The real Live

Interview with Oood

Date: Nov 27, 2006
Views: 2471

Date: 27.11.2006
Text: Katja Turpeinen

I’m talking here with Colin Bennun, Ramsay Melhuish & Ryo Potier aka OOOD from England, who will be releasing their album on November the 17th. Unfortunately not all of the members could participate in this interview (Stephen Callaghan is missing), but could you tell us a little more about yourself and who are the people behind OOOD?

Ryo- My name is Ryo and I am the percussionist of OOOD and I joined OOOD around 5 years ago. I have been writing music with Colin for a bit longer than that and I was sharing a house with him in Oxford. So we’ve kind of known each other for 12 years. We’ve only been writing music together for about six years. I’m half Japanese, half French, living in Bristol, England.
Ramsay- I’m Ramsay and I’ve been DJing for about the last 12-14 years. I used to put on parties with Stevie, the missing member of OOOD; he is working at the moment. I got to know Colin about 12 years ago and was quite interested in the music he was writing with Stevie and Nigel. We started to promote them at the parties we were doing, and I finally joined OOOD about 5 years ago. My inputs are mostly on the sample side of things and mixing when we are playing out live. I’m generally just trying to add a little twist of psychedelic and humour to our tracks whenever possible.
Colin- Alright, I guess I’m one of the original members of the band together with Stevie. We started back in 1994. It’s a long time ago, but it doesn’t seem like it. It has been a great ride up until now, writing music together with Ramsey and Ryo for the last 5 or 6 years. It has been quite a gradual transition from the old line-up to the new line-up, which I think is working very well for us. I’m certainly very happy with the band as it is at the moment.

This album is called “Free Range” and what is even more interesting is your artist name; OOOD. What is OOOD?

Colin- OOOD stands for Out Of Our Depth. We came up with the name at a Pagan party in London just when Steve, Nigel and I had finished writing our 2nd or 3rd track and was looking for a name of the band.
I was talking to a friend and was just saying that we were “out of our depth” with the music industry side of things and as I said those words, the initials came flashing up in my imagination. I had the name of the band: OOOD, it just seemed perfect.

Yes it’s funky and funny for sure and the music you produce is quite broad in its style. Your new cd contains styles like psy trance, dub oriented progressive funk, you name it. What’s your musical idea behind that?

Ramsay- I think it reflects the eclectic nature of our musical taste, bearing in mind that we have been blending various musical styles over the past few decades. You have to be open-minded with music and I think the wonderful thing about psy trance is that you can incorporate all kinds of different styles and still keep peoples´ attention and interest.
Colin- We have always written lots of different sorts of music, from chill out to breakbeat, housey stuff and also lots of psychedelic trance as well. This time we thought that it would be a good idea to incorporate all those into one album to show how much we love all sorts of music, not just “straight down the line” psychedelic trance, but still within that framework.

Is your album something like “stand up against boring psy-trance”?

Ryo- Well no, it’s not like that at all. We always say that at our own free parties that we do in England, we play all sorts of music but we tend to end up in psychedelic trance anyway because that’s what we love the most. But since we also like other music, it seems to be a shame to miss them all out because the people in the scene are broad mined enough to experiment and to go a step beyond.
Colin- I think there is a lot of music in this scene that does sound the same and if we can do something to distinguish ourselves beyond and above that, then I think we would be very pleased with that!

You are four persons, and that is quite unusual for a trance act. How do you actually make music together?

Colin- Well, each of us in the band has a different role on the stage. Ramsey does the playback element of the set and introduces lots of different live samples, atmospheres and effects. So he kind of controls the flow. Stevie plays guitar and analog synth. Ryo plays drums and percussion and electronic stuff as well. And I play live keyboards.
Ryo- Two of us live in Devon and the other two live in Bristol so we can’t be in the same studio all the time. So what sometimes has happened in the past is that Colin and I would start writing a song and then the other guys would come in and follow. This album is full of songs that are written by different combinations of people.
Ramsay- Certainly when we play live its lovely to have all four of us on stage. It’s great for interaction and something different for the audience to appreciate. It’s a different side of psytrance.

Last but not least, some words about your home label Organic records?

Colin- Well Organic Records has been our home for a little bit and mine for a little longer when I was involved in the “Voice of Cod” project with Andrew. We are still writing new tracks for that right now and we released our album on Organic Records. I’m sure every act that’s happy with their label would say this, but in our experience Chris Organic is a very nice guy, straight down the line. It’s so refreshing that we can actually trust the people that we are working with, rather than having to worry about whether you are going to get paid or if it’s a fair contract. That has happened with some of our previous releases. It works really well now. It’s a small label, so everyone has to put in a lot of work to make things successful.
Ramsay- We had tremendous support from Organic on our latest album and it’s always been a pleasure to work with them.
Colin-…and not just Organic. The team behind us includes Triskele Management. They are doing great things for us in terms of helping us to promote the album and the band as well.

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