Print Edition: November 2, 2011
Oh Village is a self-described alternative/indie quartet from Abbotsford, BC. Placing second in Youthink Magazine’s Best Teen Band Competition in early 2011, the band saw themselves inspired with a new energy and commitment to seeing Oh Village succeed. That momentum hasn’t stopped, and the members of Oh Village are constantly developing themselves in their music as they focus on recording, writing, and putting themselves out there. Plus, they’re also a group of four really cool guys who like nothing better than to kick back with some tea and a raring game of ping pong. The Cascade had the fantastic opportunity to speak with one quarter of the band, Dave Dueckman, about the process behind the music, and what it’s like to be a member of Oh Village.
How did Oh Village come to be?
We played our first show was under the name Ivory Coast two years ago in September of 2009, and we got the opening spot because we knew the guys who were headlining. The show was put on by a bunch of local, young bands and brought out a really good crowd or the debut our music. We were well received and we loved the experience so we kept on going, playing from show to show and having a great time, but never really taking ourselves too seriously. We thoroughly enjoyed what we did but never thought much of it. All that changed when we entered Youthink Magazine’s Second Annual Best Teen Band Competition in early 2011. Through that experience we met industry professionals and other awesome young bands who inspired us to focus our energy and get committed to our music. We placed second in the contest out of more than 50 other groups, and we came out with more than $3000 in prizes. It was an awesome experience and it caused us to grow so much. After the contest we changed our name to Oh Village and we changed our members slightly, and although we’ve grown a lot since we first started, we still love what we do – writing music and performing it live.
What would you say are your primary influences? Do you have any favourite artists or tracks that have found their way into your music?
Our influences are diverse, and each member brings different favourite bands into our musical mix. Groups like Radiohead, Arcade Fire, Fleet Foxes, We are the City, Bon Iver, Hey Rosetta!, Patrick Watson, The National, and Wintersleep have all influenced either us or our music in one way or another.
What has been the most fun or rewarding live experience for you guys?
The final show we played as part of the Youthink Band Contest was fantastic for a variety of reasons – for one, it was at a great venue – the Tom Lee Music Hall in downtown Vancouver, and we got to play to a great crowd that was really excited about the show. In addition, the bands we played with were awesome, and that always makes a live experience so much better.
Top three favourite venues?
Top three venues? Probably, in no particular order, the Tom Lee Music Hall on Granville Street in Vancouver, The ACT in Maple Ridge, and the Mt. Lehman Community Fall Fair in Abbotsford.
What’s the process like for Oh Village when it comes to writing and recording new music?
For writing, normally one member of the group brings an idea to a practice and we play around with it and try different things to see what we like and what we don’t like. It’s very collaborative and tons of fun. We love to challenge each other musically and try new ideas that we’re not sure about, and in total the whole process of writing a song takes quite a long time. Of course, once we think we have an amazing song we’ll play it live and then want to change it all over again. It takes a fair bit of work but we all really love it. For recording, we’re in the process of recording two songs right now at the Sound Suite in Abbotsford. We’ve spent a lot of hours in studio working on the two songs, and we’re really excited about the quality of the finished product that we’re going to have (go to our website www.ohvillage.com for a sneak peek of how recording is going).
The name Oh Village is the product of a few name changes. How did the band’s current name come to be?
The name Oh Village came from a variety of places and different influences that we’ve had in our lives. To us, Oh Village speaks about community and honesty and integrity, some ideas that we value as a band. It also has an element of simplicity and clarity, which is almost opposite to today’s rushed society and confusing culture.
The name took a long time to come up with, but after weeks or possibly months of debate we arrived at it as a group. As a band we really feel at peace with the name. We are Oh Village.
What do you guys do when you’re not jamming or recording?
When not jamming or recording, we all go to school and work various jobs. In our spare time, me and Scott play ping-pong at Steve’s house. We also drink tea, talk about music, and plan what kind of house we’re going to buy together as a band once we have enough money. We all go to the same church and once a month we lead worship together. We also eat at Steve’s place a lot. Last time I made quesadillas for the guys. We generally have a good time.
Favourite place in Abbotsford to hang out together?
Hmmm we don’t really have a favourite place to hang out as a band. We often end up at Steve’s house!
What’s next? Are there any projects in the near future you’re looking forward to?
We’re hoping to have our recordings finished soon and put those up either on our website www.ohvillage.com or our Facebook www.facebook.com/ohvillage so that people can listen to our material. We have plans of recording more, either an EP or a full album, in the spring of 2012 and we’re hoping to put together a tour of western Canada sometime in the summer as well. Along with that we just want to play more shows locally and have our name get out there. We love playing music and we hope to continue doing so for quite some time.