In anticipation of Uh Oh and the Oh Wells headlining show at Lucky You Lounge this Friday, Oct. 15, we chatted with James Bauscher (lead vocals/guitar) and Josiah Sherman (drums) about stoned desert vibes, favorite local bands, and the advantages of band housemates during pandemic.
James Bauscher: I'm excited [the show is] with Mama Llama and Blue Disco. We've played with Blue Disco down at Hidden Mother [Brewing], and the whole vibe that they bring in is just a perfect set up and we pair very well with them.
Josiah Sherman: Mama Llama also has a really cool vibe. They're definitely a little bit more chill than the stuff that we play, but I think it's a great pairing. They seem like really great artists. And I think it's just gonna be really fun to play upstairs at Lucky You. We've played two or three shows in the basement back in 2019, and that was really fun. Lucky You is really cool venue. A lot of really great bands have played there, and so it's exciting that we're finally going to be able to play with some of our friends on that stage upstairs.
You mentioned the vibes of the other bands on the bill, but how would you describe what the vibe of Uh Oh and the Oh Wells?
James: I would say as an album band we're very much desert indie rock. It has a very open feel; it kind of puts you down in like the Arizona/Utah area, where it's just big open spaces. There's a lot of heavy riffage on guitar that's really driving it. It's good like road trip music.
And then, on the other hand, when we do get out and play live, we we tend to get a little rowdy with it and a little bit heavier. There's a lot more of like a human element to it, because when we recorded the first album, it was just not as human-feeling mostly just because of the drums. So then having Josiah [join the band after that] and be able to put in that that energy behind it, it brings out a whole new character in the music.
Yeah, I would say your recent single "Money. Shots." certainly has more of that aggressive, ramblin' edge to it rather than feeling like chillin' out in the desert.
James: Yeah, for sure. On the first album we definitely tried to incorporate a bit of a psychedelic vibe to the music as well. Have it kind of be like you're in the desert, but maybe you're a little bit stoned or whatever.
Maybe you ate a weird cactus — it's having some effects.
Josiah: Exactly! [Laughs]
How have you managed to stay so active and put out new music in these weird 2020-2021 pandemic times where a lot of band have kinda been put on pause?
James: As soon as the pandemic hit, we sat down with a list of tunes, and "Money. Shots.," "Hello," and "Simple First" were all kind of on that list to be on a second album. And as we work those songs out, got them recorded, mixed and mastered, and ready to release, that list changed almost completely. So with that downtime, we had a lot of time to be able to kind of really process and think about what we want the tunes on the second album to be and how our sound is going to progress moving forward. At this point, we've got 11 or 12 songs that we're starting to finish writing and recording. And we're going to be heading into the studio to take care of all our drum tracks. We're working with The Palimpsest Group. They're helping us out with mixing and mastering. So we're working with Norman [Robbins] from BaLonely and Luis Mota, who helps run Palimpsest Group.
Josiah: We're also were pretty fortunate as a band over 2020. James, myself, and our bass player (Alex Ortega) share a house. And actually all of the music that we've recorded, we recorded in our house, in our basement. We just kind of do our at home studio. We've worked with other friends with mixing and helping us record, but it's all been a very DIY process. So over 2020, we were fortunate enough to all live together, we all had a bunch of downtime, and we had all the recording equipment that we needed. So we were able to really put as much time as we needed into not only recording those singles, but also into tightening as a band and really working what out our sound and our vision is going into the future.
How do you feel being in Spokane and this musical community has impacted your art?
James: In early 2021, When we started working with The Palimpsest Group, we were introduced to a lot of different different bands that are also working with that group. And so being able to kind of step into a community of artists and other bands that we had already listened to or been introduced, now we're like starting to grow these bonds with these other musicians.
Like Josiah was saying, when we were mixing the three singles, Brad, the drummer of Fat Lady, came in and helped us get our drum mic-ing correct, because we kind of just threw it all together haphazardly. So just having having people like that.
Honestly, without being in Spokane, we wouldn't have been able to put out the mixes that we got for the singles, and we're looking forward to doing kind of the same thing with the second full album.
Josiah: We've definitely been trying to pay attention to the other artists in Spokane, really seeing what bands we really dig and what artists we want to work with. BaLonely has always been kind of one of them, so getting to work with Norman [is something] we're pretty excited about because he's great at recording and mixing all of his sound. Having someone else to give us that extra opinion, and encourage us or tell us, "Hey, maybe you don't want to do that this time," — it's super helpful, you know?
Spokane definitely has a cool group of musicians here. A lot of really talented people, and it's nice that it's not too saturated of a local scene.
Who are some of your favorite local bands?
James: BaLonely. The Smokes, those guys are great. They're just a two-piece kinda punk band, and they are killer. Pit is another really good one.
Josiah: Indian Goat. And also Kadabra, they just recently put out their new album and they're absolutely killing it right now. Shout out to Kadabra.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
James: Just come hang out at the shows. Now that we're able to have shows again after almost a year of not having them, we're all really excited to play. Any show that I've gone to since we've been able to have shows again, everyone there is really happy to be there. There's really cool energy. I just want to encourage people to come out and support local artists. Get that live experience.