Overlake’s music is warm and receiving with an anchor held firmly in fun, much like their personalities. As I walked into their practice space I was greeted with a smile and a beer and as the conversation went on that one beer led to a few more. We talked about pinball machines, gushed about Dinosaur Jr. and I learned a little bit about their history in Jersey City.
What are your names and what do you do?
Tom: I play guitar, and I sing.
Lysa: I play bass and sing back up.
Who are your main influences? Who are the people that inspire you the most to do what you do?
T: When Lysa and I formed the band we both liked bands from the early 90s shoegaze era like My Bloody Valentine and Ride and stuff, we also love Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. Dinosaur Jr is my favorite band and influences a lot of what I do. Lysa is into a lot of post-rock like Mogwai.
How would you guys describe your sound?
T: I don’t know, its real airy, its real dreamy but it also rocks and it gets a little noisy but its also melodic what would you guys say?
N: Like washy dream pop-y but like with a big anchor to it.
What are your favorite things about Jersey City?
T: I like going on walks and seeing people that I know randomly because that’s the kind of stuff that happens here. It’s a good friendly vibe.
Lisa: You can go out in the middle of the day and see five people you know, and it’s awesome.
T: As much as it is changing I don’t think that’ll ever change. We like Pet Shop a lot, I went there for the first time a few weeks ago, it’s a really cool low-key hang and they have a pinball machine. It has its charms.
L: Did you say pinball machine?
N: Yeah, it’s in the middle of the room.
T: Yeah, I can’t remember what it’s called, run something? I was there with my two friends one night, basically all night long just playing it and drinking oatmeal stouts haha.
Do you have a favorite show you’ve played here?
T: We always like to play the outdoor things, but it always seems to rain when we do.
L: Haha yeah it’s true.
T: We always power through it, and we always play well, so I guess it’s meant to be haha.
N: We played The Funhouse last year, and that was particularly great. That place was awesome.
T: That place is appropriately named haha and Monty Hall is great too.
N: Definitely Monty Hall.
T: Our last show there was a lot of fun, that was with Crazy and the Brains.
Yeah, those shows are out of control
T: They contacted us and put us on the show. They’re really nice guys.
N: What was it called?
Lysa: The party for peace!
I moved to Jersey City because it had a very artsy feel, do you feel that JC is a good place to curate musicians and artists? Do you have any suggestions of how it could be better?
T: More venues! I just ran into Daniel who used to do sound at The Citizen and he just told me they closed for good. Every time a new space opens up it immediately gets taken away.
N: I thought having bands at Porta was a good sign because they don’t need to have bands play.
T: Porta is actually like one of my favorite places to play. It sounds amazing in that room, and it looks really nice.
N: The past couple times we played there people really came out.
Lysa: (Dancing) Tony is one of those people who are trying to keep the scene going.
T: Thank God for Dancing Tony
N: He’s a great guy.
T: He’s been doing it forever
T: As for the city itself, I’ve been coming to Jersey City since 1999. I didn’t have the opportunity to move here until a few years ago, I think it was 2011, and it really is the arts and music scene that brought me here. I just met a bunch of people who I connected with and played music with. My friends were all freaks that lived in this house on Sip Ave and it was a really good time. I don’t know, Jersey City is just my home.
What do you guys have going on in the future?
T: We have a show happening in Jersey City on Saturday December 17th at Cathedral Hall it will most likely be our last show of the year. It’s going to be us and Sunshine and the Rain, which is another band from Jersey City we really like. Two of our friend’s bands from Brooklyn are coming out as well this one band Vaureen and Ohnomoon. It should be a pretty raucous evening in a big cathedral.
Lysa: Aren’t there DJ’s spinning in between bands or something?
T: The Steves, the Stevens from Iris Records are going to provide party music, it’ll be a fun night. Other than that we do have a new album coming out which is pretty much all I can say about it haha but we’re hoping it will come out in April and we’ll tour behind that.
Thanks for your time guys.
Twitter// Instagram – @overlakemusic