INTERVIEW: Oscar Rodriguez of Albis

You might recognize the name Albis from the single or album review we did recently here on Music Unlabeled. We also got the opportunity to sit down with Oscar Rodriguez and ask him a few questions relating to his work.

You’ve been playing with a softer side when compared to some of your previous works. What sparked the drive to this different sound?

A lot had to do with the music I was listening to when writing the songs. I was still listening to punk rock and heavy material, but I was also listening to more Elliot Smith and Neil Young. I had an inkling that I wanted to do something subdued, and with the subdued nature there was a lot of room to play.

This is a very evocative and emotionally driven EP. What was it like to get so personal with the music?

It was difficult. This is coming from direct experience and it’s just very real. I don’t know how else to put it. I think writing the songs plus producing it was very therapeutic for me. In the end, I’m not only proud of the record but happy to express myself through it.

What is your favorite song on Animals? What draws you to that track in particular?

I’d have to say Runners, the second song on the EP. I’m really proud of the guitar solo and I feel like if there’s one song that ties it all together, it’s that song.

What can we expect next from Albis?

I’ve already started writing next record. I think we’re going to start on that in December. In terms of shows, we’ll be in Brooklyn on November 6 at the International Pop Overthrow Festival. It’s kind of last show before starting in on the next album. More immediately than that will be a single release for “Heart Toll”. It’s got a much more rock sound to it than Animals, and was recorded at Big Star’s Ardent Studios in Memphis.

You’ve got a lot of musical experience under your belt. What advice would you give someone that’s just starting out?

Make sure to play every day first of all. Try to work on your own art, but also study other’s art for fun and inspiration. Try and seek out others at your level and just start playing and make it part of your life. Just anything you can do to make art 24/7 and think abut music. Oh, also think about finances and taxes, because you don’t want to start worrying about it when its too late.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Yeah, I’d like to plug my friend Zach. His name is Zach Jones, and his band is Zach Jones and the Tricky Bits. They have a video for an anti-Trump song called “Great Again.” We’re just trying get that to the attention of as many as we can. I also play guitar and bass on that song.

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