Oliver Tree says what he memes and memes what he says
The postmodern polymath lands on the cover of AP with a basic message, a love of all genres and an anything-goes approach toward everything he does. What’s not to love?January 24, 2020
Without a doubt, Oliver Tree is the pop star America (and possibly the world) needs. From wearing clothes in which we wouldn’t get caught dead (those rockin’ socks ‘n’ sandals, represent!) to a casual disregard of sticking to one genre on his impending album Ugly Is Beautiful, Tree is changing the game. And you know you want to watch him play it.
“I pulled together all the most interesting parts of my own life and my own personality, presenting myself in a way that was probably the most kooky parts of my life put together,” says Tree about his image and his work. “And I think it really has connected with people well, because it is authentic and it’s not fake.”
Prior to the release of Ugly Is Beautiful, Tree (under the watchful eye of “America’s No. 1 attorney,” Jeremiah Jeffrey) explains to AP that the methods to his madness are definitely not contrived. His jaw-dropping videos, unpredictable performances and vocally austere presentations are all manifestations of a consciousness that’s cruising on the rings of Saturn. See, you could be forgiven for thinking Oliver Tree is not from this planet. After all, his ability to combat his own boredom and create something otherworldly (on a record label’s checkbook) is bracingly fresh in a world where everyone else seems to be constrained by someone else’s marketing plans.
“It’s not some kind of elaborate plan,” Tree says. “It’s just me putting together my life in a specific way, and being able to share it boxed together with a little bow that presents everything I have as a human into one piece. Which is what you’ll find in the music videos: All the extreme sports I’ve done, all the music, the singing production, [and] the directing—these are all the things I have to offer. It’s a mixed bag of tricks. So to define Oliver Tree based on one thing alone would be inappropriate. You wouldn’t be able to understand the vision if you just took it as just music or just an image
“It’s 360 [degrees], and you can pull what you like from it,” he continues about the breadth of his creativity. “You take what works for you. There’s things that might work, and things that might not. And that’s for you to decide. And if you hate it, you hate it—and if you love it, you love it. And that’s what makes art, art. There’s no one forcing a gun to your head here saying, ‘You gotta watch this guy with a bowl-cut jump around.’ That’s for you to decide what you want to do in your spare time.”
ALSO IN NEXT MONTH’S ISSUE:
AltPress was fortunate enough to get an audience with the elusive MARIA BRINK from mystical, magical and menacing metal outfit IN THIS MOMENT. She shares with us how she centers herself psychically, her next daring creative move (which is at sea, no less), and some of the melancholy and prideful moments that have informed her band’s new album.
The men of SILVERSTEIN and FOUR YEAR STRONG are no strangers to AltPress readers. As punk-rock lifers, they’ve taken their music all over the planet for two decades. So why, after this long, have they never toured together? That comes to an end this spring when both bands finally hit the road. Silverstein’s Shane Told and Four Year Strong’s Alan Day share tour stories and fan interactions while learning that the right amount of personal vision and follower appreciation makes all the difference in their respective worlds.
This month’s installment of 10 TOPICS finds the perpetually insightful ASH COSTELLO of NEW YEARS DAY discussing “The Return,” what terrifies her about the future of music, where she expects to have her Social Security checks delivered, and how many things she’s ruined in pursuit of her art.
MAYDAY PARADE frontman DEREK SANDERS walks us through his first-ever solo release, My Rock And Roll Heart, a five-track covers EP. From obscure Florida-scene outfits to emo legends, Sanders’ personal taste is so good, we should have him make playlists for our personal enjoyment.
You may think JOEL BIRCH of THE AMITY AFFLICTION seemingly has it all, but he’s the first person to tell you you’re way off-base. His poignant story of what he’s been through, where he’s been and what he looks forward to is more than enough evidence to remind us all that IT GETS BETTER.
We’re also celebrating THE FIRST IN ’20, a preview piece listing a few bands making their first full-length albums in 2020. From device-melting metal units to poignant singer-songwriters to quirky electronic outfits to glam-pop avatars in the making, this is the soundtrack for your year.
Paige Owens climbs in a time machine and lands in Italy where STAIN THE CANVAS are cranking their amps and updating their Myspace page. Just in time for Feb. 14, Rachel Campbell picks the best love songs not about lovers in 10 ESSENTIAL. There are 12 BANDS to point your browser toward, while AP ARCHIVES fondly remembers FOREVER THE SICKEST KIDS, BREATHE CAROLINA and HIT THE LIGHTS. Plus beautiful fan art and live photos to put light in the blackest of your parades. It’s the new issue of AP, and we’re completely exhausted. Come on: Do you have any idea how much we had to settle that bird down so Tree could ride on it? Get your copy here.