For this week, I came across some amazing tunes with Mr. Dan Rodgriguez and his solo project, Oddsn_nds. I've been a fan of Dan for years when he was in various other bands, so I was super stoked to not only love his newest project, but to be able to sit down and talk with him about it!
Unlike most of the bands I promote, Dan's solo project has been created mostly for the experiment of the process, and his music is out there on the "world wide web" for FREE. You heard me right!!!! So, please give some love to a local insanely talented musician, and I may add NEW DAD OF TWINS! His music again is FREE, download it, love on it, show him some appreciation when you can!
I'm a huge fan of Dan's work, and I think ODDSn_nds is a wonderful showcase of his talent. Alternative and 90's to the core, this EP of work, and the others, are definitely worth a listen !! Head on over to their Facebook page for more information!
LINDSAY : How long has ODDSn_nds been a band? How did it evolve?
This has been an on-going endeavor for 5 years. This band is really a solo project that serves as a creative outlet - which loosely translates to - is home for all the bad ideas I have that don’t fit in with the other bands I play in!
I’m in 3 bands (with varying activity levels), and I generally fill the role of lead guitar and backup vocals. When I first started playing, I never dreamed of ever singing on stage, but my bandmates (aka best friends) would encourage me to step out of my boundaries. I’ve always written music… I started out as a drummer when I was in middle school and would write drum songs (I’m sure my parents loved that). My dad bought an acoustic for $50 from a family member and handed it to me and I hated it, but I came back to it for some reason. I will never forget the nights I would spend fiddling, trying to make sense of it. Then in college – I joined my first band in 2005/2006 (Fifteen Fleeting). It took a long time but I finally met like-minded people who knew how to play their instruments! About time!
Since then, I’ve sought out to write as a form of experimentation. I am product of the 90’s era and that’s where my musical home is. But I also love the technical side that comes from classical and jazz. I would go to blues jams to work on my improvisation and learn how to read other players on the spot. But I was lacking vocals. ODDsn_nds became my outlet to work on vocal range and writing melodies…and then the hardest part…putting words to melody.
I chose to make this a solo project because I wanted to understand the song inside and out; and across all instruments. I write and record all instruments – excluding drums (Ironic since that is how I started)…So YEA, this band is just me, myself and Irene. I knew it would be a growing process; and truthfully, it never stops being a growing process. It’s very humbling.
LINDSAY: How did you come up with a name for your new band, and how the heck did you come up with this spelling for it??
I chose the spelling so no one could search or find me on the internet lol… No, not really. But the name came about because of how I wanted to approach it. I wanted a means to experiment. I didn’t want a pigeon hole of having to do a rock track or EP. If I wanted to do some acoustic folk with brush sticks on the drums…then what the heck, I can do an acoustic folk song with some brush sticks!
It is truly the odds and ends of what I’m feeling at the moment. For better or for worse, I am free and able to do whatever I want ! (laughing)
Regarding the spelling – There are others out there with the same name and they have all spellings covered. If you’re on iTunes, Spotify or Google Play, etc… and search “O-D-D-S-N” – it’ll be the 1 of 1 result you’re looking for! (laughing)
LINDSAY: I see you put out music on your bandcamp page for free, which is super cool, do you guys just make music to get it out there?
I’ve put 4 EP’s on bandcamp so far. I use bandcamp as my main website hub. It has links to Youtube, Soundcloud, Facebook, Instagram, and all that goodness there. I happily offer it for free there, because I feel like it serves my purpose. I want to grow as an artist, so hopefully listeners can grow with me as well.
LINDSAY: What are your writing goals overall? Do you just make music for the process? What goes into the production as a whole?
I touched on the goal before – to simply write as I am in the moment. I have put out an EP every year – just about. But in terms of process and production, it really all starts with a guitar in hand and just mumbling. Eventually, you open the voice recorder app on the phone and build it into a cohesive form there – you get a verse and a chorus section really. Then, I’ll go into garageband and record guitars and bass, and do some mock drums as well. I’ll bump it to MP3 and sing to it in my car while I’m out on the way to get groceries, or going to work, or something else not romantic to the writing process at all. It’s just what you have to do.
My brother in law owns his own studio in Boonton (Audio Pilot Studios,) and is a very accomplished musician/producer himself. He is (one of) the front man in the band Hidden In Plain View – good ole Drive Thru Records Era! So by the time I book some time with him, I have everything kind of laid out, but I also leave room to nip and tuck as well – got to have space for spur of the moment!
