O Children interview

The doom and gloom enthusiasts talk to ClashMusic
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Stealthily creeping onto the London music scene like the ghoulish entities that they are truly are, O Children have sprung from nowhere, and have pleasantly surprised their throngs of aural recipients. Terrify you they might-lead singer Tobias O’Kandi’s acerbic baritone chant will chill your bones and send a shiver right up your spine-but there’s something deliciously alluring about this gothic London four-piece, who are destined for great things in 2010.......

Growing up in North London’s Finchley area, opposite a Jewish school which Toby claims was "pretty amusing at times", the towering front man traded in books for audio mixers and so began a career in music production. Previously a member of the comically named Bono Must Die, they were (not surprisingly) forced to disband for legal reasons and from the ashes of this, O Children were born.

This newest project is a far cry from Bono Must Die’s self-proclaimed “cacophony of sounds”, being instead an exercise in stripped down, minimalist post-punk. But how do the band feel about being compared to those most famous post-punkers: Joy Division? “Obviously there’s that really strong post-punk element to our music", he bellows. "But being compared to them annoys us a little bit as we try and strive to have our own sound, as all musicians do obviously.” And to be fair, on listening further to O Children, they can be differentiated from those miserablist Mancunians by the strong pop edge to their music. “We didn’t want to get too into ourselves or be too pretentious-we just wanted to make music that we like and love. It’s cool if some people get it, and it’s cool if some people don’t,” says Tobias.

I seem to have an image of you sitting hunched over a gravestone in Hackney Cemetery, bathed in twilight and scribbling down sombre hymns. Do you enjoy the odd gothic nighttime pursuit? “Well I’ve always thought it would be pretty cool to be a ghost so I could haunt people," laughs Tobias. "But aside from that, no, I prefer to spend hours writing in the comfort of my studio.”

But I’m sure you’ve done some pretty crazy stuff? “Sure I have, but I’m not sure if it’s at all appropriate to talk about here. One of the most f***ed up things I’ve ever seen though was actually in Whitechapel when I caught a ‘working woman’ giving head to some guy down an alleyway at like one in the afternoon. Pretty sick,” he recoils with disgust.

According to Tobias, O Children’s lyrical expression is a “hyperbolised exaggeration of everyday life: things that happen, not necessarily just to me. I write songs and then take them and put them all together, I don’t really think about it too much.” Well whatever the journey, we like the finished product. And with plans to record their album in LA and a single out in December, we just can't wait to hear more.

Words by April Welsh

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