Tracker Pixel for Entry

Post Punk Jitters

by Sabrina Hornung | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Music | October 25th, 2017

HPR interview: Omni bassist/vocalist/songwriter Philip Frobos

A city’s music scene is a mother of invention. With lots of bands working, recombinant bands form and sometimes great songwriting is the result. The best example I can think of right now is Omni of Atlanta. They’ve been described as “post-punk jitters, but cool,” but really they are indescribable.

HPR: Do you have any pre-tour rituals that you tend to stick to before you hit the road? I imagine there’s a lot to think about.

PF: Yeah, I usually just try to, like...Atlanta is a wonderful place. It has some of the finest food and beverages and coffee in the country. Oh yeah -- it’s no joke. We got some award-winning sh*t down here. I just try to enjoy as many quality things while I can still get them. Today I started with an espresso, and I think I’m going to go get an Italian lunch as soon as I can park my car. And then, hanging out with my girlfriend.

HPR:How did Omni form?

PF: So anyway, we all met from other groups. I was in a label with one of my best friends, called Double Phantom. My old band Carnivores, and Frankie’s old band Balkans [guitarist Frankie Broyles] were the best-friend bands on the label. We did a lot of traveling together and whatnot. Usually we lived together, wrote songs, quit our other bands after a break from it all, just started doing Omni just ‘cause we wanted to, for fun, and now we’re just doin’ it full time.

HPR: The sound of Omni is quite a departure from the Balkans...so what informed your sound?

PF: Well, I think just maybe we kind of grew up a little more. I think a big part of music -- hold on, let me articulate this -- I just walked up like five flights of stairs. I think the most gratifying part of writing music is when you get to the point where you can write the kind of music that you want to write -- or you can sound the way you intend to sound, rather than what you haphazardly come out with.

With Omni, we wanted to have a cool, minimal rock & roll band, with clean tones and great Sur Back hooks. And that’s just what we did. We’re both record nerds.

HPR: There’s something refreshing about a lo-fi sound.

PF: Definitely.

HPR: What do you think about being considered a post-punk band? Is that an adequate label?

PF: I think it’s a little excessively used for us. It’s undeniable that there are things in our music that would fit in the description of post-punk...neither of us ever set out to be a post-punk band. We wanted to be a rock ‘n roll band, write interesting rock songs. A lot of our influences are arguably more proto-punk, before you would get to all that. The people who altered music, who created punk, were fans of the same kind of stuff.

It would be ridiculous for me to say I’m not influenced by post-punk, because I am, but with this band, we didn’t set out to do that.

HPR: Right. So who are your biggest influences?

PF: I can only speak for myself, because Frankie has such an eclectic taste. We’re in the van and I say, ‘What is this?’ and he’s like oh, it’s this really cool Japanese 60s pop. For me, the ultimate influence is David Bowie, and from there I really love all Bossa Nova, anything António Carlos Jobim did, especially the reissues of the songs he did with Frank Sinatra.

HPR: Did you grow up playing in bands, or where did you find your musical bone?

PF: I got a bass when I was 14 because my friend in school wanted to form a band, and they already had a guitar player and a drummer. I wanted to be in a rock band too. He was like ‘I’m going to be the singer, so you can be the bass player.’ I begged my dad to get me a bass. He finally did one day, and we just started writing songs, and I just played in bands around town, until I got old enough to move down to Atlanta. And then we started doing our thing down here.

HPR: Where did the name Omni come from?

PF: There used to be, in Atlanta, the big basketball arena. It used to be the Omni Colisseum. It was this cool, architecturally interesting building. The Atlanta Hawks played there, and there were classic acts, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Elvis.

We needed a name, and came up with names like ‘Worst Thing Ever,’ and after a month of going back and forth…

HPR: (laughter) Some groups are casual or very organic...how do you guys write songs?

PF: There’s a casual part of it. We like to get together in the same room and play until it sounds good, something we like, and then we put it down. In the past, people thought it was too casual, that we didn’t care enough. But we really do care about how our songs come out. In particular, I really care about how the vocals are.

Frankie and I, we do it all together, part by part. We’ll do guitar and bass, then I’ll do the drums and add the lyrics and the vocals.

IF YOU GO

Omni

Thursday, November 2, 8pm

The Aquarium, Dempsey’s upstairs, 226 Broadway North

$10, 21+, 701-235-5913




Recently in:

News

Destroying heritage

by C.S. Hagen

GRAND FORKS – Residual racism is a leading reason why the University of North Dakota plans to demolish the last brick-and-mortar remnants of Wesley College, some historians say. Wesley College, a former Methodist school, merged…

Last week we talked about my lack of photographic skills and then what the heck am I going to do with all of these bad pictures that I take. Storage options for those pictures continues this week:RAIDAnother storage option is a…

Friday, April 27, 9pm-howlingThe Aquarium, 226 N BroadwayWith each member armed with a bass drum this footstompin’ four piece is here to kick FM into a dance-dance overdrive. There’s a reason they’ve oft been referred to as…

There’s something to be said about the art of listening. Effective communication is like playing a game of catch, you need to bounce the conversation ball back and forth to keep it going. I never was one much for sports-ball but…

Maybe We Should Quote "The Raven" MoreThe January National Geographic magazine has a remarkable article about the 10,000 species of birds that live around and above us, and it prompted me to recall some of the species I have…

FARGO - A collection of memories from High Plains Reader's annual Cocktail Showdown. Participants were judged on creativity, flavor, and presentation; and this year we added a new category. Like years before, each establishment was…

All About Food

​Oysters

by HPR Staff

By Ben Myhrebenmyhre35@gmail.comAs a North Dakota native, raw oysters are just not a food staple that I think about. We are about as far from the coasts as we can get and we have a backyard full of tasty local cuisine, like walleye…

By Cindy Nicholscindy.nichols@ndsu.eduI find myself almost weepy with appreciation, these days, for any small reprieve I can find from chronic sickness-at-heart; any small mercy that either helps me to forget about 45 for an hour,…

Longtime writing partners Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein make their joint directorial debut but don’t quite get everything right in “I Feel Pretty,” an Amy Schumer vehicle that jettisons the hard-R ribaldry of…

Originally from Turkey, Tülin ÖZSİSLİ is a visiting scientist at NDSU. She has created art inspired by science with bright and active acrylics, oils and watercolors.  “Painting is essential in my life for expressing my…

By Nathan Roybardsdream@gmail.comYou are absolutely right. The title is not “To be or not to be” from the famous Shakespeare soliloquy in "Hamlet." I won’t be talking about Shakespeare particularly. I will expound the…

Fargo has its share of people who are passionate about stand-up comedy, even if the success of clubs devoted to it has been mixed. Despite the fact we have seen places like Courtney’s Comedy Club and Level 2 Comedy Club close…

I consider myself an avid wine drinker, but I recently found out there are more than 10,000 varieties of grapes, and about 1,500 of those are used to make commercial wines. I don’t know about you, but I could probably name about…

I was amid some of the worst anxiety I have experienced in my life. I was worried about money, moving and multiple other things. My chest felt heavy and was dominated by a feeling of constriction and restriction; to both my life…

By Melissa Martin melissamartincounselor@live.com “I’m sorry” are two vital words to be used in relationships because human beings are imperfect people living in imperfect environments. Ask yourself the following…

Calm was the day in late JulyAnd bright was the sun across the skyBut inside his chest the calm had brokenGovernor Sinner had started croakin’.I laughed the first time I read that, and I’m still laughing every time I think…