2014 Artist Survey: Odonis Odonis
Denholm Whale on 2014's Best Albums, U2, the Ice Bucket Challenge, and His First Celebrity Crush
Jan 15, 2015
For Under the Radar's 12th annual Artist Survey we emailed some of our favorite artists a few questions relating to 2014. We asked them about their favorite albums of the year and their thoughts on various notable 2014 news stories involving either the music industry or world events, as well as some quirkier personal questions.
Check out our Best of 2014 print and digital issues for answers from alt-J, Camera Obscura, Chromeo, The Dears, Death From Above 1979, Deerhoof, The Drums, The Flaming Lips, Glass Animals, Hookworms, Sondre Lerche, of Montreal, Ought, Owen Pallett, The Rosebuds, Strand of Oaks, Teleman, Sharon Van Etten, The War on Drugs, Warpaint, Woman's Hour, Wye Oak, Zola Jesus, and others.
Here are some answers from Denholm Whale of Odonis Odonis.
Top 10 Albums of 2014
1. Stickers: Swollen-My friend recently showed me this band and I immediately fell in love. No-wave garage with a sax.
2. New Fries: Fresh Face Forward-Also a new band, I can't deny how weird and good this is.
3. WHOOP-Szo: Pt. 1 Qallunaat-It's a trip.
4. VCR: Greatest Hits 7"-These little brats are badass and one of my favorite live bands. They just have fun and fuck around. The 7" is a good time.
5. Wrong Hole: 2012-This is a borderline comedy punk record. It's the lyrics that stick out most to me on this LP.
6. Das Rad: Radiation-Another good Toronto psych/garage band. Been around for a few years now, definitely worth a look.
7. Soupcans: Insecticide II-Rarities from a great band.
8. Timbre Timber: Hot Dreams-This album speaks for itself.
9. Greys: If Anything-Good people making good music.
10. Bad Channels: Death Toll-I think this might have actually come out in 2013 but I didn't find it until 2014, so shut up. Brand new act, really promising.
What was the highlight of 2014 for either you personally or for the band?
Band highlight was probably getting nominated for the Polaris Prize.
What was the low point of 2014 for you?
Realizing that my body couldn't handle eating McDonald's five days a week.
What are your hopes and plans for 2015?
More music, more touring. Try to one up myself in every way.
U2's new album was downloaded for free into millions of users' iTunes accounts without their permission. Was it a wonderful gift to music fans or an invasive action that devalues music? Also, which artist, other than you, deserves to have their album automatically downloaded to half a billion people more than U2?
I think forcing a U2 album on millions of people is the most awkward way for them to have distributed the record. Though it did give us a great platform to hate on U2. I think Apple should have partnered with Tonetta instead.
Did you take part in the ice bucket challenge? If not, why not? Grimes declined due to animal testing issues, was the grief she got for that deserved?
Hell no, I know this was all for a good cause but Jesus Christ, those videos are lame. Do people actually have to throw ice all over each other and post it on Youtube to generate awareness for serious diseases?
The shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri opened up a new national dialogue on police shootings and racism in America. Do you think anything will actually change because of it?
Let's hope so.
What's your craziest theory for what happened to the missing Malaysian Air flight?
I believe that in order to force their album on half a billion people, U2 had to make a human sacrifice. Apple did a good job covering the tracks.
Mark Kozelek was criticized in 2014 for insulting his audience (calling them "hillbillies" for talking during his set) and for making fun of The War on Drugs when their sound bled over to the stage he was playing. What responsibility do performers have to be respectful of their audiences and fellow bands?
Musicians work their ass off for that 30-45 minute set. Sometimes we spend weeks of planning and thousands of dollars to make it happen. To go through all of that to have a few hundred people talk over you is depressing. If the audience doesn't have enough respect to appreciate the fact that you are trying to entertain them then fuck it, they are dicks. I'm sure The War on Drugs issue was logistics and probably doesn't have much to do with the band itself.
"Weird Al" Yankovic was back in a big way this year. If he were to lampoon any one of your songs, which one would you want it to be? What would the "Weird Al" version's lyrics be about?
I would like him to cover "Ledged Up" except it would be "Hedged Up." It would just a song about botany and maintaining a nice looking front lawn.
Which common criticism of your music do you most agree with?
That we pretty much completely change our sound on every release. It's something we do deliberately but can lead to alienating certain fans of the band.
What's the most uplifting or heart-warming fan interaction you've ever had?
Anytime someone drives as much as we did (or sometimes more) to get to the show.
What's the topic no one asks you about in interviews that you wish they would? Conversely, if you could get journalists to stop asking you one question, which would it be?
I like to be asked about the process of making a record or putting together a live show. I love to hear about certain bands' tricks or techniques. I can't stand when people ask you to "list your top 10 albums."
Who from your youth (such as a former bully, an unrequited love) do you most hope pays attention to the fact that you're now a successful musician?
I just hope that I one day actually become a successful musician.
Which musician or celebrity did you most have a crush on as a child or teenager?
Sarah Silverman forever.
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