Thursday, 20 October 2011 14:37

Wired in #23: Olivemoon

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Finally, I get to introduce a fantastic new band from Spain. Thanks to E&M reader Hannes Brandt I came across the Barcelona based group OLIVEMOON – a band you have to check out if you’re into folky, beautiful music and ready to dream yourself to lovely places in nature. From sound collages to melodies that will get stuck in your head for hours, this band has its very own way of experimenting with sounds and melodies. Give them a listen and read on to find out what they think about creating album concepts, experimenting with unusual instruments, and, of course, living in Europe.

Feeling High by Olivemoon


E&M: From your lyrics I take it nature is an important source of inspiration for your band.

OM: We often find ourselves missing the words to adequately illustrate the emotions we encounter in life. By drawing metaphors from nature, its scenery and its grandeur, we can provoke the senses in a way that is accessible to all. We use nature as a tool to convey our feelings and their intensity.

E&M: I usually ask bands about their favorite city in Europe, but I'd be interested what you guys think the most beautiful spot in European nature is?

OM: There is a space in nature for every moment. Each moment is unique, a sum of singularities that stimulate the senses, it can't be repeated, and we should not try to do so. It's easier for us to describe the sensations we find in Europe that motivate us, like the smell of wet wood in a forest; everything is in the sensations.

E&M: The thickest forest is really a collection of interesting sounds, how did you come up with the idea for the track and which instruments did you use?

OM: The initial idea was to create a sound stage, an environment that could immerse the listener, isolate them in sounds, right at the start of the album, before giving way to the hope of the next track, the small fire that gives us light and warms our hands. Life is nothing more than a dense forest we must go through, the sound stage at the beginning can be interpreted as the beginning of life, and is intertwined with the next track As We Grow. For this, we use the didgeridoo, electric slides and even scraping plates, but this was not a conscious thing, it emerged as a natural beginning to the album.

E&M: Guitar, banjo, mandolin, ukelele, viola, tambourine, xylophone, didgeridoo... you guys all play a variety of instruments. Can you tell us a bit about how you started making music?

OM: We all began by specialising in just one instrument, but where you started is not as important as where you are going. We believe in the sum of little things that make up the whole, we take advantage of many instruments, and this doesn't require us to be virtuosos in each. It is about experimentation, exploration and the intuition to achieve the reflection and communication we aim for.

E&M: Once you know how to play one or two instruments, is it easier to pick up and experiment with new ones?

OM: Each instrument has its own voice, the same words can be expressed totally differently within the same language. Technically, mastering a new instrument takes time, but we always pick up some new instrument to play it and fuse it together with the songs. We use a lot of instruments even though we don't know how to really play them. We like to try new things and often surprise ourselves with the sounds we create, we sometimes use water glasses, pots and other objects to see what they sound like when you play on them and will keep on investigating as long as we have the inspiration for it, and that’ll be for a long time.

E&M: In a recent Wired In interview we discussed the changes the internet brought to our experience with music. What is your take on this issue?
OM: It's an incredible arena for bands and solo artists, everything is more accessible and anyone can record music then make it available for everyone. There is a real culture of sharing, collaboration and reaching out through the virtual world. We believe that's great.
But there is a downside, the listener normally only listens to one, two or three songs from an album and that way may lose the concept and idea of the album as a whole, as one piece of work, one piece of art.
E&M: I saw you guys have your music available on spotify, but do you ever fear that you can't make a living off music if you make it available online?

OM: Yes, we use spotify and other online platforms. We are 100% aware that we can't make a living selling our albums, but right now there are no barriers to musical creativity and our ability to share that. We will never stop our live shows - just wait and see!- interacting with our audience is the most important thing, sharing the moment. People will like us or they won't, some may even leave in the middle. But the ones who really connect with us will likely return to us and support our career as well as our band. We will not be billionaires, but maybe we can keep doing what we love.

E&M: These are rough times for Spain, but we also hear a lot about young Spanish people and students who get together and try to create a movement. How do you perceive what's going on in the country right now?

OM: I think after the dictatorship and the transition to the new young (and not so young) blood, everything moved in the right direction. For a long time, the youth was relaxed, and happy to let things run their course. Now, from the global crisis, and the corruption within the political class, we're beginning to see the people demand change, but there isn't a real united movement yet.

E&M: Are you involved in any way?

OM: Yes, we are. We share the disappointment and frustration with the current situation, on the scale of the country, the European Union, and the world.

E&M: And what does Europe mean to you?

OM: Europe is our family. There is a big world of music to discover, explore and enjoy as a band and as a listener. Really amazing things are happening, always have been, but today they come with a special force. Europe is very large, and each country is a completely different world. If you look at a map of the world, Europe doesn't appear all that large, but in reality there is a world focused on a continent, we want to cover every inch!

E&M: Thanks for the interview guys!

For more on Olivemoon check out their website at www.olivemoonmusic.com.

Last modified on Thursday, 20 October 2011 17:26

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