Oh, Well This is Awkward. Olympians.

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Oh, Well This is Awkward. Olympians. An Interview

“Bands are awful. What is it about people that when they join bands, they become awful people. It encourages so much awful behavior. Everything about it, I don’t want to do,” states Daniel J Harvey, ringleader of Olympians. “The only way we can do it, is by promoting our band while also dismissing the concept of promoting our band. We want to have our cake and eat it.”

Lounging around in armchairs, Daniel is joined by Chris and Parkin who make up three quarters of Olympians. A band who, by their own admission, play pop songs with as many instruments as they can find. A band who don’t take themselves too seriously. Throughout our time together, tongues rarely leave their natural home of in cheek and tangents aren’t just touched upon, but fully explored.

“I think it’s important to not take yourself seriously while doing it but I think you can not take yourself seriously while doing it, without being a fucking pop punk band. Thirty years old and being wacky, you’re not making anything then.” Dan continues. “We’re somewhere in the middle. The songs aren’t meant to be farcical but they’re not written by someone who expects to teach you something. The way Future of the Left present themselves is scathing but funny, That’s the weird line. I like that.“

Following on from a series of singles and EPs, Olympians are currently working on their debut album, With fourteen songs in various states of completion, “imagine a lorry that’s shed it’s load going down a motorway,” offers Parkin. “We’ve got the name, we’ve got the cover and we’ve been working backwards from that,” explains Dan. “The last EP was recorded as we went. We sung some things and then put shit on them so they became a big lump of shit. We’ve actually practiced and written in a room with guitars this time. A lot of the album is going to seem quite rousing, but the things that we’re singing about are actually really horrible things that you don’t want to learn about yourself. The key theme for the album is misery. That’s our byword. Lyrical misery and feelings of defeat. In fact, if there’s one thing you can take from (lead single) Brunch Cannon, it’s how it’s all completely pointless, but that’s actually quite fine.”
“I think we’ve written enough pop hits that’ll sell enough to buy me that boat though,” Parkin concludes.

 “We’re not in a huge rush to get it out,” says Dan “We keep making parts of songs that slowly push the release date back. We keep writing songs that I feel are better. They make the first songs we wrote for it seem naïve, more similar to the stuff we used to do, which is fine but we’ve done that.”

The difference between writing an EP and an album is much more than the number of tracks. “If you do a two minute song, it’s immediate. You turn it on, you play it and then it’s gone. It would be nice to let people into your ideas for a while. You’re making something last. You want people to get comfortable, we’re talking a long bath rather then a quick shower.”
“Ruining a week, rather than a day,” Parkin quips.

Despite their protests, surely Olympians, like every other band, would want to do the band full time?
A resounding no, then a surprised silence. Chris is the first to break it. “If we were paid to do this and we were owned by someone to keep making music and everyone was reliant on that, I think it would ruin it.”

“If someone gave us a job of doing this, our natural thing would be to fuck it up because we’re all contrary pricks. I don’t think anyone would ever pay you to undermine the whole thing at every stage. No one would want that, and if someone were into that, we’d have to test them. It would be fucking horrible for them,” Dan warns. A menacing, yet playful glint in his eye.

“Things are boring. I don’t want to watch a film where someone goes to work, gets bored and goes on twitter. I think things should be a bit silly. It would be nice to change the world, but I’d want to make it more stupid.”

There are moments of serious reflection though. Dan’s critique of Thom Yorke’s release strategy for Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes is angry and impassioned, “The guy who invented pay what you want, and then publicly regretting inventing pay what you want has now decided the next thing he can do to make music worse for musicians is to teach everyone in the world to use bit torrent. Fuck you, you fucking cunt.”

There’s tender moments of brotherhood as well. An anecdote about binbags full of ice and Parkins’ hot head almost is shared with a hint of love and admiration. Despite spending most of their time mocking themselves, Olympians clearly do care.

Amidst laughter, Dan pauses and looks over at his two band mates before admitting “I worry we don’t quite get the line right between joking and being a joke. I think we’re still trying to get that one right.

Parkin looks him in the eye, stifling a giggle.
I worry we don’t come across well in interviews.”

“In the spirit of Olympians we successfully launched our album at the same time as Arctangent, so all of our market who might have been interested, were busy in a field.” – Parkin

“People have said pleasant things about Brunch Cannon. We released the video with the breakfast and most peoples reaction has been great joy that I was having a bad time, which was our target audience. People who like seeing me have a bad time.” – Dan

You can find Olympians on Twitter and Facebook. You can download Brunch Cannon here.

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~ by justdip on 14/10/2014.

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