Owl Eyes – Dark Undertones

Brooke Addamo, otherwise known to the indie music world as Owl Eyes, has had an interesting journey towards success. From a pretty damn good run on Australian Idol a few years ago to a support slot coming up with Brit-hipsters (Britsters?) The Wombats, Addamo has definitely made the most of her amazing vocal talent by penning some alt-pop delights, collaborating with local hip hop talent Illy and building a public persona for herself through her personal and musical style. It’s been a hell of a ride for this 20 year-old and she seems to be having the time of her life.

MF: So things have really exploded for you over the last year! When did you start gigging and writing music and did you ever expect it to happen like this?

BA: I have been singing since I was 12 years old and then progressed to writing when I was about 16, but didn’t start solidly gigging until I was 18 under the moniker Owl Eyes. I have had such a great response over the past year, it’s really lovely to have media such as Triple J playing my songs – it really helps a lot.

MF: What has been the best experience over the last year?

BA: A mixture of a few things but I think the Darwin Deez tour was a big highlight for me.

MF: Do you write all your songs on your own?

BA: Yes, I co-wrote both EPs with Jan Skub.

MF: Tell me about your relationship with Jan (producer). I hear you’re pretty close? How does he influence your music?

BA: Yeah, Jan has sort of become like a big brother to me. We are really close and I feel he has taught me a lot. He brings the best out of me musically and just really understands me.

MF: Would you say you are most focused on lyrics, production, arrangement or melodies?

BA: Probably melodies and lyrics.

MF: How do you feel about the term ‘pop star’ or ‘pop music’?

BA: I think pop music is great! I love great pop songs with a bit of an edge. Pop songs with substance and dark undertones are really inspiring to me.

MF: How is Raiders different to Faces? Also, what does the name mean? Is it like Raiders Of The Lost Ark?

BA: I feel I had more time to think with Raiders. The first EP Faces was essentially a bunch of songs that became an EP, whereas with making Raiders I was fully aware and set out to make an EP. I feel Raiders is a lot more structured. The term ‘Raiders’ is more metaphorical then anything; something from within.

MF: Have you started listening to heaps more hip hop since working with Illy?

BA: Not really, I am inspired by hip hop beats and do appreciate hip hop, but I feel I listen to it just as much as I did before. That hasn’t changed – I like it and listen to it now and then.

MF: Raiders (the song) is so rock ‘n’ roll – any influences?

BA: I haven’t really been told it’s rock ‘n’ roll before, so I guess that’s new. I kind of feel like it’s more alt-pop with some darker undertones. I was listening to a bit of The Smiths at the time.

MF: How do you feel about the Australian Idol times these days? There are so many videos of you still up on YouTube … how have you grown since then?

BA: I don’t really think of it – it doesn’t affect my life or musical aspirations. I am only 20 now but feel I have grown immensely since then. I think the fact that I took a solid two-year hiatus after the show to find myself musically really helped me.

MF: Are you excited to tour with The Wombats?

BA: Yes, super excited! It will give me a chance to play some amazing venues.

MF: Who else might we see you supporting in the future?

BA: I’m not even sure yet – you never know what’s around the corner!

MF: What other Aussie artists do you love at the moment?

BA: I love Sarah Blasko and think I always will. I’m also really loving Ghoul, Hunting Grounds and Oscar + Martin.

Owl Eyes Australian Tour August/September 2011

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