Tim Beeler, Matt May, Ben Stidworthy, and Tim Keen are Ought, an indie-rock group hailing from Montréal. Together, the band will release their new EP Once More With Feeling this October the 28th and are currently on their North American tour in support of its release. Before playing Toronto’s Hard Luck on September 19th, we caught up with the band to discuss Harry Potter audio books, Buffy the Vampire Slayer references, and the new EP — enjoy!
AMBY: Hey Ought, thanks for having a chat today and congrats on the upcoming release of your Once More With Feeling EP! How’s the band doing today?
Ought: Pretty good, actually! We just had a good practice–we haven’t had the chance to practice much, with being on the road all the time, so it’s kind of exciting when it works out well.
AMBY: Tell us about the forthcoming EP — what were some of the highlights you had while recording it?
Ought: We recorded it really quickly–a day for tracking and a day for mixing–so all of my memories are coloured by the mad whirlwind in which we knocked it out. I have a particularly good memory of Tim B’s vocal take on “New Calm Pt. 2”, featuring wild gesticulations and seven minutes of running on the spot.
AMBY: What’s the significance behind the EP’s title Once More With Feeling (a Buffy reference, perhaps)?
Ought: I’m pretty sure it’s something I said during the session before we did a second take, that ended up getting incorporated into one of the songs a little bit. I think it’s a fitting title for the 10″, which kind of functions like an add-on for the album. I’m not up to that episode of Buffy yet (give it time…), but when we looked it up and found that it was a reference it only made us more inclined to use it.
AMBY: In support of the EP’s release, you’re heading to Europe! Which three items are quintessential to have while on the road?
Ought: 1. ***ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL** Complete set of Harry Potter Audiobooks 1-7, narrated by Jim Dale. Honestly the thing that’s kept us together.
- Not quite an “item”, but we would’ve been in huge trouble without Amy and Radwan, our two insanely competent tour managers/soundpeople/parents/babysitters. Something about being on the road has a strange tendency to turn you into a child who needs to be told to get out of bed/eat/exercise/perform basic human functions/etc.
- We have a combination fan/water spritzer bottle that sprays small bursts of water at you, which we bought on a whim on a really hot day in Arizona. I don’t know what we’d do without it.
AMBY: What’s one of the funniest things to happen to Ought while touring?
Ought: Trying to think of something that isn’t just an inside joke–we’re basically talking in code at this point. In France we played on a stage (in this underground cave of a venue) that was rocking really hard, it clearly wasn’t really attached to the ground. Tim B and Ben moving around caused each of my drum parts to move independently of each other, as if we were on a ship. I had to figure out this swaying motion for the whole set in order to get through it!
AMBY: Describe your dream gig and who would be on the bill with you.
Ought: Honestly, probably a big show with the friends that I mentioned below, and everyone else! We’re pretty lucky that some of our favourite music is getting made by the people we interact with on a daily basis.
AMBY: Which other artists from Montreal should we keep our eyes on?
Ought: Oh, there’s so many. Nennen, Lungbutter, Shining Wizard, Harsh Reality, Skin Tone, Enormous Door, Fakes. A lot of these bands are putting out tapes with the tape label Matt and I help out with called Misery Loves Company (miseryloves.co).
AMBY: Lastly, what’s something about Ought that nobody knows yet?
Ought: Ben is a world-class 3D jigsaw assembler, he has a huge collection.
Thank you Ought, for giving us your answers!
Interview by Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout