Oberhofer: Pop-rock messiahs

By Patrick Wakefield
Riding a recent wave of national acclaim, including a featured performance on the Late Show with David Letterman, Oberhofer seems poised to take the nation by storm. With nearly 230,000 views for their song, “o0Oo0Oo,” on Youtube, and 33,000 plays of their song “Dead Girls Dance,” on their Myspace page, the group has the “cred” to be considered a legitimate contender for pop-rock stardom.
Oberhofer is comprised of four guys from three different places. Brad Oberhofer and bandmate Ben Roth, are of Tacoma, while Pete Sustarsic hails from Ohio, and Mat “Mathyou” Scheiner, a New Yorker. Headlining the Whatcom All Ages Arts and Music (WHAAM) show on April 7 at the Jinx Art Space, Oberhofer and crew will bring their catchy pop-rock tunes to the locals.
While receiving national acclaim, the group doesn’t appear to be anywhere near “selling out” or “getting deep” about their music. With razor sharp, off-the-cuff wit and an open nature, Oberhofer describes the incident that engendered his nascent musical genius. “Brad was hit by a car and all of a sudden started writing music,” he said. A sure beginning to what promises to be a path to stardom, complete with the requisite story.
Though the inception of the pop-rock quadfecta was laid in a moment of stark objective reality, their later inspirations are of a more ambiguous variety. “No one can control their influences or fully understand them,” he said. This kind of ethereal response can possibly be located, in sonic form, is some of the more ambient qualities of their musical style.
The aforementioned “o0Oo0Oo” features the flowing rise and fall of Oberhofer’s mellifluous “oh” sound. Carrying the listener along a quavering river of sound, the track feels like the idealized memory of youth on a golden summer day.
According to the band’s bio page, Brad Oberhofer transitioned from Tacoma to attend New York University. There he became ingrained in the local indie-music scene. He signed on with Glassnote Records in the summer of 2011, and Oberhofer recorded their debut album Time Capsules II. Their songs have even been featured in a televised commercial for Sobe, the vitamin-juice arm of PepsiCo. It somehow seems a fitting metaphor for Oberhofer’s style, refreshing and chock full of what’s good for you.
With a decisive, “No,” Oberhofer states that they don’t have any intention of trying to elicit any specific feeling with their pop-style tracks. Also saying that it’s “important not to” view their work in any specific way, and that they “never really actively try to get anything across musically.” However their goal for their future career is a noble one. “The only goal is to do whatever we feel like,” Oberhofer said.
His droll wit is an obvious sign of the coolness that oozes from every pore of their musical works. Their quasi-psychedelic rock rifts even caught the eye of Steve Lillywhite, the well-known producer of such notable artists as U2 and The Rolling Stones. Playing the WHAAM show as part of a yearlong tour, Oberhofer is set for even more exposure when they play the Coachella music festival later this spring.
Coming up!
Catch Oberhofer on April at the WHAAM show at Jinx.
For more information, e-mail oberhofermusic@gmail.com or visit their Facebook or MySpace pages.