Surviving The Odyssey
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Surviving The Odyssey

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States | SELF

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States | SELF
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""Black & Blue Restoration" CD Review"

Having spent all the necessary years it took to turn a vision into a full-on musical endeavor, Surviving the Odyssey has now laid forth a debut album that can certainly hold its own among fellow genre bending electronic artists. Already they…very well may be heard at your local club night. STO creatively mixes a variety of vocal and guitar styles with their programmed elements, making each track a different experience than the last. Check out songs “Monologue,” “Moody Variations,” and “Grieve.”

- Gothic Beauty Magazine - Issue 29


"Surviving the Odyssey Interview"

I was recently in contact with Indigo from the group Surviving the
Odyssey. Find out more about the group in this exclusive interview.

How would you categorize the group’s music?

Our music is best described as a fusion of Electro-Rock, Trip-Hop, and
Alternative with a bit of Dance thrown in for good measure. The lyrical
substance of our songs encompass a great range of topics; we make sure to cover all aspects of life and human emotion which exist in our time today. With our extensive list of musical influences, along with us putting some sci-fi / fantasy themes into our style, we utilize our creative freedom to do whatever we wish. We really let loose and have fun with our sound, as well as our live performance.

Tell me at least one unique thing about each person in the band.

Indigo: I am into monster truck rallies. I enjoy seeing ridiculously huge trucks trashing and crashing into other larger than life vehicles. Seeing the drivers raise from the wreckage unharmed is to see man’s victory over machine.
Odd: he is an excellent baker of sweet treats and even ran a pastry shop
out of his locker in the 9th grade. Classmates would actually buy his
goods on regular basis, and he had descent pay from it for a while. It
wasn’t FDA approved, but he’s almost certain no one got Ecoli.
Krimson: he is an avid collector of toys, coins, pictures, and post
cards… among other things. The collections are gathered from around the
world.
Turnstyles: he is a tennis / sports advocate. He plays both singles and
doubles, and he’s probably the most physically fit in the band. Every
once in awhile, when he’s in the mood, he will bust out some rather
intense break dance moves.

How long has the group been together?

It started out with just two members performing in 2005. In the summer of 2006, Krimson joined, and in the Fall of 2008 Turnstyles became a part of the STO crew. We keep expanding with band members and new sound
techniques. I love working with such creative and talented people. My
band mates are awesome because we all push each other to reach new
innovative heights.

What are the band’s 2009 goals?

We plan to release another album, hopefully even two. We are wrapping up
a CD project that should be out on the market this spring. We’re also
working on new music videos, and expanding our touring radius. Opening
for more national acts is also an exiting goal for us this year.

Where would readers purchase your music and/or see you live in concert?

You can buy our music at CD Baby, I-Tunes (and practically any other
digital download site), Eides Entertainment (record store in downtown
Pittsburgh), and our official band website www.stoband.net. Although our
music is being played on 25 US college and internet stations, and about 13 radio stations in Europe, we basically perform live in the North Eastern part of the US. We have, however, been expanding our live performance radius. We’re consistently branching out in practical yet efficient ways, expanding our growing fan base.

How can readers learn more about Surviving the Odyssey?

Look us up on www.stoband.net or www.myspace.com/survivingtheodyssey

Thank You for the interview! (Thank you for taking the time to answer my
questions.)



Interview by Shelia M. Goss - entertainment writer and best-selling author of Double Platinum, His Invisible Wife and other books. For more info, visit: www.sheliagoss.com.


Note: This interview can also be found on the website:
"BellaOnline - The voice of Women"

- e-Spot - The Entertainment Spot


"Surviving The Odyssey Interview"

NSM
First off, tell the fans more about yourselves. What do you do for a living, what do you do for fun when you’re not playing music, do you have children, etc?

Indigo:
I was born in Cheverly MD to a poor African American family - the oldest of three. We moved around a lot, and this made it hard for me to make and keep friends in my younger years, so I turned to things like inventing songs, writing plays, and drawing pictures to keep me happy. We didn’t have cable, so I tried to find things for me and my younger siblings to do, especially after my father was hauled off to prison in 1986 for six years. Right now, I am working in a well-known sexy bra and panty store of whose name I won’t disclose. I still keep up my drawing. I also enjoy belly dance, parties, seeing other bands and musicians live, travel, learning new things, new experiences, good food, meeting people, and reading.

