Had a great time speaking with oblio, an alt-rock trio from Long Beach, California last week. The guys, Alex, Blake and Free, broke some news about upcoming music that they are working on, discussed the new single they released this spring “Batting Cages”, and talked about the upcoming shows on the East Coast this August. Excited to see what is to come for this band!
What was the inspiration behind your new single “Batting Cages”?
Blake: Lyrically, I have a hard time articulating the meaning of “Batting Cages”. The lyrics have no linear story or moral, which is unusual for us. Its kind of a series of satirical vignettes, meant to jab at contradictions in our relationships. It usually gets a good reaction from fans, which is really rewarding.
We love a lot of punk and hardcore, and lately that’s been seeping in to our sound quite a bit. Musically, I think Free came up with the idea for the main riffs and verse, and I came up with the chorus later… At some point we just decided to play it all fast and heavy. We wrote it just before Alex joined the band, but he did contribute really badass bass lines to the final recording.
What does the name “Batting Cages” come from?
Free: Mostly from the “punny” nature of this song, the “hedgehog’s dilemma” of not allowing people too close to you, and lines in the chorus: “I don’t want to be a bearer of rage, I would rather be a batter in a cage. Throw your heart at me.”
You guys are playing two shows on the East Coast after primarily playing on the West Coast. Are you excited to come to the East? What led to the shows on the East Coast?
Free: Oh yes. Super excited! Originally, Blake is from the LA area, and I’m from Boston. After a previous band we were in, we got together and wrote a full album in the basement of my family’s house. Things felt really natural and we were churning out songs, so eventually I moved out to LA to fully commit to the band. Thats the short version of how oblio was formed. Blake and I are cousins (Alex & Blake were childhood friends), so we actually have a lot of family and friends on the East Coast that have never even seen oblio play live yet.
When can your fans expect another single or new album release?
Blake: We’ll be putting out a new standalone single titled “The Quiet Song (That Fades Out)” in just a week or two!
Free: We’ve been kicking it around for a while. We never found a place for it on a full album or EP, so its been through a few creative edits to get it right.
We’ve also been at work on our 2nd full-length album for about a year, and we’re almost done recording it. Hard to say anything about it at this point, but I will say it’s a stronger “rock” record. Where our previous release “Autophobia” spread across a really surprising gamut of genres and stylistic endeavors, this next release feels like a solid punch of songs that fit together “stylistically”, instead of “conceptually”.
What is a lyric from your music that sticks out to you?
Alex: It’d be from the song Shunned; “Jesus is my only friend and I treat him sh*t, but his hand’s on my glass turning water to gin…”
Free: From the song Wisdom, off our first LP Autophobia: “With a mouth that has none to oppose, truly wisdom is knowing: the self is the greatest of foes”
Blake: There’s another line in our song Shunned; “I act so broken, I just might break.” Simple, but I’m really proud of the honesty in that one. We all love the lyrics in that song. Hahah.
What is your favorite song right now?
Alex: “Easy Love” by Wood Lake.
Free: I went through a huge Ghost phase recently, a little late to the party, I know, but I’ve been recently ingesting their entire discography up until the recent new album, and though Blake was listening to this on repeat about a year ago, I still can’t shake the feeling that the massive rhythm in Ghost’s “Cirice” is going to stick with me a while longer.
Blake: “Steph” by Headbed. They’re probably the coolest band I know in our local LA scene. We’ve played shows with them a few times, and they’re just wonderful. Definitely check out their EP “Tremble”.
Lastly, what is one of the most memorable experiences that your music has taken you?
Alex: I have a vivid memory of taking turns showering in a truck stop sink and only having two shirts to wear because all my clothes got stolen on the first night of tour (Someone broke into the van). It was a long tour but people were so helpful. Also some employees at a Starbucks heard our story and gave us a ton of free food and stuff.
Free: We got pretty drunk one night and carved our names into the back of the black Fender Tele that serves as oblio’s “main guitar”. It’s nice to see that carving when we pick it up to play.
Blake: We did a show once where the people up at the front started all dancing together to our song. Any musician would say “that’s why we do what we do…” It was a beautiful moment.
If you are interested in seeing oblio on the East Coast, check them out on:
Friday, August 3, 2:30 pm – Inside Out Stage at Soulfest in Gilford, NH
Thursday, August 9, 7:00 pm – The Cantab Lounge in Cambridge, MA