We first featured O&O just recently when they released their fantastic single ‘Some Days’ (which you can see below). We were lucky enough to catch up Obadiah and Orian on Friday evening at C2C.
First of all I want to ask you about geography. Obadiah, you’re from Colorado and Orian you’re from Israel and you now both live in London. How did all that come about?
Obadiah: We both went to the Liverpool Institute of performing arts and we were in the same class and we met and started playing music together. We both graduated and then joined forces!
How exciting was it when you found out you’d be playing at C2C festival?
Orian: We were very excited, especially as at first we thought we weren’t going to play. We got the rejection email, saying ‘sorry, we can’t have you this year’. But then later on we got offered a slot which made it even more exciting – they added some extra stages and more opportunities came up. When we got on the stage today it just hit – these guys are serious country fans!
We recently featured your latest single ‘Some Days’ which was inspired by your recent trip to Nashville?
Orian: Actually, Obadiah started writing some of the riff and the melody while we were staying in Nashville and then we developed the lyrics and the melody together. Do you remember what inspired the chords?
Obadiah: Just being in Nashville was really inspiring – just seeing so much live music and meeting so many songwriters. We were lucky enough to be there for almost a month, so we got a good taste of it.
You played a bit too while you were over there?
Orian: We were staying with the owner of Two Old Hippies, it’s such a lovely place and venue and it was great to play there. She knows so many people in the city too, so she was able to introduce us to a lot of people. We played at the Bluebird too – that was super nerve-wracking!
Obadiah: It’s legendary for a reason!
It’s been said that your sound compares to ‘Fleetwood Mac meets the Civil Wars’. How do you feel when comparisons like these are made and how would you describe your sound?
Obadiah: I mean, we’re flattered because Fleetwood Mac are heroes of ours and especially that Buckingham/Nicks duo.
Orian: We definitely draw from duos that do a lot of vocal harmony – Simon and Garfunkel are one of our heroes as well, the Everley Brothers. We really like that classic old school sound, with vocal harmonies, so I would say we draw from that. Lyrically I would say just something authentic but interesting – most of the songs we’ve written so far are autobiographical, so we’ll see how it develops.
You’ve sung with Paul McCartney! That must have been amazing?!
Joint: It was!
Obadiah: I’m a huge Beatles fan. They were the reason I picked up a guitar when I was five. It was a dream come true, really surreal. I’ve been looking at their pictures for my entire life, but it seemed strange to be alone in a room with him!
Orian: Let alone singing at the same time. We didn’t know he was going to sing! We were singing a song that we wrote and we were waiting to hear his feedback. But he had the lyrics in front of him and starts adding third part harmony – and we were like, that’s Paul McCartney’s voice! He does have it somewhere in his personal archive, so it exists somewhere in the ether!
I’m always intrigued to find out an artist’s song writing process, especially with a duo. Give us an insight into your process.
Obadiah: The songs that we’ve released have all been co-writes. The songs usually start with me noodling around on the guitar and coming up with a riff and a germ of an idea and then we’ll flesh it out.
Orian: I think it’s different every time, we don’t always necessarily start with chords or lyrics or whatever. Sometimes I’ll have an idea and say ‘can we just work on this lyric for a bit?’ and he’ll put music to it.
Obadiah: Yeah, I think the music side and the melody comes more easily first.
Orian: Melody is the thing that comes most easily to both of us I think. And obviously the harmony for Obadiah and it’s definitely all guitar based. We write very bare – it’s just us two and a guitar. What can we do that’s interesting with our voices and a guitar? It would be interesting to try a different way – to start with a drum beat for example, but I think this way, you hear in the final product it’s very guitar and vocal based and it just comes out as our style.
Obadiah: We have written some songs on piano too, and those always come out different too.
Have you written with other people?
Orian: So far, for the stuff we’ve released it was just the two of us, but in Liverpool we were writing separately and with other people. But I think it would be interesting to write with other people, I’m always interested to see what could come out of that.
Have you got any dream people you’d like to work with?
Obadiah: (whispering to the recording device) Chris Stapleton!
You do vocal harmony tutorials on YouTube? Is that something you intend to develop?
Orian: We started it as a way of communicating with people which was different. As independent artists you’re constantly promoting your music. So we asked, what can we give that’s interesting and music related and something where we’re not simply asking them for attention, we’re actually given them something for their attention. What can we teach people? So we talk about harmony and just did a recent one about songwriting. It’s grown our YouTube channel and it’s fun!
You’ve covered so many different genres in the videos – including Lady Gaga, Fleetwood Mac and even Harry Stiles?
Obadiah: We do anything that we like! The harmonies make it more of our own style.
Orian: We do full time music, so we perform a lot of covers for events like weddings. We play these different styles, but we’ve kinda learnt how to make it our own.
Obadiah: It’s been great practice and when you learn so many great songs, hopefully something will rub off on you.
What are your hopes and plans for the rest of 2018?
We’ll be going into the studio again, hopefully to come up with an E.P. We’re also playing Buckle and Boots festival in June. We’re looking forward to that and we’re also looking forward to booking a tour around the new music!