Odd:
I am the oldest of three. Due to national security and the secrecy which involves my work, I cannot divulge what I do for a living. As for my spare time, I like to frequent restaurants/coffee shops, tip a Guinness with some friends, play Star Wars Battlefront, and travel. I am also a photographer. My main subjects are band photos, glamour, and artistic (lots of destroyed things). I participate in art shows very often displaying my latest works under the moniker Zuph Idzy.

Krimson: Well, to be part of the music industry is definitely a journey where you face many challenges but no matter what obstacles cross our path, we view it as a stepping-stone to our ultimate goal of success. It is a big dream for all musicians to make a living with their music and it is not impossible. I personally have a random job where I don’t get the big bucks, but I do what I have to do to keep my musical dream alive. I am always in touch with my spiritual and creative side, because it is an exercise to my emotions, along with my personality. The three of us enjoy the arts in its different expressions, we are not a band that just wants to play, we use all of our creativity in different ways and present that to people enjoying music and art.



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NSM
How was “Surviving The Odyssey” formed?

Indigo:
The strong desire to make music was always there, we just needed to give our cause a name. An article in the National Geographic magazine called out to us, and here we are today.

Krimson:
I met STO after a year that it had been formed and became the third member. Odd and Indigo started "Surviving The Odyssey" as two soul mates enjoying and pursuing their passion for music. Being part of "Surviving The Odyssey," was and it still is a great musical experience. I have been playing grunge and funk music for a long time and it is somewhat different to make electronic music, which makes it new for me. From the beginning, I felt the chemistry with STO's music and knew that we were meant to make music together. We have so much faith in what we do.



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NSM
Who writes music and lyrics for “Surviving The Odyssey?”

Indigo:
We all contribute something to the music/melodies. When it comes to the lyrics, both Odd and I write.



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NSM
What is everyone’s role in the band?

Indigo:
Odd does most of the booking. I am the web mistress. Krimson is the super social butterfly. But when it comes to the studio and stage, we all have equal part in the overall image and music.

Odd:
Indigo and Krimson are awesome. I order great takeout.

Krimson:
I play the Guitar, Odd plays the synthesizer and the beats, and of course, Indigo captivates us with her voice.



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NSM
How do you deal with conflict/disagreements with each other?

Indigo:
We all are fairly easygoing people. Not to say we don’t ever get moody, but we really don’t suffer from internal band conflicts. When issues arise, it’s usually from outside sources, like other bands who want to be stuck up or rude. We then quickly address the situation, take it as a learning experience, and move on. Like anything in life, you meet good people and bad people.

Odd:
Very simply, we all get into a 10 x 10 room and choose a weapon. I utilize a double-edged battle-axe, Indigo favors the chain whip, and Krimson likes the morning star. We go at it in the ultimate fight to the death, and the one who is still functioning wins the argument. Actually, I can’t remember having any disagreements.

Krimson:
We get along very well and don’t have many disagreements. We are very serious about our music, so if a disagreement does arise, we find a way to reach our common ground once again.



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NSM
The right recording environment is important for an artist to create at their full potential. If each of you could have it exactly the way you wanted (realistic or not), what would your studio look/be like?

Indigo:
My recording studio would be huge so that I could fit many guest musicians for jam sessions, and it would reflect the creative duality in my personality with the futuristic sci-fi space age half, and then the ancient medieval fantasy side. I would own tons of synths on one side, along with plenty of traditional ethnic instruments in the opposite section. I really enjoy taking something which has been around for a long time, and adding a fresh new flavor to it. To top it all off, I would want a robotic android housekeeper to maintain tidiness and serve drinks. Perhaps my dream studio would be in some hidden location, like a nuclear fallout shelter underground.

Odd:
The best recording studio would be a sound proof cavern inside the mines of Moria well guarded by 10 dwarf lords. The facility would contain every computer system known to middle earth, a perpetual coffee machine, Bowflex, and a trampoline.

Krimson:
Great question, we are in the age of media where you have many choices for your recording environment. It depends what kind of sound you want to create and it is also important to have a spacious place with great acoustic. An example of this would be the bathroom because it has been proven to provide an excellent acoustic sound for recording.



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NSM
Do you want to stay a 3-piece or are you hoping to add some more members in the future?

Indigo:
Having a new band member or two would be cool. They would have to hail from a few different musical genres, and be dedicated workers. Almost any instrument from the string family, such as the violin, viola, cello, or mandolin could work. Maybe an accompanying female vocalist? Finding other band members is not something we are actively pursuing at this time, but we are not ruling it out. I am open to the idea and it’s something we have talked about in the past.

