Uli from California based band Ozmatli was on the phone, talking all things Ozomatli for the forthcoming tour the beginning of November.
First question on any overseas band, how do they cope with the 14 hour flight?
“I’m medicated! You watch a lot of movies!”
This is going to be a hard tour, you guys are playing almost the entire time you’re here?
‘It’s certainly going to be a grueling one. We’re just going to have to pace ourselves and do it! We’re a well oiled machine after 20 years/ Relationship wise we are better than we have ever been. The hang ups and the ego trips of our youth are gone!”
Ozomatli formed in 1996. What is your first memory that comes to mind when you think of 1996?
“I do remember this feeling of crazy musical hunger. We were always more obsessed with certain genres, always looking for better musicians to play with, constantly practicing, constantly watching videos.”
How old were you at the time?
“Twenty one twenty-two.”
How would you reflect on the band now twenty one years later?
“We’re blessed, we’re seasoned now. Most bands don’t last this long. We are always hanging out. We’re family.”
Ozomatli are bringing out a lot of new material and I was intrigued by the new release which is a “concept’ of a concept album? A repertoire of covers of Mexican composers and performers. What is Mexico like for music?
“This is something new for Ozomatli, we have never been much of a Cover Band, but we arrived at this point by accident. We were jamming out in the middle of a show and we started playing this famous Mexican song. The crowd really reacted to it. The grooviness of the Reggae took over. Our percussionist came up with all these songs and re-interpreted it.”
“It’s the music industry. You can’t do the same old stuff, yo8u have always done, you have to always think outside the box. We have made a Children’s record, scored movies, scored video games., It’s just keeping our creative sword really sharp.”
Chuck Berry turns 90 this year, looking into a crystal ball, where do you see yourself at 90?
“Hopefully not working as hard as we are!”
Thursday October 27th – The Metro Theatre, Sydney (18+)
Friday October 28th – The Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle (18+)
Saturday October 29th – The Lost Lands Festival, Melbourne (All Ages)
Sunday October 30th – The Triffid, Brisbane (18+)