Ahead of the release of their debut self-titled LP through Resist Records, we caught up Sydney based post-punk quartet Oslow for the lowdown on the present, past and future.
Let's start with a brief history of the band. How did Oslow come to be?
[Dylan] We met in high school. Jacob, Alex and myself had played together for a couple of years previous in various incarnations with a couple of other people. We met Sean, who initially joined the band to play keys in an early “Rise Records” worship band.
Where did the name Oslow come from?
[Dylan] We had played around with names like Oswald and similar alternatives when my partner Olivia suggested Oslo. Sadly that was taken so we added a “W”. Easy fix.
What bands have influenced the shape and sound of Oslow?
[Dylan] Two releases in particular motivated us to get back in a room and start jamming together, Clean Head EP by Oceana and Come Now Sleep by As Cities Burn. The band we bonded over in the early years was Alexisonfire. Since then bands like Title Fight and the Sydney DIY music scene, especially venues Blackwire Records and Beatdisc Records have had a huge influence.
How would you describe the sound of Oslow to someone who's never heard you before, or to a colleague at work or relative?
[Dylan] Sad, guitar music.
Your new self-titled album is set to be released by Resist Records. How did the partnership with Resist come about?
[Dylan] Graham has been really supportive of our band/s over the past couple of years offering us supports for some of our favourite bands, coming to our shows and stocking our record in his shop. It was the dream to put out a record on Resist since we were kids so we sent a few tracks of the record over and he was stoked and there was no question as to whether we would say yes.
Why not give the album a title for this release?
[Dylan] We tried a few different titles during mixing but nothing really felt right. Self-Titled was the one we all agreed the most on and we figured our debut album would be the best time to go down that road.
Where did the recording of the new album take place at? Is the recording studio still a daunting place to be?
[Dylan] We recorded the drums, some vocals and most of the guitars at 301 in Alexandria with Dylan Adams and Antonia Gauci. It was super daunting as we had done most of our previous releases in smaller studios or someones bedroom. It was a really great experience being around and using such extreme gear and watching Dylan and Antonia work was amazing.
We did the rest of the recording and mixing at Dylans studio in Coogee where we had done our previous 7” so that was much more comfortable, especially for vocals.
Listening to your self-titled debut LP, the sound of Title Fight immediately comes to mind. Do you find this a common reference point and a fair comparison?
[Sean] We definitely are all influenced by Title Fight. Shed and Floral Green were particularly special albums for us, both thematically and in their instrumentation. It's an honour to be compared to them, really.
Do you have a favourite track off the new album? Why that one in particular?
[Sean] My favorite is ‘Nothing Yet’. It is such a joy to play live. It's at a dynamic apex of the album, and for me, occupies the same sort of space in the live set - it's where I want to be, energetically and emotionally.
What are you most proud of with the release of the new album?
[Sean] I think for the most part, we're proud that it is our album. Writing and recording a full length release has been our dream since we started playing together, and it's an incredible feeling to see it finally come to fruition. We're also so grateful for the amazing work of some of our best friends with all their contributions to the art of the album - photographs, artworks and video. We're constantly awestruck by their talents and are proud to have worked with them.
What do you think is perhaps the biggest misconception about Oslow?
[Sean] We try to be pretty transparent for the most part. Lots of people struggle with the 'w' in Oslow, however.
Describe a perfect show for Oslow?
[Sean] Or favourite shows are the ones where we are intimately engaged with the audience; our friends. The perfect shows have no stage - there's people standing around the amps, taking the microphone and singing better then we can, and laughing at you while you're trying to tune in the dark. Also Eddie Van Halen and Prince would play too.
What's in store for the future of Oslow?
[Sean] We can't wait to tour this album and share it with Australia. We're also looking forward to just jamming again and coming up with new riffs and songs and stories to share.