Oli Brown
Interview with Emily Baker for B Side Magazine, November 2012
Submitted due to B Side currently being in hibernation...

Lucy: Your band have been quite quiet for the last few months. Are you looking forward to playing gigs again?
Katie Jane Garside: I think I give very obtuse ans

" First of all, congratulations on winning Best Young Artist at the British Blues Awards along with runner-up for Best Guitarist! A brilliant achievement. You must be on top of the world right now.
Yes I am! It's a real compliment that people voted for me and wanted me to receive that award. I can't thank all of the voters enough for putting me forward. I'm really flattered by it.

" You are currently on tour in America and Canada. How is it going? Had any stand out gigs so far?
The tour is going really well thanks. Well we just played Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival in Fredericton Canada and that was an amazing gig to go back to. We actually played there last year but they asked us back and put us on the main stage doing a late night show. Huge packed out tent with such a great atmosphere. It's a really special festival to be part of. Just one of those festivals that really look after artists and make you feel very welcome. We had a fun show for sure, then bar crawled after the night with some folks we met after the show, people in Fredericton have got the late night atmosphere right!

" When I went to America I visited a place called the International House of Pancakes. Please, please tell me you went to one? You're missing out if you didn't! I also see you found a place called 'The Dogs Bollocks' in Toronto… wasn't a clue to what they served was it?
NO! I did not go there! Well now I feel like I've missed out on something... I have a week in NY holidaying it so I may just have to go hunt me one of those places down... But if I'm disappointed I'm coming straight back to you. Haha! I'm not sure what they served.... We played pool there but the night before someone stole some balls from their table, so it made out to be an interesting game of pool haha. Just had to go into there!

" When you first picked up a guitar in 2002 did you ever think you'd be touring the world and visiting places like The Dogs Bollocks or was it just something you enjoyed and wanted to improve at?
I just was sick of the school atmosphere which is why I picked up guitar. I was an average student doing okay in classes... Never struggling but just not exceptional at anything. I wanted to find my niche that I could do and get some personal reward for it. I loved art and always wished I was a good artist but honestly... I'm shocking at it. Stick figures is as far as it goes for me now. Oh and this stupid dog I can draw. I had my first tour with an American band "Blinddog Smokin'" when I was 15 and I stayed out with them for a couple of weeks. The next year I was with them for 2 months touring. I would never have been a singer or a front man if it wasn't for the way they pushed me. But I also would never have experienced the road like I did with them. From that moment I knew what I wanted to do. Traveling was where it is at with me. That was one of the best times in my life! Too young to care about anything too serious but old enough to enjoy it and learn a lot from it. But I never had any plans where touring would take me. I just wanted to do it.

" I don't know about anybody else but I reckon I would be shattered jetting from gig to gig. Do you have a secret ingredient that keeps you going? Favourite food you have to take with you or a film you can't stop watching? Or is the thrill of travel and performance enough?
You get used to it. I usually don't sleep before any flights I have if they are an early leave. Not sure why but I get all the sleep on the plane then too. I'm pretty good with long haul flights cause I'll just read/sleep/read/sleep and so on. Just becomes a part of the work. You spend more of your time travelling then playing music anyway haha. Catch me after a long tour though and you'll see a different person. I'm a zombie wreck, all that adrenaline just is gone from my body and I have no energy. Post tour blues and all that haha. It's always a little weird coming off a big tour because you have so many different adrenaline rushes and excitements, but when you get home it just stops for a while. That I'm not used to...

" Your next big tour is through the UK and Europe. Tell us more about what we can expect - will you be playing much from your new album? It must be nice coming back to the UK for a bit!
We will be playing some songs we haven't played from the new album yet! And actually I've been running through a couple of covers that I've been considering for the live show. It will be fun because the last UK tour we did was just fresh off the back of the new album when we were still figuring out the new songs. Now we have gotten past that barrier and have a lot more freedom with the new tunes. So I am excited to go back and re-perform our live show because I think a lot has changed. Just in strength of songs and together as a band. We've learned a lot from the recent tours

" I asked you earlier about stand out gigs on the America and Canada tour…what about weird gigs? What is the oddest experience, either fan or gig based, that you've had on tour?
Probably in the early days I've played some questionable venues. I'll go right back to my first live show with this band. March 1st 2007 or 2008... Haha I should remember this. It was a venue called "The Walnut Treeshades" and I remember walking in there as a kid years before that live show being absolutely terrified by the bar. It had a dark smokey vibe and loads of American nostalgia all around the walls, it looked amazing but incredibly scary like someone was ready to pick a fight any minute. Actually by the end of the night I LOVED the venue so much. Which in turn is why I ended up wanting to start my first gig there. It was really looked after and if anyone was any trouble Chris Gudgen (who used to own the bar) would sort them out. It was always such a fantastic show there. I mean we've played some odd places but I've learned more to not judge a venue by it's initial vibe or atmosphere, you tend to find that you have one of your best nights in them ha. Sometimes the venues you think will be amazing turn out to be the most disappointing ones too, it's such a weird game of pot luck sometimes.

" You were discovered very young. Has that been beneficial or detrimental to your development? Do you think there is a cut-off point, an age that is too young to start in the music business?
I think it was good motivation for me to take my career seriously and push myself. I think it was part of the fuel for me to keep working hard and keep writing. I guess I never really had a "Uni" life so I missed some social environments. But I've also gained a lot in traveling and experience. I don't know if there is an age too young. I got thrown in the deep end with that American band when I was 16 touring with them for 2 months. Every night they would drill me with tasks to do for the next show and make me conscious of being a performer on stage and I definitely wouldn't be where I am without that kind of education. It just was a different kind of school. I just have a motivation and a want to deliver, I could never pay that band for the time they spent on me helping me, so the best way I could return that favour is working my ass off, and I love to.

" Have you managed to watch gigs yourself of other artists while on tour? Is there anybody you would really like to see or tour with?
Yeah, usually at festivals it's a good time to watch bands. I like to do it, there is a lot to learn from watching the real guys do it! Gives you a good push to consider what else you could be doing and just enjoying a musical vibe that you're not making. It's nice to get lost in some live music, the best escape. I would love to tour with Anders Osbourne, I love his new music and I learned so much from his stage show from the little we saw of it before we left. Really an amazing live performer.

" How do you keep all that amazing hair under control?!
Aussie shampoo and conditioner, some fancy leave-in conditioner I can't remember the name of, Aussie curl oil (jojoba oil in it or something) and then some Frizz Ease mousse. Haha.

That is a lot of hair product! Interesting stuff here, thank you Oli!

Oli Brown will be touring throughout the UK and Europe during October and November. Gig dates are available on his website:


Oli has also released a new album this year entitled Here I Am which is for sale on his website - you can even get it signed by the man himself!

Emily Baker for B Side Magazine

wers to questions...It's never about looking forward to it. Actually maybe I should change the
script, maybe we are looeir musicm the 3rd album?