Smile Politely

ODESZA In Return

Since ODESZA’s last performance at Canopy Club a little over a year ago, its members Harrison Mills and Clay Knight have dropped their highly anticipated sophomore album In Return. The uplifting album does not disappoint with its signature drums and the dreamy voices of Madelyn Grant, Zyra, Shy Girls and more. Since the pair began making music three years ago, their fan base has grown dramatically with over 15 million sound cloud streams averaging 500,000 a week. Despite Harrison Mill’s down to earth nature, it’s safe to say my palms were a little (read: very) sweaty during our conversation before the duo’s return to Canopy Club this Friday.

Smile Politely: It was just announced that you are headlining at What The Festival in Oregon. That’s awesome.

Harrison Mills: Yeah, What The Festival has a lot of nostalgia for us because I think we played there the first or second year and our friend actually runs that festival. So when he asked us we were actually on tour—he was tour managing Emancipator and we were opening for Emancipator when he asked us to be a part of that festival. So it’s a really special place for us and to be a part of that.

SP: You’re already booked to play Coachella, Sasquatch, Bonnaroo pretty much every major music festival. Being in Illinois and having a ton of Lollapalooza goers can we expect to see an appearance there this year?

Mills: Um, I hope so [laughs], Lollapalooza is really amazing. I feel like the amount of festivals we play this year is ridiculous. We’re just pretty honored to have anyone care enough about us to be on that poster at all next to all these amazing artists.

SP: How different is the festival performance compared to the normal live show?

Mills: It definitely feels a little different because it’s a wide open space and usually outside so there’s definitely different vibes out in the crowd, but we try to deliver the same kind of performance for any crowd we see which is basically just high energy and just trying to stay in the music. So hopefully people react the way we hope so, but we’re always working on our live set. It’s always changing so we bring a lot of  live percussion and stuff, try to transition into songs pretty seamlessly so it’s like one big dance party by the end.

SP: Have you guys been thinking about bringing even more live instrumentation in or a vocalist?

Mills: We definitely would like to incorporate some vocalist, but it’s all about finding the right person and that’s gonna take us quite a little bit.

SP: You just dropped the music video for your single “All We Want” ft. Shy Girls, it was pretty dark. What was the thought process behind that?

Mills: We were approached by a lot of directors to do that track in particular. It’s definitely a fun, bright song but at the same time the lyrics are a bit melancholy. It’s a lot about longing, and every director wanted to just make kind of like an easy-out pop, perfect little video where it was just bubble gum and unicorns and rainbows and everything so that was definitely not the direction we wanted it taken. We took a more artistic one, which was definitely a little scarier because I think that a lot of our fan base is maybe not necessarily looking for that in a music video, they want something that is as bright and fun as the song sounds. But for us we just chose to pick a more interesting approach for us, so I think some people got it, some people didn’t. Probably the majority didn’t but that’s okay.

SP: Any guilty pleasures while you’re on tour?

Mills: Clay will have to eat pizza if he ever sees pizza, 100%. And mine is Coldplay. So there’s two guilty pleasures for ya.

ODESZA will be performing a sold-out show this upcoming Friday at Canopy Club.

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