Written by Jill Sheets, Relate Contributing Writer
(Oh, The Story!, Photo by Jesse DeFlorio)
Recently, we got the honor of interviewing two of the band members from the up-and-coming band out of Baltimore, MD called Oh, The Story!. We talked to lead singer James [center in above photo] and the guitarist JW[far left in above photo]. We hope that you enjoy the interview, because we certainly enjoyed interviewing them! Keep an eye on this band, girls. With an appearance on MTV, a great attitude and some killer recommendations (one being from us), they might just hit it big…
R: Tell us about yourselves?
Jw: We are a band from Baltimore, Maryland and we are just a bunch of guys that love music.
R: How long did you all know each other before making the band? How did you meet?
Jw: I met James when I was playing with other bands around Baltimore and I ended up joining the band. We had some line up changes right before we went in the studio to record “Sea of Stars,” so James and I recorded the album with the help of our friend Justin Chapman and we kind of built the band around the EP. We met Chris and Josh through one of our close friends and we knew John since he was in one of the previous line ups and he introduced us to Scott. It was really crazy how we all met, but everything fell into place pretty well.
R: How long has the band been together?
Jw: James put out a record in 2007 before he decided to solidify the line up. We joke around and say that he used to have commitment issues, but he decided to tie the knot with this line up in January 09 and we’ve been on the honeymoon ever since.
R: How did you come up with the name of your band?
James: I guess the name is just a reflection of our intentions. People create music for a lot of different reasons, but hopefully with the same core reason [human connection]. We want our music to tell a story that’s both relatable and emotionally engaging.
R: What makes you different from other bands?
James: Something I’ve always found relatively unique to our band is an ability to bend the ‘pop’ rules and make music that’s both catchy and matchless.
R: How would you describe your music?
James: I wouldn’t. No, I guess I really couldn’t. It’s difficult, you know? How can I describe it without comparing it to something else (which I have a difficult time doing), or having to carefully dodge any adjectives that would sound disdainful? I’m of the “Make Your Own Judgement” philosophy.
R: Who are your musical influences?
James: We’re influenced by everything from pop to jazz, hip-hop to indie rock.
R: What bands and singers do you listen to?
JW: Again, this is very different for everyone– some of us are into indie, folk, some into hardcore and everything in between. We all seem to agree on “Death Cab,” “As Tall As Lions,” “Say Anything” and “Good Old War,” though.
R: Tell us about your album “Sea of Stars?”
James: “Sea of Stars” is a fictional parable, with the main theme being the tried-and-true “Love Has No Bounds.”
R: Tell us about your new single.
James: “The Astronomer” is the first song on the EP. The story begins with a boy who is growing up in a world he doesn’t have much faith in. Before becoming a complete pessimist, he sees a star, but there’s something special about it. You find out more in the next song, “Keep Your Eyes to the North.”
(James, Photo by Jesse DeFlorio)
R: Where can people get “Sea of Stars?”
James: iTunes, Amazon, pretty much anywhere online.
R: I love the title of your album. How did you come up with the name?
James: There’s a line in “The Astronomer” that goes “And in an endless sea of stars, under the blanket of the sky, I have found one pair of eyes, and they are staring back at mine…” I loved the imagery, and the idea that the sea of stars between the two characters in the story was what I was really writing about.
R: Where do you get your ideas for the songs that you write?
James: I think you can ask most writers and get the same response, but my ideas find me, I don’t find them.
R: Normally, how long does it take to write a song?
Jw: It varies a lot. Some songs come together really fast and we’ll finish an entire song in a day. Other times we will have pieces or riffs that we really like that we have for months before they ever get used.
R: Could you briefly describe your music-making process?
James: Typically one of us brings a piece or pieces of a song to the rest of the group, and we build up from there.
R: Tell us about your nomination for the “Best Music on Campus” at The MTVU Woodie Awards 2009.
Jw: Well, the Best Music on Campus category was based on an online nation-wide battle of the bands that we signed up for. We started spreading the word about it and we ended up getting enough votes to make it to the top 5 where we received our official nomination. Then, when we made it to the top 2, MTV sent us to New York City and we got to go to the awards show, which was really incredible.
R: What is the best thing about being in a band?
Jw: There are so many great things about being in a band. I would say my favorite thing is the music. Our music comes from a very personal place and it’s a great feeling to write a song and feel like you really got something off your chest. Also, it’s amazing when other people hear our music and find something within it that they can connect with. Our music means so much to us that it’s an amazing feeling when it means something to someone else, too.
R: What is the best and worse thing about touring?
Jw: The best part about tour is that it is basically like an extended road trip with your best friends and you get to play music the entire way. It’s definitely hard sometimes having long drives and no money, but its definitely worth it.
R: If you could open up for anyone, who would it be and why?
Jw: Wow, that’s a tough question. I think it would probably be different for each member of the band, but one of our favorite bands as a group is “Death Cab,” so if we ever got to open for them we’d all be pretty pumped.
R: What is your favorite song to perform?
Jw: I really like playing “The Astronomer” and “Sin, Repent, Repeat” because I love it when the crowd sings along with us.
James: We’ve been playing a new song (tentatively titled “Evelyn,”) and that’s been fun.
R: Do you have any up-and-coming concert dates? If so, where are they?
(JW, Photo by Jesse DeFlorio)
R: Do your fans still need to contact you for tickets for your concerts? If so, where can they reach you?
Jw: Fans can always get in touch with us through our myspace and twitter. We try really hard to respond to everyone that writes to us because we really appreciate all of the support that people show us and our fans are just as much a part of Oh, The Story! as we are.
R: What is the best advice you have ever gotten and by who?
James: I believe the Legendary Pro-Baseball player Kenny Powers once said, “I’m not going to stop yelling because that would mean, I lost the fight!” Think about that for a second. That’s deep.
Jw: Truer words have never been spoken.
R: What advice would you give someone who wanted to be a singer or in a band?
Jw: I would say go for it with everything you have and write music that you believe in. Music isn’t always (if ever) easy, but if [you] love what you’re doing, it’s worth it.
R: What do you do in your spare time?
James: I’m doing research for a novel that I intend to write, and I do a lot of hiking. Oh, and I’m addicted to ABC’s “LOST.”
R: What are your future goals?
James: I just wanna be happy when I grow up.
Jw: (laughs) Well we want to keep writing and performing, for as long as possible .
R: Are you on any social networking sites? If so, which ones and what are their addresses?
R: Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?
James: My favorite was, “Where did you come up with the name [insert other name than Oh, the Story!]?”
R: Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?
Jw: We love you and thank you so much for everything. We wouldn’t be anything without you and we appreciate all of the support.
Visit the band’s website! Make your comments about the band below!