Interview with Ben Haberland from Onesie

For any readers who may not be too familiar with your music, can you tell us a bit about your musical influences?
Sure. They’re kind of all over the place. One of the main ideas was taking these well mannered power pop songs I demoed in my bedroom and blasting them out in a band with punk hardcore energy. No matter how articulate a recorded song is we still relish the opportunity to be primal, noisy, and fun live. I’m a huge 80’s/90’s Brit Pop fan and I think you can hear that at the core of the songwriting and arrangements, but again once a song comes out of you, you make it your own thing.

Your sound is quite unique in the fact that you have a certain flexibility when it comes to playing different styles. How has that helped you develop a sound that is your own?
I think I just have a craving for dynamics that comes from being bored by monotonous bands where every song can feel the same. Though I have a comfort zone, I’m pretty conscious of not repeating myself. I love the idea of exploring as many moods as you can but still having it feel like it’s all chapters in the same story if that makes sense. Despite the style hopping we’re quick to acknowledge and take advantage of our own limitations. Even if the band can play like Queen, I’m certainly no Freddie Mercury. Blake Schwarzenbach and Steve Malkmus are great examples of a guitar/voice combo adding up to something much greater than the sum of their parts.

You released your latest album Leos Consume on the 12th of May, can you tell us a little bit about it and how reaction has been?
It’s been awesome so far. I’ve been loving the wide range of bands we get compared to; Dinosaur Jr., Wilco, Weezer, Van Halen. Usually it’s kind of loud, tightly constructed, poppy guitar music. Some people have mentioned newer bands like Motion City Soundtrack that I’ve never even heard. I’ll take it all! Hopefully it’s the kind of record where those questions recede quickly and you just enjoy it for what it is.

As I understand it, Onesie is a trio, how did you guys meet? What’s it like for you guys working as a team compared to working on your own or in a bigger band?
Zack’s a bit younger but we both came up in the DIY punk hardcore scene of the 90’s. In fact our old bands were on the same label. Before Onesie started playing I spent 4 or 5 years kicking around the idea of building a band around my demos and assuming the songwriter/front person role. Zack lives a few blocks away and was into jamming so we got together built the live band from there. As you get older you have to be more flexible with who is available and willing to dedicate time to playing in a part time band. There’s no obvious pay off other than just having fun and expressing yourself so I try to go with the flow and play with friends who are available. We’re both pretty into it so we chisel out the time to rock. Also, we both play in other projects but Onesie is really my main day to day thing.

Lastly, do you have any tour dates coming up? Any performances?
We’re just wrapping up a string of shows through May and June around the Leos Consume release. We’ve got a few confirmed for the rest of Summer: 7/20 Jersey City, NJ @Pet Shop w/ Babraham Lincoln, 8/18 Brooklyn, NY @Cape House w/ Gurus, The Forms.

Check out their upcoming performances as events on Facebook

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