As part III of Butternut Slap hits the digital shops and Opiuo gets ready to play his first London headline gig, we've got an exclusive UK interview with the master of funkadelic bass!
Please introduce yourself....
Hello, my name is Oscar. I like beats. I'm from the little country in the Pacific Ocean known as New Zealand, but now days I find myself lost amongst the crazy inspiring streets of Melbourne Australia.
How would you describe your style of music?
Funkadelic Bass Music. I want there to be no start or stop point to what I can do, what I expect of myself, and what others expect of me. It's all the things I like about music: fun, funky, bass driven, and mentally engaging. I want you to call it what you want though, that's the beauty of todays music scene. Go forth and name thee how you feel!
What kit do you use/what instruments do you play?
To perform Opiuo live I use a laptop, DTX drum machine, a stack of Akai controllers, an iPad, outboard delay, Access Virus snow synth. I grew up playing drums, and a little piano, but these days its mostly geeking out in a dark room to the wee hours of the morning, or playing my music live on the spot. I have also performed + toured Opiuo as a 5 piece band. It was fucking unreal! :)
What first turned you onto glitchy / mid-tempo bass music? Any particular artists or tracks?
To be honest, it was hip hop + funk that made me think to write mid tempo funky music. At the time I did not know of that many artists doing what I wanted to do, and most of my initial inspiration came from faster, more breakbeat like music. Tipper obviously, and also AMB were the first producers I heard who made me realise there is music out there like what I was starting to make. Then I was shown people like Bassnectar etc.
I don't pay too much attention to the "tunes of now", or the "scene" so I can purposely continue to stamp my own style on the world, with out falling into a trend or fad. But these days there is so much amazing glitchy, mid tempo music out there its hard to resist, I'm stoked!
One of your first releases was through Colony Productions in the UK. When did you first hear of them?
I first had the Colony thing come about through Vent hitting me up and saying they liked what I was doing. Tipper I saw play way back in the mid to late 2000's when I saw him drop ridiculous music on the faces of many at a festival somewhere in Victoria Australia. It was insanity!
What's the scene like in Melbourne? How has it changed in the time that you've been playing?
Its now flourishing more than ever, with so many amazing people making and playing their own music. Gone are the days of someone with power in the scene only because they have the hookups. People are responding to self produced, performed music with huge energy. I think some of the best "beats" music is coming out of Australia. There are now nights dedicated to the sorts of musics I make, whereas before you were a part of another style of music night, ya know. it's fucking great!
What's the craziest gig you've ever played?
My nephew's open day at his pre-school. Kids were high as hell on sugar. True story. A close second would be during a storm on the east coast of Australia (I forget the name). The stage collapsed, and water fucked all the equipment. People were covered in mud jumping off the speakers until they fell over and the party was stopped. It was fucking nuts.
Where do you like to play the most?
Anywhere there is an inspiring crowd full of excited people. I've played 100's of shows, in 3 continents around the world, countless countries, and everywhere has something that makes me love it so. To choose one is impossible, so I say anywhere where the people are up for a good party, and want to dance to good music.
What can we expect at your UK shows?
A set of live electronic instrumentation, flipping old and new Opiuo music into a funk chunk monk feast fit for your mum and her cat.
Who's inspiring you most at the moment?
All of you. No, truly. My fans, my team, my family and my friends inspire me the most. Humanity is crazy and fucked up, but I love people around me so much, I'm inspired to do what I do. We ain't here for long, so follow any dream you damn got, and make the most of it.
Who are you looking out for in 2013?
Wally. I still never found him in the where's wally book from when I was a kid.
What's your next project in the pipeline?
Getting oil from Canada to Australia. It's much cheaper I hear. Also making another full length album. Remixing incredible musicians, even some film music. Taking my own expectations to the next level.
Where are you looking forward to playing next?
My next shows are always my excitement. I love playing so much that every show means something to me. It's about performing and presenting me, and my music in the best way possible, so every moment counts. Next up this week is Exeter (24 October), London (26 October), and Bristol (27 October)!