Transcript of a radio interview from 2010-04-18, WNRN Subculture Shock, with host Patrick Allen.
Subculture Shock: JJ, what makes Oh So so incredibly different from anything else you’ve done?
JJ: I think that anybody who has heard any of the other projects that I’ve done will find a sense of familiarity in the music of Oh So. That said, it is very “new” sounding, it’s sort of an extension, sort of… building off of everything I’ve ever done before. But at the heart of it, it’s dark, synthesizer oriented pop music, so in that sense it should seem very familiar.
Subculture Shock: Again you’re listening to Subculture Shock on WNRN, joining me are the guys from Oh So. Joining JJ in this project is Bruce Stocking. Bruce, I guess for a lot of people this is going to be the first time they’ve seen you, but you were with IDIL before right?
Bruce: Yeah, for a little while.
Subculture Shock: So, what’s different, playing with Oh So than IDIL? I know you were in IDIL with JJ before, but how is playing with Oh So different?
Bruce: This is different because I’ve been in this from the beginning, I didn’t walk into a band that already had some songs written. This was us, writing our own stuff, from the beginning.
Subculture Shock: So would you say that you’ve had an active influence on the way that the band sounds?
Bruce: I’d like to think so.
Subculture Shock: JJ is nodding his head.
JJ: Absolutely. Most Definitely.
Subculture Shock: So, JJ, what’s different about working with Bruce, as opposed to anyone else you’ve worked with?
JJ: Well, one of the tings that we found when we were working together in IDIL is that Bruce and I love music, and we love playing music for the sake of playing music, and that’s kind of what we’re all about with Oh So. We just want to make things that we love, and share music with people because we love to do it. If we sell a few CDs, if we make a little bit of money here and there, whatever, that’s great, but it’s not the driving reason that we do the project. We just want to have fun, and make music that we love… and consistantly, and constantly rep 434 whenever possible.
Subculture Shock: Again, you’re listening to WNRN Subculture Shock, I’ve got JJ Williams and Bruce Stocking of Oh So in the studio with me. So, Bruce, what do you see as the thing you’re trying to accomplish with Oh So? We’ve heard the mission statement from JJ, but when you take the stage on Tuesday, what’s going to be going through your mind?
Bruce: I just hope everyone likes it. I’m just playing to have a good time. That’s all I want.
Subculture Shock: What kind of influence do you think you bring to the music?
Bruce: Well, I grew up listening to Nu-metal, basically, so there are a lot of heavy bass lines… a bit more distortion. I just try not to be generic.
Subculture Shock: Which is interesting, because in a lot of ways this is lighter fair to some extent than what JJ has done before… the sort of, hard In Tenebris… this has a lot more synth, groove to it.
JJ: I think it’s important to recognize that while the last In Tenebris album had a pretty serious metal influence, and it was something that we enjoyed doing, it was more a request of our management to appeal to a wider, more mainstream, modern rock audience, and was not necessarily what we would have done by default.
Subculture Shock: So I guess the question is, JJ, since you were going for a less metal sound with this, how does having someone like Bruce, who has more of a Nu-metal influence effect the music?
JJ: I think that it would be short sighted, to think that heaviness… that same kind of weight, and power has to come from a strictly Metal sound, and I think that’s what Bruce brings to the project. The same kind of power and strength that comes from with heavy music, but not taking the easy way out and being another Metal Influenced Goth Band. And we rep 434. There’s no way you can doubt that when you hear our music. We’re coming from 434, and we represent 434.
Subculture Shock: Again, you’re listening to WNRN, Subculture Shock, and I’ve got the guys from Oh So here in the studio with me. We were talking a little bit about what Oh So sounds like. Where did you guys come from? What prompted Oh So as a band?
JJ: Well, Bruce and I had been playing together in the project IDIL, and when that project fizzled out, it was unspoken that we would be doing another project together, because we just got along so well, and we had similar concepts for being in a band, and what music should sound like, and the places where we didn’t agree tended to compliment each other. We knew it was going to happen. I took some time off to finish my solo album, Waves, and as soon as that was done, we started getting together.
Subculture Shock: Bruce, did you have any idea what you were getting into with Oh So, when you started?
Bruce: Really? Not a clue. The first track he sent me to work on was a lot more EBM. Then it kind of turned around became much more rock influenced.
Subculture Shock: Is that a decision that you made consciously?
Bruce: I think it just naturally happened.
Subculture Shock: When I played “Don’t You Want to Know?” many people were surprised. It wasn’t a sound that we had really heard you do before, JJ. Would you say that you have a lot more freedom with Oh So?
JJ: Absolutely, One Hundred Percent. No more pressure to try to craft a hit, to try to write a particular style or sound, or present the project in a certain way that would make it appealing to a specific audience, or a wider audience. With Oh So, like I said earlier, Bruce and I just want to write music that we love, and we want to share it because we love it and we think you’ll love it to. That’s our goal, to create enjoyment for ourselves and the listener. So there’s much more freedom to just let the project be what it is, and not try to cater it to any specific audience.
Subculture Shock: Again you’re listening to WNRN, we’re talking to JJ Williams and Bruce Stocking of Oh So. We’re about to play that track, “Don’t You Want to Know?” Is there a story behind this song, or did you just sing the first thing that came to mind?
JJ: It’s not a linear story, necessarily. It’s a song for anyone that’s ever felt that they were being taken advantage of. The point of the song is that you don’t have to let that happen because you are a strong person, you can be powerful, and people don’t have to walk on you. You can be you, because you are awesome.
Subculture Shock: Here’s Oh So on WNRN.
Subculture Shock: Again, I am here in the studio with JJ Williams and Bruce Stocking of Oh So. We’ve talked a little bit about the show coming up this Tuesday. This is a very special show for many reasons. First of all it is obviously your first show, together, as Oh So, but also it’s the first show that the Dawning has ever presented at Umlaut, which is usually just a dance club, which is a pretty big deal. What sort of feelings do you have about it, at this point?
JJ: We had our last rehearsal tonight. We feel really good about the show we’re going to put on for everybody… and it’s also to be really cool to be involved in the return of Gothic and Industrial music to the 434, and as we rep the 434 constantly, to be involved in this sort of celebratory event where we bring live bands of the Gothic and Industrial music genre to the 434… it just really seems appropriate.
Subculture Shock: As you’re getting ready for this show, Bruce, what sort of feelings do you have? Anticipation? Anxiety? Are you just really excited?
Bruce: I’m just excited, man. I know it’s going to go well. I’m looking forward to it.
Subculture Shock: So what sort of things do you guys have planned, other than a bunch of rap covers, apparently?
JJ: I think that pretty much is it, yeah. That’s the ultimate irony about me going on and on about bringing Gothic and Industrial Live Music back to the 434 is that you’re going to get there, and we’re going to do nothing but Snoop Dogg, Dr Dre, and Eminem covers.
Subculture Shock: The thing is, you’re only decreasing your own attendance by saying that.
JJ: Or increasing it.