Everything that you absorb from childhood forwards has influenced you one way or another musically. No matter what has happened in your life, be it; happy, sad, anger, struggle, strife whatever, you always turn to music for whatever soothes your mood or excites it. When you’re little and something scares you or you’re just going to bed, a parent would sing to you lullabies to get your mind relaxed and fall asleep. Teenagers listen and use to music to express themselves and identify their clique or group of friends etc. Adults have songs for their weddings, parties, ups, downs and well teenagers do for a lot of that too, except for the wedding thing (I Hope!). But for whatever reasons you listen to music it helps shape your mind to a certain je ne c’est quoi to me that defines who you are to yourself and others. So, as a musician I find that different music has influenced me in how I have become the guitarist for OddsFiche.
Growing up as the youngest of three I was exposed to a lot of different sounds musically. My parents were country, well, dad more than mom, she kind of just went with the flow of whatever was on. My oldest sister was the funk, new wave and pop culture fan at the time that I can remember and the middle sister was the hard rock and heavy metaller; Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix, Judas Priest, The Doors etc etc. So needless to say I was blasted with this full spectrum of sound from one end to the other which left me in the middle to find my own path. Mom became a huge Queen fan and still to this day after the death of Freddie Mercury, something just clicked with her and Queen’s music and since then she’s definitely expanded her musical spectrum quite a lot since then! Dad was funny in the way he was into music because he was in to that old Hank Snow, Hank Williams Sr. kind of stuff but would often surprise you when he wanted a couple of Doors songs and Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall pt2 on a mix tape to listen to coming home from work. Side A was always Harry Chapin and Johnny Mathis etc and Side B was The Doors, Pink Floyd, Chris de Burgh et al. So it was interesting to see him develop a taste for music that I was listening to as an early teenager.
I found solace in bands like; The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, The Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin and eventually the likes of The Pink Floyd which really opened the doors (lol) to my mind to what is known as Prog. My oldest sister’s friends always tried telling me I HAD to listen to bands like Genesis and Yes if I was getting in to Prog but they sadly crammed it down my throat and it turned me off of both those bands aside form a couple of radio friendly songs I discovered years later. Always found Peter Gabriel’s solo work more intriguing to me than Genesis and found that Yes put TOO much in to their songs that it became to be the disliking I have for Dream Theatre, in my opinion it’s just TOO much going on in every song to follow and it doesn’t do anything for me. I have quirky tastes I guess.
By the time I reached my early 40’s I had discovered the Deutsch Rock Szene more in-depth than just Kraftwerk which I was introduced to in my early 20’s and it blew me away! By my 30’s I was listening to a lot of Conrad Schnitzler and Tangerine Dream and adding more and more bands as the interest and passion grew but it was just inside my 40’s that I really dove head first in to what is distastefully referred to as Krautrock. I actually despise that term, I find it racially wrong. That’s as offensive as calling anything from the UK, Limey Rock or everything from the US is Redneck Rock. But I digress, the German rock scene really is one of the catalysts for the inception of OddsFiche as a musical beginning. Bands like: Can, NEU!, Eiliff, Kraftwerk, Traumhaus, Rotor, Amon Duul II, Cluster, German Oak, Klaus Doldinger’s Passport, Kollektiv, Floh de Cologne, Krokodil, Popol Vuh, Sand, Witthuser & Westrupp, Schandmaul, Ash Ra Temple, Aera et al that are constantly blowing my mind and are the bands that helped forge the inaugural sounds of what the OddsFiche band has become and what’s helped become the outset of my musical drive.
Of course I still love my; Gentle Giant, King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Porcupine Tree, Rush, ELP, Egg, Alan Parsons Project, Jambinai, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Soft Machine, Zombie Picnic etc. and a whole slew of others to boot.
Then there’s the music that people don’t realize has a big influence on them and that’s soundtrack scores. Sometimes I find that the music in a film has more impact on me then a regular album. Be it from a TV show, animated series, film score or what have you I am heavily influenced by this genre of sound and have had quite a few people say that the music of OddsFiche is very much like soundtrack rock if that’s such a thing!
Soundtracks by Ennio Morricone have always impressed me from the time I was young enough to be allowed to stay up a little later on weekends and watch spaghetti westerns to the intricate scores of some of the early MANGA and anime films of the early 90’s. Scores like; The Good, The Bad & The Ugly top the list for me, that said, the German war film Das Boot still gives me chills to listen to and Klaus Doldinger’s score on that in particular has it in the top three for me. Kaoru Wada’s music in Ninja Scroll is haunting and powerful. The visionary music of Drew Neumann in the Aeon Flux animated series is mechanical and clinical with it’s execution delivery to the series , fast paced and subtle when needs be I find moving and disturbing at the same time. Very dark and chilling music that seems to come out of nowhere and is riveting with every note.
Of course John Williams and the Star Wars soundtracks are forever engrained in to my psyche and tattooed to the back of my skull! The soundtrack to Apocalypse Now was primarily inspired by the fact that Francis Ford Coppola used The End by The Doors in it and that of course intrigued me but upon seeing the movie and hearing the rest of the film’s score I was immediately hooked right in to it because it wasn’t plagued by all the other Vietnam movies I was watching where they were just swamped with music of the times and not really the best choices in my opinion and they became ad nausea and redundantly boring to me along with the movie itself whereas the Apocalypse Now soundtrack was dark, foreboding, disturbing and deep psyche traumatic experience I ran out and found it a copy on vinyl at Vortex Records (now gone) to which a copy was immediately thrown on cassette tape and listened to death to on my Walkman going to wherever!
The Fritz the Cat soundtrack is interesting as it’s a soundtrack I never knew existed on vinyl to which finding it made me happier than being a kid in a candy store and of course being THE first ever R-rated cartoon feature film it certainly has a great soundtrack to it which features one of my all time favourite female voices, Billie Holiday. Ed Bogas made some great filler music and incidental snippets to the film that helped create the atmosphere of the movie and its settings, the 60’s along with songs by Billie Holiday and Bo Diddley, The Watson Sisters and Charles Earland etc. Music that helped shaped my diversity in sound and to be able to add more inflections to my own music as it presents itself.
Being a huge fan of Progressive Rock music I hadn’t realized at first and for some time how much of a Jazz fan I had become! Never made the connection of Jazz to the Prog world and genre. A lot of the drummer’s in the early days of Prog were huge jazz players or were influenced by jazz musicians as well as a lot of the guitarists, bassists etc but for some reason it just never clicked to me until I read several articles by these Prog musicians and how they were enamoured by jazz and incorporated that in to the rock world and added it to Prog. So naturally I dove in to the world of Jazz and discovered bands such as: Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble, Heroin and Your Veins, GoGo Penguin, Joe Jackson, Sachal Jazz, Snarky Puppy, Dylan Howe, Matthew Halsall, Eivind Aarset, Nils Petter Molvaer, Somewhere Off Jazz Street, Food, Miles Davis, Smirking on Man’s Wane, Mammal Hands etc etc etc you get the idea LoL.
There’s still the genres of Post Rock, Pop, Industrial, Classical and a slew of others I could go on and on with this! It’s amazing when you really see just how much music is surrounding your every daily life and how it affects you and shapes your brain to adapt to new and different sounds.
Clearly so many of these bands can be heard throughout the OddsFiche canon and they will continue to influence the sounds that I help create with the other band mates. They have their own influences and that too contributes to the OddsFiche sound. Perhaps we’re not entirely original but a facet of a somewhat lost sound style in today’s modern world of commercialism music but we love what we do and I hope you do too as you continue to discover more and more of the albums in the OddsFiche discography. ~Enjoy