Interview with Barry Dolan of Oxygen Thief

After the release of his new album ‘The Half Life of Facts‘ (Reviewed: here) Barry Dolan sat down with us before his set on the seventh night of his UK tour supporting Möngöl Hörde.

How has the tour been so far?
It’s been great, It’s been really fun playing with Möngöl Hörde everyday. Get to watch them everyday, playing to big crowds and people have come out to see us which is always nice.

How has the new album been received? 
Good! People have been tweeting us and saying they have enjoyed it and obviously your site, we really appreciate it. It is kind of gratifying to know that we haven’t slaved away over something and it turned out to be a load of crap. But yeah, we are really proud of it and it is great to know that people are enjoying it.

Your style seems somewhat similar to other bands that have been on Xtra Mile Recordings like Frank Turner and Reuben, but what bands do you think have shaped your sound the most?
I always feel like we have a lot of common ancestors with with those guys because with Frank and Reuben especially I only started listening to them after people told me I sounded like them so I was like “Oh ok, I will check those guys out”. So growing up I used to love Placebo, Silverchair, Radiohead and then got into heavier bands like Thrice, Machine Head and The Wildhearts were a huge one. I’d listen to the Wildhearts now and there would be one or two songs that would make me think “Ah yeah, that’s where I started”.

How did your set at Download Festival go?
It was cool, yeah it was on the Jaeger stage which was their fifth stage so in theory their smallest but it was massive and it was really cool. There was sort of a few people there when I started and then obviously other bands finishing up and it gradually filtered and brought more people in and then I got to go watch Sepultura and Dillinger Escape Plan so it was an all round win really.

Do you have a preference playing as a full band or solo?
I don’t really, no. I like doing both so I don’t think I could ever just choose one and think I don’t really want to do that any more. Because I think I was quite resistant to doing it in a band for such a long time. People had suggested it over the years and I always said no and these guys suggested them BEING the band… and I still said no. And then they rerecorded some stuff and sent it to me and and it all went from there. So yeah I just really enjoy being able to do it both ways. For instance last night in Kingston, I played acoustic which is slightly weird for half way through a band tour, there were a couple of moments where I was like “Oh yeah I do all of this now”.

You are playing 2000 Trees festival in July, who are you most excited to see? 
The Thursday night line up is supremely awesome. We are on second which is great because it means I can watch The RSP, Ben Marwood, Johnny Foreigner… I absolutely love them. The Bronx I haven’t seen in a long time so that would be good. Jamie Lenman again and a band called &U&I. They used to be in Blakfish, they split up and three of them went on to form &U&I. And the other guy went on to Hymns and some other stuff but they are brilliant, so I am really looking forward to seeing them.

Do you have any goals for the rest of the year?
All I ever want to do is keep playing stuff that is as fun or more fun than the thing before. So I am probably gonna have a hard job topping this in the next six months. But I want to do an acoustic tour at some point. Would love to do some stuff with the band where we just play the whole album in full, maybe just a few headline dates where we do that, after people have had it for a little while and will actually enjoy that as opposed to it just being annoying. Hopefully that is something we can do over the next six months.

Is it true that your cat has his own facebook?
He does, yeah. He has his own facebook account. He hasn’t been so diligent in updating it lately but my instagram is mainly filled with pictures of him as opposed to anything musical. Messing around on tour and as soon as I am home it’s “Here is what Monty is up to”.

Favourite kind of pizza? 
Meat feast. Get some jalapeños on there as well. But that is for the sloppy takeaway kind. But I went on holiday to Sydney over Christmas and we had a pizza over there that was unlike anything I had ever had. They had a certificate in the window that said it was like authentic Napoli pizza and it was so far removed from anything I imagined pizza could be so we are hoping that if we ever go to Italy, that’s what will happen. So we are considering booking a holiday.

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