Jimmy Ray – Owls & Aliens have been on a journey these past few years. What have you all learned over time that you have found to be a great lesson to take forward?
Dakotah – I think one of the greatest lessons we’ve learned is the importance of staying patient during difficult times and not getting too frustrated when things need to get pushed back. Being flexible is important and I believe everything happens the way it’s supposed to.
Jimmy Ray – What is it between all of you that has formed this solid friendship- maybe more like a brotherhood?
Dakotah – We all either knew each other or knew of each other before the band started, and when the 5 of us all finally met up, it felt so obvious that this was a group of people that was meant to be playing music together. And it’s not even necessarily the sound of the music itself, it’s the outlet as a whole, you know the feeling of leaving it all out there when we’re playing, like completely open and honest with each other. That passion will always keep us together.
Jimmy Ray – Some of you have a family – how does the combination of family and music work? Do any of your kids want to follow in your footsteps?
Dustin – I feel it’s important that my children see me following my goals and dreams no matter how unrealistic some people might see them. Being away from them for long periods of time on the road will be difficult, it can be bitter-sweet. They know that being a musician is who I am. They understand how much I love them and how much I need to perform and write. Finding the balance is easier said than done. As far as them learning to play music. I’ve bought them keyboards and ukuleles and whatnot, and I’ve taught them some basic chords and theory on the guitar. If they show any interest in it I’ll help them out and encourage them because music has been my comfort and savior.
Jimmy Ray: When you have been out on the road, on tour like this last year (I believe it was?) have you ever forgotten an important piece of equipment? What was it and what did you do to solve the dilemma?
Dakotah – Oh ya it’s happened more than a few times, haha, and honestly, when that happens as much as it sucks, you have to stay calm because freaking out isn’t going to help solve the problem. There’s been a few times we’ve had to drive back somewhere to grab like a pedalboard or something, and one time I forgot my stick bag at home when we were doing a music video shoot on the coast, and the closest town with an open music store was 150 miles round trip, but we had to make it happen. You just gotta make it work somehow.
Jimmy Ray: The single/videos you have been releasing are they to culminate into an album/ep, correct? What is the album’s working title and when are you expecting to release the album? Will there be CD and vinyl or just digital? Tour to support it?
Dakotah – Yes, that is correct all of the songs we have released so far will be featured on our debut self-titled album, which we expect to release this July. There will be vinyl, probably not CD’s though and ya we’ve been putting together a ton of show dates for summer (Song should have our calendar).
Jimmy Ray: “These Vices” being your latest release prior to that “Tsumai” and “You Can’t Save Everyone” there seems to be a running message here. Talk to us about it.
Dustin – I often approach songwriting or poetry as a conversation with myself. Much of our first album is an internal monolog attempting to drive us on the correct path and away from negativity. If there is a theme to the album, I believe that is what ties it together. Our album is an honest look inward; it’s an expression of hope through struggle, a humble confession of failures; an outcry of unity, compassion, and empathy; a realization that we’re in a constant state of becoming and adapting, and we haven’t yet arrived. It encompasses the rawness of pain and anger, yet is overcoming with the knowledge that we all have each other.
Jimmy Ray: Gluing all of these facets together of who you are, the scene in which you are coming from, the trials and joys you have been through – who today, standing before your listeners what would you like to convey?
Dakotah – Life is just going to happen and the most important factor in enjoying life is how you choose to perceive it. Love yourself and everyone around you, and don’t let anyone stop you from doing what you want to do, as long as it’s not hurting yourself or others. Remember the importance of community and know that you’re not alone. Never lose hope either. And lastly, make sure to have plenty of Hot Sauce & Rock ‘N Roll in your life!