23 February 2006

totes an interview: daniel hoxmeier and greg barkley of oh no! oh my!

Oh No! Oh My! have been shipping their music as $1.50 CDRs, yet they've somehow have been able to catch the attention of big-time MP3 bloggers like gorilla vs. bear, music (for robots), rock insider, and others. These bloggers aren't just listening for no reason. The three man band (also including Joel Calvin) produces addictive, catchy tunes that can make winter feel like spring. They could sing about kittens falling to their death, and the sound would still make me happy.

In the past, they have done experimental rock under the name (poor) yorik. A month after that band fell through, they moved on to their current sound under the name of The Jolly Rogers. This name caused a lot of confusion, forcing them to change it.

I have been lucky enough to exchange a few words with two of the members of the band. There is mention of pirates, school, a general lack of live shows, and the new CD. Before you read, feel free to take a listen to a few songs...

OH NO! OH MY!- Jane is Fat
OH NO! OH MY!- Farewell To All My Friends
OH NO! OH MY!- I Love You All The Time
(^featured on totesumbrellas February dance mix, still available for download^)
-BUY CDR at website -check them out on MySpace-

JOE JOHN: How would you describe your sound to someone who is unfamiliar with it?

GREG: We used to call our sound folk pop back when we were the Jolly Rogers. I don’t know if that still holds true today, or if it ever really did. When I try to describe Oh No! Oh My! to somebody I tell them we’re a happy pop band with acoustic guitars xylophones, and they usually look at me like I’m an idiot. It’s like the mention of pop music is an immediate turn off. Maybe that’s not a very good description. I’m not very creative with words.

JJ: So can you tell me more about the various name changes? What's with the pirates?

GREG: Thinking of a band name was the hardest thing we’ve done yet. Daniel came up with The Jolly Rogers, and we all thought that pirates were pretty cool, but the only song that could live up to that name is The Pirate’s Anthem, which was actually written before we called ourselves The Jolly Rogers. We looked at the completed song and decided it would be brilliant to add some sort of shanty about drinking rum and whatnot to commemorate our new name. The end result was pretty ridiculous. Other then that the pirate theme never really fit, and over the next year we kept finding other bands with the same name so it was time for a change.

DANIEL: There was a bunch of other band names I came up with that Greg hated and Joel and I liked. But he kept saying no until we finally forced Oh No! Oh My! on him, because he kept telling us how much he hated band names, but he couldn’t come up with anything he liked. So we overruled him, I guess. I’m sure he’d disagree with that story, but…

JJ: Correct me if I'm wrong: You were homeschooled and learned to play your instruments by yourselves...out of lack of nothing better to do?

GREG: Yeah Danny and I were both homeschooled up to college. I lived out in the middle of nowhere and since I was homeschooled I could get done with school around noon. I had loads of time on my hands. Music was just another way to get through the day without becoming obscenely bored.

So 2/3 of the band is away at school? What school?

GREG: Danny and I are going to SAE Institute of Technology to learn how to record for reals. Poor Joel was unable to come so in nine months when our schooling is finished we’re gonna hook back up with him. We haven’t really figured out what’s next after that.

DANIEL: We’re considering touring and playing shows in cities where we might want to move to after school. We’ll have to come up with some witty clever tour name about finding “no place like home” or something.

JJ: What was the best show you've ever played?

GREG: I think the question really should be “when are you guys actually gonna play a show?” Our music is virtually impossible to play live with only three members, so we’d find people to learn the songs, and when we’d actually be ready to play somewhere they would drop out for various reasons. This happened repeatedly over the past year, so there was a lot of time wasted. I guess the best show we ever played was an acoustic show at a little coffee shop a week before me and Daniel left. It was mainly just friends and family there, sort of a farewell thing.

JJ: Have you been getting a good response about the music?

DANIEL: Well…I think for only ever playing 2 shows for our entire life as a band…the response has been pretty good for just a couple of guys sending out CD-R’s. Hopefully now that a couple more people are paying attention…they’ll tell more people when we actually release something that costs more than $1.50

JJ: Any new music that listeners should keep their ears tuned into?

DANIEL: Yes. For some reason, I don’t think very many people know The Robot Ate Me…which is one of my very favorite bands, and actually our band name, “Oh No! Oh My!” comes from one of their song titles.

I’m also really digging The Boy Least Likely To…I’ve been waiting for that album to come out in the US for ages, because I’m too lazy to order it online. And all of us have just discovered Page France, which blows my mind that it took us so long to find them.

And Midlake. I’m not really sure how many people know about them…one of the best bands playing music at the moment.

JJ: Have you ever received any strange or creepy fanmail?

DANIEL: Nothing particularly strange. I just got an email the other day from a guy that thought we were the Jolly Rogers who play at renaissance festivals. I tried to let him down gently.

JJ: Anything else you'd like to tell us?

DANIEL: Umm….as soon as I get artwork back from our artwork lady…I’m going to be sending our CD to be manufactured in mass quantities…like 250, haha. It’ll include 2 more songs that aren’t currently on the CD-R’s I’ve been sending out, and those are called “Farewell To All My Friends” and “The Backseat.” It’ll also have an updated tracklisting and full color artwork! Woohoo!

These guys are the best. I strongly recommend buying one of those CDs when they come out. For reals!

I never had a sister that you didn't like,
Joe John


Rich said...

Good job. Glad you mentioned this post on GvB, or I might never have found it. I knew next to nothing about the band so reading the interview was great.


JAX said...

Damn. great to be considered big time. I was thinking I was a small fry. I love your blog. You got some style :)

matthew said...

great post, i'll now be watching your blog more closely. i found you via big static, by the way.