Odonis Odonis: The WL Interview

Purveyors of: Semi-scary, semi-synthy aggressive indie rock
File next to: Front Line Assembly, Trans Am, Joy Division, Nine Inch Nails
Playing: WL 18 Night 2, Saturday, February 17 @ The Garrison. Get Tickets Here!

Odonis Odonis have been with us for almost the entirety of the 2010s. As the decade has become more “problematic” personally and politically, this Toronto outfit’s music has cauterized in a dense fusion of noisy guitars, vocal snarls and pissed-off electronics. The fellas’ latest full-length (No Pop, released in late 2017 on Telephone Explosion) isn’t “angry music” per se. Instead, it’s sonic and a bit experimental and all kinds of moody. And yet, it’s pretty fuckin’ fun to dance to! Wavelength’s Cam Gordon recently asked Odonis Odonis a few email questions about his band’s evolution, whether the 1990s can be channeled in the 2010s and what new outfits are keeping their attention.

No Pop is pretty electronic and pretty menacing and even a bit scary at times. You’ve played a bunch of shows since it came out in late October 2017. How have your found your live shows have changed while playing these songs? Imagine the technical and stage set-up alone has impacted how you prepare for an OO show?

We are now using a predominantly analog electronic set-up now that we’ve synced to lights and visuals. So there is a lot of time that goes into the set-up. We’ve made our focus on this record to be live experience, heavily based on mood. We wanted music that would invite people, envelope them with vibe, and then punish them periodically.

There’s definitely a Skinny Puppy, Nine Inch Nails feel to a lot of these tunes. Are you guys fans of “industrial music” or were those bands not really influences on you guys? I mean, your more guitar-based stuff was also pretty aggressive and sometimes moody. 

Yeah, we are fans of all that music but we also still want it to be us; to sound like Odonis Odonis. We have always pulled sounds from different genres of music, put them through an Odonis Odonis filter and spit them back out as hopefully something we feel is fresh and not a just a “retro” track. 

To me anyway, your new tunes sound rooted in a 1980s/1990s aesthetic. What current-day bands do you guys admire and are there any shared influences, at least in terms of more contemporary artists? 

I admire Death Grips for pushing the boundaries, both musically and on the industry side. They found a cool way to use industrial aesthetics and make it new. They’re one of the few modern artists I consider punk. We listen to The Hacker and Gestaffelstien in the van when we need those heavy dark electronic driving beats. Also lots of label mates such as Ritual Howls, New Fries, Sextile, Chasms, Freak Heat Waves, Houses of Heaven, and Teenanger.

As a band, Odonis Odonis have been playing around Toronto and elsewhere since the start of the 2010s. What are one or two big differences you’ve found in Toronto’s music community since when you guys started? Similarly, what hasn’t changed? 

Everything has changed! [It’s] end times!

The obvious question since you’re playing the Wavelength Winter Fest: What are your favourite Wavelength memories? Either on-stage or off? 

Camp Wavelength on the Toronto Island [in 2016] was a really great overall experience. I wish more festivals were like it. It’s a blur now but I vaguely remember being on the beach around a bonfire watching the sun come up. Good times.

— interview by Cam Gordon