Straight out of Detroit, MI., Odd City is comprised of Mike Szumlinski (vocals, lead guitar), Mike Kap (bass, vocals), Pavel Guysinsky (rhythm guitar), and Brett Redwood (drums). Together, they complement each other with their unique melodies and memorable lyrics.
Keeping themselves busy with the performance aspect of their careers, they've also brought into stride the creation of their latest hard-hitting single, "Particles.
Offering up a looking glass into the hard work and passion that they place into their artistry, this single zones in on an essential message as the band exudes their all-star craftsmanship and personable tenancies.
As undeniable force headlines through the speakers and the chugging guitar ostinatos of Odd City take us into an amplified atmosphere, it quickly becomes apparent that their whole-hearted messaging is met with firmness to encapsulate an environment reflective of their demeanor.
Recorded at the legendary Pearl Sound Studios with production wizard Chuck Alkazian, Odd City imposes a memo surrounding the low bouts of depression, sadness, or failure that people unknowingly get wrapped into when they lose control of their happiness. Through tight drum patterns, a weighty bassline, and sizzling guitar riffs, this musical bed surges with charisma and intensity to create a brilliant foundation for the empowering and passion-fueled vocals of Mike Szumlinski.
Bringing this sonic letter to the foreground in a fashion that spearheads urgency and a sound specific to Odd City – we appreciate the divine narrative unveiled in "Particle."
Listen to "Particle" from Odd City's album 'Fission' on all streaming platforms.
Welcome back to BuzzMusic, Odd City! We love the message you send out in your latest energetic single, "Particles.” Regarding the song's meaning, Brett Redwood has said, "unknowing participants [in life's lows] can feel much like a particle in the water cycle." That's such a profound insight. What stemmed from this thought and the action to create a song about it?
Brett Redwood: I had no plans to write these lyrics. Sometimes a life lesson catches you. I wouldn’t guess what I would write about. It just came together. After it’s done, you learn something about yourself that you may have missed or overlooked.
Mike Szumlinski: Chuck is a beautiful mix of no bullshit and pure bullshit. What that means is the energy is high and frenetic. When it is time to go, you GO. There are a few notes I hit vocally in this one that is pretty high in my range and…well…I’m not exactly flawless at it. Chuck heard my voice cracking before I felt it, shoved me into a corner, and told me not to say a word. He then proceeded to Dr. Evil “zip it” to me for 30 minutes if I did anything other than breath. All while soothing us with tales of rock stars of yore that walked the hallowed halls of Pearl Sound. The ultimate outcome was a pretty damn good vocal recording.
When creating this record, we can only imagine the energy surging through the four walls at Pearl Sound Studios. Please share a glimpse into the process you endured and what it was like working with Chuck Alkazian.
Brett Redwood: The recording process felt like a blur. By the end of doing drums, I didn’t know up from down. We did all the drums in one day. I was in great hands with Chuck because I was unsure if I did well. Chuck really listened to my vision of the lyrics and worked well with the other guys. Chuck is great.
Do you think more artists should speak on mental health and the struggles of life? Why?
Brett Redwood: I learned some time ago that all topics are on the table. Some of my favorite artists have shown me that. Everything can be done well or poorly. I would say if that’s the topic you personally need to write about, then do it. It seems now more than ever to be a hot topic. The audience doesn’t need anything just for the sake of it. They need good songs to get behind. Even songs that have nothing to do with mental health can help people with their mental health. Give them your best.
Mike Szumlinski: As someone who has struggled with mental health recently, I think honesty is the only important part. Emotions should be felt, and sometimes in music that comes across with trite phrases like “speaking your truth.” But the reality is that suppressing those emotions is the root cause in many cases of the problem. Music allows us to speak to that en masse without necessarily being direct. But then you see the explosion of things like Hi Ren and realize that being a bit less furtive about how you say things resonates as well. This dude writes a 9-minute song where he’s just sitting in a chair playing a nylon string classical guitar and being pretty overt about it all. It clearly resonated.
Coming from your album, 'Fission,' what makes "Particles” such a stand-out record to the lot of you?
Mike Szumlinski: It is probably the second-highest-energy song on the album, but even with its odd time signature switches, it falls into more of a groove than the very in-your-face approach we took with Split. It’s one of the oldest songs the band wrote and still is interesting all these years later. If it is fun for us still, it is probably more fun for you too.
Brett Redwood: 'Particles' feels like the go-to song for this band. It’s a song we always crush. It’s easy to play, has a good tempo for us, and is fun to play.
What can you tell us about the other songs heard on 'Fission?' What is the album's concept, and how do you feel it aligns with you?
Brett Redwood: I called it 'Fission' because I was listening to all the songs and looking for the most prominent thread. It seems like the separation of two things was the most common theme in the songs. That idea manifested in a couple of different ways, so I went with it. The rest of the guys approved, which was awesome because, in the end, I’m the drummer, and these guys gave me a lot of support and a lot of rope to write lyrics and humor my vision. I’m a very lucky drummer. I appreciate them very much.
Mike Szumlinski: While there isn’t a lyrical narrative going on, I think there is a bit of a sonic narrative. This album definitely bangs you back and forth against the walls with the switches in time. We go from aggressive to smooth, from straight time to odd changes every few measures. It speaks to that dichotomy of where our minds tell us they want to be - somewhere safe, but then gives us a bit of what is actually good for us - challenging ourselves.