eing gifted the opportunity to interview one of Australia’s most influential house producers isn’t something that comes up very often, so when we were offered the chance to sit down with ODD MOB, we couldn’t believe our luck.
A producer we’ve collectively admired for a long time, ODD MOB is one of few artists in recent years to have broken out into the national club scene, courtesy of unique bass tracks and club ready remixes, including the viral 2014 original ‘Is it a Banger?’.
Formed originally as a duo between Brisbane natives Robbie Jacobs and Harry Hope, ODD MOB has since morphed into a solo project with the ever-dedicated Hope alone at the wheel. Relishing in the freedom afforded to a solo artist, Hope is guiding ODD MOB in a new direction perhaps best highlighted by the release of ‘Intrinsic’ last year, which landed 5th in PinkMilk’s Top 50 tracks of 2018.
Now, with a debut album on the way there is no reason to suggest that ODD MOB can’t take the next step towards further cementing himself as a young stalwart in the Australian house scene.
PinkMilk writer Jacob sat down with Hope following his recent Perth show supporting London Elektricity to find out about his origins and upcoming LP, here’s how it went down.
When did you first get into EDM and what attracted you to the genre?
I first got into EDM when I was 18 or 19. It wasn’t really a big thing back then, but what got me into it was Skrillex’s ‘Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites’ album. When I heard it for the first time I remember listening to ‘Rock and Roll’ 12 times in a row, and my brain just couldn’t comprehend the immense detail in the song and how it all fitted together.
So, how did it all start, what first got you into producing music?
It started through DJ’ing. I remember wanting to make mashups, and from that I moved onto making my first track, just a simple ‘Big-Room’ one.
I remember showing an event promoter the track on my laptop, and he was like “this is amazing.”
Your song ‘Is it a Banger’ really helped propel you into the spotlight, tell us about how it came about.
Robbie and I were pre-drinking for Mr Carmack’s show, and we ended up drinking a lot because he came on at 3am. We were listening to some ‘Jackin House’ and to pass time we thought we’d make a track. We were looking at heaps of tunes, made a simple bassline and wanted to add something quirky for vocals.
Robbie was watching Parks and Recreation, and he mentioned the part where they literally say “is it a banger?”
We finished the backing track that night and downloaded the scene off YouTube, and we had the finished track on a hard drive for ages.
It started off as a joke, we thought it would be funny to play in our sets so we started adding it in.
Our manager heard it and said we should release it. Next thing we know Triple J was playing it, which was huge for us, even more so because they played it during the day, when the most people are gonna hear it, which was a massive help.
2018 marked a change in musical direction for ODD MOB - what is this new direction, and how did it come about?
Basically I thought; where do I see myself going with music? What could the future be like and what do I want to do?
I wanted to become more like an iconic artist. With club tracks, you can release a song, it’ll be cool for three months, then it gets stale. There’s not much depth to it I suppose.
Robyn (fiancé) was like one day you should do an album, and I thought yeah, I really should.
The melodic stuff is really freeing, but I still like making heavy stuff, which is why I wanted to separate those two things. I wanted to reach new heights and the way forwards was to try and separate club music from the more meaningful stuff.
I like making both styles, and some days I wake up and I don’t really feel like making something light, I want to make a bassline and make it as dirty as possible.
So you’re working on a debut album - what can we expect from it and when will we be able to listen to it?
It's basically melodic house, but I like to think of it as space house. It’s like dance but I’m aiming to make you feel like you’re on a different planet. The tracks have heaps of delays through headphones, I’m hoping it creates a new kind of experience.
The release should be around June, I’m aiming for 12 to 13 songs. There should also be a single coming out on March 1st from the album as well.
You just finished your Testing Ground tour – how did it go?
It was super satisfying. I’m trying to do more ticketing style stuff where everyone is there to see what I do. I brought a laptop, keyboard, drum pads, controller knobs and a lighting panel and now I know how much of a pain it is to cart all that around.
All the visuals were done by my Grandpa, he’s 83. He’s been a bit crazy recently, painting from midnight to 4am every night. He painted like 80 paintings in the space of a few weeks, and I felt like they fit my kinda style, so I’ve been loving using them as proper artwork.
What are your plans and goals for 2019?
I’m playing my first show outside of Australia and NZ in March, in Thailand, which I’m really excited for. Finishing my album, touring Australia, and hopefully starting to do some shows in America.
So you’re also a fully qualified engineer, any plans to work in the field?
Maybe, we’ll see. It’s always been a thought because success in music isn’t always guaranteed. I wanna see how the album goes and see if I get the results that I want for the work I’ve been putting in, to see if I’m really on the right path.
If the album does well and pushes me into the realm that I want – not like superstardom, but to a more respected level - that would be satisfying. If not then luckily I’ve got engineering to fall back on.
If my album goes well then I’m gonna have a lit wedding
Well, if you’ve ever wanted to step inside ODD MOB’s brain for a day, this is about as close as you’re gonna get.
If you aren’t already a fan (unlikely), we can’t stress enough how badly you need to check out his music, it really is on a different level.
A massive thanks to Harry for taking the time to sit down with us, we just can’t wait to see what you’ve got in store for 2019.
As always, we hope you enjoyed the read, and we’ll see you next time.