On a warm winter day at Bonnerhaus, the Ryan’s Rock Show headquarters in North Hollywood, O’Brother guitarist Johnny Dang speaks of touring with Circa Survive. “[We] were going to play a prank on them the first day of tour [in 2010], but they were too nice…” he laughs. Brother and bassist Anton Dang chimes in and says the pair had planned to speak only in Vietnamese — “We were going to pretend we didn’t speak any English.”
Having released their debut album Garden Window in November through Triple Crown, the Atlanta-based band have been wooing crowds with more than just a charming dialect. In the past two years the group has won over audiences in support of acts such as Circa Survive, Manchester Orchestra, and Thrice. Now, having recently completed their first ever co-headlining tour with Junius, the band’s album is noticeably resonating throughout the music community. Says Anton Dang, “[This tour is] the first time where people are singing along to our songs… that just doesn’t happen to our band ever.”
As frozen pizzas begin to warm gently in the nearby kitchen oven, we continue our conversation on the early days of O’Brother, life on the road as a full-time touring band, and Garden Window.
A few things to note: O’Brother’s debut album Garden Window came out in November through Triple Crown — a performance video of a track called “Poison” can be seen here. In spring the band will embark on a lengthy North American run on Thrice’s farewell tour with Animals as Leaders — Ryan’s Rock Show interviews with both bands can be seen here and here respectively. In case you missed it, we put Garden Window on our “Best 11 Releases of 2011.” Lastly, around the 8:00 mark when we talk about a “tour announcement video in the shower” — we’re talking about this.
From left to right: Michael Martens, Tanner Merritt, Anton Dang, and Johnny Dang.
The interview begins with the band talking about experiences from their first ever DIY tour.