I just had $900 stolen from my bank account. Luckily, for the sake of your entertainment, and the sake of my sanity, this interview has absolutely nothing to do with the $900 taken from me, and has everything to do with Odario Williams, front man for the Canadian Electro-Funk-Hop group Grand Analog. We had the pleasure of playing two shows with these cats back in March, and it was easy to see why, with their "analog meets digital in a fight to the death to create something completely new, ultimate, and entertainingly dancable" style, they've been quickly and steadily rising to Canadian Stardom (aka - an occasional second glance while in one of our five major cities).
Listen to "Electric City ft. Shad" the first single from their new album, "Metropolis is Burning", which drops on May 26th! Two days after the new Animal Nation album!
Steige: What's the best thing anyone's thrown at you while you're playing on stage? What would be the ideal thing to have thrown on stage while you're playing? What's the worst thing someone could throw?
Odario: I remember someone threw a bag of weed the size of my lucky pillow on stage. It was huge! I remember it was somewhere in rural B.C. I left my lucky pillow at home that tour so I used the bag of green to sleep on 'til it was all gone. The worst thing we had thrown at us was a beer bottle, that's the worst especially if it connects. I remember that dude was a drunk biker looking character. He wasn't a big fan of rap and wanted us to know that. I'm waiting to get some girlie briefs thrown my way though. That's when you know you're a rock star, when a girl decides to part with her panties.
S: Okay. Here's the scenario: The Moon has fallen out of its orbit and is headed straight for our planet at an alarming rate. The worlds greatest scientitions have figured out that it is definitely going to come into contact with the Earth, but they've also figured out that the Moon is actually made of cheese as previously predicted, and that this enormous cheese ball will most likely melt upon entry into the Earth's atmosphere, which will, in turn, slightly reduce our chances of dying as a species, but greatly increase our chances of being covered in warm goey cheese. As a result of their findings these same scientitions have taken it upon themselves to hire caterers to build
the world's largest buffet of foods-that-become-awesome-when-covered-in-cheese (ie-nacho chips, hot dogs, sandwiches with everything in them except cheese). Provided that the cheese has time to cool down and doesn't melt us all, if it were up to Grand Analog, what kind of cheese would the Moon be made out of?
That is to say, what sort of cheese would cover our streets and
buildings, what would we all be eating and smelling for the rest of
O: Not Gouda, that stuff stinks doesn't it? Maybe Parmesan because it wouldn't stink up the earth and people are happy when Parmesan gets sprinkled on things. It can rain Parmesan and we'd be happy. It's usually soft and fluffy when grated - therefore we can probably snowboard down a Parm Mountain. When it's not grated it can be quite solid, so we can make cheesy furniture and toys with it. It a win win situation!
S: Everybody in the group seems really down to Earth. Nice normal good people. How many more festivals do you figure you have to play before you're allowed to start acting like dicks?
O: Well it's the festivals that keep people down to earth I think. Good weather, good people, good vibes - even when it rains. It's when bands headline sold out indoor venues and make their fans wait for hours for no reason. I've seen that with my own eyes; this particular band had screaming fans waiting over an hour while the band members were in the greenroom drinking beer and playing video games. True story.
S: Your name reminds me of a train. If the Grand Analog was a train and you were the conductor, what would you be carrying to where, and why?
O: The funk. I'd carry the funk anywhere and every where we go. A train car load of funk! Along the Grand Funk Railroad. Because funk is universal. I have not met one person that doesn't feel the funk... and if they don't, they probably aren't very happy in their lives. Or they are incapable of finding funky happiness. That would be a shame.
S: Odario and Ofield, besides the fact that you've both got rad names, you're also brothers. Like, real brothers. Did you guys start playing music together growing up? How did you decide who got to play DJ and who got to play MC?
O: Our dad is a DJ. So there were plenty of records and equipment around the house. My brother was naturally more of a technical kind of dude. Ofield liked complicated things, a friend always called him Inspector Gadget. I naturally was the dude sneaking my dad's records into my bedroom to listen to them. We would inherit dad's hand-me-down turntables into our bedroom. There is where I'd check out the lyrics. Ofield on the other hand was all about the turntable itself. It was a one piece set with built in speakers and a dome cover.
S: Why do you make music? What's your motivation?
O: Beats and rhymes are like mathematics to me... an equation I enjoy solving on a day to day basis. I'm fascinated by the production and recording processes. I have to hear the music first before writing anything down. I can't write a single lyric without a particular sound motivating me. I need to feel the emotion of the track and let the beat instruct my ideas. That's proof that sound itself, or music itself can inspire ideas or emotion without any words. All you need after that is the right lyrics to accompany the music.
S: Give me one sentence that best describes each band member while including the words: electronic, flower(s), shoe polish, and detective.
O: If Warren, the bassist, wasn't so heavily involved in music he'd be a detective no doubt; he's got eyes like a hawk. Catalist has a great record collection including some of the first electronic albums ever made; recorded by various Universities in the late 1960s. I supported my younger brother Ofield many years ago when he de-flowered a girl named Carol. And lastly, I personally like the smell of banana bread, ginger, gasoline, wet dirt only in the springtime and shoe polish - in no particular order.
S: Anything else you want to mention? When are we gonna see you back on the West Coast?
O: There will be a new Grand Analog album available May 26! It's called Metropolis Is Burning. So hopefully we'll be back out west soon! Thanks and much much love.
S: Can't wait! Until next time, keep fit, and have fun.
If you enjoyed this interview make sure to check out our Interview With Underground Hip-Hop Veteran Josh Martinez, or our Hilariously Radicool Interview With Jiminy!
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