Shootin' the shhh with ODESZA
When the big question on everyone’s mind was: “What’s next?” Clayton Knight and Harrison Mills of ODESZA were breathing new life into a stagnating scene and giving the world an answer in the form of an electrifying delivery. Defying any kind of classification, the one-of-a-kind, feel-good sound has made the future of electronic music much less bleak.
Between working on a third full-length album, running their own tastemaking label and crisscrossing the globe on tour, Mills and Knight are easily some of the hardest working guys in music right now. They carved out a little time to chat with us about their wild climb to the top before they captivate yet another sold-out crowd at Red Rocks this month then back again for an August gig at the Vertex Music Festival.
The ride’s been insane for you guys; have you started to get a little burnt out?
Knight: Oh yes! We’re a little jetlagged now, but that’s just part of the deal.
Did you ever expect to be where you are now when you first started ODESZA?
Mills: No, not at all. When we first started out, this was more of a hobby.
Was there a particular moment when things really started to take off though?
Mills: We got to play Sasquatch Festival, which is really big where we’re from, so that was a huge opportunity for us having gone to that throughout high school and college. That was the first real step for us.
What are some of the challenges and perks that you’ve experienced through everything?
Mills: Oh, lots of little details, mostly a bunch small things adding up. One of the big things right now is just being on the road and learning to make music in these different scenarios and learning to collaborate with different people.
Knight: But we definitely get to see a lot of cool places and meet a lot of cool people.
Okay, dish on it — how’s the new album coming?
Mills: It’s coming! We’ve been trying to work on it whenever we can, but we’ve found that things actually get finished when we’re at home. We’ve got a few demos but nothing too polished right now.
Knight: We’re keeping everything pretty open and trying not get caught up in repeating ourselves.
You set a pretty high bar with your last album though. Do you feel pressure to top it?
Mills: We like to think of the last album as a sort of cherry on top of being able to just make music for a living. But we’ve developed a great fan base that’s really open-minded and understanding of our changing sound, so hopefully everyone is on board for some change.
So can you give us an idea of what the new album is going to sound like?
Knight: It’s definitely early in the process, but the final product will probably sound much different than what we’ve got going on now. We could give you an idea of what it’ll sound like, but it probably won’t even end up that way.
Will Red Rocks hear any of the new music?
Knight: We can’t really say there will be any new music, but there will definitely be some new elements to the show. We’ll be sure to pull out all the stops — that’s for sure.
Mills: We have some big stuff planned for Red Rocks, but we don’t want to ruin the surprise.
What made you want to start your label?
Mills: Well, the label has always kind of been a dream of ours from the beginning. We’ve always been big fans of music and visual arts, and we saw the label as a good way of sharing what we’re listening to and giving these artists the exposure that we think they deserve.
Mills: We’ve got a few things coming out pretty soon. We’ll have another Big Wild track out soon. We also just put out a new Jai Wolf song as well.
Are there any passion projects you’re able to get into?
Mills: The label takes up most of our time on the side, but that’s really our passion project. And since we like so many other artistic mediums, we are hoping to expand that even more. So we’re always planning bigger and better things for Foreign Family and for ODESZA.
How do you guys manage to stay so humble?
Mills: [Laughs] Our tour manager keeps us in check!
*ODESZA w/ RÜFÜS DU SOL @ Red Rocks Amphitheater - Saturday, June 18, 2016
*Vertex Festival @ Buena Vista, CO - Friday, Aug 5 - Sunday, Aug 7