Last night we had the pleasure of feeding the Oneironauts.
Let me tell you, interviewing them was like interviewing toddlers, in a good way! Their chemistry is undeniable, not just when they are performing but off stage too. They’re very close knit and were bouncing off each other and definitely made me laugh.
The Oneironauts consists of 3 members – Nathan on vocals and keyboard, Shiv on percussion and Coops on bass. Their sound is very different to what you might usually hear, and it works. Mainly influenced by jazz, hip-hop, funk, fusion and neo-soul, it’s no wonder they have been busy!
So, what does Oneironauts mean and how the hell do you pronounce it, I hear you ask?
[One-Iron-auts] means the travellers of dreams [Nathan then goes on to explain what an oneironnaut is…] “An astronaut in your dreams, whilst ironing a t-shirt – gotta get those creases out whilst flying through space”
[At this point I am howling listening back to the recording of the interview! Especially as I had to jump out of the interview real quick to lend a hand, and Nathan proceeded to sing Somewhere Over the Rainbow into my phone…]
Moving on, the next question – Who are your musical inspirations?
Coop replied, “Too many to name, I’d tell you the name of them but there’s no way you’d be able to spell it. But it’s a lot of instrumental stuff, quite lounge-y, atmospheric; pretty much the kind of stuff you would hear in a Tarintino movie.”
Shiv, coming from a punjab background, explained how he grew up listening to bhangra and being on percussion made him notice how the beats always go first and that’s what inspired him.
Nathan’s inspirations were Blues and Soul, artists such as James Brown and Tina Turner (who he used to have a crush on by the way – “a whole lotta woman there” – Shiv used to fancy Shakira – (I mean, who doesn’t) and Coops got a thing for Celine Dion)
So what made you want to get into music?
Nathan, when he was younger, really wanted to impress his brother, as his brother was in a band, so he would secretly write lyrics just using pictures and one night whilst he was doing this at the youth club, his brother walked in so Nathan was so hyped to be able to show them off – only to have his brother come in and ask him what the hell he was doing before walking off.
Where was your first gig?
Coops – “It was the Slade Rooms in Wolverhampton, on a night called ‘Something a Little Different’ in Wolves finest! But these guys were playing before I joined on bass.” So Nathan and Shiv met in Primary School, and Nathan knew Coops before then. One day both Nathan and Shiv were performing at Shanty Town in Digbeth where Coops heard them and thought they were missing some bass, so asked if he could join. So they jammed out together and it just clicked.
Any exciting gigs coming up?
Nathan – “Well, we’re performing here on 13th July which is exciting. But we have just got back from a little stint of performances. We met Jesus in Bristol.” [Not sure if we can compete with that..] “We were at the Bear Pit in Bristol busking where we needed power, and this topless guy with long hair let us hook up to his power where he was squatting. I wanted to see what would happen if I gave him some water…”
Shiv – “We’ve done the Sofar Sounds, did Shindig Festival in Somerset. We’ve got Shanty Town in Digbeth on 18th July, and at the Spotted Dog doing the ‘Evening of Soul’.”
Now everyone’s favourite, and the hardest question out of the lot – What is your favourite song?
They all struggled to answer with their favourite but gave me the name of the songs they like to dance to:
Cooper – Rock My World by Michael Jackson
Shiv – New York State Of Mind by Nad
Nathan – She Wants To Move by N.E.R.D.
Last question – Who do you think will win the Cider Awards?!
Coops – Mad Jack
Nathan – Apricot Cider
Shiv – Apricot Cider
“But we loved the Seacider Medium, LOVED the Snailsbank Raspberry Ripple and thought the Hogans Harvest Press reminded me of Donkey Kong” [I think they meant it was oak-y?]
It was so much fun sitting down and meeting these guys properly, they were so funny, down to earth and easy to talk to.