Overcasters favor exhilarating atmospheres over utter starkness

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

With incandescent whorls of melodic sound and synapse-tingling dynamics, Overcasters are reinventing a classic sound pioneered by bands in the Paisley Underground and the British post-punk bands that favored shimmery, exhilarating atmospheres over utter starkness. Fronted by Kurt Ottaway, formerly of Tarmints and Twice Wilted, this band aims for uplifting moods rather than the harrowing sonic mayhem of Ottaway's previous projects. We caught up with Ottaway and John Nichols in advance of the release of their debut album, Revolectrocution, and discussed the emotional content of the music as well as the logic of the band's signature light shows.

Westword: How did you come up with the name Overcasters?

Kurt Ottaway: I just liked the name. But originally I had this crappy Fender guitar. It was supposed to be a Telecaster, and my roommate at the time came in and asked, "What the hell is that guitar you're playing?" And I said, "It's actually an Overcaster." We're definitely a rain band. Some days you get up and the sun is shining and then the day changes. It's right at that time the day changes and moves into something different — that's sort of the message of the band. It could be clouds covering the sun.



OvercastersCD-release show, with Blue Million Miles, Widowers, DJ Tyler "Danger" Jacobson and DJ Cyren, 8 p.m. Saturday, November 8, Moe's Original BBQ, 3295 South Broadway, Englewood, $8, 303-781-0414.

When you started the band, you said that the music was going to be driven by love instead of some of the other emotions that seemed to inform the music of your previous bands. Why is that?

KO: I just don't believe in inflicting the damage of my damaged psyche on the world anymore. I would rather convey a message of hope than one of despair. There's enough negativity around me, and I've embraced that for long enough. Not that I don't have negative moments in my life, but I don't like to dwell on them. I don't like to embrace them for the sake of trying to purge. I don't need it anymore.

John Nichols: In the arrangements of the music, there's always an element of being triumphant. If it explodes, it's something over on the beautiful side of things rather than on making it worse. The stuff I've always done is to paint things as they should be rather than be observant of things as they are. There's enough of that out there, and I'd rather have a little bit of an imaginative, hopeful content to the music rather than purely document the ugliness.

Is there a rhyme and reason to your use of projections during the live show?

JN: They can support or put forward what's going on with the song. You need to remove people from their immediate surroundings. It puts us into that experience. Sometimes even during rehearsal we have that stuff going on.

What do you hope someone coming to one of your shows or listening to your record gets out of it, if anything?

KO: The biggest compliment that I ever got from a fan was a smile that lasts for hours. If it's silent in the room and people are smiling, I've done my job.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.