Concerts

Michael Martens of O'Brother Talks Fans Forming Garden Window and Eating on the Road

"Loud post-rock. We're a little all over the place, but it's moderately contained. We've got loud sludgy parts and we've got more orchestral pieces that we try to work in," Michael Martens, drummer of Atlanta band O'Brother says this of their sound, but for the most part, he and the band want you to decide for yourself. 

Their most recent release and first LP Garden Window was made with a little help of the fans. When they started writing, the band live streamed the process, Martens says, "People could logon to the website we created for it, and watch us through the writing process." They would get on and chat with fans, he calls it a very interactive process.

"It payed off after the record was done, because people felt more a part of the record than they would have been." Fans come up to them after shows and tell the band that they remember particular parts of the creation process. It's like they were there. 

The cover art for the album is not aligned with the heavy sounds of Garden Window. It's magical and whimsical and created by guitarist Johnny Dang. The images painted into the watercolor apparently come from, Martens says of his bandmate, "Things in his brain, and things he saw in real life." Inspiration is drawn from patterns in nature and even from time spent in Yosemite.

All of the band members are in their mid-to-late twenties, so they grew up with the internet. Martens says his first internet memory was from fifth grade. Of social marketing tools, he notes, "As annoying as those things can be, they're all indispensable to being in a band." Of these sites, O'Brother uses Instagram frequently, "Most of the time it's pictures of the stupid things that we're doing or the things that we're eating." 

Foodie types, these guys are enthusiastic eaters, "a connoisseur of sorts," Marten calls himself, admitting, "half of the reason we travel and play is so that we can eat at different places." Though he wouldn't give a favorite place to munch in the whole world, he did say they all have a weakness for breakfast foods, which they'll eat anytime. He did recommend an Atlanta joint called El Myr that apparently has the best burritos and salsa around those parts. We imagine he'd suggest the breakfast burrito. 

O'Brother plays with Thrice and Animals as Leaders on May 15 at Revolution Live, 100 Southwest Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale, at 6:30 p.m. Click here for tickets



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Liz has her master’s degree in religion from Florida State University. She has since written for publications and outlets such as Miami New Times, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Ocean Drive, the Huffington Post, NBC Miami, Time Out Miami, Insomniac, the Daily Dot, and the Atlantic. Liz spent three years as New Times Broward-Palm Beach’s music editor, was the weekend news editor at Inverse, and is currently the managing editor at Tom Tom Magazine.
Contact: Liz Tracy