Oilbaron. On Fresh Tunes, A Fresh sound and A Cambridge Debut / by Laura Kebby

Photo: Oilbaron Facebook Page

Photo: Oilbaron Facebook Page

One of my most favourite things about chatting to local bands, is meeting a super young band with a whole heap of heart and passion for their sound. Of course, I can hear you say it, these bands are a dime a dozen especially in a city like Newcastle but… sometimes there’s a band that stands out, who move to the front purely because of the fact their passion moves them through the crowded bar lines and sweaty time slots to burst onto the scene and just bang out some great tunes. Ahead of the Thursday Night Live giggo this week, I sat down with the guys from Oilbaron and chatted about life (no really), beers and playing great tunes. 

The Newy four piece are fresh, in a lot of respects. They have all collectively just finished completing their HSC, balancing the tunes with studying and working out the next step for the band. “We were doing year 12 and only really just started to play gigs, mostly because we were all just waiting to turn 18. Pub gigs are just heaps more fun”. Gig wise though, as a band, the guys have only racked up a total of seven live performances. But don’t let that fool you, Oilbaron are incredibly passionate, tight and have some pretty big goals in their sights. 

But what of their ever so humble beginnings? “Our first gig was actually a house show”. For some band members it was a breeze but for lead singer Daniel Allsop it was a really anxious wait. “I was like pacing around the backyard just waiting on people to show up, I mean no one ever shows up on time and you’re just left there waiting. But we had about 80 people show up it was really awesome”. (I will also mention that 50% of this band is named Daniel, it makes things easier for interviews, but penning stories can be a bit difficult just go with it ok?). Continuing, the guys collectively add; "We kind of were all jamming together but… we didn’t have a singer or a bassist. Things that are kind of important. (laughs). But then we met Dan and things really kind of fell into place I guess, we were literally like “bro come sing for us”. That was around March last year”. 

When they were first starting out, Oilbaron really took lo-fi to the next level. “We didn’t even have a PA or anything like that. We really just played and that was kind of it really”. Honestly though I think it adds to their aesthetic, the way they position themselves on stage and throw themselves into making music, it’s almost going back to the mid to late nineties were bands were there to make music, play music and just give it their all on stage. 

The band themselves are this real eclectic mix of guys, all bringing individual, personal and unique complexities to the band. But instead of conflict, they seem to almost compliment each other. A personal shoutout must go to drummer Daniel Simmons for his “I’m just hear to play music hey” attitude which I wholeheartedly support. It’s also very drummer-esque and he slips into the role effortlessly. 

Amongst the sounds of tunes and playing gigs, I copped some sweet anecdotes of their mates jumping fences to hear them play, to hanging out to turn 18 to simply play more shows. Bands like Oilbaron really amplify exactly why we need to foster the new up and coming bands, particular those who don’t quite have the legality to cut it inside the sweaty bar stages. But thankfully all four members are now ready to play a whole string of great gigs, especially for us Novocastrians.

But enough banter. What about their sound? Their music is this deliciously romantic blend of romantic surf rock wrapped by the crooning of a warm guitar, fuelled by angst. Some really cool dudes getting together, doing what they love and doing it flipping well I might add.

Lyrically there is definitely a little bit of angst there, but it’s not the main diving force for the band. It’s as though frontman Daniel uses Oilbaron as a creative vessel for sound and feeling - which is why their sound is so incredibly complex, in-depth and oh so relatable. But it’s the sweet smooth sounds of the band as a whole that really washes over you in a way that just makes you sit back and take a second to appreciate why it is we all love music so much. 

Thankfully we can get a big old slice of their incredible musical pie on Thursday evening when they play at the Cambridge. And hey, lucky us, it’s Oilbaron’s debut at the Cambo and what better excuse do you need to rally around a flipping sweet Newy band. “We’re going to really hype it up for Wavevom” says Daniel. Newy bands supporting Newy bands always warms the depths of my heart, and they are both set to rock the stage on Thursday evening. Not that you need an excuse to catch some awesome live midweek tunes paired, with some cheap drinks and good company, but if you did, Oilbaron and Wavevom are it. 

At the conclusion of the interview, I also realised that young musos are slowly yet surely still alive and well in our fair city and also, these guys are definitely a whole heap cooler than me. I honestly cannot wait to see what their debut appearance at the Cambridge will look like. See you there kids!