By José Oliveira & Rosine Alleva, Rock At Night EU Editors
Native of Alsace, this beautiful area of Eastern France, OSH draws its influences from the soundtrack of the Sixties and Seventies. Their first album “APOLLO XX” is a nugget of lyrics and melodies that remind us of their dedication to the cause of rock n’roll. Exploring more the fantasies of myths and extraterrestrial dreams, OSH imposes itself with an overwhelming desire to play with the big boys.
Gino MONACHELLO (leader / guitars/lap steel) and Yannick EICHERT (guitars/ singer) have a musical maturity which approaches them to the virtuoso guitar players who influenced them. They both accepted José’s invitation and came to his house, to taste a superb 10 years old PORTO TAYLORS and present their first opus to RAN.
GINO MONACHELLO – Guitares et Lap Steel
YANNICK EICHERT – Vocals/Guitares
JEROME SPIELDENNER – Batterie
FRANCK SCHMIDT – Basse
STEPHANE ESCOMS – Claviers
RAN– In 1970, the NASA announced the cancellation of its APOLLO mission for budgetary reasons. Fifty years later, you release your first album, which you gave the name of APOLLO XX. Can you explain this title choice ?
Yannick Eichert– Well, first of all, it’s also a song from our album. By the way, when I write my lyrics, I like it to be around myths, things, imaginary characters, mythical concepts. And it turns out that Apollo XX, this NASA mission stopped in 1970…. Apollo XX never existed in reality but on the internet you can find that an Apollo XX mission would have existed to find aliens on the Moon ….Where they would have found the body of a frozen woman whom they would have brought back to Earth. They called her MONALISA. So, it really inspired me to write something about it.
RAN– Do you know who was the commander of this Apollo XX mission?
YE– No, not at all!
RAN– Charles CONRAD. He would have been the first astronaut to walk twice on the moon, if this mission had worked!
YE– Oh! I didn’t know it!!!
RAN– And this name OSH, does it include something extraterrestrial?
Gino Monachello– It comes from the time when I was at school and I dreamed of being on stage with a guitar !!! I barely knew how to play! But I saw myself on stage with an artist name !! GINO OSH… later GINO OSH BAND to finally short it to OSH !!
RAN– Before approaching the 11 titles included in this work, tell me a little about the recording sessions. The sound is truly magnificent.
GM– This is above all a reflection of our meeting with David HUSSER. It has been recorded in several places. We started recording the drums at the Grillen in Colmar and we ended up in David Studio. He has really been the driving force of this project. His reputation is also built on the fact that he works so well in very different musical styles. A real chameleon in the field of sound, but always focused on Rock, Pop, Electro!
RAN– How did you find him ?
GM– Thanks to Nicolas UHLEN, who is the brainchild of the NEW DEAL label, with whom we are working now. He knew him and so I asked him if he was accessible to carry out this project.
RAN– I find that your videos are very successful and reflect your deep attachment to Rock n’Roll. Very well filmed. They release special emotions.
GM– There are five videos on our website that address five themes from this first opus. They were all created at the same place. All of them produced by FACTUM, a Paris company, managed by Christophe POLY and Philippe GRANADOS, who made our first clip and who is, among others, the editor of TARATATA ( a famous French TV Musical Programm)
RAN– Have you been into the studio with all the material already prepared or was there more space to compose in the studio? How long did it take you, until the final result?
YE– A mixture of the two situations. It took us two years to reach a truly successful result. Maybe we have been inhabited by a perfectionist touch because we came back several times to what we thought was finished, until we liked it and of course, until it pleased David !!! A normal situation, because he was our Producer and the centerpiece of this puzzle. We didn’t hesitate to redo things when it was necessary!!
RAN– On the personal side, I notice you called on backing vocalists and two classical musicians (and some beautiful people…)
YE– Exactly. The three female voices of Alexia WALTER, Murielle SCHREIBER and Sélia SETODZO as well as the male voices of David OBELTZ and Rémy ARENAS which fit perfectly into this musical landscape. On the violin, Etienne KREISEL and Elise HUMBERT on the cello, completed our list of guest musicians.
RAN– “OUT FOR A WALK” may be my favorite because there is a very catchy voice and the sound is great! Who composed it?
YE– Gino often arrives at the studio with a few chords, a few riffs in mind and we then graft the lyrics. Generally, I write the texts. “On The Radio” was written by David OBELTZ. David HUSSER also took part in/to the arrangements. Some titles were also written together.
RAN– What is “WE ARE THE NUMBER” hiding?
