I fear that the phrase, “Four Dead In Ohio” will mean nothing to you politically or musically. So, after you get done with your visit to Wikipedia I’ll have a new concern. If this is your first exposure to the ‘band’ Four Dead In Ohio, then we’re faced again with the music media’s failure to tell you about yet another great band from England. If you haven’t guessed yet, we love that dreampoppy, anthemic, epic soundscape that is created by bands like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. To say that FDIO stands on equal footing with any band of this genre, is not an exageration. Guitars buzz and soar around your head, while the drums gently nurse you to hysteria. Lead singer Jakob Ohlen has a voice that should be filling stadiums filled with adoring faces.
The band answered questions for us about the crafting of their brilliant music.
TDOA: Reviews of the band reference great bands like Interpol and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club among others. Some bands have comparison for fear of getting pigeon-holed. Do you dislike the comparisons or do you think it gives you an opportunity to gain the fans of those bands?
FDIO: No it doesn’t worry us being compared to other bands – as you say it might encourage their fans to check us out, and I think when people hear us they will hear we that we have our own sound going on
TDOA: What do you think Fierce Panda provides for the band that you haven’t gotten from previous management?
FDIO: Well, we haven’t had any previous management so we have nothing to compare it with. But Guy, our manager has been a huge help with putting our singles out, booking our live shows, raising our profile and so on.
TDOA: One of the common themes when we interview unsigned bands is the questions about dealing with the majors. Do you think being on a major is important or can you continue to release music through smaller labels and be successful?
FDIO: I think it is possible to release music through smaller labels and be successful – Arctic Monkeys & Franz Ferdinand are on an indie label – Domino and they sell a lot. Also I think with majors they may not be prepared to spend as much time on you and stick with you if you are not an immediate success. Then again the advantage with majors is that there is likely to be more money spent on promoting you, so both ways have their pros and cons.
TDOA: Has the band attempted to market themselves through the internet and do you think this is an effective medium for bands to promote themselves?
FDIO: Yes we have, through our myspace site. It is definitely a useful promotional tool – we have fans all over the world in places we’ve never been to.
TDOA: Please tell us about your experiences in recording your latest record. The production quality is tremendous. Talk about the writing and working with Mark Wallis.
FDIO: Taste Like The Good Love came from a jam in our rehearsal room. Mark’s a great producer – he knows his stuff and we get on really well with him, so recording sessions are fun. He seems to genuinely like our music as well which I think is important.
TDOA: Please indulge the guitar geeks in the crowd and tell us about your set-ups.
FDIO: We play through Marshall JCM800 & 900 amps cranked up, my main guitar is a Gibson Les Paul Studio, Jakob plays a Gretch. The effects we use are reverb, delay, wah, distortion, tremolo and some flange. I’m not going to divulge our exact set-ups but our pedals are made by brands such as Electro-Harmonix, Jim Dunlop, Boss, Line 6. I think if you are in a band you should try and find your own sound. Some of the influences on my sound are: Nick Mccabe (The Verve) / Hendrix / Peter Hayes(BRMC) amongst many others.
TDOA: You’ve got a reputation as a great live band. What’s your approach to playing live and why does it seem to set you apart from many of the others?
FDIO: We just go for it. We turn the lights down, and play with our own visuals as a backdrop. We run the songs together so it’s a continuous groove. People say the live show is more full-on than our recordings.
TDOA: You’ve toured with some great bands (Duke Spirit, Raveonettes, etc.). Who were your favorites? Do you ever find yourselves being influenced musically by the bands you tour with?
FDIO: Definitely The Black Angels, because they are a great band and we clicked with them as people too. I’m not sure they influenced us that much musically, as they have mostly the same influences as us anyway, but they are great and I think they should be a lot more popular than they are. The Datsuns were really nice too.
TDOA: The band name: How many people are stumped by it and do you get people expecting CSNY covers?
FDIO: A lot of people don’t seem to realize it is a CSNY reference and ask why we are called that. We played a festival with Neil Young in London recently and I think a few people checked us out due to the name though.
TDOA: What’s on the agenda for the band? Touring America soon? SXSW?
FDIO: We’ll be recording an EP soon for release late 2009 / early 2010, also more UK and European dates. The plan is to play SXSW next year, which will hopefully include other American dates.
Our lead singer Jakob is a massive fan of Dallas the TV series, so he is especially keen to pay a visit. He has the DVDs, the key ring and even fish named after the TV show. There’s been Jr, Bobby and now Cliff; the latest fish to enter the goldfish bowl.
For more information about FDIO visit their myspace at: http://www.myspace.com/fourdeadinohioband