Radar Band Of The Week No:85 – ‘Oberhofer’

Hyperactive Brooklyn boys merging fighting talk with West Coast Melodies

Brad Oberhofer might just be the most excitable man in indie. Taking acting-on-impulse and turning it into the purest of art forms (ie going batshit crazy onstage every night), his adrenaline appears at first to be somewhat, uh, drug-induced.


“I don’t drink that much or do shit!” he protests when Radar tells him this. “I just need fucking space. The shows we play are not fun for me if I can’t run around and jump off of shit.” True to form, each time we’ve seen Oberhofer play live – that’s Brad, backed by three buddies – they’ve been all over the place, but in the very best possible way.

Growing up in Tacoma, Washington, the singer actively railed against music until he was a teenager, when he suddenly – randomly – suffered an epiphany. “I got hit by a car just after my birthday and had a concussion. I’d never written any melodic music before, and I suddenly came up with something I wanted to use for a hip-hop beat. It was the first melody I ever wrote, and I think it was a direct result of the crash. I’ve read books about that shit!”

Recording his West Coast-inspired music in Brooklyn over the past few years, Brad has properly hit the big-time in recent weeks. “On Sunday we’re recording for Letterman,” he says, “and we’ve been playing to 3,000 people some nights… which feels insane. We don’t even have a record out!” Not for long though – debut ‘Time Capsules II’ is out on April 16. Brad’s proud of it, but he’s already written the follow-up (“There’s about 70 songs in the vault, 40 of which are good enough to release”).

What’s more, despite producing-heavyweight Steve Lilliwhite lending his skills to the record, the singer is at pains to point out that Oberhofer really is his baby. “The thing I’m most proud of is that I recorded all the demos by myself and did it all alone first,” he says. “From that we’ve got to where we are now. And the next record’s gonna be even better than this one. I mean, I really love this one, but trust me…”
Matt Wilkinson

Need To Know:


Based: Brooklyn
For Fans Of: Arcade Fire, The Strokes
Buy It: Debut album ‘Time Capsules II’ is out on April 16
See them Live: Oberhofer play the UK in April
Believe It Or Not: Brad’s mum is an opera singer. “Growing up, I was never really into it and I didn’t appreciate it at all,” he says. “You know, typical teenager!”

This article originally appeared in the April 7th issue of NME

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