Odonis Odonis want to stop the commodification of music.
“That’s the goal of the band,” bassist Dean Tzenos told me over the phone early this month. “I want people to stop creating a product. Go back to your roots of why you fell in love with music – not some cool, trendy bulls--- thing that’s happening.”
For the ever-evolving Canadian-based noise outfit, the concept of musical “roots” is somewhat complicated. Over the years, their sound has charted territories from surf-rock to industrial, offering a constant subversion of expectations that rarely feels forced or contrived. And their latest foray into gothic synth landscapes on new album “No Pop” proves an especially interesting metamorphosis.
“It’s always been part of the plan. The very initial concept was we were going to do mixtapes, so there wasn’t a very set genre. It was always set out so that it would change and evolve,” Tzenos said.
“It was a conscious decision to step away from our old material. We were getting clumped into a lot of garage rock, and that isn’t where we wanted to be,” he added.
As such, “No Pop” is more than just an album title -- it’s a set of principles by which contemporary pop and rock musicians would ideally abide.
“It’s more of a philosophy that music doesn’t have an expiration date. A lot of people create music to jump on some kind of trend, but you’d hope that your music could stand up to the test of time. We wanted to throw away any expectations of doing anything we had done before, and not be beholden to what the music industry would want,” Tzenos explained.
Unlike some nostalgic musicians longing for some fantasy of the way it used to be, Odonis Odonis’ principled vision is anything but antiquated and rigid. In 2016, Odonis Odonis released a virtual reality music video for “That’s How It Goes,” a single from their previous album. While they’re the first to admit that the technology is not quite there yet, the progressive effort focuses their gaze on the future of music and not on an idealized past.
Odonis, Odonis headline Soda Bar on Wednesday, Nov. 29. Get tickets here.
Rutger Rosenborg was almost a Stanford poet-neuroscientist before he formed Ed Ghost Tucker. Whoops. He now fronts the Lulls, plays lead guitar in LA band Velvet and makes music on his own when he's not writing. Follow his updates on Instagram and Twitter (@RArosenborg), add him on Facebook or contact him directly.