Four-piece band Soaked Oats from Dunners has created quite the rep for itself, with band members describing their sound as “sludge pop” and sharing their knack for singing about stone fruit with the world. Nexus had a chat with drummer Conor Feehly to get the scoop on their sound, their advice, and where they’re going in their post-stone fruit era.
NEXUS: First things first; how did you guys get into the music scene? Was it something you’d be working towards for a while?
Conor: Well Oscar wrote some songs while he was selling cherries on the side of the road one summer. We thought they were good enough to record so he came down to Dunedin and we workshopped the songs until we went out to Chicks hotel to record them. Our first show was with some of our friends who were touring at the time, Gromz and The Shambles, and luckily we had some other connections to bands in the NZ music scene such as Ha The Unclear. We played a lot of gigs in our first year and I guess earned our stripes that way.
NEXUS: You guys have a pretty unique repertoire of songs! Who or what do you count among your biggest sound inspirations?
C: We all listen to heaps of different artists and genres, but I guess we do have that indie-guitar sound. We really look up to The Phoenix Foundation, especially since they are NZers too. I think we bleed a lot of what we might be listening to at that particular time into whatever music we are making at that time.
NEXUS: Your debut album Stone Fruit Melodies earned you a bit of a rep for performing songs about stone fruit – where did that stem from? Any plans to continue on with that trend?
C: As I mentioned earlier, Oscar was selling cherries and learning guitar a few summers back. I think sitting bored on the side of the road gave him some inspiration and a series of stone-fruit themed occurrences happened during that time too, so decided to run with the idea of basing some songs around stone fruit metaphors. I think we are done with the stone fruit stuff.
NEXUS: Your new single Driftworld and its video came out a few weeks ago, and it’s such a good tune! What was the process that went into making that?
C: Thank you very much! We really enjoy playing that song. It started just as a jam that we went back to a few times and workshopped. The mood of the song really fits with how our recent tour of America felt, and so we dedicated the song to the vehicle which we travelled around in. It was called the ‘Driftworld’.
NEXUS: You’ve snagged yourselves a few overseas tours and headline shows, and now you’ve got a New Zealand tour under your belt as well – what’s the plan from here?
C: We are off to the UK in a couple of weeks to play at The Great Escape Festival along with some other great NZ bands, and we also have some new music coming out over the next couple of months which we are super excited about. The plan? World domination.
NEXUS: The name Soaked Oats definitely sparks some interest! What’s the story behind the name?
C: Unfortunately we don’t have a glamorous story about our namesake. We were contemplating names early on and we were thinking about calling ourselves The Oats. We told this to our very talented friend Jack Hawke who does a lot of our artwork, he came back with some designs that said Soaked Oats so we just ran with it!
NEXUS: Do you have any wild fan stories to share?
C: I’m not sure about wild fan stories…we meet a lovely person called Sam in America who was at the show we got flown over to play; she ended up joining us for 95% of our two month tour across America and now she is a great friend!
NEXUS: Do you guys have any advice for any young kiwis looking to follow in your footsteps and break into the music business?
C: Play lots of shows and be nice to people!
NEXUS: One last question – what’s the best stone fruit?
C: Plums for sure.
Check out Soaked Oats on Spotify (watch out for their new EP, Sludge Pop, this June) and head along to a show in June/July during their tour of the UK, Aussie, and NZ. They’ll be performing in Auckland on July 6th.