Some bands meet by accident, others by design. Otzeki, though, had no choice in the matter: Mike Sharp and Joel Roberts are cousins.
Drawn together by a mutual love of music, their differing approaches result in some rather special moments. Electronic vignettes with the visceral power of rock guitar, the pair push themselves harder and harder with each passing song.
“I think we just want to be the best at what we’re doing, basically,” explains Mike. “For ourselves. Not in competition – just to be happy with what we’re doing.”
Debut EP ‘Falling Out’ was released a year ago, a potent opening statement that found Otzeki whittling down lengthy instrumental jams into off kilter electronic gems. “A lot of our songs start as one long jam,” he continues. “So, a 20 minute jam, and then we gradually cut away the different sections so it becomes a collage of lots of different ideas.”
Losing themselves in the spiralling power of electronic loops, Otzeki have no interest in tightly structured songwriting. “I think it’s got a lot to do with the hypnotic quality of electronic music,” he explains. “If you’re working with loops, and if you have something that works, then you can just play on top of it for hours.”
“A lot of songs are advertisements for themselves. It has this punch-line, with the rest following. And we’re more interesting in what comes out expressively, rather than what’s methodically structured.”
Lyrically, the pair draw from a huge variety of sources – recent cut ‘All This Time’ for example, borrows from religious texts and a biography of Marlon Brando. “They’re completely different songs, really, that have been plastered together,” he says. “It’s about all these different realities contained within one thing.”
Otzeki don’t work from some set plan, choosing instead to follow their own instincts. “There’s no masterplan or anything like that,” he says at one point. “We do it because we can… so why not?”
“I love being in the studio and I love playing live. Nothing beats that, basically.”
- - -
- - -
Catch Otzeki at Sebright Arms, London on March 23rd.
Brought to you in association with Cheap Monday. Check out their latest offerings over on their website now.