(SXSW 2018 flavoured!) Quickfire Questions #133: Joel Roberts of Otzeki

By on Friday, 9th March 2018 at 12:00 pm

Header photo by Lauren Maccabee

As our own editor Mary wrote in The Music Blogger’s Guide to SXSW 2018 and in her Bands to Watch feature on them earlier in the week, London-based electronic duo Otzeki have an unusual relationship for band members: they’re not siblings but cousins. Mike Sharp and Joel Roberts have released two EPs already in Otzeki’s short history, and they are excited to drop their debut long player ‘Binary Childhood’ on the 13th of April, just after their trip to Austin for SXSW 2018. Leading into their Texas adventure, Roberts was kind enough to provide some rather cheeky answers to our SXSW-themed Quickfire Questions, which you can read below.

Describe your music / sound in three words. (We know, tricky…)
Electronic. Dance. Rock. Or EDR as we like to refer to it in jove.

Is this your first time at SXSW? What have you heard about the festival? Are you excited / anxious / scared / etc. and why?
I think overall we are just extremely excited, as I have never been to America before, and lots of people said it was their favourite festival.

Of the bands who have already been announced, are there any you’re particularly interested to see? If yes, who are they and why?
We are excited to see Francobollo as we are playing at the same event as them, whilst our producer works with theirs. We have heard great things. Also a Brazilian artist called LaBaq, who got in touch with us, and sounds great! Maybe Frank Turner, just for the singalong shits and gigs/nostalgic reasons. And our French friends Fishbach!

What are you most looking forward to doing while you’re in Austin?
I think we are most looking forward to eating some ice creams in the sun, playing some concerts, seeing lots of bands, partying, meeting people and our friend Rob coming from New York.

Name something you’re packing in your suitcase that we might find unusual. (You are welcome to elaborate.)
There is genuinely nothing unusual that I am ‘packing’.

If we happen to run into you in a bar, we’d like to buy you a drink. What is your tipple of choice?
Our tipple is usually a Guinness, although lately I have been getting very much into lagers. And also red wines! You can choose. Thanks in advance.

Now, let’s get into our usual list of Quickfire Questions…

What song is your earliest musical memory?
I think ‘Three Lions on the Shirt’ is our earliest musical endeavour. We remember buying it from Woolworth’s with our dads, and every time we hear it we feel so nostalgic it almost makes us cry. I thought it was Aqua’S ‘Barbie Girl’ but just checked the release dates, and Badiel and Skinner’s classic came out first apparently!

What was your favourite song as a child?
Well, it depends really, I don’t think that there is such a thing as ‘favourite’, as also being a child is quite a long time! I mean, when I was little I loved Spice Girls, but when I was 10, 11, 12 nothing would beat Blink 182! Mike had the tape by DJ Otzi’S ‘Hey, Hey Baby’ and used to bring it to our house when we were children! That was great, as was Crazy Town’S ‘Butterfly’, which used to fly around a lot when we were together as children! (and still gives me goosebumps)…

What song always makes you laugh?
We occasionally play a cover which is half ‘5 Years’ by David Bowie and half ‘Satellite of Love’ by Lou Reed using a default preset drum loop off my old guitar pedal which cracks us up.

What song always makes you cry?
You probably get this all the time, but ‘Hallelujah’ by Jeff Buckley.

What song reminds you of a specific memory? (For example, the first time you fell in love, the first concert you ever attended, etc. It’s up to you if you want this to be nice or naughty!)
‘Evangeline’ by Angels of Light reminds me of a very happy time when Mike used to live in Wapping and I used to come to stay, when we first got together (not sexual) and drink loads of beers and smoke fags on the roof, then go down the beach and watch the sunset with our brother Charlie, who is now also our manager.

Which song (any song written in the last century / 100 years or so) do you wish you’d written yourself?
I think any of the greats by Bob Dylan, which for me constitutes as ‘Boots of Spanish Leather’, ‘One Too Many Mornings’, or ‘Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright’. I think he is one of our favourites. I often think of Simon and Garfunkel as the pinnacle of music, but mainly only ‘April Come She Will’, ‘Sound of Silence’ (1964 version without electric guitars), ‘Scarborough Fair’ or ‘Mrs. Robinson’. None of the others.

If you hadn’t become a singer/musician/songwriter/etc., what job do you think you’d be doing right now?
I would be full time at the Carphone Warehouse.

If God said you were allowed to bring only one album with you to Heaven, which would it be and why? (Sorry, but double albums do not count.)
I spoke to God last week, and he said we can bring as many albums into heaven as we so wish, and that this rule was only created by a blog. He said he is God and promotes a generosity of spirit and happiness that acquaints to as many albums as anybody pleases. But would probably be ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ by Pink Floyd, TBF.

Do any of your friends and/or colleagues have any upcoming music releases we should know about?
Our friends Island are also releasing a shit hot album in April 2018 called ‘Feels Like Air’. Gene on Earth’s second EP coming out on his own label ‘Limousine Dream’ for fans of underground dance music. And our good friend Liam/Desert Sound Colony is releasing some killer music at the moment, both on his own label ‘Holding Hands’ and others.

Our thanks to Thomas and Charlie for arranging this email q&a. As with all of the SXSW 2018 showcasing artists we feature here at TGTF, Otzeki’s appearance in Austin is subject to change. We recommend that you consult the official SXSW Music Festival schedule for the latest information and updates.

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