Before MTV the only thing I knew about New Jersey was that it was the home of over the top looks that somehow stuck around long after the ‘80s were said and done. While that’s still the case, reality TV gave the world a skewed outlook on the state. Well that’s just one side of the story and OWEL is here to show you another, one that’s got a sense of class.
Taking the idea of a band and adding orchestration, gives them an edge on the others but that’s just the surface of what OWEL has to offer. With a new EP out, they’re working while you sleep and taking on dragons in between. Now continue reading and get acquainted with the 5-piece from Jersey.
Kendra: Congrats on the release of Every Good Boy. What’s one lesson you learned from making this EP that you’ll never forget and take along with you when you all head on to make the next record?
Jay: Thank you very much. I think I learned once again that being super particular about how things should be is rarely a bad thing.
Jane: The lesson I learned personally was to be well rested and super prepared. Recording all those string layers in such a fixed amount of time was equal parts exciting and grueling so it’s important to be in a good mental and physical state before going in.
Ryan: For this EP, we worked on the songs in rehearsal and live for about 6 months before heading into the studio. This allowed us to really shape the songs to be exactly the way we wanted them. In the past we would record new songs before playing them out live, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I know personally I hate hearing the recording and thinking of a new idea after its done. With this recording we tried to leave no stone unturned.
Kendra: The one thing I liked about you guys right away was the TV-headed people on your Facebook. Are you big TV fans? If so, what show would you die if they called you up and wanted to feature one of your tracks?
Jay: It’s funny because when I’m not making music with OWEL, I’m making music for television commercials. Also there have been a couple shows that have used OWEL songs before. And yes it’s a pretty cool feeling to be watching the screen and then all of a sudden you’re like, “Wait… I know that song!”
Seamus: I am a huge fan of TV. I remember seeing Sigur Ros on Game of Thrones where Jonsi and the gang were actually in the show. Then the epic outro track as well. Game of Thrones would be crazy.
Jane: I would die if one of our songs was ever used on Game of Thrones, or So You Think You Can Dance. Can you imagine those choreographers working with our song? That would be everything.
Kendra: One of my favorites was “All the World’s Asleep.” What’s something you do when everyone else is dreaming and you’re wide awake?
Jay: During those hours I am most likely lying in bed, mentally going over everything that has ever gone wrong in the past month or so, while trying to fall asleep to white noise.
Nunzio: I’m very much a night person, that’s when I get most of my thinking done. During the day my head is completely wrapped up with my 9-5 job that everything else hits me at night and my brain starts going a thousand miles an hour. Late night is good for musical inspiration or getting the band “business” end of things done.
Kendra: Something you can’t help but notice if you have very elegant instruments, not something you see everyday. Was that the initial idea behind the band? Let’s have some violin in there?
Jay: Before Jane (our violinist/keyboardist) joined the band it was me, Ryan, Seamus, and we had a different bassist at the time. I knew something was missing, but I was pretty sure we didn’t need yet another guitarist. We were thinking we’d try to find either a string or brass player, but we also needed that person to be a bit of a multi-instrumentalist–after all, not every song needs string or brass. I knew Jane since we were kids so she was the first person I thought of.
Jane: I actually happened to catch them play a show in my neighborhood, and it had been years since Jay and I last talked. That’s when he asked me to join them for a practice. At practice, I was really impressed at how focused they were and excited to contribute to their sound. It didn’t take much to convince me to join and I’m so happy I did.
Kendra: Elegant isn’t something that comes to mind when you hear New Jersey for obvious reasons thanks to MTV. Other than that show, what’s a huge misconception of where you call home?
Nunzio: I think you hit it on the head with the Jersey Shore reference. And funny thing, most of the cast members aren’t even from NJ! That’s definitely not what Jersey is about. When I think of NJ I’ll always think of how great the music scene is, and how great it always was as far back as I remember. You always hear how great NYC is for music (and I lived there for a number of years as well) but nothing beats the Jersey scene. SO many local bands have made it pretty big and we’ve been lucky enough to be here to see them play the small intimate venues and eventually blow up. I hope that the out of state people get to experience that part, and erase the Jersey Shore stigma.
Kendra: Will you guys be heading out on tour anytime soon? I’m sure with a new album, you all have something in the works.
Jay: Nothing that we can announce just yet, but we’ll keep you guys posted
Kendra: With Mother’s Day having just passed, I want you to make a mama mixtape. So give me five songs!
Seamus: It’s funny how easy this mix will be. My mom only had 3 tapes in the car while I was from the age of 3 to 8. “Barbara Ann” by The Beach Boys, “I Would Do Anything For Love” by Meat Loaf, “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” by The Beach Boys, “Carolina In My Mind” by James Taylor, and “Margaritaville” by Jimmy Buffett.
Nunzio: “Good Day Sunshine” by the Beatles, because as a little kid I remember she would sing it in the mornings while opening the window shades to wake my brothers and I up for school. Paul Simon’s “Me and Julio,” because the 3 trouble-making boys in the song could definitely be me and my brothers. Sinatra’s “My Way,” because it reminds us of her father who passed away a few years ago. Then I’d throw in anything by Whitney Houston and maybe a Police tune. Love you, ma!