Clayton Knight of ODESZA on what motivates them, what he appreciates about the state of dance music, and more

Clayton Knight of ODESZA on what motivates them, what he appreciates about the state of dance music, and more

ODESZA will finally make their Southeast Asian debut starting new week when the duo hit Singapore, Malaysia and Jakarta. 

The critically acclaimed dance music duo formed in 2012 shortly before Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight (pictured, right) graduated from university. Shortly after that same year, they released their debut album Summer's Gone, which was met with global acclaim in the underground dance music community. 

Since then, the duo have been taking the dance music world by storm with their latest album, A Moment Apart. Their track 'Line Of Sight' was nominated for a Grammy earlier in 2018. 

Bandwagon had the chance to talk to Clayton Knight of ODESZA ahead of their Southeast Asian run. Check out what he had to say on their rise to fame, what he appreciates about the state of dance music and more in the complete interview below. 

When you’re working on a song, at what point do you decide that a song is good the way it is and stop meddling with it?

That's a great question, I wish I had the right answer for you. I think in a lot of ways, that's what's so helpful about having two people in the group. We can really bounce back and forth between different critiques and what we think the song needs and when we think we're done. I think one of us just kinds of realises during the process that adding anything more to the song would only ruin it, so I think in that sense, the most simple songs are the hardest to write. 

How do you keep yourself motivated and inspired after spending being in the scene for less than a decade and already reaching headliner status?

I think what's fun about live shows is that you can really get to see the reaction in front of you with each song, which is not really something you really get when you release music and put it online. Because of that, it keeps you wanting to keep making that experience perfect and every place you go to is a little different so it's really fun to try and customise our shows to the city or country we're playing in. That's a really fun thing that constantly gives us energy and motivates us. 

What drew you to dance music and has that changed?

I don't think I liked dance music for a long time. I liked a lot of soundtrack music and hip-hop a lot but dance music was something new that I never really tried until I started to experiment with it and I began to like it more and more. I kind of accidentally found it. 

What’s a current trend in electronic music that you have a strong opinion about?

I think the one thing I do really like is that since electronic music has broken through the mainstream and has sort of become saturated, a lot of people are being forced to think differently and do things out of the box to stand out, and I think that's great because they're being challenged. 

You released your third album, A Moment Apart, last year. Have you begun working on new material for a new album/EP yet or are you still enjoying the album cycle?

I think it's a bit difficult because we put so much time and energy into our live shows. In our live shows, we have pretty much 80 to 90 percent new versions of music we've released so it's very customised, very special. So we spend a lot of time working on that, and it takes up a lot of time. So we haven't been writing much as of right now. 

What’s one item you absolutely have to bring on tour that isn't tech/gear?

Oh God, everything revolves around technology now, I don't know if I can answer this. I think the biggest non-tech constant on tour is a pair of Adidas Ultra Boost shoes. We pretty much jump up and down for an hour, an hour and a half so we run through a pair for every show. 

You’ll be making your Southeast Asian debut next week. How’re you feeling about the shows and what can fans who have never been to one of your shows expect?

We're so excited, they're places we've always wanted to perform at but never got the chance until now. The fact that we get to travel the world because of music is still insane to us. I don't think we ever would've had the chance to go there without our music, and we only have our fans to thank for making that a possibility. As for what to expect from our sets, there's a lot of live instruments, a lot of special edits of released songs that we do just for live shows. We have a special live show and a ton of energy. It's going to be unlike anything you've seen. 

ODESZA will be performing at Good Vibes Festival 2018, which will take place on 21 and 22 July at The Ranch, Gohtong Jaya, Genting Highlands. The festival is open to those aged 18 and above. Tickets are now on sale with Phase 1 passes going for RM 360 (S$121), Phase 2 passes for RM 380 (S$128) and Phase 3 passes for RM 400 (S$135). All passes will include entry to both days. Tickets are be available here