New Friends: Odesza Playlist And Interview
Clayton Knight and Harrison Mills, otherwise known as Odesza, make music that brightly contrasts against the backdrop of Seattle's notoriously grey sky.
Knight recently sat down with us to give a glimpse into touring life, local bands both dudes can't get enough of and how they're staying grounded through it all. Since being on the road means meeting tons of people, both Knight and Mills have collected more than enough new friends to share.
When you're out in Seattle, what are your favorite things to do?
Definitely hanging by the water, I live in Magnolia. Making music when we're here, too. We just set up a new studio. So, yeah, hanging out with friends and making tunes.
Where's the studio located?
We have it all set up in this basement, dungeon type thing in Harrison's brother's basement.
Growing up in Seattle what kind of music were you listening to? What influenced you?
I would listen to a lot of pop. I was also practicing classical piano in high school and before that- so eight years? But then, I went to college at Western Washington University and I got introduced to a lot of new music. A lot more on the experimental side. Animal Collective was a big one for me, M83, weirder underground with more experimental sounds. Broken Social Scene was big for me, Gold Panda... I had a huge phase the list could go on. Now I've evolved into listening to everything. I try and take in as much as possible.
You went on that big tour with Pretty Lights and recently you were on tour with Kodak to Graph and D33j; What're the relationships like on tour?
It depends on who you're with, but we've toured before with everyone on one bus which was great. With Pretty Lights we didn't make music together as much as I'd have liked. There's a lot of sharing of unreleased material that happens. It's hard to write on tour, but, yeah, it's a lot of sharing back and forth. We were locked in a van on tour with Kodak to Graph and D33j, so that was quite the experience. Stuck together 5 to 8 hours a day. So, yeah, it's a lot of sharing and asking, "Yo, how'd you make that sound?" or "You know, I really love what you did with those notes." That's what happens more than sitting down and talking together because space is so limited.
That does sound pretty tight, hopefully you don't have claustrophobia in those small spaces. Yeah, you get real cuddly, real fast on those kinds of tours.
It's a lot of sharing and asking, "Yo, how'd you make that sound?" or "You know, I really love what you did with those notes."
Seattle, right now and in the past, has had heavy garage rock and grunge influences. Right now bands like Dial Up and Customs have become really huge. How as the city's past influenced your sound? How has the changing times affected the way you make music or influenced your sound at all?
I listen to a lot of indie music still, but that's also because that's what popular in the music scene here- it's also what influences our sound, indie electronic.
Are there any bands, local or otherwise, that you keep telling your friends to listen to?
Kodak to Graph, I love everything he does. Let me pull up my Soundcloud really quick... the band Panama, people should check them out. There's just so much music. Sometimes I just spend my entire day on Soundcloud.
For your No Sleep mixes, what's the process behind making mixes like that?
We're kind of all over the map in terms of what we like in the moment. We'll just scroll through our Soundcloud likes for the past month and just dig out a bunch of music, and then choose what we think will work together.
How has the rise been in terms of staying grounded? What's it like trying balance all of it so quickly?
I basically just hang out with people from high school to be honest. It doesn't really hit you in Seattle. I guess it hasn't really hit me until we look at our play count, but it doesn't feel out of control at all. Being with my friend group helps me stay as grounded as possible, ha.
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