A Quick Chat with Dan Oke a.k.a Jarrow

Having his debut album 2003 Dream releasing on the 16th September, Melbourne local Jarrow is already taking the airwaves by storm with the album’s singles. Us Brisbanites are luckily having Jarrow grace us with his presence and excellent “silky smooth garage pop” at BIGSOUND this September. We caught up with frontman Dan Oke and spoke about broken bones and how it felt to wake up to some very exciting news.

Marli: So what has been going on in your life today?

Dan: I’ve kinda been in bed all day. I just woke up an hour ago and yeah, I’m feeling good!

Marli: First things first, would you be able to possibly tell the story behind your unearthed bio?

Dan: I’ve only broken bones a couple times in my life and one of those times was when I was eleven. I was at my friend’s house and we were going to take a bike cruise through Aireys Inlet just off the Great Ocean Road where he lived. His house sat on top of this massive, winding dirt driveway on a huge hill and I decided to borrow the one bike in his house with no brakes. Next thing I knew, I accidentally took off down his driveway at full speed. I thought I was going to end up on the main road below but thankfully their family dog had somehow caught up to me riding and ran right in front of the bike. After a dramatic front flip, I fell face first and busted up my elbow; the dog came over unscathed and started happily licking my face. I got carried back up the hill and sat in their living room playing the Cars game on PS3 before my parents came to pick me up and drive me to the emergency room. The moral of the story: never trust a bike.

Marli: So your first album 2003 Dream is being released mid September this year. What sort of reaction have you received from the singles so far?

Dan: So far we’ve had a lot of good responses from critics and especially from my friends and family. Especially my dad actually. He’s probably my biggest fan at the moment. But yeah, an all-round good response so far.

Marli: What would you say were your main influences and inspirations for the album?

Dan: In terms of the lyrics, a lot of it, I guess, is very personal. I suppose [the album] is a very autobiographical kind of deal. Musically though, most of my influence and inspiration comes from Ty Seagull and the Shins. A lot of the artists and bands that do bedroom recordings, I’m heavily influenced by them.

Marli: Your second single off the album, $$ Spoilers $$ has pretty much spread like wild fire, how did it feel when you found out Zane Lowe had added it to his World Record on Beats 1?

Dan: It was pretty crazy. I woke up one morning and checked twitter and there were all these tags of ‘Apple’, ‘beats’ and ‘Lowe’ all over it and I just thought, “man, thats pretty good!” Most of it so far has been pretty surreal.

Marli: The music video for the song is down right hilarious.

Dan: Haha thank you!

Marli: It’s a modern day tragedy full of twists and tomato sauce. How did the video all come about?

Dan: I kind of roped in a couple of my friends one afternoon. I just ordered and followed them around with my parents old VHS camera all day and that was the video. I cut it together on an afternoon and that was it! I didn’t really tell them what the plot line was either so they didn’t know what was going on but it worked out in the end I think.

Marli: You’re playing BIGSOUND up here in Brisbane very soon. Have you been up before?

Dan: I went up there, well, to the Gold Coast a long time ago with my family but I haven’t been there since.

Marli: And how are you feeling ahead of the gig?

Dan: I’m kinda nervy about it but I think we are going to have a lot of fun. I’m just really excited to see a lot of the bands that are playing and just to be around a bunch of really cool people.

Marli: Do you do have any pre-gig traditions? Like certain foods or 12 and a half star jumps, that sorta thing?

Dan: Sometimes before a Jarrow set I like to ditch the venue and go for a walk by myself to de-stress a little bit before I go on stage. Some shows get me more nervy than others so I like to keep to myself and not end up too distracted. I’ll probably end up doing the same thing for BIGSOUND as well.

Marli: Who are your top picks and must see’s for BIGSOUND?

Dan: Man, I’d have to go through the list but I’m most excited and keen for all of the Brisbane bands that are playing.

Marli: Without giving too much away, what can the Brissy fans expect from your show?

Dan: Well theres going to be…Pretty much just 100% bangers. But, I mean, thats probably giving too much away so hopefully I’m allowed to say that!

Catch Jarrow at BIGSOUND in the Valley on the 7-9 of September and in the mean time, listen to one of his bangers below.   

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