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Organ Trail

Organ Trail

By Cameron Reed

Friday December 1, 2006

That buffalo yields more meat than you can carry

Organ Trail are competing in the finals of CITR’s Shindig and are totally awesome. I met up with Alissa, Caitlin, and Jeska (missing were Darren and Mike). Jeska got dysentery and we lost three oxen while trying to ford the river.

ONLY: How long have you been a band for?

Alissa: Exactly three years. Darren’s birthday–November 6. It was his 25th birthday and he realised he was not in a band… It was depressing.

ONLY: What’s changed in those three years? What was the idea?

Jeska: The original concept was based on the video game [Oregon Trail] from elementary school because we all played it and loved it. Then a friend of mine suggested the name. We developed the sound around the name really.
A: How we’ve changed is that I don’t think we rely on that anymore. It’s the broad concept of a hopeful journey.
J: We changed the concept to reflect the sound of adventuring. Also, I kinda realised that things like the Oregon Trail led to a lot of conflict with the native people of the West Coast and I’m part native so–

ONLY: Is that the reason for the spelling?

J: Nooooo.
A: No. It’s because we have an organ.

ONLY: Do you care about winning Shindig?

J: No, I had no expectations at all going into this. We were just excited to play at the Railway with some good bands.
A: I hoped that we would be in the finals, as I’m sure every band does… but I hoped really hard.
Caitlin: I don’t want to say that I was indifferent to it but there was this weird sort of ambivalence. I knew that I felt solid no matter what, and that playing at the Railway would be comfortable. I knew that if we didn’t win I’d be fine, and if we did then fucking awesome. I just realised how subjective it is.

ONLY: What kind of comments did you get?

A: People said “more banter,” um, “more vocals.” But that would be changing our whole band.
C: That’s not something you can work on. I hate bands that “work” on their banter. Jessica and Alyssa’s vocals are amazing and unique, and really soulful. That’s something that I like, that it’s really sparse and not reliant on the vocals. The tunes are solid without it. As a non-vocalist that’s something that I think is awesome about the band.
J: I really like using vocals more as an instrument than a forefront, and making every band member equal. I’ve heard people say that we’re very atmospheric and with all the instruments playing its a very big sound, and I want to maintain that.

ONLY: Why don’t you kick the two guys out and start an all-girl band? I hear there is a big market for that.

A: (laughing) Our boys are in touch with their feminine side.
J: We can’t break it to them.
A: Having that little bit sexual tension in the room really adds to our sound.
J: (laughing) Yeah, maybe with you. Ahem.

Organ Trail play the Shindig finals Dec 5 @ the Railway Club