OH PEP! Q&A – The Australian duo talk about SXSW and Aussie music

 

-Who makes up Oh Pep! and what are you about?

Olivia Hally and Pepita Emmerichs make up Oh Pep! We write and arrange the music together and play live with various musicians on bass and drums depending on our location. We are all about a no boundaries attitude and bringing out the unexpected to each unsuspecting pop song.

-Who influences you musical or otherwise?

It’s hard to pinpoint what our biggest musical influences are in terms of particular artists…the list could go on for days. But having met at classical music school with a shared love of pop, folk and country, then studying jazz and oldtime is probably a better place to start. And then there are always those good things like a swim in the ocean, riding your bike and having a chuckle!

-What has the reaction been like to your EP LIving?

We launched it in North America through Canadian label Star House Collective alongside our first international tour in mid 2015 and it has been received super well. It led to a lot of key media for us including ranking the CBC charts for several weeks, NPR play and a Tiny desk Concert and live performances for KEXP and KCRW.

-Where was it recorded and how did you find it?

Two of the songs were taken from our previous two EP’s (one from each) and remixed by Daniel Ledwell in Echo Lake, Nova Scotia. Dan produced the other two songs and this is also where we recorded them in Feb 2015. It was a great experience and really took hold of our pop elements. It was fun to spend a few days in a proper winter environment too…never seen so much snow in our lives!

-Has recording an album even crossed your mind yet? If so, where would you like to go with it?

It has indeed occurred to us, in fact it is already recorded and gone to press! It is being released in June. Stay tuned!

-You’ve been playing at SXSW. Is this the first time you’ve played in the US and what’s your experience of it been so far?

This is our third trip to the US within a year and the second we have made especially for this kind of festival. It’s always a bunch of fun playing lots of sets everyday, seeing and meeting other new bands. SXSW is by far the biggest festival we have performed at, but luckily we played in Austin last year so we were familiar with the city and how to get around. We even made sure to get back to our favourite swimming hole Barton Springs when we had a few hours off. Plus took advantage of some fantastic Mexican food and Southern BBQ.

-Are you looking forward to playing ‘The Great Escape’ festival in Brighton later this year? Is it your first time performing in the UK?

It will be part of our first European tour including our first time to the UK. It’s also going to be my first time to the UK, so I’m looking forward to checking it out! We have heard a lot about The Great Escape through other Australian acts so we can’t wait to be there ourselves.

-Australian music is gaining particular attention at the moment with Tame Impala and Courtney Barnett to name two. What do you think of their success and do you think there is anything particular about Australian music?

There does seem to be a great buzz around Australian music at the moment and rightfully so. Those guys are a stellar example of what Aussie music is about and there is such a healthy scene here that I’m sure many more acts are going to be picked up. We have a really strong original music push in Oz.

-What is the Melbourne music scene like and what is the environment like for new musicians?

Melbourne is my favourite music scene in the world and I feel lucky to be based here. It’s where we have honed and continue to hone our craft. It feels like almost everyone is in a band in Melbourne, which is an amazing and healthy thing. Making new music and seeing gigs is part of the culture as we know it here. It’s incredibly inspiring- the perfect environment for new musicians.

-Sum up what 2016 is going to be like for Oh Pep!

Exciting. Busy. Fun. We are touring Europe, North America and Australia (some of these more than once!), launching our debut album and playing a bunch of festivals and showcases. It will be a lot of new things for us. 100% can’t wait.

 

Many thanks to Olivia and Pepita for some insightful answers and keep an ear out for they new music they’ll be providing us soon!

Questions by Owen Riddle

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