Interview: Five Minutes with Oxen
Swedish band Oxen have shared their next single, ‘Dark and Depressive’ via harmoni. The single was produced by György Barocsai. They have been featured on multiple playlists by acclaimed Youtube channel alexrainbird Music. To date, Oxen has been streamed just under 1 million times across streaming platforms. Oxen is the collaboration of life long pals Erik and Stefan. The duo has cited musical influence from the Pixies and New Order. ‘Dark and Depressive’ features a recipe of elements of 90’s grunge and indie rock, with its laidback vocals and deceivingly cheery instrumental delivery. Their resulting sound is reminiscent of the work of the Smashing Pumpkins, Fat White Family, and The Cure.
The duo shows us their light-hearted and playful side in the exclusive below.
Set the tone for us. Why the arts?
Because we don’t really have the physique for sports.
Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?
It’s a mix really. This time we had a clear idea of what sound we wanted before even starting, but we somehow managed to find our way back to the alternative sounds of the 80s and 90s.
What’s on your current playlist?
Talking Heads, Khruangbin, and Kate le Bon.
Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.
Stefan usually looks at his feet, and I mumble something in the mic in between the songs. It’s more about the songs than the show for us I guess.
What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?
We usually limit ourselves to only recording the things that are actually in the room we’re in.
Take us through a day in the recording studio.
This album was recorded at different locations. One of the studios laid next to a ship graveyard, where we took every break outside the studio by the water. There, in the freezing cold, we would have our coffees while looking at old boats for five minutes before going back inside.
Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?
No, I think we just started. And then we fell deeper and deeper into it.
What gets your creative juices flowing?
A lot of it comes down to listening to music. Like when you listen to ‘Dreams’ by Fleetwood Mac, you get this feeling like… This is how a song is supposed to be written.
Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.
We mostly play on fender stuff. And some effect pedals, nothing fancy really. Stefan has been leaning more towards the Jazzmaster than the Telecaster for this album. We like the bass clean, straight through the amp.
How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?
We were a bit boxy back when we started, but this has faded a bit. Although we figured out that some bits of boxy are still needed to be able to finish things.
Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?
There will probably be no live performances, but we will release some singles that will lead to the album. We also have a ten-dollar budget music video in the making.
Famous last words?
Don’t just buy any pet. Really think it through. Will you be able to feed it regularly? And who will take care of it when you travel? Do you have time to walk your pet if needed?