Being in the studio is truly a happy place for me. It’s like being a kid in a toy+candy shop. There is endless gear to mess with, and I get to record it all on every instrument! It’s just so much fun to be able to record, hang out with him and also learn – whether its about music or just about talking with each other, and hearing about his touring days.
LINDSAY: Describe the sound of your music, and have you been compared to any mainstream bands out there already?
Like I said, I’m totally a 90’s era kid. Simplified – I’m alternative rock. But not today's alt rock, because that usually is electro pop with one guitar riff. I’m 90’s alt rock. Comparisons usually come by on a song by song basis. On my latest EP, there is a song that is very Muse like (“All Hell”). I have that Bob Dylan meets radiohead folk song w/ brush sticks on another EP. Musically, I can sound like Jimmy Eat World but my vocals sound nothing like them – so it throws off the comparison. I don’t want to crash burn on the comaprisons anymore than I already have (laughing).
LINDSAY: I saw your family is a huge part of your musical inspiration, congrats on becoming a new dad recently as well!!!! Would you say being a father will prolong new music being written, or are you excited for more inspiration, or both!?
Thank you thank you! Yes – family is huge for me. I’ve written a bunch of songs for/to my wife. The latest one is called “We Are” and is basically a punk rock song and is an ode to honoring the past but also our future as parents – of twins I might add!
I also wrote a song called “Summer” for our babies. I tried to describe the feeling of just meeting them for the first time, giving them advice on how to love, treat each other and others, to then fast forwarding and realizing that in a blink of an eye, realizing that they’ll be doing this themselves to their own kids. Maybe I said too much, or not enough – but again – humbling experience when I was writing that song.
But yes, family is an influence in my writing and I think it will continue to be something that I spotlight. I do write a bit about current events, or my take on societal movements – but I try to keep those lyrics ambivalent enough to have more than one meaning. AN example of that would be the song “King” off of my 1st EP. First listen, you might think I’m just being some sort of blind and/or egotistical person… but really, it’s my take on how “every kid gets a trophy” these days. (laughing) In short, I don’t agree with ‘participation award’ ceremonies. Let’s not make everybody delicate flowers here…and for the record, I wrote that song 4 years before having kids too!!
LINDSAY: If you were given the opportunity to tour anywhere in the world with this band, would you do it, and where would you go if yes?
How does Anywhere in the USA sound? I think my kids need to be out of diapers to make this happen..and I would need to get a backing band… but yes, I love playing music out live. It will never get old, even if I do!
LINDSAY: Do you have any music written that you haven't put out there yet?
I have two EP’s out there on iTunes/Spotify/Google etc. Those two Eps are my two best, in my opinion, and they’re the most cohesive in succession together and individually. (All That’s Certain and AB/BA)
I have those two, plus two more on Bandcamp. One was the folk/ambient EP, and the other was more electro influenced.
I have an additional one on Soundcloud – that I really love and I think fits well with the two on ITunes…I just don’t have high quality recordings of. Soundcloud is my testing bed where I put up instrumental demos and all kinds of stuff. Again – all about in the moment. I swear I have a track on there that sounds like it came out of the Lion King soundtrack.
LINDSAY: What is your band's goal as a whole?
The goal is simply to explore and enjoy the process. If someone hears this and digs it, that makes my day for sure. If they hear it and don’t – I’m totally down with that too. I’m just excited someone took the time to hear it! (laughing) It’s all about the feedback. I critique myself on how to get better, my friends give me feedback – and for anyone out there that hears it – rate it on Itunes…comment on Youtube…email me from the bandcamp page…send a note in to WDHA! Tell a friend and spread it organically. I’ll find out if you did and if I ever make a million, I’ll send you at least $5
LINDSAY: If a new original band in the music scene came up to you and asked you for a piece of advice, what would you tell them?
Own the craft. Due your homework. Listen to random music. Don’t just hate a song because you hate it. Learn how to play that song, dissect it and then you’ll really know why you hate it. Treat your bandmates with respect. And whether you’re the new hottest band on the scene, or you’re an old dog, respect the other bands out there. When you play a show, stick around after your set. Shake your soundguy's hand, and tell him/her thank you. Last but not least, don’t be afraid; be persistent………..Did I just become a dad or what!?
BONUS: Time to promote all that is ODDSn_nds, ! Tell WDHA fans where they can find YOU!
Streaming on all the major apps! Apple, Spotify, Youtube, Google Play, Amazon music, Tidal!
I’m on all social platforms that matter (sorry, not snapchat because I #justcant)
Checkout oddsnnds.bandcamp.com to get links to all my sites.