3 weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be able to chat over the phone with Brad Oberhofer, the young genius behind Oberhofer. Originally from Tacoma, he relocated to Brooklyn and is quickly building buzz lately. After our interview, I was able to watch the band live at the 35 Denton festival, and also at SXSW. As if he weren’t already busy enough, Oberhofer also made their television debut this week on the Letterman show. The new album Time Capsules II will be released this upcoming week on Glass Note, which an accompanying tour to follow. There’s also a scheduled appearance at the Coachella festival next month. They are now starting to get a little radio airplay also. Here’s our conversation, including a game of Urban Dictionary Quiz, along with some pics and video. You can also read about what music Brad is currently listening to, and what he recommends here.
Hi Brad how’s it going for a Monday?
Good thanks. I got up this morning and ran 6 miles, then came back and took a 3 hour nap. I’m in NYC and can see the Empire State Building from where I’m at right now.
Do you run that much for a regular work out, or is this just how you prepare for tour?
No I like to run and try do as much as I can. Running seems to be the just the right pace. When you are walking you notice things but you can get distracted by other things as well. Driving or running are the opposite and happen too fast, you can’t notice everything. Running seems to be the perfect medium for observing the world around you. And in NYC, that means that you can see something new and different each time!
Are you listening to any cool music while running?
No, I don’t actually listen to any music at all when running.
You have a lot going on: you are in the studio, you have live shows and touring, traveling, interviews, music videos: What is your favorite part of it all?
Actually, everything is. I enjoy all of it, everyday is new and is the most fun.
Ok, so is this a new outlook on life from a life lesson recently learned? Or has this always been your philosophy?
Both I guess.
Your music comes across very upbeat and positive. I would guess that is an intentional overflow from your perspective on life.
Thanks. And yes, totally.
So tell us about your band: is it permanent, and how do you know them?
It started back with me recording myself. Then my friend Rick put on a show. I got some friends that I knew to play. Then the original members got busy with school, so I had to go get some more new members. They have been touring with me for some time now (Matt, Ben, and Peter).
I read an older interview with you about using analog and you mentioned you would like to get a four track recorder. Were you able to yet?
No I haven’t yet but would still like to experiment with it. I’m still using the same shit as before for now. Using tape is a different process but to me right now the focus isn’t the medium, the focus is on the songs. Eventually I would like to make music without the use of a computer and explore what that is like. I’ve been using my computer for like the past 2 months without internet, so that has been a drastic change.
Pro tools or Logic?
l have only used Logic 7 since it came out, and I’m not switching anytime soon.
What are you most looking foward to this year?
That’s easy. Just being able to be in a different place every day for the rest of my life.
When you left Tacoma you headed to New York City. Why did you choose Brooklyn, what drew you there?
NYU is there and Brooklyn is affordable. There are creative people and opportunity everywhere. It’s difficult not to feel drawn there.
Ok so we like to change it up from standard, boring interview questions. I invented a game called urban dictionary quiz. Are you down for trying it?
Sure, of course. Sounds fun.
Ok so I have looked up a few words and phrases from the Urban Dictionary site. Try and guess what they mean.
“Weird Part Of YouTube”
My guess would be those with under 50 views or really personal videos, like searching for me crying. Those super personal, super awkward ones.
That’s very close! The definition was actually the part of youtube where one encounters very odd videos, such as the retarded running horse, retarded dog, and drunk squirrel. For example, how the hell did i get to the weird part of youtube?
I would guess maybe giving yourself love down there.
Almost!. To stick your hand in your pocket and scratch your balls. The example is
“Hey, man, that girl’s lookin’ at you — you better stop playin’ pocket pool!”
Is that when someone shoots their co-workers?
It’s when someone wears business casual and it looks horrible.”The long dressy skirt and polo didn’t look good together, it was a business casualty and tucking it in didn’t make it look any better.”
“Honey Badger Limit”
Is that the max amount you can watch that honey badger YouTube video?
The point at which you no longer care or give a shit! “My relationship with Chrisy has really gone to shit. I’ve reached my Honey Badger Limit – I just don’t give a shit anymore.”
A really crazy, extreme, recycle person.
Yes! A person who militantly engages in recycling and is so hostile to simply throwing away garbage, it borders on mental illness. “Leigh pees in a bucket and uses it to water and fertilize her garden–what a recyclopath!”
Does that have to do with peeing?
No, lol! It is watching several episodes of a TV show in a row, usually from an online streaming service. This can be done over several evenings, or a marathon weekend. “I missed the first three seasons of Mad Men, so I spent the past two weekends powerstreaming all the episodes in order to be up to date for the premiere of season four later this month.”
Here is some video that Caleb Dickerson shot for us from the 35 Denton fest!