Odd:
I am thinking about cloning Krimson, and having him play the xylophone. I stole a swatch of his hair while he was sleeping to use for DNA extraction.

Krimson:
Surviving the Odyssey is a 3-piece band and adding more musicians would be more as side project or an addition to performances at big events.



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NSM
If you could perform on stage with any musician in the world who would you choose and why?

Indigo:
There are many wonderfully talented musicians that I would enjoy playing with, but one that readily comes to mind is Bjork. She has literally worked with people from nearly every genre. I respect her creative sense of adventure and bold ability to take risks.

Odd:
I would love to perform on stage with Morcheeba, which would have to include Skye Edwards. Many eons ago when Morcheeba released “Big Calm,” I had the opportunity to see their show. I stood in the second row to the stage. I have to say I was enthralled! They look like they have a lot of fun. So, I waved “hello” to Miss Edwards, and sure enough, she smiled at me! At that moment, I knew that I needed to Rock Out!

Krimson:
I personally would love to perform with Johnny Greenwood of "Radiohead" and Omar Rodriguez Lopez of The Mars Volta, why? The simple reason that they are big influence on my music.



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NSM
Describe what the performance would be like. What song would you do, where, etc?

Indigo:
The performance would be at either the New York City “Knitting Factory” or a large international music festival. It would be complete with exotic ethnic belly dancers and tribal fire-eaters, because we are all about bringing the art and giving people a fun visual show as well. I would mostly sing all of the songs that we have in our current set list along with a few collaborative pieces with Bjork.

Odd:
The performance would have to be in Pittsburgh at the place formally called Metropol – that’s where it all began. And of coarse the venue would have to be renamed to that ever-legendary name! (It’s named something else now) The second choice would be anywhere in New York City, because I love to play there. I would write an exclusive set of songs just for that show!

Krimson:
I see us performing a type of Abstract acid Jazz, and I would choose to play our new songs such as “Uranium” or “Shell of Steel.” And of course, I would love for it to be at BBC sessions.



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NSM
Who (musician or not) has had the biggest impact on you musically?<

Indigo:
I would have to say that my father and grandmother encouraged me to have a deep appreciation for all music. Even though my dad was not a good parent, and not the most upstanding citizen, he along with my grandmother showed me that music is diverse. They encouraged me to think outside the box and not listen to just a few kinds of music. Make no mistake, even though my father was in bands and knew how to play several different instruments as well as sing, he never taught me how to do anything musical. Everything that I have learned - I had to learn on my own. My grandmother and father did show me hundreds of bands, artists, and genres of music. The inspiration I received from the countless number of songs gave me the motivation to strike out on my own musically. I was very fortunate enough to meet two extremely talented musicians by the name of Odd and Krimson who share my vision.

Odd:
There have been numerous acts, which have inspired me (as mentioned in question #8), but other than that, I am self-taught and self motivated. I am privileged to be in the company of two ultra talented musicians Indigo and Krimson who always keep the inspirational creative juices flowing.

Krimson:
Several musicians with different instruments impact me, but recently the one that amazed me is Pat Metheny, a great and amazing Jazz Guitar player.
- New Sound Magazine - April - Issue 4


"Indigo leads music for Animal Rescue League"

It was a day filled with music and a mission – raising money for the Animal Rescue League of Western Pennsylvania.

Those are the reasons why Indigo, singer/songwriter for electronic, trip-hop group, Surviving the Odyssey, participated in “The Secret Show: An Electronic Music Show that People Will Soon Know,” held at the Home Economics Building in South Park Aug. 23.

“I was excited about the show and playing with all the different bands,” Indigo, 28, said. “I’ve had frogs, fish, dogs and cats and I thought it was a great way to help The Animal Rescue League because people don’t realize how important it is to volunteer and help.”

“The Secret Show” was the genesis of disc jockey Craig Simmons who parlayed his love for music and animals into a successful event for the masses.

“I’m a big lover of animals and I wanted to do something positive with my show,” said Simmons, owner of South Side based Disc Jockey Productions, a portable disc jockey business. “I hope the show inspired people musically and it showed them the variety of different kinds of music happening in Pittsburgh.”

