Not just anyone could pull off having eight people on stage at once, but Philadelphia’s OhBree make it look easy. After just one listen to any of their songs, it’s plain to see that the octet are all about having a good time. But although their music is upbeat and catchy, the lyrical content tackles some serious issues.
The band–consisting of Andrew Scott (vocals/keys), Adam Laub (drums), Bob Iacono (trumpet), Tyler Mack (trombone/guitar), Lucas Kozinski (guitar), Kyle Press (saxophone), Michael Aherne (bass) and Connor Przybyszewski (trombone)–mix elements of indie and pop with a horn section to create a unique listening experience with every play.
Today, we bring you the premiere of “Tiny Tethers” off of the band’s upcoming album, Burn Bridges, Burn Pies, due out May 19. The track is a piano-driven, roller coaster of fun from start to finish.
When asked about the track, Scott said:
“‘Tiny Tethers’ is a song about a guy who is trying to hold onto absolutely anything that will keep his world from falling into complete shambles. Someone named Olsson Culliver completely ruined his life, and now he’s scrounging for something to keep him tethered to reality. There are ‘ten tiny tethers’ in this case, because who doesn’t love alliteration!”
Keep up with OhBree through their website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Pre-order the album here before April 14 to get your name printed in the liner notes! You can stream “Tiny Tethers,” and read an interview with the band below.
With 8 members in the band, does it ever feel like there are” too many cooks in the kitchen” per say? Or do you guys have your writing and recording routine down to a science at this point?
Andrew Scott: I think that over the years we’ve learned how use everyone’s talents to our advantage. We all have very different strong points and we’re all pretty conscious about who’s good at what. I’ll come in with some chords, lyrics and a melody, our drummer/producer Adam will give the song a better structure, and will even sift through old demos to mash ideas together and create something I never would have thought of. Then our horn players Tyler and Bob transpose melody lines and figure out what is even physically possible in the awful demos I send them. By the end of it, we have a song that is usually completely different that what I came in with, but conveys the story and feeling so much better!
Is everyone in the band a seasoned instrumentalist? Did anyone learn to play just because the band was starting?
AS: For the most part, everyone had been playing their instrument for a while before the band started. Our wonderful bass player Mike had been playing guitar but picked up the bass super quickly when he joined. Personally, I only started playing piano because my songwriting on guitar got stale. I never played piano seriously before writing music for OhBree, and I know that any piano teacher would scream in horror if they saw me use my knuckles to smash those 3rds in my block chords.
There are a lot of characters and interesting storylines that come into play throughout your albums. Where do these ideas for songs come from?
AS: I’ve always loved musical theater, sci-fi, and fantasy, and I think I’ve been trying to mimic those concepts. I loved the idea of creating a character, giving them a background and a story, and then singing a song from their perspective. I did a lot of that on our first album, We Miss You Edward, Come Home. I ended up wanting to continue a lot of the characters stories so I kept singing from their perspectives, and now their lives are scattered throughout all of our releases. Edward himself is even on the new album!
When you first started writing music for OhBree, did you ever think there would be all of these interwoven stories and characters? Or did it just develop as each new album was released?
Adam Laub: There were a lot of songs that had these backstories, so at the start it was kind of like clusters of different events. We would realize that a few songs were about this character, or a few songs were about a certain event. Eventually, we had all of these songs telling a few key stories about a handful of characters and throughout the new album (and upcoming game) we found ways to logically link those clusters of stories into some sort of cohesive tale. It was kind of half and half. It started as an accident but as we progressed it became clearer and clearer that we had a story we wanted to tell.
How did the songs on Burn Bridges, Burn Pies come together? Did it all come out as one creative rush or did it take a while to get all the concepts ready?
AL: Our last record, Death by Broomstick, was recorded in a very short time frame under a fairly strict schedule (I was producing the record for a college course). By the time we were done with that, we had used up just about every one of the ideas we had. Over the next few years, Andrew began to write a few riffs and chord progressions and some basic melody ideas. That’s when we really started to form the record, by going into the studio and chopping up different ideas and placing things next to each other and trying to make songs out of the demos. All in all, I would say that once we had a few demo ideas, the tracks fell into place pretty quickly.
Any certain song on the new album that means the most to you personally or collectively as a band?
AS: I think the song “Motivation For A Dying Man” will always be special to me. It was one of the first songs I ever wrote for OhBree, but didn’t make it onto a record until now. It’s a very stripped-down tune with lyrics that have a very circular feel. It’s supposed to express the idea of feeling like shit and just letting it get worse because you feel too shitty to fix it. Something I think a lot of humans can relate to.
AS: Ohhhhhh yeah you bet! Monty Python is a big one. I think their sense of humor is amazing and translates super well to music. I am definitely inspired to create a sense of humor that is decidedly “silly” like they are. Other than that, although it is music related, Broadway has also been a big influence. Phantom of the Opera, Chicago, and The Producers have all had a big hand in shaping my musical tastes, haha.
It seems that you guys mix the serious with the strange and create something fun with a message. What do you hope that listeners will take away from Burn Bridges, Burn Pies?
AS: Some of the best songs I know are only good because they were crafted by someone who was VERY serious about being silly, and VERY silly about being serious. Hopefully we hit that mark, too!