"The politeness is definitely kept to a minimum" Ohyeahsumi

The latest release from Ohyeahsumi is one I think will stay with me for a long time. Sincerely delivered only with electric guitar, bass and vocals covered in tasteful washes of reverb - their songs are direct and honest without any unnecessary distractions in an attempt to impress you. Lena and Rena were kind enough to have a chat with me recently about bowling alleys, the transition from LA to Auckland and what it's like to work so closely with a sibling.

Hey Lena and Rena! Congratulations on the new EP - it’s such a beautiful listen. How’s it felt leading up to the release?

Thank you so much! It’s been an interesting pre-release atmosphere, being so far away from our home, LA, which was one of the starring roles in our EP. We hadn’t put out music together for a long while so we were pretty nervous leading up to release day. But now we’re so relieved that it’s out! These songs have been incubating for almost a year now and nobody except us and the Sports Day team had heard them—not even our friends or our family. 

There’s something really satisfying about the video for Snowflakes. Are you able to tell us about the idea behind it?

Sweet, we’re glad! The video came about when we were thinking of moments when we can’t direct our anger towards the actual source of it. “Snowflakes” is somewhat of a letter written to someone after an emotional explosion, so we felt that the video should show the intense anger of that explosion and the resignation afterward. Our two best friends actually star in the video!

I hear you’re both in Auckland at the moment. How does that environment differ to life back in LA?

Everything. Is. Different. But we love both cities for different reasons. Auckland is just as, if not more, diverse as LA, which we definitely love. There’s a quieter music scene here, though, whereas in LA, we can find a venue or a show going on almost always. Auckland’s a great city for those who are chill at heart. The sense of urgency is lower, people play things by ear more. The creative scene and industry is also huge here, so it’s similar in many ways to LA.  BUT, it is quite devastating to us that Mexican food is not a thing here! LA always has our back when it comes to that. 

Personally, I think I’d find working on a creative project with a sibling a nightmare - our politeness kinda disappeared (in a kinda nice way) over the years growing up together. How do you find you both work together?

Our working relationship isn’t always seamless—the politeness is definitely kept to a minimum (we think being indirect is a destructive form of communication) but respect is always a key component when we’re writing. Not going to lie, we have our fights, some are recorded in our demos. But I think our bond is so strong and we care so much about this project that at the end of the day, we know we want what’s best for it.  

Ohyeahsumi is self-described as being influenced by bowling alleys. What do you like about them?

A lot of our dreams are set in bowling alleys. If you check a dream dictionary, it says knocking over bowling pins represents knocking out all the things that get in the way of your life. So when we go bowling for real, it kinda gives us the illusion that we’re doing just that. And we’d like to think that bowling alleys are happy places where everyone goes to kick their problems in the ass.

Your Friends Are Looking For You is out now through Sports Day Records.