We caught up with Diana World Tour Austin's contributors THE OCTOPUS PROJECT to see what they're up to these days. You may know them from their visually stunning set at last weekend's Fun Fun Fun Fest, or from their new video for "Whitby" which debuted on Stereogum this week! Check out their interview after the jump!
THE OCTOPUS PROJECT
Toto, Yvonne, Ryan & Josh
Bouldin Creek, Austin, Texas
Since their founding in 1999, Austin TX’s The Octopus Project has pursued sights and sounds that explode the senses and stretch the imagination. Beginning as an experiment in gathering all their varied interests (electronic sounds, unfamiliar instruments, face-melting rock’n’roll, etc.) into one endeavor, the band has developed into a formidable live force and produced four increasingly intense and inventive studio albums. They’ve become internationally known both for their performances and for a visual aesthetic that has seen stages from Lollapalooza to Coachella littered with eye-popping color, illuminated ghosts and balloon launches or high school marching bands, depending on the show.
How are you guys!?
Great! We just got back from a tour last night, and are heading out again next week for another round.
What was your favorite part of the Diana World Tour in Austin?
I loved seeing how the other photographers interpreted the assignment. Despite everyone using the same camera, each person had their own style, and it was fantastic to see the varied results.
How did you come to choose the charity that benefitted from the auction of your print?
I love dogs!
If you only had one day/night in Austin, how would you spend your time?
Man! Too much fun stuff to do! I’d probably do some combination of swimming at Barton Springs, going to see a movie at the Drafthouse, having dinner at Uchi, going to a bar w/ friends, singing karaoke…
What elements of Austin (or Texas in general) inspire your work?
I think Austin, as a community, is pretty inspiring. Nothing direct, but folks here are so excited about arts of all kinds. I feel like we wouldn’t necessarily have thrived in the way that we have as a band if we had started up in a different city.
Josh and Yvonne, you guys are husband and wife, so you must have an important relationship as a team. What’s the best / worst part of this dynamic?
The best part is that we get to work together and create music together all day long. The worst part is that when we are touring, we aren’t together so much as a couple, but rather as band members. Strangely, we end up missing each other while we’re on the road despite never being more than 10 ft. away from each other.
What is the most exciting thing that you are working on right now?
We’re finishing up a new record, and I’m pretty excited about that!
Of all the mediums that you work in, which are you most interested in right now? What kinds of materials are you drawn to?
I feel super lucky to be in our band because we tend to treat everything as an art project. The music is always the most important part, but right now, I’m pretty interested in making video stuff for the band. We do a lot of live projections at our shows, and creating the content for that has been a blast. We also just made a stop-animation video for one of our new songs using only cut-outs from construction paper, and that was a ton of fun!
Any particular influences that helped define/inspire your aesthetic/sound?
Too many to name! I think we’re all getting inspiration from all over the place all the time.
What’s the oddest, or most difficult, request you’ve ever gotten from a client?
For some reason, people still think it’s funny to request “Freebird” from the audience at our shows sometimes. It’s pretty rare (and, usually only happens when we’re opening for someone), but I think that joke has been played out.
From each of you, what is your go-to song for a night of karaoke?
Yvonne – Licky, Licky by Crispy
Josh – Words by the Bee Gees
Ryan – he’s super awesome at Sister Christian by Night Ranger
Toto – I’ve only heard him sing karaoke once, but he did a totally ripping version of Rock N' Roll by Led Zeppelin
All Diana World Tour Contributors picked one charity to benefit from the auction of their piece, and THE OCTOPUS PROJECT chose AUSTIN PETS ALIVE!
Austin Pets Alive’s mission is to promote and provide the resources, education and programs needed to eliminate the killing of companion animals.
Check the wrap-up from Austin’s Diana World Tour party HERE!
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Saturday: 11 am – 9 pm
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