Oil Boom Prepare a New 7" and Talk About the Value of Being a DFW Band
Photo courtesy of Oil Boom
Update, 6/27: Oil Boom has just announced that one of the songs on the new seven-inch will be featured in an episode of the TNT show Franklin and Bash.
DFW's own Oil Boom will be releasing a seven-inch on August 13. It follows last year's impressive EP Gold Yeller. The rock trio comprises guitarist and vocalist Ryan Taylor of Oak Cliff, drummer Dugan Connors of Carrollton and bassist Steve Steward of Fort Worth.
The new album, which they'll release on vinyl, consists of two singles, "45 Revolutions Per Minute" and "The Fiftease." Taking a break from their constant performances around the area, the Oil Boom trio took the time to talk with us.
When did y'all start working on this record?
Ryan Taylor: January?
Steve Steward: Yeah, the songs came pretty quick and we recorded in January or February.
How'd y'all decide on vinyl, rather than EPs as you've done in the past or a full-length album?
Dugan Connors: We wanted to get something out and we had the songs so we decided to try something different. And we all have an appreciation for vinyl, so it's certainly something that we wanted to do.
The Side A track "45 Revolutions Per Minute" is obviously a nod to the speed at which the record plays. Did y'all make that song before or after y'all decided to release the track on vinyl?
RT: That was a little bit before. I had had some different lyrics at first, but then knowing that we wanted to do something on vinyl, I was like, 'Well, that'd be kind of cool to, you know, have a song that references it in some way. Luckily, it kind of worked out.
How has your sound changed from your earlier songs, and what inspired that change?
RT: The songs are pretty different. We got some heavier influences. Stylistically, as opposed to the last one...Maybe one of you guys can chime in?
DC: Our new songs have more of a rock feel that's very rooted in blues. And we noticed that after we recorded "45 Revolutions Per Minute" that there's even some similarities to Nirvana, and it was totally unintentional. And "The Fiftease" kind of sounds like an early rock and roll single a little bit, but then again it kind of makes me think of a late '80s indie rock in the way that the outro works. The way that Ryan plays almost reminds me of Dinosaur Jr., which I think is pretty cool.
How'd you decide to spell the Side B track "The Fiftease"?
RT: The song is kind of poking fun at Rockabilly culture a little bit. And then it's kind of me just admonishing myself for doing that, like, why do I even care? [He laughs] You know, we're kind of in that decade but you're not really, so, I guess that's just kind of just a play on words.
Alright, I have to ask. How'd y'all come up with that promotional video (see below)?
RT: We just had the idea that it might be kind of funny to do something that looked like a vintage commercial from the '80s that was done in a foreign country or something, and we just happened to know a guy from Laos who lives close to where we rehearse. So, we just thought it'd be fun to do.
Y'all have been compared a lot to the Black Keys and the White Stripes, and you just mentioned Nirvana and early rock and '80s rock. Who else has influenced y'all and how evident do you that is in the music? And is that something that y'all are trying to shy away from?
RT: I don't think that we're trying to shy away from the Black Keys comparisons, but it's just sort of happening, which is kind of nice. When someone asks what we sound like, [The Black Keys] is kind of an easy descriptor, but I wouldn't say that it's a conscious decision to sound like this or that. We all have our different influences. The way we play, you know, is what happens when you have a bassist who plays a certain way, a guitar player that plays a certain way, a drummer who plays a certain way, and it just sets the song that comes out of it. I think all three of us are kind of like this, we got one foot in kind of more rock sound, whether it be old school rock or blues or anything, but also, you know, we like and appreciate a good pop song and just having a good melody and a good hook or chorus, so I think it's a matter of combining both of those.
When should we expect the upcoming full-length album?
RT: Yeah, hopefully we can start going in and recording it in bits and pieces as the summer wraps up, and as we get some more money to do that. It's tough to put a timetable on it and, really, there are several circumstances that kind of play into it- ([a band mate interjects] Mostly money)- Yeah, yeah exactly [they laugh].
SS: I think that's the problem for every band. What sucks though is that we got songs that are kind of old now that we've tried to get around to having the budget to record. But by the time that we get around to having the budget to record a full length, we might have a whole other album's worth of material. So who knows, it might be the songs that we've been playing for a while or it might be whole new ones. The two songs on the single that we're putting out we're like brand new when we recorded them. And actually the ones off Gold Yeller, a couple of those were pretty brand new. We didn't record the old ones just because we had these new ones that were better.
All of y'all live in the DFW area. Have y'all ever considered moving away from DFW to places like Austin, Los Angeles or New York?
RT: I don't think that really matters. I mean I would love to live in LA or Portland or even Austin, but it wouldn't be because of the music scene, it'd be more a weather thing for me.
DC: I don't think it makes any difference nowadays, because when you move to those cities you've moved to a city that's full of people that have moved to that city because they think they're going to make it. Now, the way you get people to hear your music is like - the Quaker City Night Hawks are a perfect example - after everybody hears your song on a TV show. That's probably a lot more affordable than having to pack up and move to a bigger music metropolis and look for jobs. And we're all three kind of outsiders anyway. None of us are from Dallas or Fort Worth originally.
SS: Yeah, Du' is from St. Louis, Ryan's from Oklahoma, and I'm from California.
DC: Dallas is really a good place to be for people that are touring and what not. The cost of living is great and we're very central. So while it not be the quickest drive to the West Coast or East Coast, we are sort of in between. Whereas if we were in New York or LA, it would be quite a trek to get anywhere. I think, logistically, it's a great place. It's a big metroplex and there's a lot of good talent here anyway.
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