Jesse Tabish of Other Lives Talks Opening for Radiohead
From his home in Stillwater, Oklahoma, Jesse Tabish sounded a bit nervous. The leader of Other Lives certainly had every right to be anxious. His band was just about to begin a tour with Radiohead.
Well, that tour makes a stop in Dallas this evening at the AAC and Tabish was kind enough to speak about playing in front of friends and family and how he thinks Other Lives are ready for the challenge.
Seeing that you are from Oklahoma, how many relatives and friends have hit you up for tickets to tonight's show?
Yes, I think it's going to be kind of a squeeze, but I am glad we are playing close to where I grew up. We have a lot of family who will attend.
How did you secure the opening slot opening for Radiohead?
Well, hopefully it means we are a decent band. I don't know why we were chosen other than the fact that we share the same label. They came to a show of ours, I know that. Hopefully, they liked what they saw. And we are lucky. We are so lucky to have the privilege to open up for them.
In the past, you've opened shows for the Decemberists and I am sure those were in front of some pretty big crowds, but probably nothing like you've seen on this tour.
No, we've never done anything like this before.
Are you nervous about tonight's gig?
Sure I am, but in a good way. We've been a band for nine years and we are ready for it.
Is opening for a band with such a large fan base both a blessing and a curse?
I think so, but not every show is the same. We've played an opening slot in front of 3,000 people and there was not a single person who had any idea who we were. Well, we did sell one CD. I think Radiohead fans are real music fans. Hopefully, they will be interested in the band Radiohead picked to open up, but you never know.
You're from Stillwater. What is the scene like there? Is Stillwater the Austin of Oklahoma?
There is definitely a tradition of good music there. There are some really great songwriters there.
That's also the home of Oklahoma State University. I am still pissed those guys lost to Iowa State.
Can you believe that? Iowa State had only won three games. We were on the road and we were watching that game. It was like, "Oh, shit, you have to be kidding me." We are all huge college football fans and it was a tough year because we couldn't watch all of the OSU games.
Your most recent release, Tamer Animals, received universally outstanding reviews. Did that surprise you?
It was nice to hear. I am sure there are some negative reviews out there somewhere. We were very happy and fortunate. The album has opened some doors for us. It has been great.
A lot of reviewers simply defaulted and called the band an indie-pop outfit. Does that description minimize what you do?
We are OK with that label. The way some people describe music is kind of dull and some people are not very imaginative. That's just the nature of music journalism.
The band has a very ambitious sound. Were you worried about being too ambitious?
I have a lot of worries. At the end of the day, we did what we thought best to do. You have to go with your instincts.There were some thoughts about whether or not we were over-thinking things, but it was our call. All of the decisions were naturally made. That's all you can go for. The band had the control to say yes or no.
Many of your songs have appeared on soundtracks to television shows. What about your music appeals to TV producers?
I think there is a cinematic quality to our music. I think that people can see a scene and know that our music fits well for that scene.
A show like Grey's Anatomy could introduce your music to many, many people.
Right, it's a great opportunity. It provides a little bit of money for the band so that we can continue to be on the road and get back into the studio.
Other Lives opens the sold-out Radiohead show tonight.