Arts & CultureMusic

Q&A with Odesza’s Clayton Knight before their Eugene show on April 7

Seattle group Odesza is one of the Pacific Northwest’s most notable electronic music acts. The group is a regular in Eugene having played at the WOW Hall twice as opening acts in 2013 before graduating to a headlining spot in 2014. Now, three years and two albums (2012’s Summer’s Gone and last year’s In Return) later, the band has sold out the McDonald Theatre, where they are playing April 7.

I was able to sit down with Clayton Knight, one half of the duo, to talk about the band’s upcoming show, some dream collaborations, and the electronic music scene in the Northwest. 

Your website describes your music as being “set apart from the by-the-numbers brutality of EDM’s also-rans.” Is your music a reaction against EDM?

We didn’t write that. We like all sorts of music. But I’d agree there’s a bit of over-saturation in the electronic music scene, and we try to take a different route.

What can audiences expect from your upcoming show at the McDonald?

It’ll be similar to our WOW show, but we’re adding some new live instruments, a new light show. Hopefully we’ll even have some special guest appearances. It’ll be fun.

Your remix of Pretty Lights’ “Lost And Found” appeared on the Divergent soundtrack last year. Do y’all have any interest in film scores?

Down the line we’d love to score a movie at some point. Divergent was out of the blue, but in the future we’d love to be part of that industry. We’re a big fan of film scores. Inception is one of my favorites — Hans Zimmer. The Social Network had a great soundtrack, and so did Gone Girl. Trent Reznor did both of them; I love what he does.

Who would your dream collaborators be as far as vocalists and producers?

There’s a couple soul singers I’d love to work with, there’s a new artist named Leon Bridges that I would love to enter the studio with. As for producers, some FlyLo (Flying Lotus), but everyone would like to be in the studio with him.

Is the Pacific Northwest a good environment for electronic music?

There’s not a lot of electronic music up here. Hip hop is very popular, and folk and indie kind of dominates the music scene, so trying to do our thing is always interesting. But we’d like to make Seattle more of a hub for electronic music, bring it into that world.

Where are y’all planning on taking your sound next? 

We’ve been listening to a lot of hip hop, going back to our roots. I’ve always been into electronic music, but when I graduated college I started to get into hip hop. Harrison (Mills, the other half of Odesza) has been into hip hop from the beginning. We’re going through that phase right now. But we’ll see — it always starts somewhere and ends somewhere completely different. We might have some rappers. We’d like to try to dive into the Seattle hip hop scene more.

Odesza plays the McDonald Theatre on April 7. Tickets are SOLD OUT. Doors at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m. All ages.

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Daniel Bromfield

Daniel Bromfield

Daniel Bromfield is a writer for the Arts & Culture desk of the Emerald, specializing in music. He maintained the SF Rebirth blog in San Francisco from 2010-2013, and his work has appeared in the San Francisco Bay Guardian, KWVA, and the Oregon Voice.