Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Matt Jordan: Oh My Me a ‘surprise’ entry
to local music scene, but now among best
Even for those who pay close attention to the local music community, Oh My Me came as a bit of a surprise. The group went from virtual unknowns to ubiquitous performers seemingly overnight in the spring of 2011. What they lacked in name recognition, they more than made up for with great — and frequent — performances. Lead singer Erin Reynolds and songwriter/lead guitarist Chris Rawlings have put together a powerful machine that consistently puts on some of the best live shows around.
Oh My Me was just accepted to play the annual South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. The group will be touring its way to Texas in March, as well as releasing a song as a part of the 10in20 Lexington music project. It’s a talented band that knows how to keep busy; luckily they slowed down long enough for a quick interview.
How did you all meet? I know there were lineup shake-ups between the start of the band and its current lineup. How did everyone fall into place?
Chris Rawlings: Isrial (drummer) and I have been playing together off and on for the past 12 years. Erin and I had lived together about 4 years ago. We would sing songs to cope with the rage and frustration born out of the monotony of our domestic arraignment.
We decided to form a band after after playing some drunken cover songs at a house party about two years. Erin had been friends with Derek for several years and we asked him to play bass for us. That was the initial lineup of the band. We then asked Tony Rosel (a good friend of mine from Harrodsburg) to play keys for us. After Tony joined we got David “Big Chill” Napier to play rhythm guitar and sing backup vocals. Due to personal reasons, Tony and Chill had to leave the band. Joe Drury (guitarist for the Bleats) was initially asked to set in on keys. We soon realized that he would be more valuable on guitar.
How does the songwriting process work for you guys? Chris writes and Erin sings, correct?
Did you start writing songs with the idea that a girl would be singing them?
Not initially. But now that the main vehicle for my songs is Erin/Oh My Me I keep that in mind.
Have any of the songs wound up different than how you imagined they would when you wrote them?
Yeah, all of the songs are profoundly different from there original forms. That’s what makes us a cohesive band, though. We are musically about as democratic as is possible. I send a song to Erin, she learns the words and vocal melody, then we play it as a band and everyone throws their stink on it.
When I was listening to you all record different parts, it almost felt like I was hearing several different bands due to the diverse style you each have. What musical background do each of you have in terms of either listening habits or musical training?
We have a heavy metal drummer, a psychedelic prog bassist, a soul singer, an arena rock guitarist and a folk songwriter. Somehow all of those varying backgrounds click and form what we consider to be a unique and accessible sound.
Any plans for a follow up to your EP?
The next 10 in 20 is going to be released in march around the time we leave for tour and its for one of our songs. The track is called “Derenda.” We were recording with Duane Lundy prior to that at Shangri-La studios, and we hope to put out another EP or an LP within the next six months.
You all seem to play out at least once per week. Has that helped keep the momentum of the band going?
It has. Every show humbles us with the overwhelming response we get. That’s the main motivation for us right now.
You all were recently accepted to play an official South By Southwest showcase and the Big Spill festival in San Antonio. What are your plans for that tour? Have any of you ever played at SXSW before?
We doing 10 shows on the way to SXSW with two other regional bands. The Midwest By SXSW tour will be The Sundresses, Wussy and Oh My Me, but one of the shows in Texas will also feature the seedy seeds and the lions rampant who are also great regional acts. None of us have played south by south west but some of us have been. We are all really excited to be going down there, and the spot we are playing is right in the center of the festival. Im not sure but we might actually be the opening band of the festival.
Matt Jordan of Lexington is a the creator of Youaintnopicasso.com, a music blog he started in 2004 as a freshman at the University of Kentucky. His regular updates about music and musicians, interviews, concert reviews and industry news have gained him a wide national audience and helped make him an opinion leader in the music industry.