YE– Actually, either I write on myths or imaginary characters, as I told you, or stuff a little political, committed, the French left and there is also an expression that comes from the Bible which talks about the number. We are the number! Extrapolating, we refer to the mass of people opposed to the oligarchy. It’s a text against all those who want to emerge at the top, to lead!
RAN– « Hard Times In Heaven »…
YE– Inspired by the myth of Adam and Eve. Extrapolating, I see that they have been ejected from Paradise. It concerns God’s rejection by Adam.
RAN– Speaking of rejection, we live in a painful period, where in the cultural environment we often speak of sexual violence. Writers, film directors, TV hosts, in sports… everyone gets there but, strangely, everything is calm and clean in the realm of Rock n’Roll, where Sex and Drugs have often been a good combination…
GM– Well, I think it’s more an imagery that we’ve always wanted to hang on Rock n’roll. To be honest, the people who are completely stoned from morning to night are a minority. At the time, 20 years ago, yes, but currently even Keith Richards drinks milk !!! (laughs) I don’t see any debauchery currently in Rock !!! We also settle down with Age!!
YE– These revelations in the media and in social networks so far follow a certain categorical line who tells us that Rock is waiting for its time? Tongues are being loosened and it is normal that certain situations that women have experienced in the past can be clarified.
RAN– “Back From The Start” reminds me of your beginnings. You’ve gone already a long way …
GM– Yes, that’s right. We started OSH together in 2012 without Jérôme, our drummer, who joined us later. We did an EP, a lot of concerts and also took a long time to compose as we always stay a bit perfectionist …
RAN – This work has such a level that it deserves a particular echo. It has nothing to be ashamed of compared to actual big names in the field of Rock.
GM– Thank you. This particularly touches us. It is the fruit of a long artistic reflection, of quite a few years on the road, giving concerts and a slightly perfectionist state of mind.
RAN– What were your influences, as guitar players and singers? I think there’s a large LENNY KRAWITZ ‘s influence in your vocals. It stands out easily.
YE– Without doubt the same influences as LENNY KRAVITZ has had. Some good music from the 60s and 70s. Especially the MOTOWN period with MARVIN GAYE or STEVIE WONDER but also THE BEATLES or Jazz Music.. Concerning Guitar players, all those who shone at the famous British Boom, like JIMMY PAGE or ERIC CLAPTON or even JEFF BECK.
GM– Without any hesitation, I would say AC / DC !! But one day, at a neighborhood friend’s house, his brother rocked on his mega stereo, “Eruption” by VAN HALEN thoroughly !!! And there, I said to myself, this is what I want to do !! that’s when I clicked to work the guitar even if my father was already a guitar player. And then, luckily, a music store opened in my street a few months later. My destiny was traced! I had to buy all the albums of the greatest guitar heroes of that time and lock myself in my room, trying to pick all their mysteries !! Among others, my preferences went always towards STEVE MORSE.
RAN– Between Steve MORSE and Ritchie BLACKMORE, where did your heart swing?
GM– Unquestionably towards BLACKMORE! Even if Steve MORSE has a particular and easily identifiable style, BLACKMORE built the DEEP PURPLE Sound!!!
RAN – If you were given the opportunity to collaborate with a great musician, which one would you choose ( Big silence)
GM– There would be so many! Very difficult question. Dead , alive ?
YE– Or in between? (laughs) QUINCY JONES would be great !!! The Pope in terms of arrangements!!! And HENDRIX, HENDRIX, HENDRIX !!!! I started late, around 16-17 years old, enjoying the contact with my brother, a keen music lover but who never chose any artistic career. He connected me to LEVEL 42 and his singer bassist (Mark KING) or even TEARS FOR FEARS. It was the era of refined music, complex but mastered.
RAN– Your presence on stage brings me straight back to THIN LIZZY. A legendary group of the 80s, where beyond the leader Phil LYNOTT (bassist / singer), two guitarists, Snowy White and Scott Gorham shared the front of the stage. Just like you. Are you okay with that?
GM– This is indeed one of the peculiarities of OSH. We have two guitar sets which are completely complementary but different. Without forcing ourselves. Two different guitar styles that go well together. Which is not quite the case in other bands. We have a fluidity that prevents us from having the slightest ego problem. This is our strength. And let’s not forget the other musicians who are excellent. Jérôme, Franck and Stéphane.
RAN – Well, thank you very much for these beautiful chatting moments around your new opus. See you soon again on stage!!!
YE– Thanks José. Your PORTO WINE is really divine! (laughs)
Many thanks to Elisabeth Oliveira for some of the photos.