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Pic by Ruby Boland

INTERVIEW: Obseen

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

Hey There! Thanks so much! I’m cool as cucumber. Hope you are well!

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

Sure! So bed bugs is a track I wrote a while back about a really interesting miscommuni-cation situation between me and a friend (awks). I guess I thought something was more than it was, you know when everything seems perfect but you are on two seperate pages

I guess we can all relate to that. I feel a lot of people have been asking me if it is metaphoric but it’s 100% literal and 200% awkward now.

I think in most part this track almost sounds like Two Feet, NomBe and Lewis Del Mar made a baby. But like a really ugly baby with six legs and antennas…

Any plans to release a video for the single?

There sure is! There are a lot of things in the works right now and I am working on some video for the track now. All systems are go at the moment, I just wanted to make it as simplistic as possible, I feel like a lot of artists try to over-complicate things and the sit-uation was already complicated enough as it was.

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

Yeah, so Envy Me is actually one of the tracks on the EP which is out October 11th, but I thought it would make a great title for the EP so I ran with it. It’s actually the ultimate sass story but it’s an album for the underdog. It pokes fun at anyone who is a successful financial ‘poser’, and talks about how they aren’t really happy and how leading the life you really want is more important for overall end goal happiness. For me that goal is making music every day.

How was the recording and writing process?

The recording process for the EP was pretty intense. I tried to experiment with different writing processes and so a lot of these began in unusual ways as I started them on my guitar and then wrote some lyrics and a melody to suit. Some of these began as sketches for other people as I was focussing on this earlier this year but these stories were very personal to my own journey.

Once the whole structure was complete I moved it over to Ableton and started recording the tracks and adding the drums and percussion. The whole thing was tracked in my home studio which I set up last year. I built all the panels myself so it is custom to my space and also modular which means I can rearrange it to cater different instruments – drums are very big and very loud.

What role does Sydney play in your writing?

Sydney is a beautiful city, we have a lot of trouble here in the music world as there have been many live venues closing down due to funky laws imposed by the government, I wish I could tell you more but I mean it’s pretty clear it’s dysfunctional.

I spend a lot of time between Sydney and this local town called Bowral, which is in the Southern Highlands. it’s really chilled out here so it is nice to write. However, Sydney is full of inspiration, with some stellar views and cool little bites of culture and noise to get my hands on, I really enjoy the fast paced nature of it but it’s nice to get away from the big smoke.

How your studies has influence your music?

I would like to say study hasn’t really influenced my music. A lot of other musicians are quick to jump on the age old “You don’t need to study to do music” which is true, but I guess you don’t “need to know how” to drive a car either, in most cases the same igno-rance eventually leads to the same bitter end…

I don’t really rely on my theoretical knowledge to write songs, but it definitely helps. It has given me a toolbox to work from when putting my music together and makes the process a lot faster and more seamless.

Having archived success in a short amount of time – does that put any pressure on you as you release new material?

OH MY GOD, this is the question of the century. In some ways that is a hard yes, but in others it’s a no.

At the end of the day I am just writing music I enjoy, even if I didn’t release it, the tracks would still be on my computer. But it is also really nice to see the responses from my releases and I really wish I could put it all out for everyone to soak up.

What made you want to seek for a new direction?

The new direction is definitely a complete backflip. I guess to some extent I am now making the music I set out to make originally. I don’t deal well with people so I actually started producing music so I didn’t have to join a band, it let me recording my own backing tracks to write guitar solos over.

Somewhere down the line I got a little lost and it became all blurred. I started making future bass music and club music and even did a whole bunch of DJing which was fun to start with but I kind of got bored of it. I guess it just wasn’t the best medium for ex-pressing what I wanted to express.

My mentor mentioned that it might be good to write some music on my guitar again, and with a new found maturity and vision to redefine my passion, viola! You have the new age Obseen. Now my live show consists of me singing and playing guitar which is way more exciting to me than DJing.

What aspect of Envy did you get to explore on this record?

I guess everyone experiences the feeling of Envy at some stage in their lives. At some points I was envious of people who were making music full time and didn’t have 3 days of college each week. I actually think that was probably the most envious I had been, it was a bit of a battle juggling all of these moving parts, but hey, we did it and it’s all coming together soon. At the end of the day this really helped to motivate me as knew I had to work even hard to pull it off.

Any plans to hit the road?

I have a few shows locked in including one in Melbourne which will be announced soon, one in Brisbane and Sydney which are both still super secret and I will be in big trouble for talking about those. You can catch me at Yah Yah’s with Sydney locals MOZA on Octo-ber 6th, there should be more info on the upcoming shows soon but I can’t talk about this yet.

What else is happening next in Obseen’s world?

At the moment I am just working on more music, I feel like everyone kind of stops writ-ing for a while but just because this EP is finished it doesn’t mean I am not going to re-lease any more material. Since I Don’t Care was released I have been in and out of the studio with a bunch of local and international talent so I’ll always be busy working away at something. It’s all happening and I am just excited for the ride!

Facebook:           facebook.com/obseenaus

Twitter:               twitter.com/obseenaus

Soundcloud:        soundcloud.com/obseenaus

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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