Europe quite a bit in the past and would love to do so with Onesie. Hopefully it happens.

Can you let myself and the readers of Vents Magazine know what else is happening in the world of Onesie, and where they can keep up with you guys on social media?

Our goals are pretty basic. We’re amped to get the record out and play fun shows.

You can pre order Leos Consume here:

https://onesieband.bandcamp.com/releases


Follow us at the
 usual spots. I’m on the ‘gram pretty regularly. Facebook works too. Here you go:

https://soundcloud.com/onesieband

https://www.facebook.com/onesieband

https://www.instagram.com/onesieband/

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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