Deevia Fierro and I recently sat down with The Odyssey to discuss their music and future plans.
The band is made up of three friends: Backwards-Hat Boi – AKA, Cobey Brown (vocals, guitar), Afro Boi – AKA, Derek Johnson (guitar), and Beanie Boi – AKA, Elijah Avery (bass). (All nicknames were listed and approved by the band.)
The Odyssey began during their junior year of high school. At first, it was just for fun. None of them really knew how to write music, so they played together off and on. It wasn’t until much more recently that the band actually started taking it seriously.
The name “The Odyssey” has an odd backstory that they were eager to share. Apparently, when using a name generator, Brown came across the name “The Obese Center.” Messing around with pronunciation, it came out “The ah-beh-see” – just a short jump from “The Odyssey.” The three kept the name, however, because of its meaning: epic journey.
When asked about the writing process, it was shared that Brown writes most of the songs alone with his guitar. The instrumental comes first, apparently. Lyrics are the last to be added.
“Music can speak to you without words,” Brown explained. “I try to hear what the song is telling me before I add any words. I try to take the emotion and turn it into an idea.”
“The instrumentals are what really shows our music,” Avery added.
Avery and Johnson contribute to the writing process as well, though the band avoids doing so as a group. They claim that it’s too hard and just doesn’t work as well as the system they have now.
“We kind of just figure out our own instrumental part instead of actually writing lyrics. Both of us kind of put our own twist on it, ” said Avery.
They described their music as alternative blues rock. They want to be unique, to mix genres and create something that reflects the personalities of each member.
“It’s a lot of different styles thrown into one,” said Johnson. “We all have different playing and listening styles.”
Brown tried describing the music by explaining how most of the songs he writes are in minor keys but with more positive lyrics. He wants to put out sad songs that end with something to latch onto, to get through the hard times.
“I want our music to sound like a light in the darkness,” said Brown.0
Their biggest influences are Black Keys, Pink Floyd, Arctic Monkeys, and Kaleo, but when asked who they would want to play with, out of anyone in the world, the one group that made everyone’s list was actually Young the Giant.
Chance the Rapper was the next to be added by Avery, an opinion not shared by the other two. Avery quickly replaced him with Led Zeppelin and Red Hot Chili Peppers, though, so he managed to hop back in everyone’s good graces.
Kaleo, Young the Giant, and Queen were on Brown’s dream lineup, and Hippo Campus, Young the Giant, and Finish Ticket were all on Johnson’s list.
Their absolute favorite show they performed was the June 26 show at The Vanguard. They played with Manta Rays, Guys on a Bus, Couch Jackets, and Cliffdiver. The amount of people that were there blew their minds, and the energy was infectious. The energy made the concert one of the best they’ve ever played, according to them.
Moving on to the upcoming EP, the band hinted at themes involving light, darkness, and anger, all with a more positive spin.
“It’s a darker, more minor sound than most of our songs,” Brown explained. “It’s more of a roller coaster ride rather than a low point the whole time.”
They continued to describe it, their words clashing and vague due to them not wanting to give too much away. However, the gist seemed to be the same light in the darkness trend that Brown mentioned earlier.
The EP is in the process of being recorded. The Odyssey has been working in the studio with Sam Westhoff and is hoping the release date will be some time in early 2019. They plan to celebrate with a release show and have been trying to set something up around a tentative date.
They’re still determining their live persona and have been toying with an up and down style that will really reflect the roller coaster of emotions that is to be their new collection of songs. Recently, they’ve started to order their songs in a way that takes the audience on a journey – which also happens to be their goal as a band.
The Odyssey isn’t just named after an epic journey. The name itself tells listeners what they’re in for when diving into the kind of folksy, alternative rock music. The band wants their fans to feel like they’re being taken on a ride every time they listen; they want them to feel the roller coaster of emotions that come with life – and especially with being young.
The Odyssey has a brand new song coming out on December 1st called “Love You Back.” Their next concert is set to be on December 15th at the Vanguard. Check out their social media for more information, and make sure to listen to their music on all streaming/purchasing sites.