Probably Oslo Single Release and Interview

Indie | Monday 9th September 2019 | Tasia

The up and coming indie pop band played their single release gig for the track Hideaway at the charming Sister Midnight Records in Deptford, to a packed basement. From the first note played the band were full of energy and a sense of authenticity. I caught up with vocalist Alex and lead guitarist Danny following their performance to get some insight into their process.

I felt a lot of authenticity from your performance, do you feel that you’re being honest in your music?

Danny: Absolutely, it’s very much about our lives. We try to keep it uptempo and really go for it. We take it really seriously, we’ve been working on the band every day for the last year.

Alex: And I hope it shows. Authenticity is the core of it, that’s what we set out to do. We are always thinking about how we’re going to create the songs we want, that have a bit of a pop sensibility about them and pay a bit of homage to the stuff we love, and bring that about in the most honest way.

The key to writing is in the first half, don’t really think about it too much, come in with a really honest idea that’s just a subconscious stream of thought and then sit and refine it for fucking ages until something nice comes out.

What would you say your influences are?

Alex: Pretty varied, so anything that sits in the realm of a guitar pop band. Fleetwood Mac is a big one. When we’re writing we think: how would Fleetwood Mac give this life? Then production wise Phoenix, absolutely that hi-fi sound that Phoenix do.

Danny: The Smiths, as well.

I could definitely hear a Smiths influence, but I loved how you fused that traditional Brit-pop sound with shoe-gaze and funk elements.

Danny: Yeah, sometimes I feel there’s a little Western flavour to some of the tracks. I’m a big fan of French pop bands like Phoenix and stuff like that, so that’s a big influence for me. We just squeeze it all together.

Alex: Everything that inspires us comes together. The key to the band is that me and Danny have sat in a room and listened to great records for ten or fifteen years and then when we came to make the band we said “okay, it’s got to sound like all of this stuff, all these records we fucking love.” Bring them out and mash it together. Not many people pick up on the shoe-gaze thing, it’s part of it, it’s not something we talk about but it’s there, almost unassumed.

Danny: Our friendship has been fundamental, the day we met we started the band. It was April 2018 and since then we’ve pretty much worked on it most nights, and then as our friendship has evolved so has our band. It’s quite nice that we write songs together and it’s a nice way to be in a band.

Alex: The best way to get to know somebody is through music, right? It’s a very personal and revealing process, writing a song with somebody. Me and Danny work as a songwriting partnership so we come to each other with ideas. We rarely write something on our own.

When we’re finishing a track we’ll hammer it out together because I trust this guy, this guy trusts me that’s how it works. It’s a very personal thing to say: this is an experience for me, help me make it a pop song, and visa versa. You get very close to somebody like that.

So, I’ve got to ask, where does the name come from?

Alex: There’s a couple of different avenues to this story.  We were batting about name ideas for fucking ages and just couldn’t think of anything good. We were called The Kind Kit for maybe two weeks.

Danny: I personally loved that name.

Alex: It’s pretty cool, but it reminded me so much of first aid kit that it put me off. So Danny said “I don’t care what we’re called, go away and think of a name.” So I was working as a music journalist for a bit and I interviewed this band and asked “what’s your favourite venue in London?” And this guy said “it’s probably Oslo in Hackney.” Thought that sounded good and wrote it down, ignored the rest of the interview, got straight on the phone to Danny and said “Here we go, got an idea, this is what we’re going to call it!”

Danny: The other thing was his argument against The Kind Kit was that it sounded too Scandinavian, and he came back with Probably Oslo.

Alex: I wanted to keep the flavour of Scandinavia around, it clearly was hitting the mark somewhere. Had to bring a bit of that in.

What can we expect from you in the future?

Danny: We're just really happy to be here, now we feel like a real band. We’re going to be playing a lot, we’re going to Scotland next week and we’re doing a tour of Holland in October with another single. It’s going to keep going.

Alex: Watch this space, there’s good stuff happening here. I hope. We’ve got a lot of songs in the bank that we have to record. I’m excited for where it’s going to take us. This is the best thing you can do, making music with your friends in a sweaty basement of a record shop.    

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