Interview With: Otherkin

Photo - Lauren McDermott

After recently releasing their newest album ‘OK’, we caught up with Luke and Rob from Otherkin before their headline show at Camden Assembly. We had a chat about Dublin, their new album, music and inspirations.

So firstly, why the name Otherkin? Did you know what it meant?
Rob (Drums):Yeah it’s a weird one. At the time we didn’t really know what it meant or how important it was to certain people on the internet. Maybe we wouldn’t have been called that if we had
Luke (Vocalist/guitarist): Yeah I can’t really remember how it came about, I mean it’s a nice name. It’s a subculture of people on the internet that believe they are non-human. I think most commonly they think they’re animals or dragons or wolves, but they can believe they are anything that’s not human
Rob: It gets a lot of hate on twitter by people, they seem to really hate that stuff. We get all these tweets that look like people hate us so we always like retweet them [laughs]

Best thing about Dublin
Rob: I’m going to say the people, not that I don’t like the people in any other places but in Ireland they are incredibly friendly and embracing of new people. I think Irish people compared to others are a lot more friendly than most places, because I don’t know I think the reason being is our humour
Luke: Yeah the humour is great- a really dark sense of humour
Rob: We kind of take the piss out of everything [laughs]
Luke: Even ourselves [laughs] and eachother, nobody takes themselves too seriously.
Rob: Which some cultures do so we’re not really allowed over there [laughs]
Luke: The thing I also love about Dublin is how small it is. You can get anywhere you need to be within 15 minutes really

How is tour going so far?
Luke: It’s been amazing actually! We were really surprised you know, we’ve done a few tours round the UK but we don’t get that many opportunities to come over because it is so difficult as we have to tour for a while. This is only probably our third proper trip to the UK and we were surprised with the turn out to some of the shows which has been great
Rob: We were playing Reading last night and it was crazy. It seems busy this time round so its been really great because obviously there are a lot of english bands
Luke: We’ve played to like literally nobody but its been really nice to come over and actually see people who have been listening to the music and really into it, wearing merch
Rob: Seems to be clicking now, hallelujah! [all laugh]
Luke: Its been fun- seen some really nice faces, had some really great nights out so far. Even the quiet nights out have been not so quiet which is what you want. We have a day off tomorrow which will be good
Rob: We are on tour for 2 months so ask us after that [laughs] I think our current level of going out isn’t going to sustain very long. We are going to peak and then its going to be over
Luke: We are soon going to be in eastern Europe and broken [laughs]

What was the last song you listened to?
Rob: I listened to that new single by Wolf Alice
Luke: Formidably Cool? Oh Beautifully Unconventional
Rob: Yeah! Bit of a weird song. Not a great music video though
Luke: Yeah I like that song. The last song I actually listened to was Queens of the Stone Age piano version of ‘The Way You Used To Do’

Lets talk about your album ‘OK’- In terms of your first big release, would you say you’re happy with the effort and time you’ve spent on it?
Luke: Yeah definitely
Rob: Yeah we are really happy with it and the timing as we were ready like 2 years ago but it would have sounded way different
Rob: I think what we wanted to do was make an honest rock record a lot like Weezer as they were refreshing and gritty
Luke: Even though sonically it wasn’t a game-changer, similar bands that sounded similar to that before go back to that
Rob: I mean I hope we are doing something similar. So many bands use backing tracks and crazy produced sounds
Luke: I think that was the intention as I think guitar music holds this age old thing about is rock dead, well it definitely has been in the dark rooms for quite a number of years and I guess with our album we wanted to bring it back to the mainstream. We make quite mainstream music I think anyway
Rob: I hope that people don’t think it’s too heavy or anything
Luke: I mean there are bands who are steering back to chart music like Catfish. We all like Wolf Alice- we think they are a great band and they are huge! With our album I think it will be a slow-burner
Rob: It took them nearly six months really to get known and now they are really big
Luke: Yeah, ask us in 6 months! [laughs]
Rob: If we’re still alive by then. We’ll have a lot of grey hairs
Luke: Haggard

For your video ‘REACT’, I was looking through the comments on YouTube and someone said that you guys sound like The Vines and The Hives, would you agree?
Rob: Yeah we get that a lot
Luke: It’s really interesting as I was never really big into them
Rob: Yeah see I was a big fan of them as they were a bit grittier and heavier than indie-rock. I guess we are of a similar genre to them
Luke: Yeah definitely
Rob: It’s them two bands and The Strokes which I don’t really see too much. I feel like someone originally made a comment and everyone seems to see it and agree
Luke: I guess I see some of those bands. I especially see The Vines in REACT because it’s a similar song with the same beat to it and also in the vocals
Rob: They are both amazing bands so I will happily take that compliment
Luke: We’ve had really weird comparisons, some crazy shit like Weezer mixed with early U2. Out of all the garage rock bands I listened certainly a lot more to White Stripes and The Strokes, but then The Vines and The Hives are the bands I didn’t really listen to that much

What do you think most influences your songwriting?
Rob: I think on this album we wanted to do a fast album that we could play live and that people could dance to. Maybe in the future that will change but for this album certainly, any song we play we want to see the reaction live. All the songs are pretty energetic and intended to be played live
Luke: I don’t think we had any influences in the sense of bands but more so the thought process behind it. We wanted to make a traditional guitar album but put a sort of fresh spin on it and get people dancing and have a party. Everything you hear on our album is what you’re going to hear live
Rob: We are pretty against backing tracks for the time being. If you’re an arena band cool, but if you’re playing bars its fucking ridiculous- fuck backing tracks [laughs]

What have you guys got coming up, apart from tour?
Rob: This tour has been very consuming. I mean we had such a big build up to the album and since then we have literally been on tour
Luke: Yeah it has been nuts! We finish our tour on December 16
Rob: Yeah, we have like 50 something gigs left. We have a few things lined up for next year which we haven’t announced yet but to be honest I think our management just want to see us finish this tour [laughs]
Luke: Yeah we’ve just had dinner with our agent and there was no talk of next year because there is obviously just so much on
Rob: We really love touring. I would consider one of our strongest assets is our live shows and we really enjoy it
Luke: We are playing 20 new countries! Being on tour is definitely better than being in the studio
Rob: Tour is just like one big party- one long party! A marathon party [all laugh]

Interview and Photo by Lauren McDermott