- Thu, 2008-09-04 16:54
Sometimes when a group of talented individuals get together to make music it just works. Aaron (Vox and Guitar), Norbert (Bass) and Moran (Drums) of Olympus Mons met in 2006. The same year that they were voted “best unsigned band” by Play Music, and won the “3 Student Music Awards” as well as the “Fopp Award for New Music”. Since then, the band has played more than 200 gigs in Europe sharing the stage with bands such as Babyshambles, The Delays and The Maccabees. In October 2007, the band entered the studio to record their debut album Nothing's Gonna Spoil My Day Today! I Like Music caught up with Aaron McIntosh to chat about the album and where he finds inspiration.
ILM: Can you give us your personal description of the vibe of the debut album Nothing Is Gonna Spoil My Day Today?
Aaron: It's fresh, it's emotional, it's very varied and very very good too... I think that it's something for the open minded listener. Something for the thinker as opposed to something for the drone who wants to hear the new band of today that sounds exactly like the old band of yesterday, who will ultimately be the blue-print of the next big thing tomorrow. It's daring to be different.
ILM: Can you describe the Olympus Mons process of writing and recording such good music?
Aaron: I write in the morning. I find that I have a more active creative mind when I have just woken up and am still tired. I usually get up and without showering or anything get dressed quickly and head to the bus stop, get on the first bus that comes, sit upstairs with my mp3 in one hand playing back the little guitar ideas, and a pad in the other. Whilst watching the city moving by I pen the words, hum the melody into my mobile phone and then stop and head home when my window of creativity closes. I don't ever try to force an issue musically. I just let it come when it comes. So, if you end up sitting next to a smelly bloke scribbling on scraps of paper and humming mysteriously into a mobile phone on the bus on your way to work in the morning... You've probably just met me!
ILM: What are some of your key sources of inspiration?
Aaron: Life experiences and friends. You know people always say that it's easier to write when you're down? Well I don't find that. I do find it easier to write about people around me who are going through hard times. It's like I can watch them from my perspective. It's like spying on someone elses emotions through a pane of glass. I'll usually inadvertently write about it. Most of the album is about my friends and their lives and experiences.
ILM: You worked with producer Mark Plati, who has himself worked with some big names such as Bowie and The Cure. How was that experience? What did you learn from him?
Aaron: Mark Plati is really cool and very experienced. His studio in New York is amazing and he is a very eccentric personality. It was nice to work with someone with such a huge wealth of experience and have some of that imparted onto our album. I think that you learn different things from all kinds of different people and that you'll only know you've learnt it when it becomes relevant to your life.
ILM: What can we expect from an Olympus Mons gig?
Aaron: Certainly no Oasis lookalikes standing on the stage looking bored. It's something for the head, the heart and the feet that you get from us.
ILM: What are the future plans for Olympus Mons?
Aaron: Well, to get through this album, tour it a bit and then hopefully look towards the next. Some of the songs on this album are years old but I didn't want to see them wasted, so I used them here. Musicially the band has moved on since. The next record will hopefully be where we are currently. I'm writing a lot at the moment and I'm quite eager to have them heard but I guess all in good time. Let's work with the now today and then worry about the future tomorrow.
ILM: Can you describe your favourite place on Earth?
Aaron: Cairo / Egypt... Can't beat a little bit of romance can you?
ILM: What is your earliest musical memory?
Aaron: It's either ABBA's Supertrooper or Gottlieb Wendehals' Mein Freund Herbert - a famous German singer.
ILM: What was the last thing that really made you laugh?
Aaron: Monty Pythons interview with the cross eyed exhibition leader for the Kilimanjaro Mount. The architect died trying to build a bridge from one peak to the other. Hilarious! Intelligent humour about post war communist political paradoxons is good and all that, but you can’t beat Bugs Bunny hitting Elmar with a hammer or Woody Allen slipping on a giant banana…
ILM: If you could change one thing about modern society, what would it be and why?
Aaron: Execute obese people at the local football stadium every Sunday? Illegalize Baldness? Make bubble gum indie history? If you want better advice maybe wait for the Chris Martin autobiography on “How I made this world a safer place by dancing like a Latvian Belly Dancer with coffein poisoning”. Sorry for the blasphemy Chris I think lightning just struck my ceiling. Didn’t mean to make the father angry. No seriously... censorship. Imagine a world without censorship... Can you visualise the possibilities?
ILM: What's in your CD player right now?
Aaron: Nothing. I mostly listen to records at the moment. The last thing I was listening to was Bob Mould, Workbook.