Forming barely ten months ago, the self-proclaimed “oldest new band in rock” got together simply for their shared love of rock & roll. The four members of The Oddfathers are all veterans of the Minneapolis music scene, and all knew of each other – and occasionally worked with each other – but never actually all played together before. Vocalist and guitarist Brynn Arens made Flipp a household word in the Twin Cities (and literally a household band with numerous garage gigs) in the 90’s. Drummer Tom Cook toured the world with The Magnolias and has been a go-to drummer for any number of bands and genres. Bassist and vocalist Krys Barrato was stage left for numerous Sunset Strip bands and artists in the 90’s, before returning to his native Minnesota. And lead guitarist and vocalist Casey Gooby is not only renowned for his fretwork, but also his amp work – his business Gooby Amps repairs and restores classic guitar amps for guitar players around the world.
Basically, it started with an informal jam session; we barely said three words to each other before plugging in and in little more than an hour we had three songs done,” recalls Arens. In two days more than ten songs were written and shortly thereafter four of those songs were recorded at Terrarium Studios in Minneapolis for their debut Double Live 45. Collectively, the band share a love for the most influential artists of the 70’s: Mott the Hoople, Rolling Stones, Alice Cooper, KISS, Cheap Trick, Sex Pistols, New York Dolls, to name a few. These bands also inspire the band visually, from the logo to their look – a “gangster” motif, complete with pinstripe suits. “All our favorite bands and albums were colorful and just looked cool,” says Arens. “We all come from the same place, musically and visually; there was no concept or planning, really. I suggested the name and someone else said, ‘yeah and we can wear suits!’ and there you go.”
That vibe and attitude extended to the recording of Double Live 45 done in two nights, at Terrarium Studios in Minneapolis. As the title implies, it was recorded live, with no overdubs, no editing and no over-thinking. “You just know when something clicks musically,” recalls Barrato, “like we’d been playing together for months and months.” The band cut 14 songs in all, with four – the hard rocking opener “Another Tear Goes Dry,” the fun and upbeat “Don’t Cry Delilah,” the swinging “Whisper In My Ear” and the Stones-y ballad “Bleecker Street” – allotted to the debut ep. Apropos of the band’s influences, the band released Double Live 45 first on vinyl in a unique package of two 45 rpm singles and a gatefold sleeve.
Thanks to a great live show, and a video for “Whisper In My Ear,” The Oddfathers have quickly garnered a loyal fan base and the word is spreading beyond Minnesota. Arens put some songs on a cassette and glued it into a 70’s tape player, sending it to various rock magazines and also legendary rock producers Jack Douglas (Aerosmith, John Lennon) and Eddie Kramer (Jimi Hendrix, KISS). This led to recording sessions, first with Douglas, then with Kramer. “When a cassette player arrived during an Aerosmith session in L.A. loaded with music by “The Oddfathers”, I couldn’t resist the invitation to get involved in the fun,” says Douglas, adding, “by the way, the guys in Aerosmith couldn’t keep their paws off the cassette machine.” Kramer was equally enthusiastic, describing the sessions as “…not work, but rather a huge amount of fun. What a cool bunch of guys who sing and play their hearts out.”
The band will next be going back in the studio with Douglas, recording songs that will eventually end up on their debut full-length. In addition, they recently recorded a version of “Let Me Go (Rock & Roll)” for the upcoming KISS tribute album, A World Without Heroes and just shot a video for the track. And of course, there are more live shows and touring upcoming. Recent live gigs have included opening slots for Nazareth, Night Ranger and Cowboy Mouth, showing that the band’s energy and music appeals to a variety of audiences. “We’ll play anywhere and with anyone. We love playing live and you can feel it at every show,” exclaims drummer Tom Cook, adding, “That’s really the bottom line.”