Two Oklahoma bands, with two distinct sounds
All this month, public radio stations across the country have been celebrating the second annual Public Radio Music Month. If you’ve been poking around the running diary at publicradiomusicmonth.org, you may have seen some musicians you already know…like Widespread Panic or Gary Clark Junior, to ones hidden deep in the cracks of the music world…try Willy Porter or Justin Paul Lewis. Today, two Oklahoma groups you often hear on the Spy on KOSU…
Deerpeople came to life in Stillwater, and they’ve become more than a band. Their live concerts are said to be pretty, uh…unique:
“Most venues are happy to have us, until we throw all the confetti that we do. And they make us clean it up. I think we spent two hours cleaning up the confetti at Kamp’s last weekend.”
“Anytime we have a show, we try to keep it feeling like a fun party environment so people really let go. Nothing shows fun like a bunch of garbage.”
I was joined by half of Deerpeople in Stillwater earlier this month…Jordan Bayhylle, Derek Moore and Alex Larrea. Deerpeople is actually six people, and they’ve played everything from Austin’s South by Southwest to the smaller, but growing Norman Music Festival. And they fill in the gaps with gigs at clubs and bars around Oklahoma.
“It’s kinda poppy, noisy too. It’s kinda tough. We really like to pride ourselves on the fact that we have a fairly unique sound compared to what else is going on in Oklahoma, and the country, and the world.”
“The best thing about having local radio have our backs like that is just the constant airplay, like year round. Regardless of whatever we are doing. Just the fact that at any random moment on a weeknight, somebody can turn on the old school radio and actually hear us. That’s pretty cool.”
“There is validation that comes with it. But its still really cool. Its still really cool.”
To keep people coming back, you can throw confetti at every show like Deerpeople. Or if you’re Colourmusic, you can keep on changing your sound. The group – Ryan Hendricks, Nick Ley, and Colin Fleishacker, is a little farther along on the music path, they’ve been signed to a label, and have taken a couple international tours. But challenges confront them too…
“When I go to a video store, the section that I find myself in is the special interest section. I think in a way, the special interest section is the uncategorizable section and I think that as a band, we’re really attracted to that area. That’s where we want to go. And we’re always interested in what we can find in that area. And we haven’t totally found it. We’re still looking hard.”
For that reason, it would relatively pointless to try to describe the Colourmusic sound. Right now, it’s loud rock, but can also get you moving. Despite the constant shift, it isn’t necessarily a challenge to listen to Colourmusic, but an experiment:
“People that listen to our music they can either take it as ‘Wow this is a really good rock song’, or really listen to it and ingest it and kinda sit with it for a while and interpret it in their own way. Which I think more bands should be doing. Writing music like that.”
“There probably are a lot of bands doing that, but it’s harder for them to pop out in a more popular way. And this is something that we’ve learned being in this band.”
“You’re not going to hear Oklahoma bands on any other station any time soon. For the first time in a long time, us, as members of bands, we actually have a chance to hear our music, and our friend’s music, on the radio. Instead of just internet radio, it’s actually on the radio.”
You can hear bands like Colourmusic and Deerpeople most nights on the Spy on KOSU, starting at 7. And the Oklahoma Rock Show at 7 o’clock Thursday nights offers a chance to discover more local music. Public Radio Music Month is wrapping up, but catch up on what you missed on the blog: publicradiomusicmonth.org.