EUPHORIA.: You’ve described your music before as Justin Timberlake meets Dungeons & Dragons. Would you describe it differently with this new EP and single?
Olivver: I think that’s still pretty accurate for now. It’s kind of like an alternative pop thing. So I’d like to think that if an artist like Justin Timberlake were more alternative, that’s my sound. I have this idea for a concept project that might take my sound in a slightly different direction.
EUPH: “I Want It” takes more of a pop approach than previous releases. What inspired you to gravitate to this sound?
ØV: Last night for instance, on our drive, I put on NSYNC then Backstreet Boys and then LFO. I love those vocals and melodies, but I don’t like how a lot of that stuff is very cheesy and put together by somebody else. A lot of the times those people are really good singers, but they have someone else make the beat. I want the song. Take my vocal out of it, i want to be proud of the song.
EUPH: You transitioned from being a drummer in a band to going solo. Was it difficult? Did you play a major role in The Neighbourhood stuff that gave you the experience to transition easier?
ØV: I played a pretty big role, not as big as I wanted to, and I think that’s why I am where I am now. I was always a singer – I started off playing drums in a band, then I played drums and sang in a band, and then I just sang in a band, then I played guitar and sang, and then I played drums for The Neighbourhood. So it was kind of easy, and it was tough to leave such a successful thing and my friends, but that’s more where my heart was. I want to write songs, I don’t really want to just play drums.
EUPH: You’ve said that you’ve been playing with some loose themes on new songs. What kind of themes?
ØV: A lot of them are self-reflective themes. I mean, I haven’t really written a love song. I wanted it to start out as not really a love song, but a lust song in the chorus. But I wrote that a year ago, then before the song came out, I wrote the verses and it’s kind of like an anthesis of that. The chorus is very “this is why I’m into you and why I want you,” but the verses are like “I’m not a shitty person, but I’ll bring you down. Stay away.” A lot of it is very cathartic for me, in terms of putting out my biggest fears, and negative things people have said about me, negative things I’ve said about myself, and kind of cleansing myself.
That’s kind of the closest I’ve come to a love song. On the EP, there’s a song about my grandfather, my uncle, a ruined relationship, self-reflection, and prison riots. They’re all very self-reflective, whereas the stuff I’ve been writing now are a little more like okay, I can move on from that, and talk about specific events and things. I was in kind of a bad place, so a lot of the songs are very sad and a little self-deprecating and the EP’s called Freak, so it’s like all about myself.
EUPH:Any insight on when the next EP will be out?
ØV: I have a lot of songs ready, but this whole concept thing I’ve been thinking about on this tour would require me to go back and redo those same songs in a different way, production-wise. I would like to have something out by summer, like June/July. Whether it’s the whole thing, or it’s one song I don’t know, but whatever the next piece of content is, it’ll be out by then.
EUPH:What are some of your tour essentials?
ØV: When it’s cold during winter and post-winter, and what I forgot — gloves. In a park in Chicago, I didn’t have gloves, and I couldn’t feel my hands. I reached into my pocket and couldn’t feel the contents of my pocket. So gloves, for sure. Something to keep you entertained, definitely. I go through phases of hobbies. For a while I was reading on my Kindle on NBHD tours, or playing GameBoy games, then I was watching Netflix, then movies. This tour, we’ve been so busy that I don’t really have that much of a hobby. We have a video game system, so something to just take your mind off everything. I bring lots of underwear and socks. A shirt you can rewear, you can get away with it. But socks and underwear you need. I haven’t done laundry yet, and I still have fresh socks and underwear.
@euphoriazine@_olivver what is your favorite fan encounter on this tour? What have you learned from being on the American You(th) Tour?
ØV: In DC, this girl gave me these pictures she’s drawn of me and they’re so good! One’s pen, one’s pencil, and one’s watercolor. She gave them to me and I was like, “are you sure? You spent a lot of time on this and this is your work!” She was like, “yeah,” and I’m honestly going to put them in a frame. That’s so far out of my skill set, I was so happy about that. Her name’s Cam.
I learned a lot about how it works going DIY, traveling, routing and my stage performance. I have working the crowd down, it took me a couple shows to get it right, but I’ve learned how to engage the crowd.
ØV: I would absolutely love to! The thing is, I don’t have a booking agent, I’m completely DIY, I don’t have a manager or anything. Right now, this tour happened because I know Ashley and stuff. That’s what I’m gonna do when I get home, getting all the business things in line so I can do those things. Hopefully soon.
ØV: Julian was saying when I met The Mosers today, to be like a complete asshole, and then be like “April Fools,” but I’m so bad at that. So I went up to them and went, “hey guys, what the fuck man?” They turned around like, “hey man!” and I immediately went, “…Hey, I’m Bryan. Sorry, I was trying to April Fools you.” The minute I saw them confused, I was like, “sorry!” Otherwise, nobody’s really played any pranks.
ØV: Probably “Lucy” because I get this crowd participation thing going, where I have people sing the second verse. I have a competition of which city is the loudest. Even though it’s in my lower register, and not the most challenging song to perform, it’s almost the most rewarding. It’s crazy hearing, like in Chicago, 1,200 people singing it back to me.