Thursday, July 25, 2013


Amos Helvey rocks hard when he plays with his friends in Weather-Control (also performing at Dreyfest), but like all the members of that Cody, Wyoming rock band, he does other creative things on the side. For instance, I hear he’s quite the liver chiseler. Or at least, that’s what I gathered from hanging out with him while he was blasted. Plus he wrote a bunch of songs about beer. Speaking of which, here’s an interview with him about the project he wrote those songs for. It’s called Oxen Free.

Who is Oxen Free and what is it you do?
Oxen Free is a band. The only consistent member is me and sometimes it's just me.

I’m assuming you have access to a decent studio, given that you went to college for music in Powell, WY, but you recorded your first release with an iphone. Obviously that was a conscious choice. Why did you do that?
I wasn't a tech student this last year so the only way I would have been able to use the studio was to work with someone who was,but the interim tech teacher was some dickhead charlatan who couldn't teach so no one was good at using the studio. The iPhone album was just a fun project after I got an iPhone. The second demo was recorded in my buddy Coleman's (Too Many Teeth, Weather-Control) living room on GarageBand.

How has the reaction been to your country-tinged songs about beer?
Pretty positive, I don't play live much so I don't get a chance to see people's reactions. Everyone says they like them though.

You told me before that half of Oxen Free's tunes are fun songs about drinking and the other half are sad songs. What's the reaction like to the sad ones?
I've only played those live a few times too. I don't really know.

What direction (if any) are you planning on taking in the future, in regards to songwriting?
As a whole I will probably move out of playing super honky tonk sounding things a bit. At least for a while.

Program for Amos's recent classical recital:
Capricho Arabe, Albeniz's Iberia, Banquet Beer (I'm Alone Again)

Are there any other acts that you’re excited to see on Dreyfest?
I thought Mr Dad sounded super rad on the comp. I've heard that there's some band called Nose Nose Nose that everyone hates cuz they suck. I’ll be skipping that band for sure.

What keeps you up at night?
I bought two 40's, I can't waste the second one.

Who shot the deputy?
George Zimmerman probably.

Cody or Powell?
Don't live here if you want to try to play music that isn't Skynyrd.

I’d like to close by having you leave us with some sage advice/words of wisdom:
If it's hard, don't do it.

...What? Having you leave us with some sage advice? ...Does anyone else find that kind of confusing?

...Actually, I’m having a hard time coming up with a better ending to this interview, so I’m going to go ahead and take that advice and stop this now. ....Woah! Amos, you're a genius!

See you at Dreyf-

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