Off & On - Sound In The Signals Interview

I recently had the chance to interview Rocio from Off & On (the band features Tim Landers ex-Transit). Check out the full interview after the jump.

For anyone not familiar with Off & On can you tell me a little bit how your band got together and what got you into music?

Rocio: Ryan, Tim, and I all went to High School together in MA and our town was really big on music. I guess many towns are, but I'd like to
think it was special in our home town. We all got involved in our own things musically throughout the years, but Tim and I had been talking about working on stuff together for a few years now. He had me sing on some poppy Katy Perry-type songs he had been writing, and we had a lot of fun doing that together. We decided on actually writing together and seeing how it came out - Ryan, Tim, and I putting our heads together in Tim's makeshift studio just for fun. When we realized it could actually be good, we took it a step further, asked Justine if she wanted to help us with our sound and be my soulsister, and here we are now. Still making music in Tim's makeshift home studio.

Off & On Vol. 1 came out earlier in the year and it was produced by Tim. He's also in the group what's it like working with him while he wears both the musician and producers hat in the studio?
It's good to have it all be in our hands right now. We really care about this and finding our sound, so it's good being able to take our time with everything. It's also great that Tim knows how to do these things on his own, because we often get to wake up to brand new songs that he's stayed up until 5am working on. So, that's fun.

I really enjoy Vol. 1 and the songs have some really interesting elements added into the music. It sounds like you built some really neat elements around pop melodies. What's the typical song writing process for Off & On?
The writing process varies. Most frequently, Tim will write and lay down a demo of a verse to chorus structure, bring it to us, get our opinion on whether we should finish it, and if so, we all work on it together. But with the songs I've written, I would write them on an acoustic guitar, and then Tim would build ideas on protools around that. We've done the same with songs Justine has written. Most recently, though, Tim sent me an instrumental he wrote, and I wrote melody and lyrics over it. So, it's all over the place, but it works for us. I know we can't wait until we can just live in a house for a few months, bang on pots and pans, play the weirdest instruments, and write all together. That time will come!

"Find A Way" is my favorite track from Vol. 1 and it really reminds me musically of something I would hear on a Prince album. What was the songwriting process like for that song in particular and do you feel like it had a Prince vibe at all?
That is so great that you hear that! That was the first song I really ever wrote and felt good about. I was in my old apartment in NY messing with my acoustic guitar around 3am, kind of just writing "stupid" songs and hoping that something good might come from it. The rhythm of what I was playing was giving me a Prince's "Kiss" vibe so I just ran with it. I started writing it playfully, but then realized that what I was saying, while playful and maybe silly at times, was 100% honest and sounded like me. I decided to take it for what it was, and really push that Prince vibe when I brought it to Tim to work on. That was the first song we finished together.

Vol. 1 has been out a while, you have been playing shows, and now Tim's out of Transit. I guess people initially took Off & On as a side-project of Tim's now that he's no longer in Transit will we be hearing a lot more from Off & On? Can people expect a new EP or album anytime soon?
This is where all of our hearts are at right now and what we are investing everything into. For me, personally, I was in NYC working as an actress, and a few months ago, I told my agents I was leaving NYC to move to Boston officially and put all of my time into Off & On. As for new music, Tim is a writing machine. Haha, for real though, he's constantly writing! And then we all work on these ideas together. We're currently recording a new EP and have a bunch of songs on the back burner; saving them for when it's time for an album.

What do you want fans to take away from your music? When they play a song what would be your want for the listener to take away from it?
The type of music that I always listen to is music that makes me move without thinking, but speaks to my heart through it. You know that ache you get in your chest when the chord and beat hits just right? It's so corny! But that's what we want to do. We want to make people dance and feel it all at once. If you see us live, I'm constantly moving, maybe to a fault. Haha. But I want you to join me.

What's going on with Off & On for the remainder of 2014 and do you have anything coming up in 2015 you'd like to let people know about?
We have a handful of exciting shows for the rest of the year. They're mainly all local, in New England. Please come check us out at one of those! But after that, we're planning on really taking the time to make these songs we're recording sound just right. Once that's accomplished, we'll send those out into the world. As far as 2015, we have to wait and see! So far everything that has come our way has been a surprise, and I think it's been working for us. We're just gonna keep working, keep playing shows, keep writing music, and let whatever happens happen. I hope to dance with you somewhere along the way.

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