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OdESSA - OdESSA Newsletter Interview

28 Sep 2021 // An interview by Shade

Your favourite garage funksters are back with a new look, a refined sound and a new track - the first in over 13 years!

2021 has been electrifying for the high energy funk band OdESSA after their show-stealing performances at Garden City Magic, CubaDupa and Newtown Festival. OdESSA have then gone on to release their first new single since 2009, It’s Gonna Get Better - now available on Bandcamp, Spotify and Soundcloud. Muzic.net.nz spoke to Paul from OdESSA about who they would like to tour with, what the next year holds for them and much, much more:

How did you become involved in music?

I met most of the guys that became OdESSA way back in 1999 and we formed the band in 2002. I was pretty late to singing really, I was 25 when the band started, so I had to learn quick.

What NZ bands and musicians would you like to tour with, and why?

We were about to do shows with Revulva before the lockdown, so looking forward to that happening soon. Housewitches are amazing live. Going on tour with The Richter City Rebels (pictured) (who we collaborated with on our recent recording) would be a wild, funky time.

Which one of your songs are you most proud of, and why?

That’s a tough question. There’s a few ways to look at it. The song of ours that has been the most successful is Bring The Money Back and it’s very gratifying to me that people are still discovering that one after all these years. As far as songs I’m proud of from a writing point of view, there’s one called Is That You Calling that I feel we achieved something special on. Promises, Promises I can put on for new people and not cringe as well. Plus there’s one we recorded recently called Ancient Ruins that I’m particularly proud of.

How would you describe your music to someone who hasn't heard it before?

It’s predominantly a funk/soul thing, it’d be safe to say. But there’s country, jazz, pop elements in there too, and hard rock and roll. It’s hard to be genre specific isn’t it – a good song is a good song. But we like to entertain, to get people moving. Our audiences leave with smiles on their faces. That’s all that counts. To me anyway!

What can we expect to see from you in the next year?

We’re releasing new music that we’re excited about. We’re planning to record a number of mini albums, put one out every 3-4 months, something like that. We’ll be touring a bit too, depending on how things go with lockdowns and the like.

What NZ bands and musicians would you like to see more of, and why?

I lived in London for five years and only returned last year, so I’ve been reacquainting myself with the scene here. It’s astonishing, the talent we have here. The scene in just Wellington alone blows my mind.

Who are your favourite NZ bands and musicians?

When I came back from London and heard Troy Kingi's All Your Ships Have Sailed I immediately wanted to get back into music. A light just went on. I thought, this is it. I’ve been writing ever since.

What local albums have you been listening to recently?

Housewitches released a cool record this year called Animal Husbandress that more people need to know about. I gravitate toward great lyricists. Neverwoz The Elysian EP. Crossbones by Bill Hickman is a favourite, and Autopilot Life by Miles Calder is outstanding. Nest by Mystery Waitress, I love everything they do. I could go on and on!

What is your favourite NZ venue, and why?

It doesn't exist anymore but early in our career we basically lived at Bar Bodega in Wellington, we played there about 50 times in the space of a couple of years, so many great memories.

Have you got any tips for dealing with nerves before a gig?

I’m a mess before gigs. My pre-show anxiety got so bad after many years that that was largely why I took a five year break. But I learned that the nervousness itself is an important part of the process, it’s where you get the energy from. That’s half the fear for me: where am I going to find the energy from to get up there and do that thing? Especially halfway through a tour. Anxiety is good fuel if you can learn how to use it.

How do you balance your music with other obligations; family, job etc?

A lot of the hard work begins late at night or very early in the morning, songwriting, arranging, demoing, emails, booking shows, getting everyone together in the same room is a task in itself.

Where do you get your inspiration to create music from?

Everywhere, family, friends, heartache, love, adventures, politics, social commentary.. Anything is fair game!

What is the one thing you want NZ to know about OdESSA?

That we’re for everybody.

What has been your most memorable show to date?

There’s so many, but Big Day Out 2006 comes to mind. Just having been there years before as a fan, wishing I could one day do something up on a big stage like that, then being there, the same BDO The Stooges played at. It was very special to have that moment.

What can you never leave home without?

You find you’ll always need your phone charger on the days you decided not to bring it with you. Other than that, my notebooks.

How did you come up with the name OdESSA?

We name ourselves after the coolest girl we knew. In actual fact, she gave us our first gig, playing at her go-away party, as she was moving overseas. She’d heard us jamming at her friend’s flat and asked us to play. So we named ourselves after her. By the time she came back a few years later, we’d sort of blown up locally. Fortunately she didn’t mind.

What rumour would you like to start about OdESSA?

We are young and cool.

Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?

Inflatable neck-pillows are your friend. And don’t get drunk at music industry award shows, no good ever comes of it.

Check out OdESSA on Muzic.net.nz


About OdESSA

OdESSA have a solid reputation as one of New Zealand’s most exciting live bands. Their addictive blend of Rock RnB, electrifying grooves and phenomenal energy are sure to grab your attention.

OdESSA kick along the dusty centre-line where Rock 'n' Roll and R 'n' B first cross-mutated, with memorable songs played inside out – night after night.

OdESSA is a fluid and inventive rhythm section, with searing licks and dirty guitar grooves, polished off with strong, soulful vocals – playing wild to hot, sweaty crowds going crazy in a heady swirl of streetlights and hormones – exactly the way it's supposed to be. The 2021 edition has the addition of a horn section and keyboards.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for OdESSA


Bring Me The Head Of Pepe Lopez
Year: 2010
Type: Album
The Prize
Year: 2007
Type: Album
Oak Park Avenue
Year: 2005
Type: Album

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