ODESZA lights up Apollo stage. See concert footage and read the interview here

Photo: Andreas RaunBC_Andreas_Raun_Arneberg_22


Harrison and Clayton are the old friends who make up ODESZA, an electronic music duo that played a live set Wednesday night at Roskilde. The show was scheduled the same time as the Red Hot Chili Peppers but the turnout for the performance at Apollo was pretty substantial. Both sound and visuals were on point as the band, which included a horn section, lit up the box-like stage.


It all felt very authentic. That has much to do with the success of the band starting with a simple online presence backed by an ever-growing fan base. ODESZA have been on a world tour for the past couple months although technically they have never missed a month of touring in the past two years! Certainly, they have played bigger sets than the turnout on Wednesday. But it was so good. Like a good ‘good’. That ‘good’ when you ask someone if they are well, and they say they are good, and you just know that they are really are at peace, so it makes you smile a bit. Just the type of show that makes Roskilde special. And this feeling was reflected both from the stage and in person. An overarching graciousness that you don’t see much in with artists these days. And a humbling time thanks to the integrity of ODESZA and team.BC_Andreas_Raun_Arneberg_21


Playing twice in Copenhagen previously, with their first show in Christiania, Harrison and Clay were pretty impressed when I told them that the police and the ‘pushers’ of Roskilde played a friendly football match at Street City. Delving into details about this festival area’s unique subculture including a huge skatepark:


You guys skate a bit right?

C: I used to, but my ankle got all messed up.


You guys just had a couple days off in Hamburg right? Not usual to have time off when you’re on tour…Do you have a favorite European city?

C: It was nice we had this great big place to relax for a bit in Germany.

H: We just played in Paris, and France has always been insane to us. Every time we go there is just gets better and better. The fan base is great.


France has definitely had an integral role in the EDM community.

H: I think they have just always been really dance music oriented in general. So that there is an openness to the sounds changing.

C: A lot of European places aren’t super used to step-beats. It’s usually a lot more like four on the floor stuff versus our sets which are usually like 1/3 hip hop, 1/3 trap, and a 1/3 four on the floor. Sometimes it will do well, and sometimes it won’t. But a whole set really wins over in Paris.


Is it tough to do a live set at festivals because of soundcheck and timing in general?


H: It used to be. It used to be way worse but we’ve pretty much dialed in a system and we got a whole crew…our guitarist isn’t with us but we have our horns, us, our sound guy, tour manager, Derrick on monitors/stage teching, Luke doing our visuals, and Rob on lights.


It’s a pretty tight crew, and I know you and Luke were graphic design students back in the day. There’s a lot of precision in both the visuals and the music. I heard once that you guys had your music get cut on stage once, but guessed the timing and synched back together on beat flawlessly.


H: It was the Pretty Lights ShoWare Center gig in our home state. A song went out and we both guessed when the next part was going to be.

C: Boom! That was crazy yeah.

BC_Andreas_Raun_Arneberg_02It’s like you guys finish each other’s s…
Sandwiches. Sandwich question time. What sandwich best describes ODESZA?


H: Not my favorite sandwich, right?

Exactly. Are you guys a peanut butter and jelly? Two halves make a whole?

C: We’re more of a Banh Mi.

H: We’re a blend of a bunch of different genres and styles, so I think it would kind of have to be a sandwich that inhabits a bunch of different things.

Ya, so I think you’re right Clay, a Banh Mi makes sense.

H: French Influence!

C: Ya, a French/Asian influence. I mean, we do use a lot of different sounds from all over the world. So you could roll with that. Banh Mi it is.


Do you guys still do the Mighty Ducks quack as a preshow ritual? I once was asked, ‘If I was to be on an abandoned island with any three movies which ones would I pick?’ My response was the Mighty Ducks trilogy. What is the worst interview question that you guys despise getting asked?


H: Damn. ‘Where’d you get the name?’ Anything you know you can read in any other interview, you’re like ‘come on man’?

C: ‘What’s your spirit animal?’


Spirit animal? I never heard that one. Well I guess to follow up on that one, if you guys were to get matching tattoos what would you get?

C: Matching tattoos…I feel like we should get something in Bellingham.

H: Ya, definitely something Bellingham related. It is an hour and half north from where we are from, and where we went to school.

C: We could get the address of the house with the basement.

BC_Andreas_Raun_Arneberg_13What deceased musician would you want to see play?

H: Woah!

C: Oh man. In their prime…I think watching full Led Zeppelin would be really cool. Hendrix would be cool. I would say Michael Jackson too.

H: I would like to see something classical. Like Bach or someone. I mean if you’re going to see something that you know you’d never going to see again.

Ya, it’s funny a couple days ago someone said Mozart.

C: Mozart was a party animal man.

I’m sure those guys raged.

C: Mozart especially. He was the rock star of that time period so he had all those crazy parties. Probably a fun dude to hang out with too.


Well, thanks guys. I’m gonna leave it on that. I really appreciate your time.