“Craig reached out to us and anytime we get someone from the community who wants to help, that’s awesome because we’re limited with our budget,” said Tifanie Tiberio, Animal Rescue League of Western Pennsylvania assistant development director. Each year, the Animal Rescue League cares for 8,000 homeless pets.

Musical acts for the day-long festival-like concert included electronic improvisationist Maurice Rickard, disc jockeys Dale Cooper and Bass Clown, and Surviving the Odyssey.

The group performed several songs from its new CD, “Black & Blue Restoration.”

“Performing is indescribable,” said Odd, Indigo’s husband and founding member of Surviving the Odyssey. “It’s like living your dream. I’m performing with my best friend and it’s great being able to do that.”

Indigo agrees with her husband and bandmate.

“Our music can be described as bringing warm vocals to electronic music,” Indigo said. “There are lots of things happening in the electronic music scene. It gets a bad reputation, but it’s good to let people know that there are other things they can do with electronic music.”

Indigo has been involved with music for as long as she can remember.

“I took a lot of clues from reading magazines like ‘Honey’ and ‘Essence.’ My grandmother and father taught me to keep my ear open for other kinds of music, even the kinds people don’t expect me to listen to,” said Indigo, who sites Icelandic singer Bjork, Aretha Franklin and Michael and Janet Jackson as her musical influences.

The eclectic sounds of each artist can be heard in Surviving the Odyssey’s enigma-like songs.

The group was formed about five years ago and released its debut album, “Defiantly Unclassifiable,” in 2005. (Correction: the album was released in 2006 - STO)

“I get a natural high from performing. It’s euphoric when someone comes up to me and says that song inspired them,” Indigo said. “I’m like, thank you. Our goal is to relate to people because we respect all kinds of music.”

- New Pittsburgh Courier - Issue Sept. 10-16, 2008


"Surviving the Odyssey - A Long, Strange Trip"

BY AARON JENTZEN

The three members of Surviving the Odyssey may not have navigated past Scylla and Charybdis, but the Pittsburgh-based group is a result of some intense creative wandering. How else do you end up with three outlandishly clad musicians playing a mélange of electronic and pop music, who answer to the names Odd, Indigo and Krimson?

"We like to dress up and get into it," Indigo explains with a laugh. Equal parts Tank Girl and Bjork, she likes to "dress a bit more on the theatrical side. I've used anything from body paint to jewels. We're very much into science fiction and fantasy, so we incorporate that with our music and the way we dress as well."

There is a conceptual link between their outlandish attire and out-there grooves, but more important for the group is creating a multimedia experience that will draw in listeners. "We just thought about some things that we personally would like to see when we go to shows ... just to give people a show, in every aspect that's possible," says Indigo. "We can't change our outfits for every show -- we just don't have the funds to do that. We just take little pieces of things here and there that we see, and incorporate [them] into our outfits. Whenever we go to festivals, the kids love [my] wings!"

That same thoughtfulness and preparation can be heard on the group's debut, Defiantly Unclassifiable, released in February of this year. On it, influences like Massive Attack and Portishead rub shoulders with Natacha Atlas and Azam Ali; Odd's trip-hop beats collide with jazz, Latin beats, rock and R&B.

Indigo's soulful voice soars over this bubbling musical stew. "A lot of our stuff is very bassy, with intense, dramatic beats. But at the same time the vocals are very ethereal, very dreamlike," she says. While very fluid and strong, those pipes are simply the result of practice and experimentation, Indigo insists: "I just didn't have the funds to be classically trained." Which has led to some surprises. "My vocals get compared to a Middle Eastern style," says Indigo, who's lived most of her life in Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C. "That wasn't something that I had purposely tried to do. I was just doing something that sounded comfortable and natural to me."

Though Indigo and Odd began mapping out the concept for Surviving the Odyssey in 1999, the group didn't play live until last year. "We wanted to make sure we had good songs, so when we did come out, a lot of people would be into the music. We wanted to develop where we were gonna go with this. So some planning and forethought went into it."

Some of that planning involved recruiting a guitarist earlier this year. "It felt like we were missing a little something," says Indigo. She and Odd posted an ad on MySpace, and were initially disappointed with the response. "We got a lot of young people who weren't even old enough to play at 21-and-older venues," she says. "We got a lot of 15- and 16-year-olds!"

Eventually they found The One: the Cusco, Peru native Krimson, who had moved to Pittsburgh in the spring, and was looking to join a band. "He [initially] moved to America to pursue his musical career, and it just all fit together," says Indigo. Krimson had been playing guitar in rock bands in Peru as well as with grungy rockers Supermatozoides.

