Tonight, at St. Cloud's Pioneer Place Theater, former-Flipp frontman Brynn Arens returns to the stage with his new group the Oddfathers. Boasting a mafioso motif, the group's debut show tonight coincides with the release of their Double Live 45 RPM EP. Already, the group is building significant momentum, landing a track in an upcoming Miramax film and getting their song "Another Tear Goes Dry" spun by KFAN's "The Common Man" Dan Cole.
Gimme Noise spoke to Arens about what fans can expect from his group's debut.
How did The Oddfathers come together?
A very informal jam at a rehearsal space. In my memory, we hardly said three words to each other when we plugged in. Tom Cook and I had been jamming on-and-off together. I was co-producing a record for Casey Gooby, and Krys Baratto I had known for year. I wanted to have a jam, [everyone] said "sure." Three songs were written at the first two hour jam, and we hardly said a word to each other. One of those songs, "Don't Cry Delilah," is on the Double-Live 45. My friend at [Minnesota recording studio] the Terrarium gave us two nights to record, the first night we set up our gear and the second night we played 14 songs in two hours. No punch-ins, no editing, no fixing, no nothing. And that's what came out.
What inspired the "gangster" motif?
If you look at the KISS Dressed to Kill cover, the New York Dolls or Alice Cooper, [they] did kind of a gangster thing and I thought it was always a cool look. But the New York Dolls were always my favorite. We're getting older, I'm about to be 52, but I want to make [the look] colorful, cool without being hokey but with it being period correct. After looking at it, I can put it in those terms, but I don't have those thoughts before I do it. For me, it's just cool. It wasn't conceptualized, we were just in a room and I was like "what do you think of the name Oddfathers" and another guys goes "yeah and we could wear suits!" So I love it.
What made you decide to debut with an EP on a 45 record?
Well, it just feels weird to put out a CD and I also think the record,[considering] the whole Oddfathers thing is just more period correct. The 45 record is just very apropos and a little more interesting.
How is preparing for this Oddfathers show different from preparing for a Flipp gig?
Well, this is the first Oddfathers show, so it's kinda hard to tell but with a Flipp gig there was certainly an element of hiding from the cops as we always had something up our sleeve that was potentially troublesome for promoters. I remember when we opened up for Evanescence and we pillow-feathered the stage, their road manager punched my road manager in the head and kicked us off the tour, so the next day was [about] finding a new agent. This is now mature adults where, if I called the guys in the band and asked how they were getting to the gig, they wouldn't even know yet. I still love to have a big show, [the Oddfathers] is just a more mature version, but still "Kids, do you know where your parents are?" I'm not laying down on the job, that's for sure.
Having been a part of several bands known for their live show, what makes for a strong live debut?
Honesty. Not overthinking it. Going out there and just doing it. I would liken the feeling of walking on stage at a debut concert to walking in the door on Christmas day, when everybody's dressed up, you get that buzz and conversation flows freely. Everybody's glad to be there, but if you try to pre-meditate that walk-in, you're going to blow it. You just get dressed up and be yourself, and then it's awesome.
Finally, given the theme of the group, if you had to choose, would you say you're more of a "Godfather Man" or a "Godfather: Part II Man"?
"Godfather man." You can't have two without one, can you? But, for me, my favorite [gangster] movie might be Goodfellas. If that movie's on when I'm flicking through channels, it stays on.
The Oddfathers perform at the Pioneer Place Theater on Tuesday, November 20
$15, 7:30 p.m. Tickets here.