OBB took a trip to Los Angeles to promote their upcoming single “Foolish,” releasing on September 20th. We had the chance to chat with them about being in a band with brothers and their musical inspirations.
ALTANGELES: How did you get into playing music?
JACOB: When we were younger, we were taking Korean lessons and our dad signed us up for a battle of the bands when we were at Korean lessons. So he comes and picks us up and says, “would y’all like to be in a battle of the bands?” and we were like “Okay, sure! That sounds good!” We had never played together before but he said “Okay, good because I signed you up for one that’s tonight.” So we went home, practiced, and learned a bunch of songs and did really well. That was kind of like our initial start.
What’s it like being in a band with your brothers?
ZACH: I think it’s a really cool experience, being in a band with brothers and with your family. At the end of the day you’re family so even if things get tough—and they do, especially being out on the road and being with each other all day and a lot of times in stressful situations. I feel like if I wasn’t in a band with my family, I probably would have quit a long time ago. I love these guys. It’s easier.
Is that why you decided to name the band Oswald Brothers Band?
ZACH: Yeah, I think so. That and coming up with band names is really hard. So yeah a mixture of the two.
What kinds of music did you grow up with?
NICK: We grew up with a lot of different stuff influencing us. Our dad was always into classic rock so we’d always listen to like Rolling Stones and The Police and stuff like that. And we loved a lot of the current pop stuff that was out whenever we were growing up, so I feel like we got a really wide variety of music. We live in Georgia, so we’re influenced a lot by country music too. We have a huge rap scene in Georgia so we’re pretty diverse in our music taste.
What was the inspiration behind your latest single, 7 billion?
ZACH: I was actually listening to a podcast when we were in between shows. The podcast was talking about how there’s over seven billion people on the planet right now. And I got to thinking about how crazy of a number seven billion is. How large that number is and I found this one person for me, out of that many people. I think finding a needle in a haystack is pretty crazy, but finding one in seven billion is just insane. So I ended up bringing that idea to my brothers and they helped flesh it out and we turned it into a song. So now I’m able to tell my wife she’s my one in seven billion.
Can you describe your unreleased single Foolish in one word?
ZACH: I mean yeah, I guess if I only had one word to describe “Foolish,” it would be foolish. The whole song is just us being a little silly and we make references to the A-Team and Tom Cruise and that kind of stuff. We’re a little foolish in the writing of it as well.
Is there a release date set for Foolish?
ZACH: Yes! September 20th the song is gonna be out on Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, all the different platforms. So make sure you stream or download.
What was your songwriting process like for Foolish?
ZACH: For “Foolish,” I brought that idea to my brothers and I had this idea basically about how we act silly sometimes when we’re trying to impress our wives or back in the day when we were trying to impress our crushes. We call each other out sometimes too like “Man, my brother’s acting crazy over this girl” and not like his normal self. So I mentioned that to my brothers and we all started like spitting off stories of times we acted foolish and even thought about when Tom Cruise was interested in Katie Holmes and he was jumping up on Oprah’s couch. But that’s how it is sometimes, we just act a little silly for people that we’re interested in.
You’re almost done with your nationwide tour. What are the best and worst parts about touring?
ZACH: We are almost done, we have a few more shows at some colleges coming up and then we’re gonna be back at it again. After “Foolish,” we’ll probably be starting another round of shows for sure.
NICK: I’d say the best part of being on the road is getting to see new places, especially when we get a day off somewhere and we get to go out and explore a city, meet new people, make new friends. Some of the negative, or more not-fun parts of touring is being sometimes stuck on a bus for two or three days, driving across the country from Georgia to Vegas or something. That’s probably the worst part about it, and not getting to shower every day.
Does being brothers make it easier or harder?
NICK: Easier for sure. If we didn’t do it with family, I don’t think we could do it.
If OBB were a cover band, which band would you be covering and what would you call yourself?
JACOB: We would probably all have different ideas, mine would be Eric Church.
ZACH: If we were going to be a cover band and I got to pick the band, I’d probably pick something like Charlie Puth or Shawn Mendes.
NICK: I don’t care about being in a cover band, I just want to play drums for Bruno Mars. If Bruno Mars called me right now and said “Hey, come out on the road with me but you gotta quit your band with your brothers,” I’d say I’m down. I’m in, sorry guys.
When did you know you wanted to pursue music as a career?
NICK: When we were first starting off we played a couple shows, like Jake was saying we played that battle of the bands and we did a national battle of the bands on CBS on their morning show. We flew out to New York a couple times and played on their show, ended up coming in third place I think. And I think it was at that moment I was like “Wow, it isn’t just our parents that think we’re good. There’s actual people out there that think we’re good, maybe we got something here. We should pursue this.”
What are you listening to at the moment?
NICK: There’s a new song with Chris Stapleton, Ed Sheeran, and Bruno Mars called “Blow.” It’s killer I love it. We’ve all been listening to it.
ZACH: That’s the song I’ve been listening to.
What is the best concert you’ve ever been to?
ZACH: The best concert I’ve ever been to I would say is Coldplay. Their set was amazing and everything was perfect. Plus I’m a huge fan so I was screaming every single word.
NICK: We saw OneRepublic one time. We know their music director and he got us tickets one time for this really exclusive club show they did. It was this tiny little club and we were front row for OneRepublic and they were just awesome. I think that was one of my favorite concerts.
JACOB: Me too.
Anything else you want to add?