Gimme Your Answers: An Interview w/ Other Lives

Other Lives
Photo by Emily Ulmer

While on their four month-long tour in support of their latest record Rituals, AMBY gave Stillwater trio Other Lives (comprised of Jonathon Mooney, Josh Onstott, and Jesse Tabish) a call to discuss a change in scenery, favourite lyrics, watching football, and Crazy Horse. Read our exclusive interview below to learn more.

AMBY: Welcome to AMBY! For your new record Rituals, the three of you relocated to Portland to record the album. Why did you decide Portland was the place to go and record?

Other Lives: It wasn’t so much about Portland rather more about relocating and kind of getting out of our hometown. We’ve been living in Oklahoma for most our lives and we felt like it was time to tap into some newer music. We felt like a change of pace and that being lost in a new place would help that.

AMBY: I know there’s been an influence of being from Stillwater on your music. Did being in Portland during the recording impact Rituals?

Other Lives: It wasn’t again so much about Portland but about the spirit of a new change, living in a completely new place and kind of restarting and building again from nothing. I think in the spirit of that it was very influential, we think Tamer Animals we reached a point where we had written about Oklahoma and home so much that it wasn’t enough anymore to do another Oklahoma record. We wanted a new change of scenery.

AMBY: You spent eighteen months writing more than sixty songs for this release. That’s a lot of writing. How did you narrow it down to the fourteen songs which ended up on the album?

Other Lives: When you’re writing you’re not sure of what is going to come out, you have an idea of what you’re after, but you’re only in control so much. In some ways the songs present themselves and it makes it easy where you don’t even have to choose the songs that have that little something extra, something that’s magic about them. You know which ones they are.

AMBY: You have shared lyrics from the record with fans through your social media pages. After seeing them all laid out in one spot, I’m curious as to which lyric off Rituals if your favourite?

Other Lives: I think the line “I will live in the present moment to moment, moment to moment.” I think that’s something that I try to tell myself every day, just to be aware and be present of the day. That lyric is very meaningful to me.

AMBY: You’re currently on a four month-long tour. Which songs from the record do you look forward to playing the most?

Other Lives: There’s this song called Beat Primal. We’ve learned about half the record now, so I think it’s a song that we’re all really excited about doing, but we haven’t quite done that yet so we’re going to work on it and challenge ourselves. I’m really excited about that.

AMBY: Nice! What are some things you all do to keep your boredom at bay while on the road or to do for fun keeping yourselves occupied form place to place?

Other Lives: Everybody is pretty busy actually in the van. The violin player Daniel, he scores a lot of movies, so he is usually working on a film score. I write music every day in the van. So there’s a lot of writing. It’s a great place to get a lot of work done! You’re in a van for eight hours so it can be really productive. I think that’s what we like to do for fun is write more music.

AMBY: You mentioned, between writing and scoring, it all has to relate to music, so what’s something that you all bond over outside of music?

Other Lives: Me and the guys, if there’s a good college football game on, we’ll have a beer and watch some football. We’re still like Midwest street kids, so we like a little football now and then.

AMBY: I have a scenario now, imagine that you’re watching your favourite band and suddenly a member disappears from the stage and you can go up there and replace them. Which band would this be and who would you like to take the place of?

Other Lives: Oh, man. That’s a tough one! I would be very happy being the drummer in Crazy Horse.

AMBY: What about them makes you want to play with them? Have you been a fan for awhile?

Other Lives: Well, if I could be the drummer for Neil Young and Crazy Horse. I just love that’s it’s such a loose like vibey thing. It’s like the opposite of Other Lives. I would pick that.

AMBY: Lastly, what’s something about the band that most of your fans don’t know yet?

Other Lives: That we used to listen to pop-punk in high school! More like junior high.


Thank you Other Lives, for giving us your answers!

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Interview by Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout

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