INTERVIEW: The Dread Crew of Oddwood, A Pirate Rock Band
Even though I am the SPACE Pirate Queen, I can still appreciate the music of land pirates. Wolfbeard O’ Brady, the captain of The Dread Crew of Oddwood, took time out of sailing the high seas and making music to answer questions for our blog. Gizzy B and I have seen this band perform a couple of years ago and their fun energy have always made an impression on me. They were out of control, stomping around and played great pirate-y music. Imagine my surprise when one of the band members has been reading our blog all this time! I was happy to do an interview with them. Besides, us pirates have to stick together.
These pirates are not only hot but they make great music. Take a listen on their Facebook.
Where did the name of the band come from? What is the origin story of Â The Dread Crew of Oddwood? Tell me more about each of your pirate tales and history.
The Dread Tale of Oddwood begins in 1735, a time of endless bounty and exploration. Itâ€™s a long and adventurous epic that tells of how the Dread Crew was brought to the present through temporal rifts in the Atlantic Ocean, and how we started playing our music for American audiences in 2008. While it is too long to recount here in explicit detail, you can read the whole story on our website.
The less impressive non-piratical story is not quite as interesting as the one listed on our â€œaboutâ€ page, but is an uncanny one all the same. A good number of the crew knew each other before we became the entity we are now- our mandolin player Ruba Jouba, our percussionist Castle and myself (accordionist Wolfbeard Oâ€™Brady) actually all went to high school together, where we played in various musical projects together throughout our late teens. It wasnâ€™t until we all attended a miserably organized convention for one of our favorite video game franchises, Ecco the Dolphin, that the original lineup of the The Dread Crew of Oddwood came together. While the convention (ECCOCON) was lame, we got to know each other and found out that almost everyone in attendance played music in some form or another… so we put our heads together and hatched a musical project that we could all enjoy. Most of the original lineup enjoyed attending local renaissance fairs, so we decided to make something acoustic that catered to our musical influences but we could also perform out in the open without amplification. And thus… Oddwood was born.
A common definition of â€œpirate rockâ€ is any group of musicians who play instruments that have cultural associations with the pirates of old (such as mandolin, accordion, concertina, traditional flute or whistle, etc) and/or a group that performs garbed in clothing associated with pirates.
To be honest when we first started we werenâ€™t even aware there was a pirate rock community at all- we just wanted to rock out and have fun playing instruments that translated to a nautical and piratey feel. In the past 3 years, however, we have met and performed with a great number of bands that also partake in our genre, and have discovered that the â€œpirate rock sceneâ€ is really quite expansive, both geographically and musically.
How do you pirates find time to do your music while sailing the high seas? What has been your favorite part so far as a band of musical pirates?
Rough seas, stubborn winds and messy lines do keep us busy… but we find time to write, practice and record our music because we love the songs we play and the shows we perform. Playing to enthusiastic audiences makes us who we are- itâ€™s not an exaggeration to say that some of the best times of our lives were had playing Oddwood songs to our fans as we tromp, stomp and headbang our way around the stage… and some of the crazy adventures we have after the show is over.
What are your inspirations for your songs? How do you define what pirate music sound like? Tell me which of your songs you feel best represents your band – the songs you would want people to hear first.
The inspiration for our music comes from a lot of places. Many of us have strong influences from traditional music like Irish folk and bluegrass, and almost all of us spent the better part of our lives listening to heavy metal and rock. That being said, we take a lot of our sense of humor and our visual style from video games and video game music as well (namely the Monkey Island games, Baldurâ€™s Gate, the Final Fantasy series, Blizzard games, The Legend of Zelda series, and other similar games), and much of our storytelling and lyric writing ties to the novels and authors we read growing up, like Tolkien, Robert Jordan, C.S. Lewis, Michael Crichton, Douglas Adams and Orson Scott Card.
As far as what I think represents us best, I would say songs like Cities Burning, Bottomâ€™s Up, Skeletons, Queenâ€™s Decree, Leviathan, Eddie Kelleyâ€™s Medley, Walk the Plank and Ketch Medley really give a good idea of what weâ€™re about.
Gizzy B and I saw you perform at the Long Beach Pirate Festival in 2009 and you pirates had an amazing energy. How does your audience respond to your antics and what’s the craziest or most memorable performance have you all had so far?
We love that our audience loves our antics… and of course energy is one of the key aspects to our show. We try to make our performances metal and badass, but also keep things relatively tongue in cheek and always have a sense of humor.
As far as our craziest/most memorable performances go, we have quite a few. Whenever we are finishing a run at a large Renaissance fair, we try to make the final show as big, loud and ridiculous as possible. A few of our favorite antics: dressing in drag and punking The Merry Wives of Windsor at the Los Angeles Renaissance Pleasure Faire, lighting Castleâ€™s drums on fire, playing with goats on stage, inviting the audience to dance on stage with us, â€œpantics,â€ playing an entire song in adjoining porta-potties, and dive rolling out of the way of danger.
What are you all planning for the new year coming up in 2012?
Iâ€™m so glad you asked! We just recently declared the name of our new album and a Kickstarter account to get it funded! You can watch a video and read information explaining the whole thing here: Heavy Mahogany: Oddwood’s COURAGEOUS NEW ALBUM!
We want our 3rd album, Heavy Mahogany, to be as big, bold and badass as possible, and we want our friends, family and fans to all be a part of the project. We have a huge list of cool prizes for donors of even modest amounts, and want to get word of our new project out to everybody!
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Check out their badass music video!
Visit their website www.thedreadcrewofoddwood.com
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You can follow the Space Pirate Queen on twitter @punkagogo.