On Oberhofer's infectious debut album Time Capsules II, singer and songwriter Brad Oberhofer takes his lyrics straight from the journal of a lovesick boy. Again and again he pines for the girl he doesn’t have time to take out. Oh, the perks of being a rock star.
On "I Could Go," he perfectly plays the conflicted artist, whistling for the attention of the girl of his dreams before accusing her of running around. On "Haus," he wants to build another girl a home, later confessing he’s been "hiding" and "lying." His voice mimics a bruised Billy Joel, all "whoa, oh, oh." His wounds are self-inflicted, but who doesn’t like a brooding masochist? It sells. So much that Matt and Kim welcomed Oberhofer to open on its recent tour.
With that type of calling card, Oberhofer (a recording project turned full-fledged band taking its leader’s last name) hope to remember 2012 as the year the Brooklyn-based band finally breaks. With a seal of approval from Stereogum and a recent live appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman, the band continues its fast track to fame, racking up fans with honest music that bangs as much as it bleeds.
Brad Oberhofer took a few minutes to speak with This Week in Sarasota.
TWIS: Ok. Let’s start this off on a high note. Who broke your heart and where can we go to thank that person?
Oberhofer: (laughs) I have to say that a lot of times people contribute songs to some other person. But a lot of it is just the result of internal feelings. I think it was my own personal fault for going through a period of sadness.
TWIS: Yeah, there’s a terrific amount of melancholy surrounding the bouncy beats in the songs. When penning songs, do you purposefully balance angst with exhilaration?
Oberhofer: Usually what happens isn’t on purpose. When writing songs, I just come up with the melodies on walks or when sitting at the piano. I write one part, then another. The songs are often spontaneous.
TWIS: You’ve recently toured with Sleigh Bells. How did that audience welcome your sound?
Oberhofer: Extremely well. The crowds were really enthusiastic. It was one of the best receptions we’ve ever had.
TWIS: Tell us about the Oberhofer fans. What about the music captures them?
Oberhofer: I think it’s honest. That’s the main thing.
TWIS: Time Capsules II is essentially an indie dance record, featuring musical elements from numerous decades. There’s signs of '80s new wave, Billy Joel and '90s nerd-rock. Was that planned?
Oberhofer: When recording I only planned for the album to involve friends and orchestral arrangements and to make it very pretty. That’s it. To explain what the songs are about, any verbal explanation would be inaccurate. "Haus," though, that was written at college. I was daydreaming about a person, and I was jumping up and down on my bed in a dorm room, singing about it. Sometimes people can help you experience feelings you haven’t experienced before. It finds its way into the lyrics.
TWIS: Tell us a little about the New York indie music scene and how you set yourself apart from the slew of upcoming acts.
Oberhofer: I don’t try to separate myself really. I think that when you make honest music it separates the artist. I think that all people are different and approach life in different ways. That’s what makes the music unique.
Oberhofer/Matt and Kim
October 17 at The Ritz
1503 East 7th Avenue
Ybor City, FL 33605
For tickets, click here.