German version available here!
Oxford drama are Gosia and Martin. They just released their third album „What’s The Deal With Time?“. We are going to tell you who they are, why they won’t sing in polish and what U2 has to do with this in this interview!
Where are you from? Where did you grow up?
Gosia: Martin is from Poland. I was born in the United States. My whole family is Polish, but my dad worked at a university there. But we moved back to Poland when I was a kid, so I don’t remember very much. Poland is my real home, I grew up here.
But you could be presidents of the United States someday?
Gosia: (Laughter) I know. My granddad used to laugh about that, too.
I don’t know much about you as persons, and I would like to change that. Why music?
Martin: This is cool, because we now revisited the situations from a few years ago, when we had to answer that question to the polish media. Music has always been in our lives. We picked our first instruments in our early teenage years. In my case it was the guitar, in your case the piano, right?
Gosia: (nodding) Yes, right. Because my sister wanted to play piano.
Martin: When we met like ten years ago the relationship was glued together on the musical basis mostly, and I wanted to make music with Gosia. But it took me about two years until I convinced her. In 2014 we started making music just for ourselves or for friends or soundcloud or something like that. It somehow became this … bigger thing.
With bigger thing you mean three records and stuff?
Talking about gigs, who is the most nervous of you when it comes to play live?
Martin: You mean like stage fright or perfectionism? Because we aren’t that much stage frightened any more.
Gosia: I think we always had this strange feeling, a mixture of super positive excitement and at the same time asking myself “What am I doing here? I could be at home, reading a book or whatever“.
Martin: But it’s never anxious, right?
Gosia: No, it’s fascinating to be honest.
Martin: Of course we want to play good, but I don’t think we feel stage frightened.
Gosia: No, I think it’s because of our band. Before every concert there is so much laughter and input and that puts you into focus.
It sounds like your band is somehow like a family for you. How long have you been playing together?
Martin: Not for that long, actually. It’s been two or three years. But these are friends, we were friends before they became band members.
I have a tough question for you. What do you like about your music most?
Martin: I like the fact that we came to terms what kind of band we want to be. We wanted to play different music which was related to the fact that we began to fall in love with synthesizers and stuff. It was easier to play as a duo with synths than with acoustic instruments. But as we expanded as a band, the sound changed to as a natural reaction. What I like the most is that we became the band we are now.
Gosia: I would say kind of the same. The fact that we evolved and worked very hard to find the kind of music we always wanted to play thanks to our friends who play concerts with us, I really like that. We can actually make music for more hands thanks to them. So now we can add some shimmery, nice things to our music. We stayed on the road, but we found our sound we always hat in our head.
Martin: The evolution wasn’t forced, it was natural.
Maybe this is even harder: is there something you don’t like about your music?
Gosia: I think there is nothing that we really don’t like. Sometimes we might try to hard because we care too much, but we are aware of that. And if you know your weakness it’s easier to avoid it. The fact that we work on our songs sometimes like we are working in a lab – we are very peculiar people – but I like that about us. And we spend much time to get rid of the things we don’t like about our songs.
Is there someone you would like to work with? Dead or alive?
Gosia: I would love to work with Paul McCartney, but I would probably shit my pants the second I knew it was happening. That’s my choice. And I know who Martin’s going to pick, and I would love to meet them, too.
Martin: It’s so tough. At first, I though about someone who I admired to most musically, and most of these person are very tough, and I would describe myself as tough, too, when it comes to working in the studio, so it may not be a combination. But my first pick would be Damon Albarn (head of Blur), I guess.
Who influenced you the most, musically, personally? Let’s limit it to three names.
Gosia: Probably the Beatles were an introduction on how to make good songs. That will stay with me forever. Also bands like blur, a lotta coolness there, and being themselves. But it’s funny, a band named Wild Beasts influenced me a lot when I was younger. They showed me, that music is the place where you can be yourself and still find people who understand you, because I felt like I understood the band. I’m not sure if you can hear the influence in my music, but the spirit of what I felt when I was 15 is totally in there.
Martin: The teenage years were my most formative years, and some of the bands I listened to back then stayed with me, regardless of the public opinion. One of then is U2, it’s an endless love. They made so much great music in the 80ies. Also there were Radiohead and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
You are only singing in English, right? Why?
Gosia: It’s my language. I don’t use English that often like I used to, we studied English here in Poland. Because my parents wanted me to know the language very well, and I started to learn with my ears, English and Polish are like one language in my head. And English is everywhere. I listened to English music, watched English movies, read English books. It was also combined with my love to English literature and British and American culture. Oxford Drama is a place where both of us a 100% ourselves. It never felt right to sing in Polish somehow. I understand why people are questioning why I am singing and writing in English, but it just feels right, and I am very proud of the lyrics in our last album. IA musician should, but not always can, decide to do the things that feel right to ourselves.
What do you want to say to our readers?
Hopefully we are going to play some gigs in Eastern Germany, if it works out. This year, or next year. We would love to see you all there!