July 13th, 2012

Homegrown Exclusive Interview: Seth Bolin of Oh Osiris

For our second Homegrown Exclusive Interview, we spoke with electronic musician Seth Bolin, also known as Oh Osiris. His track “A Summer At Sea” can be found on SMCU’s Homegrown album.

How did you get started?
This project, Oh Osiris, started in 2008. Back then, I had been playing in a lot of punk bands. Having always been a fan of more relaxed electronic music, I wanted to find a more intricate genre and style to suit myself. Soon, I had acquired my first piece of software that would allow me to experiment with sound design and composition, and instantly fell in love with writing electronic and lo-fi music. I was recording everything from wrenches dropping on the floor to the strange sounds my cat would often make, and would then tweak those sounds as much as possible, essentially making a horrid mess of noise. But hey, I was learning.

How would you describe your sound?
The sound of Oh Osiris is a blend of instrument synthpop and electronic/indie-dance chillwave. Since it is organically influenced, it is easy for listeners to be intrigued by the simplicity of its calming rhythms. The ambient yet optimistic quality provides interesting atmospheric textures woven within each beat.

What do you listen to when you’re on the road?
It really all depends on the weather and who is with me, if anybody. I am a huge fan of bands like The Aquabats, Streetlight Manifesto, and NoFX on warm days. I’ll throw on some Blink 182 or Hellogoodbye sometimes as well. When the energy dies down or it is raining, some more mellow music seems to fit the scenery, like Simon & Garfunkel, Neil Young, and Brian Eno.

What’s your favorite road trip story?
In 2009, I went up to Vancouver, B.C. with a couple of friends to attend a show. While out exploring the town, we met an ex-shopping cart racer. I had thought “Oh, small hills. Nothing too absurd. It actually sounds like fun.” I was wrong. These people ride on the backs of shopping carts that are weighed down with rocks, bottles, garbage, and are going at least fifty miles per hour down these massive hills. They fund it all by collecting recyclables throughout neighborhoods. This man had broken several bones during his days on the B.C. Shopping Cart Circuit. That’s not a real thing, the circuit. But it probably should be.

What kind of impact has being from the Pacific Northwest had on your music?
In the Pacific Northwest, the cities, forests, mountains, oceans, and deserts are all so close together. This being the case, it has allowed me to explore all of these different regions and imagine so many scenarios, film scripts, and surreal experiences happening there. From these daydreams, music blooms. Whether or not it sounds good at conception, it is often hard to tell.

What sort of experience do you have with credit unions or co-ops?
I have been using a credit union for a few years now. They have always been very personable, welcoming, and I have never had a single occurrence that I was displeased with.

Our Homegrown Exclusive Interview series will continue next week with Hey Marseilles and Brian Ledford And The Cadillac Desert.

To listen to Oh Osiris and 15 other Washington bands, download Homegrown for free here.

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