Now, with a year of local gigs under its belt and out-of-town tour dates falling in line, those years of preparation and planning are starting to pay off. But there's always a little further to go. "There are people who are into dance music that go to our shows, but there's not a lot of dancing there yet," Indigo admits, with a chuckle. "There are some people who get up and dance, but it's been mostly a crowd that bobs their heads."

While the band's had a long time to think about it, the rest of us need a little time to catch up -- Surviving the Odyssey is an experience, one Indigo likens to "the mature infant of an ancient wine poet and a cybernetic space butterfly."

- Pittsburgh City Paper Issue 44 (11.01.06-11.08.06)


""Defiantly Unclassifiable" CD Review"

"Their style is described as 'melodic, unique, bold, ethereal, and cutting-edge', by Indigo, the soulful lead singer of Surviving The Odyssey, this electro-dance duo from Pittsburgh have compiled an exotic mix of techno beats and ambient sounds for their latest release, Defiantly Unclassifiable. Fresh and unpredictable, Indigo merges her vogue R&B singing style with DJ Odds eccentric programming, creating a layered and abstract musical mlange on the haunting tracks Not to Run, B. Hummingbird The Transliteration of My Guilt, and my favorite, titled of course, My Favorite.

A fan of contemporary electronic and trance music cant help but respect the originality and imagination of these songwriters. Bold and unique, this album is less about the dance and more about the trip."

- April 2006 issue #12 of Music Under Ground Magazine


""Defiantly Unclassifiable" CD Review"

"Defiantly Unclassifiable is an ambitious, though fitting title for this release from Surviving The Odyssey. There's a little bit of everything for synthaholics everywhere looking for new twists on old tricks to whet their collective aural palates. This three-piece rely heavily on the old analog sound built around...heavily processed vocals...The album plays like a collection of Bjork out takes and
demonstrates a great deal of creativity. An excellent foundation for future releases." - Gothic Beauty Magazine - Issue 23


Discography

A fourteen track LP entitled
(Feb 2006) "Defiantly Unclassifiable"

Our song "Not to Run" is featured on a
compilation called -Shoehorn 2- Released
by Greenhorn Records (2006)

Our song "FE2 O3" is featured on a
compilation called - Circuits of Steel Vol 2 - Released by SSS Records.

Our song "Monologue" is featured on the Synthetics Magazine compilation - Get the Bombs of Music Vol 2 - Released and distributed in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Luxembourg.

Our song "Shell of Steel" and music video "Something of a Feeling" is featured on a
compilation called - Crawling Tunes Vol 5

Our song "Something of a Feeling" is featured on a
compilation called - Under the Radar Vol 5

A 17 track LP entitled
(Oct 2008) "Black & Restoration"

Our songs "Uranium" and "All Hope" is featured on a
compilation called - La Femme Electrique - Women in music.

A 27 track Double CD entitled
(Dec 2010) "Metamorphosis"

Our song "Dissolving the Sanity" is featured on a
compilation called - Electronic Saviors - Released by Metropolis Records.

Our song "Weaponized" is featured on a
compilation called - Electronic Saviors Vol 2- Released by Metropolis Records.

Receiving play on internet and college radio for our songs in USA, Canada & in Germany.

Photos

Bio

Some of STO's many Influences are:
Portishead, Delerium, Azam Ali, Massive Attack, Bjork, Natasha Atlas, Ladytron, The Mars Volta, Aaliyah, Jimmy Hedrix.

The Story:
Back in late Dec.1999/ early Feb 2000, the concept for STO began. As the electro musician and poet, Odd searched for a voice, a soulful and exotic singer that could bring out the beauty and respect of eletronica melody. Odd wanted to showcase a brand new alluring, dreamy, yet unpredictable sound for today's music scene. Long time friend, Indigo was just what he was looking for. Indigo and Odd got together, then shared their ideas, and in 2005 Surviving The Odyssey started on musical quests. In Spring of 2006, they met Krimson, who was just the guitarist they needed for their sound and to bring them up to the next level. This young band has been on the move, ever since they first started playing out.

You can find out more about Surviving the Odyssey at these other web sites as well:
www.stoband.net
www.myspace.com/survivingtheodyssey

STO also has live video clips, and a music video www.youtube.com/odyssey1art