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Modern Metallers The Oklahoma Kid Talk About Natural Progression, Challenges Faced and the Future

Modern metallers The Oklahoma Kid talk about the challenges faced trying to keep progressing their sound for new album “Tangerine Tragic”.



The last few years downtime has given many bands the chance to explore what “their sound” is. For German quartet, The Oklahoma Kid, that progression didn’t need a pandemic to force their hand. Constantly looking to develop, the German shredders enlisted the help of producer Jan Kerscher to keep moving their sound forward.

Following the release of Tangerine Tragic, we spoke to guitarists Fred Stölzel and Andreas Reinhard and bassist Rob Elfenbein about the record, progression and the challenges of working with a producer from outside the metalcore genre.

Thanks for your time guys, how is life treating you at the moment?

Andreas Reinhard: “Thank you for having us. Life is getting more “normal” again and it feels great to be back with some new music and also able to play shows again.”

I believe that you’ve just come off The Good Fellas Tour. How was it and are there any entertaining stories you can tell us?

Andreas: “Unfortunately, The Good Fellas Tour still didn’t happen. After postponing this tour for over two years now, we decided to name it after our album Tangerine Tragic.”

What are your touring plans for the rest of the year?

Andreas: “We have some really cool festivals to play this summer, like Summerbreeze, Fajtfest and many more. In October, there is our first headline tour, now called Tangerine Tragic Tour 2022. We’ve been waiting for so long for this tour to happen and we don’t want to wait any longer to play parts of the new album live.”

Recently, you dropped your awesome new album, Tangerine Tragic. After the last two years, how does it feel to have new music out?

Andreas: “It feels great obviously. It is always hard to have some silent months and work in the dark, while other bands are putting out new music.”

Artwork for “Tangerine Tragic” by The Oklahoma Kid

For many bands, the pandemic was a massive challenge in terms of keeping alive. What did you do to keep the band afloat?

Andreas: “We always had other jobs besides the band, but of course, the music industry wasn’t the only industry affected by the pandemic. It was also hard to work at bars, clubs and restaurants, which our main side jobs were. But everyone was in the same boat, so it feels wrong to complain.”

About the new record, you’ve talked of getting different influences into your music. How did having a two-year break from touring help you do that?

Fred Stölzel: “Yes but it’s no different from Solarray, it’s not like we do it on purpose but we all listen to so many different genres that it flows naturally into our music! Well, the writing process is always the same, so the two-year break didn’t really have an effect on the songwriting honestly.”

Do you think the record would have sounded different if you hadn’t had the time to explore new influences?

Fred: “We always have the time to explore new bands and music and if you share the stage with so many different bands then you’re automatically influenced by those bands.”

One of those new influences was working with a new producer Jan Kerscher. You say you knew he was the perfect match, what was it that made you come to that conclusion?

Andreas: “I was vibing with Jan from the first e-mail onwards. It felt like he had the same visions on Tangerine Tragic without talking about it. We knew we didn‘t want a usual metalcore sound.”

What were the challenges you and Jan faced working with someone outside their genres?

Fred: “It wasn’t much of a challenge because working on those songs felt very natural since we already had the songs done. But Jan really enhanced the songs and knew exactly how to get the right sound.”

What was the biggest thing you would say you took away from working with Jan and is it something you would do again?

Andreas: “First of all, we definitely would do it again. It is hard to explain, but Jan’s workflow is different. He was not too focused on making us sound metalcore or what’s a no-go.”

So, now life is returning to normal(ish), what are your hopes and targets for the future?

Rob Elfenbein: “It would be really awesome to expand on our audience and bring our music to more people around the world, we love what we do and want to keep on going… Also playing a big tour abroad would be something really nice.”

And with bands putting out a lot of new music, can you tell the modern metal fan what they would get if they picked up Tangerine Tragic?

Rob: “They would get something unusual, something you won’t expect. In terms of sound and songwriting Tangerine Tragic really sticks out: “it’s a bold record.”

Thanks again for your time and good luck for the rest of 2022. Anything to say to wrap this up?

Andreas: “Shoutout to all our fans, families and everyone who is supporting us. Follow us: IG: @theoklahomakidband, TW: @theoklahomakidband, FB: @theoklahomakidofficial

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.