Odesza Talks Tidal, Festival Season & Their Coachella Surprise

Odesza is one of the rare groups that produces music that can be correctly labeled as a “crowdpleaser”—their music bridges the gap between fans of indie rock, EDM, and top 40. “Say My Name” is a ubiquitous party jam, and now Harrison Mills (aka CatacombKid) and Clayton Knight (aka BeachesBeaches) are taking their beats to the ultimate party: Coachella 2015. Harrison took a break between festival rehearsals to let us know what to expect from their set, thoughts on Tinder and whether or not they”ll sign their soul over to Jay Z’s Tidal brand.

Are you excited for Coachella? I mean, I’m sure you are. What are you most excited for?

Harrison Mills: Definitely. I think I’m most excited for all the surprises that we’re going to incorporate into our set.

Ooh, now I’m imagining you guys introducing live animals on stage or something. 

HM: Yeah, totally. We’re going to have a polar bear on stage, all sorts of stuff.

Are you a big festival guy? I assume you go to a lot now. 

HM: No, I’d actually never been to a festival before we played our first one. I was more of a hermit before we went on tour.

How do you identify your festival style? Do you consider yourself a fashionable person?

HM: I went to school for design, so I’m definitely a visual person—I would say I’m conscious of fashion, but I also just often wear sweatpants and sweatshirts. We’ve done some work with Allsaints, which was really cool. I really like nicely-cut black clothing. I wouldn’t say I know that much about clothes, but I just love simple stuff that’s cut really nicely.  So I’m probably going to be wearing a blank black tee-shirt.

You’re going to be overheated, for sure.

HM: That’s the price of looking cool!

[Laughing] Are you guys divas? 

HM: Well, we basically hired most of our friends, so they keep us pretty grounded. I don’t think you’re allowed to act like a cool guy in front of your friends.

Would you say that you guys are of the “no new friends” mentality?

HM: No, I mean, we’ll make new friends but I will say that we generally don’t like people who act too cool, or who take themselves too seriously.

That must be hard. I mean, I feel that a lot of musicians take themselves so seriously—

HM: There’s a certain image that people want to uphold. We want to be serious, and take our music seriously, but we’ll be happy to goof around, and like, play a silly trap song at the end of our set.

Speaking of divas, How do you feel about Tidal?

HM: I don’t know that much about Tidal, but we just gave a panel at SXSW about compressed music, so it’s really convenient that they came out with Tidal a couple days later. If it works easily, and it’s convenient, that’s the key. I know when we first out our songs 3 years ago, they were uploaded as .wav files, so people were constantly like, ‘why am I downloading a file this big?’ You can’t use all your data to stream an album. Basically what Jay-Z did, is use a bunch of front-runner people to make the thing look cool, but I think functionality will end up being a a big part of in the success of it.

Would you be into putting your music on it? I guess it depends on how much the artists will actually be getting paid.

HM: I don’t know. They’re all also multimillionaires so I think they don’t have to worry about that kind of thing. I also think it will be for people listening to music in a certain way— someone who has a nice speaker system might be into playing .wav files that you can get from Tidal. Otherwise, I don’t know.

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Did you know that you guys have a huge Tinder following? As in a lot of girls on Tinder will profess their love for Odesza.

HM: A Tinder following? That’s very nice, I didn’t know that. I’m not on Tinder. I’m not a Tinder guy, but we had this joke a couple years ago, where our video guy made a joke profile with everybody in the band, and in the crew. Every picture was 6 guys, and all our profile said was ‘package deal’. We didn’t say who we were, but you’d be surprised how many people were into it.

That’s hilarious. What did you like better, the new Kendrick Lamar album or the Drake mixtape?

HM: The Kendrick Lamar album, for sure. I love that he decided to go funky with it, and I think that’s a really hard call to make. I think he was probably was like, ‘I have a vision’, and didn’t listen to what anybody else had to say about it.

So you love Kendrick.

HM: Oh man, I would kill to work with Kendrick. If somebody said Odesza could only ever do one more project, or one song, I would have to say that it had to be with Kendrick Lamar.


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