Interview: Okay, Bye

Ahead of their first date of their headline UK tour, Co-President and Online Editor Senthur Shanmugarasa sat down with lead singer Grace at the Lilac Bakery in Exeter St Thomas.

Hey! How’s it going? How does it feel to be headlining your first tour? It’s actually not our first tour! When we were a two piece and just before Brexit, Tom and I did 10 dates across Europe which was amazing. This is our first time touring the UK and we are really fucking excited for it to kick off!

How did the band form and the name come about? It originally started as a solo project. Just me and my guitar writing sad acoustic songs. I wanted it to be more angry and fierce so I got Tom to do the drums part time. Even as a duo we were lacking in songwriting experience so we put an ad on our insta and we were shocked to get so many applications. That’s how we met Mat our bassist (an absolute angel). As a band who sing about feminist issues we wanted another female member to enrich our sound and Mat knew someone called Abi, who without any notice and formal discussions smashed the first practice.

In terms of the name, at the time I was trying to cut some toxic people out of my life and I realised I didn’t need these people and I can do stuff on my own, hence the sassy name.

Okay, Bye- Describe your musical style in 5 Words? *After frantically consulting the others via a voice note to the Band Whatsapp*– I would have to say, tenacious, fun loving, feisty and relentless.

Who are your guys main musical influences for the new album? It varies between band members, some songs have a Weezer influence. Some other bands we look to are Title Fight, Press Club, and Tiger’s Jaw.

If you could have written any one song what would have it been? Oof, that’s a tricky one! I couldn’t really say, no 1 song is exactly ‘me’ if you get my drift, so I would say a variety of songs but that really doesn’t answer the question!

How did the lockdowns and the subsequent restrictions hinder your musical process? Lockdown was very tough, I didn’t touch the guitar for 10 months. Despite this phase I managed to then write something like 40 songs in 3 months. One good thing that came out of lockdown was that we became a 4 piece.

What are you guys looking forward to about touring/performing again? Probably would have to say playing places we have never played. At the moment all our recordings are as a two piece, so it is kinda cool that our music as a 4 piece is being heard for the first time.

What’s your favourite song you’ve written and what’s your favourite song to perform live? Tricky, would say our favourite songs are on the album (which isn’t out yet). If I had to pick one would have to be Better than Ever.

Describe Okay Bye in 3 Words? Fierce feminist punks.

Dream Collaboration? I’m not sure about collabs! In terms of touring it would a dream to perform alongside Bully or Beach Bunny.

After the current tour- What next for Okay, Bye? Release our album! This our first priority, there’s lots of planning involved and we want to make sure it’s perfect when it comes out. After its release, we’ll probably go on another European tour and we’ve got loads more exciting gigs in the meantime.

Okay, Bye perform at Exeter Cavern on Tuesday 1st March. Tickets are £5 and can be found at https://www.wegottickets.com/event/537043

–Senthur Shanmugarasa

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