Andre Obin Exclusive Interview
When did you decide that a career in music was for you?
I knew early on that I wanted to make music forever, but I’m not sure I ever really considered it a career. I have always held down other jobs and hustled to keep my art going.
Who are your musical inspirations and why?
This year I’ve listened to a lot of TR/ST, World of Twist, I Break Horses, Bvdub, Top 40, and Slayer. It will all show up in my music somehow.
Can you tell me 3 things about yourself that people might not already know?
I used to be in the shoegaze band Endless Wave, the electro duo Matters & Dunaway, and the rock act Eyes Like Knives.
What song of yours best describes you and why?
“The Arsonist”. It’s the archetype for the music I make under my given name.
What has been the best gig you have done to date and why?
March 14, 2013 at SXSW in Austin TX presented by Ryan’s Smashing Life. My band featured Jimmy Rossi (Avoxblue) on synth and Andrew Dole (Cymbals Eat Guitars) on drums. I had a really rough tour and required surgery that morning on a not fun place of the body. Jimmy drove me to the hospital and I got it done. The doctor told me to cancel the show and the remainder of the tour, but we soldiered on and that gig was this euphoric, once in a lifetime experience, and still the only proper encore I’ve ever received.
If you could perform a gig at any venue where would it be and why?
Glastonbury. I want to have a pint with Liam Gallagher.
What has been your best achievement to date and what would you like to achieve in the future?
To continue to create and share music.
Tell me a story from backstage or after a gig?
I embarrassed Anthony Gonzalez backstage when we opened for M83. I was praising him for “Skin of the Night”, and he was like, “oh mate, please no” and scurried away. haha
What do you like best about being a musician and why?
I love going deep into space to find something with or without other musicians. I like to experiment to find hooks, melodies, and rhythms. I usually cherish bits born in the ether. The trick is being able to capture so you can replicate it again in the future, whether by memory, recording, or writing.
If you were not in the job you are now what would you be doing?
I work at MIT and feel lucky to have employment through the pandemic so far. I empathize with other musicians and artists that were depending solely on touring to generate their income.
What has been the best gig you have been too as a fan and can you tell us about it?
My Bloody Valentine at the Roundhouse in London 2008 was quite special. At the time I was astonished that they had reunited and that I had a chance to witness it.
What would your ideal festival line up be and why?
I think having top artists representing each of my favorite genres would make for a fun and diverse festival. Techno, ambient, synthpop, postpunk, hiphop, dreampop... I also love festivals that focus on one general genre and do it really well such as MUTEK in Montreal.
What would you say is the best piece of advice you have ever been given? I ran my mouth in the studio about some other musicians and Paul Q. Kolderie said “don’t be a dick”. I haven’t hated on anyone since.
What things make you happy and what things annoy you?
Plants makes me happy. Forgetting a good idea annoys me.
What things do you like to do when you are away from music?
I love running and hiking.
Do you think social media and the internet are a good thing in the music industry?
Yes. Right now it seems the only way to reach your audience.
How important do you think you look and image is when it comes to being in the music industry?
Very important. I’ve been trying to post to social media regularly. I’m a private person so it’s a bit awkward. The internet demands lots of content.
Can you tell us about any tattoos you have and the significance of them to you?
I do not have any tattoos. My partner Lyndsey has some beautiful work. On our last trip to Barcelona pre-Covid she got her favorite tarot card on her arm.
If you run the country for a day what would you change about it and why? Universal basic income.
What would your ideal day consist of?
Cook, exercise, get into nature, make music, love. Keep it simple.
What has been your experience during the Covid 19 situation. Can you tell us how this has affected you personally, how it has affected you professionally and maybe a story from this time or a message for people out there?
I’m so sorry to anyone who has lost a loved one this year. Any complaints I have pale by comparison.
If you could say one thing to your fans what would it be and why?
Thank you for listening! Seriously, thank you!
How would you answer the question Who are you and what are the differences between you as a music artist and you away from music ?
I am definitely a different person when I start making music. I give in to fantasy and try to create new worlds.
What was the first record or song you purchased and why? INXS Kick. I loved the funkiness of “I Need You Tonight” and still do.
What would say to someone thinking about becoming a musician and getting into the music industry?
Go for it!
If you could collaborate with any other band/singer or musician who would you choose and why?
I have been collaborating with Kevin Grady on his Black Plastic project as a producer. Look for his new record soon on Cleopatra Records.
If you could have written one song from history which would it have been and why?
“Journal of Ardency” by Class Actress. I think it’s my favorite song of this millennium so far.
What things make you uncomfortable?
Racism and bigotry.
If you wrote a book about yourself what would it have in it?
Tablatures, lyrics, and album art.
What has the rest of the year got in store for you and can you tell us about any gig date changes or where we can find the info?
Along with Black Plastic, I have been working on remixes for Robert Calvert, NITE, and Freezepop. I always try to carve out time to build my own tunes as well. I hope to play shows again soon but certainly do not want to put anyone’s health at risk.