OLLIE’s Band Bio
Here are some new answers to some fan questions submitted via the website…
HOW OFTEN WOULD YOU SAY YOU PRACTICED?
I practice everyday at least 25 hours a day…
FIRST OF ALL SWEET JESUS HOW OLD ARE YOU CAUSE YOU PLAY LIKE YOUR A 50 YEAR OLD LIFE TIME JAZZ PLAYER. YOUR SOLOS ALWAYS BLOW ME AWAY AND THE FACT THAT YOU ADD THAT CLASSY ASS OLD TIMEY CHORD SOLOING INTO THE TUNES IS GENIUS LIKE IN PROTONS, NEUTRONS, ELECTRONS. SO I GUESS MY QUESTION IS HOW OLD ARE YOU AND HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PLAYING?
I am 27 and I have been playing about 25 years. Thanks!
HOW DID OLLIE LEARN TO PLAY LIKE THAT? WHEN DID HE START? DID HE DO AMEB GRADES? DOES HE STILL PLAY SCALES?
I did AMEB up until about grade 5 and then stopped when I discovered jazz. I have commenced to play mostly by ear since then and have very limited reading ability, but I’ve been working on that recently. I try to play scales, arpeggios and other various exercises that I make up according to my weaknesses every day.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF IMPROVISING?
The best improvisations happen when the player (the vessel) taps into a higher energy force and lets that energy pass through their body, out their fingers and through the piano converting the energy into music. That transaction with “god” is the best feeling that I have ever experienced and is most definitely my favourite part of improvising.
HE CONSTANTLY AMAZES US WITH HIS UNBELIEVABLE IMPROVISATIONAL SKILLS. WORDS FROM THE MAN, OLLIE MCGILL.
WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP?
Until I realised that I was a terrible engineer and potentially a decent musician, I always wanted to be a car designer. I was determined to come up for the ultimate design for the “McGillMobil”; ultra slick, ultra fast…
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE SONG TO PLAY/IMPROVISE IN?
Improv. is such a spur of the moment thing. There is no telling when it might be good and when it is bad. I often do the best improvisations when I am slightly limited, not to say that I enjoy these moments the most, but limitations force you out of your comfort zone and therefore to be more creative, as opposed to playing all the same licks and scales. Therefore it is quite often the song that I least like to play over that is the best. But, to answer the question, my favourite song to play over on the last tour was consistently Wandering because of the dynamic nature of the tune.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE SOUND?
If you get 10 synthesizers and plug them all in, and then play a different note on each, put a ring mod on a few of them, intense delay on a couple and maybe put the mod wheel up full on one of them, then after a while twist as many knobs as rapidly and frantically as possible… that is the sound that I like the least.
Most? After that? Silence! Or a piano dropped out of a plane when it hits the ground… I didn’t hear it, I was in the plane, but I imagine it sounded good!
WHEN YOU FINALLY GET HOME FROM A LONG TOUR, WHAT’S THE FIRST THING YOU DO?
Play the piano for 12 hours straight. There isn’t enough pianos in hotels on tour. It is always the thing that I miss most when I get back. The second thing that I do is clean my room, my car and even the kitchen. I trick myself into believing that I have become a clean person. It doesn’t last very long…
COFFEE OR TEA?
Tea, green tea. I just discovered a blood type diet and it told me that type O’s shouldn’t drink black tea… I think I am type O… stands to reason, my first name is Oliver…
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU ARE NOT PLAYING MUSIC?
I read John Irving novels, that is if I am unfortunate enough to not be playing at any given moment…
ABOUT THE OTHER BAND MEMBERS:
WHO IS THE NICEST?
They’re all arse holes! But Kieran is nice in bed…
Oh, Jumps looked after me when I was spewing liquid out all of my orifices in cuba, I should probably give him an honourable mention for that.
Felix; aiegh!! Boom Shack!!
Harry just discovered this new thing where he actually tells you when he doesn’t want to do something. That, and he always hangs up on you at the end of a phone conversation before you can say bye. It is really confronting.
THE MOST STUPID?
THE MOST COMMITTED?
Ryan. He’ll be a famous biographer or something one day.
Ross, or Jumps, depends on your type…
THE MOST SETTLED?
Ryan. He does stuff, he eats slowly and he sleeps at night… It is more than I can say for almost anyone I know…
THE MOST ANNOYING HABIT?
Will… He imitates everyone and everything… and he farts a lot. I hate people who fart…
THE MOST SARCASTIC?
Probably Kieran. He doesn’t even need to say anything… just his characteristic hand gesture is one of the most sarcastic things I have ever seen…On the other hand, sometimes when Kieran appears to be sarcastic he says he hates you but he is dead serious. It is a little confusing…