ODESZA Talks Record Label, History, Nicknames & More [Exclusive Interview]

Untitled ODESZA Instagram

In an age of manufactured internet buzz and carefully plotted hype, ODESZA unveiled their music on the internet, and the world paid attention. One of the stunning aspects of the duo is how fast they’ve created a massive fanbase; which is further proof that their music is magical. We at FITA were lucky enough to sit down with the guys before their set at BUKU Music + Art Project. We discussed their Record Label, their nicknames, their history, and much more in this exclusive interview!


How did you guys meet?
We had a mutual friend he went to high school with Clayton and was living with him in college and I knew him just from living in the dorms. We were both seniors and I was showing music to his roommate, Clayton came down and we started talking. The music that was around us was mostly rock and folk music so to hear anyone else making electronic music was rare. So we started talking and realized we liked so many of the same things so we jammed together and made like 3 in 4 songs and were like “Yeah this is gonna work, let’s do a full album.”

Where did your nicknames come from?
Harrison Mills (aka CatacombKid) – I was a huge hip-hop fan and there was an Aesop Rock song called “Catacomb Kids” and I stole it.
Clayton Knight (aka BeachesBeaches) – I was trying to mix like 60’s psychedelic rock with electronic music. I was into The Beach Boys a lot and was trying to blend them with updated electronic music and the “BeachesBeaches” name was perfect so I ran with that.

Where did the name ODESZA come from?
Basically we just liked the song “Odessa” from Caribou and we found another band that was using that name so we just put a ‘Z’ in our name.

You have only been ODESZA since 2012, what are your musical histories that makes this duo work so well?
Clayton Knight (aka BeachesBeaches) – We were always doing our own projects before making electronic music. I studied classical piano throughout my life but we’re all across the map with different types of music.
Harrison Mills (aka CatacombKid) – I think what makes this work is that we both love music for music, not just a genre. We really stick to “I really like the melody in this song” and we’re pretty critical with music so we can always find something we like/dislike in everything we listen to. And that’s how we started with the thought of “How can we blend these genres of all these different styles and try to make something unique out of that.”

What can we expect from your set today and how do you prepare?
Each one is a little different. We just finished our last stop of our tour last night in Nashville so we will be doing that set today. We go through all different styles of EDM; start slow and build up the energy at the end. Go from heavy beats to laidback hip hop. We keep it really dynamic.

What does your live set entail?
Well the album is pretty laidback so some of it doesn’t translate well into a live setting especially at a festival. It would be more of a theater show if we wanted to play the whole album. So now we are working on incorporating these laidback tracks into these high energy settings.

What’s in the works?
We are always working on a ton of stuff but we are on the road a lot this year so we might not have much releases this year. But we just started our record label so we will be trying to put out different prospects at least bi-monthly. We are working with a ton of people including Big Wild who was just on tour with us.

What festivals will we be seeing you at this year?
Pick one. We are doing it all. We are pretty non-stop this year. It is our proving year to prove to people that we belong in this festival world. We have a lot of momentum and want to keep pushing.

“Say My Name” is one of your more recognized songs, do you have a track that you are proud of that maybe not everyone knows about?
BB – “Kusanagi” is one of my favorites as it’s a really ambient track. “It’s Only” another track featuring Zyra I feel is better than “Say My Name”. Its really pretty and well done, mellow and has a lot of cool pieces.
CK – “It’s Only” is like a ballad; feels very mature to me which is what we were going for with the whole album.

What vocalists would you like to work with?
CK – Panda Bear would be huge.
BB – Leon Bridges, a soul singer out of Texas that I’b currently obsessed with.

Favorite song(s) to play live?
“Memories That You Cal”, “Koto”, “My Friends Never Die”

If you could have any superpower what would it be?
BB – Maybe the ability to play any instrument; just pick it up and be able to play it really well. Flying would be nice too.
CK – It’d be cool to move objects with my mind.

Thanks for sharing fam! Stay in touch!