Interview: Alt-Rockers of One Flew West Talk Addictive New Single "Semi Kinda Right"
When the guys of One Flew West first merged their talents, they were a couple of high school buddies jamming in a Colorado garage. Now, just a few short years later, they’ve erupted into an alt-rock sensation in Denver’s bustling music scene. Garnering major Spotify buzz and tons of hometown awards, One Flew West welcome the praise, but say they’re content just to have the opportunity to travel and spread their music far and wide. Modest, sure, but deserving of much more.
Last month, One Flew West released their latest single, “Semi Kinda Right,” a high-energy pop-rock anthem bursting at the seams. There’s an anticipatory lull before the track begins, mere seconds before it explodes into a rapid-fire singalong. A robust rock bass line kicks it off, aided by steady percussion growing into hopping throbs, all jamming among vocals full of personality. From a soft croon to a frenzied howl, these powerhouse pipes are what lead such a peppy anthem to victory, but the instrumental camaraderie, too, is impressive. There’s so much going on but all of it’s good: layers of upbeat pop-rock rhythms spliced by quick solos and a surprising pause to welcome a relaxed verse dipping a toe into the edgy, folksy world of outlaw composition. The song feels much shorter than its three-and-a-half minute run-time because it moves so fast with little downtime, each member of One Flew West giving their all to an empowering rock romp reminding listeners to have a little fun.
The Music Mermaid: First, can you tell The Music Mermaid a little about yourselves and your music?
One Flew West: We are four regular guys from Northern Colorado — we enjoy writing no-nonsense songs that are raw and combine all of our different personal tastes from punk to classic folk. We are trying to share what we’re thinking with the world and have fun while doing it!
TMM: You guys made the move from a small Colorado town to the more bustling Denver community after forming. What’s the music scene like there and how has it influenced your work at all?
OFW: Denver has a very diverse music scene; it absolutely has impacted our music over the years. There are so many different bands here [so] we're always meeting new friends at shows and finding new groups to play with. There is a great network here and we all look out for each other.
TMM: You’ve been steadily releasing singles for a few years now. How has your music evolved since your first release back in 2014?
OFW: When we start writing a new song, we try to keep the same attitude we've had from the very beginning. We like to keep evolving with our own personal tastes as well — each of us likes different kinds of music and all of those influences get pulled into our own work.
TMM: What was the production process like for your new single, “Semi Kinda Right”?
OFW: “Semi Kinda Right” started like most of our other songs do. We built it from the ground up using lyrics and a skeleton as the base. We recorded at the Blasting Room Studios in Fort Collins and we’ve had nothing but incredible experiences working with everyone over there from production to mixing and mastering.
TMM: What’s the songwriting process typically like in terms of collaboration, inspiration, and structure?
OFW: Generally all of our songs start on an acoustic guitar. [Lead vocalist] Linden will approach us with lyrics and a chord structure, then from there, the rest of us will drop in our own comments and parts on our respective instruments. Through this whole process, we share ideas amongst each other and try to refine it from there on. We wanted to write a song that was really playful and high energy instrumentally, while still having meaningful and hopeful lyrics as well.
TMM: One Flew West has garnered accolades from CBS, Alternative Press, Spotify, and more, along with sharing the stage with some major acts. The band has been on a skyrocketing path to success since its formation -- what’s the main thing you guys want to accomplish with your music?
OFW: This is always a difficult question for us! I think the main thing we can agree on is we would like to travel and share our music with as many people who are willing to listen. If we can do some good along the way, even better.
TMM: Which song from your whole discography do you each feel closest to and why?
David: “What Do I Know” is my favorite of our songs. I really like the feel that it has and the guitar riff is high energy, making it great to play live.
Jonah: “Staying In” has become my favorite track. I like that it differs sonically from the rest of our catalogue but still has our feel and meaning behind it.
Dawson: “Trial and Error” is very close to me. It is my favorite bass part I have written — I was trying to apply a “song within a song” mentality and I felt that it was very successful for that song. In addition, I like that anyone can listen to it and get different things from it and apply it to their own lives.
Linden: “Staying In” is #1 for me! I drew on a lot of different influences for this song and I think the final product really pushed me as a songwriter. This song is great to play live. We always have fun with this one!
TMM: What has been your most memorable musical moment so far?
OFW: We were incredibly lucky and got the opportunity to perform on the Denver stop of the final Vans Warped Tour. This was huge as each of us loves Warped Tour and the bands on it. The whole experience was one we won’t soon forget!
The Music Mermaid: Finally, what’s next for One Flew West?
One Flew West: We plan to keep writing new music, keep expanding out of our home state, and continue enjoying the ride along the way!