O.Children

London's gothy guitar jockeys get quizzed about their debut album and new video...

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Learned readers of Dazed meet O.Children, the protagonists of a revival which implicitly embarks on a resurrection of one of Britain’s most uncelebrated cultural movements: Goth rock. Based in East London, and with two members of the disbanded, but brilliantly named, ‘Bono Must Die’ within their ranks, they are being plied with accolade and, falsely, being likened to post-punk miserablists Joy Division. The reason? Towering front-man Tobias O’Kandi possesses a deep baritone which offsets their whole genrification and immediately raises images of the band moodily sauntering through Bunhill Fields cemetery. Dazed met up with the band to see who was darker: us or them.

Dazed Digital: How did you guys meet?
Tobias: At the beginning of it all it was just Andi and I, and we told our managers that we had this full amazing band, which was all a complete lie. We were like ‘fuck, we’ve got to do this now’ - got them, had a meeting and were in the studio for the first time a week after we met the managers.
Gauthier: So the day the rest of us met the management we all had to pretend like we’d all known each other for years….
Andi: Because of the Internet, some guy in a record shop was playing our demos and that’s how our manager heard of us, thinking it was a full band…
Tobias: Whereas it was literally just me in a room playing music.

DD: Describe your sound.
Tobias: We have dark influences which we take and try to put a pop edge on – essentially that’s what we do - we’ve done the album now and I think we’ve achieved that. We’re a rock band who take pop aesthetics and mixes the two together to create early 80s music and bring that forward into this age.
Andi: It sounds very ‘2010’.
Harry: Yeah, when people hear the album they’ll understand it but not necessarily be able to explain it.

DD: You keep getting likened to Joy Division…
Tobias: All the fucking time. I’m down with it because the way I see it, people who don’t research their issues with music that much, can only go: Joy Division.
Harry: If someone doesn’t listen to a lot of music, but knows Joy Division and likes it and likes us because we sound like them, then fair enough you know? It’s not like everyone listens to so much music that they can point out that that’s not like Joy Division. For some people they’ll be the most avant-garde music they’ve ever listened to.

DD: What kind of material do you approach in your writing?
Tobias: Lyrics-wise, it’s just an exaggerated view of everyday life, so living, laughing, loving, learning…. mainly in London. It’s the usual things that people live through - but then I add guns and the desert just because that’s what I’d like to be doing if I wasn’t living in East London.

DD: Because they're cool
Harry: It pretty much is that yeah. It is just cool as fuck.
Tobias: Yeah it is. I’m finishing Call of Duty 2 but secretly I’m in a desert, trying to find a girl, with a gun in my hand. And I’m bleeding.

DD: Do you guys all discuss video concepts?
Harry: Yeah, it’s quite important to us.
Andi: We don’t have much time or money but we try and discuss it.
Tobias: We use these guys called Love Hate Productions, who are amazing, they’ve done all our videos so far, and they’ve got our next one, which is Heels and comes out on 26th July. We wanted a video with bikinied girls with gold chains, no fuck it, platinum chains and motorcycles.    
Gauthier: That’s not what I heard…
Tobias: Yeah apparently it’s not going to be anything like that.

O.Children release their self-titled debut on 12th July.
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