Introducing... Oxygen Thief
We catch up with Bristol-based Barry Dolan, aka Oxygen Thief to talk about his musical influences and how he's the "loudest acoustic solo act around"...
What's your earliest musical memory?
Nothing particularly cool I'm afraid - mainly listening to random cassettes in the car; my Mum's Cliff Richards tapes......a cassette with a random (but ace) 60s compilation on one side and a Michael Crawford sings Andrew Lloyd Webber type thing on the other..........the Energy Rush Dance Hits 93 tape that I inexplicably bought with my pocket money at the age of 9. Excellent stuff eh?
The first memory I have of music actually meaning something to me is being given a box of C90 cassettes to tape stuff off the radio and deciding to listen to some of them first. A couple of Elton John and Madonna tapes got wiped, but Queen's Greatest Hits completely bowled me over and I listened to it incessantly - whenever I hear 'Play The Game' I still expect it to cut out halfway through and that I'll have to turn the tape over!
If you could hold a recording session with any five artists, who would you choose?
I'd find that pretty terrifying, so after a few whiskies to calm the nerves (and assuming I'm rhythm guitar) I'd go for Johnny Greenwood on lead guitar (I'd ban him from anything resembling a keyboard), Placebo's Stefan Oldsall on bass/dancing, Danny Carey from Tool on drums, Mike Patton singing...........and James Blunt bound and gagged in the corner with the resultant noise being pumped through headphones superglued to his rubbish posh whiny face.
You want to describe your music to a stranger on the street, who do you compare yourself to?
Like Therapy?, Reuben, The Wildhearts, good Foo Fighters and old Feeder (back when they properly rocked)..........but all acoustic, and with no discernible reduction in volume (unless the soundman isn't doing his job properly). My favourite comparison that I've been given is that I'm "a cross between Billy Bragg and Anthrax", I laughed for ages.
You are going to live on a desert island for a year, which three albums do you take with you?
Thrice - The Illusion of Safety
Manic Street Preachers - The Holy Bible
Carrie - Fear of Sound
If we were to look at your MP3 player, what is the most embarrassing track or album that we'd find?
I recently deleted my girlfriend's The Saturdays album on there to free up some space, so it's actually wall-to-wall awesome at the moment.
Expand your criteria to my CD collection and it's probably the Deep Blue Something - Free Peace Suite which I bought a second hand shop because I used to love 'Breakfast At Tiffany's'. I've never listened to it though.
What sets you apart from the rest?
I'm the loudest acoustic solo act around. People always say they're unique and it's kind of boring to read, but I seriously doubt whether there's a man or woman alive who rocks harder than me with nothing but an acoustic guitar and their voice - prove me wrong and I'll survive on a diet of raw hat for any period you choose.
What is next for Oxygen Thief?
My first full-length album is finished and should be out in early 2011, so I'll be touring hard around the UK with my buddy Ben Marwood.