We caught up with Koen Aldershof, the bands frontman and recording engineer for a quick chat about the release, the bands upcoming Tuning Fork show and more.
Here’s what he had to say:
The name Odds & Ends seems to encapsulate your unique style of music so well. Tell us about the origin of this name, how did Odds & Ends come to be called so?
KOEN: In a way, Odds & Ends is kind of like a bit of everything. Apart from country music, jazz, and heavy metal, we try to play as much as possible that’s in between, even having some influences from those genres in our songwriting. We want everyone to enjoy the kind of mix we’re doing here.
Each member of the band is a songwriter in his own right and is also involved with some other bands and has released his own projects. When we put in things together, it kind of makes a huge blend, as if all odds are working together to make an end meet. That’s why the name fits perfectly!
Along with extremely vibrant visual sets, your music also tends to house positive and happy themes and sounds. Is there a vision in mind when it comes to creating mood-based music for Odds & Ends? If so, tell us about this.
KOEN: People should be able to dance to our music. I like to think of it as a test. If you can play it in the car and bop to it, it passes. I like to discuss topics and situations from my life as well as those of my fellow band members. In the case of “Something Else”, the song is about breaking up my band, as the lines go, “I wish we were something else.”
We also had our last release ‘Picture’ where we spoke about being depressed, the feeling during the whole COVID situation and the difficulty to embrace those feelings.
We want to cover different and more topics and at the end have fun with what we do.
Odds & Ends, Photographed by Flora Driessen.
You have attributed the inspiration behind ‘Something Else’ to a drum recording from earlier. Was this recording done for a specific reason? Tell us about this.
KOEN: Oh yes, this one has a backstory. At the time during our UNI, we all got together for a practical where we had to record things in 4 hours. The assignment was to record and notate basically do all the nitty gritty of the studio. We were recording at the Round Head Studios, the best in NZ. Josh who was our drummer (also a person I fully trust) just went inside and smashed things out with some impromptu vocals and percussion.
All this happened in 2018, which was also our first year at the UNI. My old band was broken and I had just written a track. So basically it’s also the bands first recording track haha.
Since it was just an assignment we all kinda forgot about it. And then last year, I found these recordings in my drive and I felt that those were really good. We went through it again and felt everything needed to be changed except the drums. We kept those as the backbone and started to change everything around it.
It was just amazing how we circled back to it and everything sorta came came together. It was like a before and after moment for us.
The standout part in ‘Something Else’ has to be the drum work. Was this intentional? Are there preferred elements Odds & Ends likes to feature in their tracks that you’d like to tell us about?
KOEN: Yea, all this kinda depends on the song we do. The technical aspects like chord structure, composition, arrangement, melodies, etc make the core base of the track and the emotion. It helps us to understand what goes where and what should we hear.
For e.g. in ‘Picture’ and ‘Something Else’ we kinda had the same process, getting the drums first and then later the rest. But the former one was more like a hard rock song with the guitars being the central element whereas the latter was more of a pop-rock funk track. Most of the times if we are not doing something specific we like to make it a funk song since we can be really specific with the detailing and go more deep.
That was the idea we followed for ‘Something Else’.
Since the recordings were from different places and from different times, did you guys face any difficulties during the mixing and mastering process as you have done it all by yourselves.
KOEN: This time we decided to take things slow and in a relaxed way since we had a very tiring experience during the process of last EP. We already had the drums this time which are the most time consuming in any recording. I recorded the vocals in my home studio here.
We put everything together on a drive and since we have a common DAW, project sharing was also easier since we worked on the same file.
I was the one to put everything together and then Jonathan went ahead and mixed it. Max did the final master and that’s how everything came together. Since we all did it in house we saved a lot of money and also had complete control over the recording.
Your last single ‘Picture’ saw a lot of movement on the Apple charts. How was the bands reaction? Do you feel things are different now since it has given you wider reach?
KOEN: It’s hard to tell to be honest. All this happened during the Covid. The system is like if you get into charts you get radio play, if you get radio play you get gigs. We haven’t had the follow up since a lot of things got postponed. The good part of this was that we got to tour with a lot of domestic acts since both the band and the song were getting noticed especially in other cities.
NZ is a wide country like its a spread out country so it played in our favour in terms of reach.
You have mentioned about the upcoming Tuning Fork show which is the biggest announcement yet. What should the fans be expecting from this one?
KOEN: I think the coolest thing is that it’s going to be an all ager show. Being someone who was stopped at parties and entering clubs, bars, etc., I kinda felt that the underage tradition is not great for someone who loves music. Times have changed and now the ager movement is taking the lead which is going to be great since I wanted to do this for everyone and of course with the right venue.
Tune fork is going to be a great show since the sound is really nice there and joining us would be a lot of new bands and fresh young talented folks on board. We are going to play a lot of tracks with a bunch of covers included.
It’s just 2 weeks away now and I can already feel the jitters, haha!
You have also mentioned about the delay in releases due to the pandemic. Since things are getting back on track what can we expect? EP, Album, more singles?
KOEN: All of this was supposed to happen last year but due to the circumstances, we couldn’t do it then. Since we are doing the gig, we have all our focus on it.
To be honest we have no concrete plan since the band is also going through a change and getting new additions. We are super keen on doing more songs and shows, it’s just that we have to sit down and plan things out now. Our hopes are up since we do have a bunch of announcements coming up.
Tell us about what Odds & Ends’ plans look like after the Tuning Fork show. Are there more live shows for the fans to gear up for soon?
KOEN: I feel like there are milestones yet to achieve. We are breaking those down into smaller ones and the plan is to make it happen. Currently, we all are doing our 9-5 and the band is more of a 5-10. The plan is to make the band 9-5 by the end of the year and align things for the better.
Music-wise it will be more focused on the singles than an EP or an Album. Since the band is getting bigger now we will have to see how things will work ahead.
Gigs are surely going to be a major part of 2022.
Feature image photographed by Flora Driessen.