Oversat new EP “Mixed Signals” translates transatlantic

When Jeremiah LongBear from the band Oversat was younger, he would hang out with his mother while she was working at a hotel by a police station. Stricken with boredom he moseyed on over to a dumpster and noticed it was filled with cassette tapes.

“I pulled my Mom’s wagon up to it and loaded as many boxes as I could before they chased me off. It turned out that the tapes were obvious bootlegs,” LongBear said. “Each box contained 250 A Tribe Called Quest ‘Low End Theory’ tapes and 250 of Tevin Campbell’s first album. We released our first album ‘Phenomenal Enigma’ on those tapes. Incidentally, Phenomenal Enigma is the name of our publishing company.”

LongBear, Jared Cooper and King Doug of Oversat have been in a band together for 12 years now, since their high school days. Their different musical tastes keep them fresh. LongBear loves ambient music and Bach, Jared loves 60’s garage and surf music and King Doug grew up listening to gospel and gangster rap.

They are currently touring along the North East and playing mostly house parties in light of their latest six-track EP “Mixed Signals” which was released on May 1. It is the first of four more EP’s in the making.

“It brings in sounds from all four albums. It’s like a preview of what’s to come,” Jared said.

The band mates couldn’t pick a favorite song from the EP since they consider each track “their children.” “You don’t pick favorite children,” Jared said.

But, they agreed that “In The Other Room” is the fan favorite.

“People are ob-sexx-ed, that is a sexual version of obsessed, with ‘In The Other Room,’ but they are also obsessed with a song that is on the next album called ‘I Wanna Go,’” Jared said.

Jared said the most time consuming song to make was “For Good.” “It had an unconventional arrangement,” he said.

“The drums on ‘For Good’ took a long time because the song has a complex structure. We did it in pieces,” King Doug said.

Music production for Oversat gets a little more complicating when they manage to translate each of their tracks into Scandinavian. The band is a little obsessed with Scandinavian culture and are planning their first Norwegian tour this summer to promote “Mixed Signals.”

“We have a lot of fans in Norway and the surrounding region so we want to make sure that we give them a little shout out in everything we do,” Jared said. “The Scandinavian culture; Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and somewhat Finland, really resonates with us. They are a Socialist-Democratic Capitalist state.”

Each of the members of Oversat have studied Norwegian which helps them translate their music. However, they also get help from friends who live in Norway.

“We have a close friend… what’s up Rita!… that is double checking our work to make sure that it’s right,” LongBear said. “In Norway there are two different official ways to write the language, and we want to make sure that it’s right because we love you Norway.”

The way the music industry has flourished online with social networking has helped Oversat stay in touch with their fans across the country and across the world.

“We have taken a nearly 3 year hiatus from major promotion to write this 4 album arch.  When we toured heavily before, the internet was not the leading factor in promotion,” Jared said. “We always preferred face-to-face interaction. Our fan retention was based on hand shakes and booty shakes. Now we are launching our first of four big internet campaigns and we’re loving it! Music and media are showing that our fans from around the country are still hiding in the corners of dark bars and clubs.”

As far as being on a major record label, Oversat enjoys being underground.

“We were almost on a major label when we were focused on hip-hop but our band has always thrived on being underground,” Jared said.

This summer they will release their EP “The Summer Saved Me,” which has a more surfy sound. Their music can be heard on Http://oversat.bandcamp.com.

“Every time we realize this is our life, we’re thankful to all the fans, all the people who let us crash on their couch and every girl that…never mind,” Jared said. “Our major goal over the next couple years is to release these four albums, and move our headquarters back to Norway.”

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