Over the last few months the talented duo, Xeno and Oaklander helped bring our holiday videos come to life. Their upbeat and energetic sound heightened the emotion that was not only tied to telling the story of our American Eagle Outfitters holiday campaign, but glamorized the seasonal product as well. We sat down with the newly wed duo (they just got back from their honeymoon!) to learn about their sound, how they met and their super cute pup, Roland. Take a look below.
AEO: Hey guys, thanks for checking in. Please introduce yourself.
Xeno & Oaklander (X&O): We’re Xeno & Oaklander – we’re a synth duo. I’m Liz and my synth partner is Sean, we’re in a band together. It’s minimal electronic music. We’re based in Brooklyn and we have a pup called Roland: it’s a funny name, – he’s named after a famous brand of synthesizers and drum machines from Japan. I’m sure you know the 808 drum machine. American bands like Afrika Bambaataa, Talking Heads and Egyptian Lover used it. More obscure European bands such as Front 242 and Twilight Ritual used it as well. Roland is our favorite brand of synthesizers, and we own so many of them in our music studio that we thought ‘let’s call our dog Roland’
AEO: You guys are a minimal electronics duo. What or who inspired you to get into this kind of music?
X&O: We love collecting – we collect synthesizers and vinyl records. We have a big collection of vinyl records and it is by collecting minimal electronic music that we decided we wanted to make this kind of music. The first attraction often when buying an album is the record cover: minimal and sexy. We have been collecting music by electronic bands from today, mostly on independent labels in the US, and from rare bands from the 80s, mostly from Europe. Listening to this kind of music is like discovering something rare. It’s a chilling sensation.
AEO: Out of all the places you’ve performed, what city/country was your favorite concert and why?
X&O: Paris was our favorite concert on our Par Avion European Tour this fall. Maybe because they speak French? A lot of our lyrics are in French, because I come from there. Our new album has a French title, Par Avion, that means ‘Air Mail’, quite romantic. I love letters and postcards.
AEO: How did you two become a duo?
X&O: I was DJing at a friend’s loft in Brooklyn, and Sean liked the records I was spinning. It was rare minimal electronic music. We started a band straight away and we haven’t stopped since. It’s an addiction.
AEO: What are some of the funniest experiences you’ve had while being in a band?
X&O: Our funniest and funnest experience has been getting our dog Roland!
AEO: We recently found out you have an adorable 16 pound Cockapoo, Roland. Naturally when we found this out, we had to send you an ABO Puffer Vest. Tell us more about Roland.
X&O: Roland our dog has a thing for fashion… a certain form of vanity! He loves to be styled. His nickname is ‘Designer Dog’.
AEO: Do his lady dog friends like his new style?
X&O: Roland our pup has two lady dog friends – and they are Beagles! Kikki and Poppy. I think they wish they also had a puffer vest. Both beagles live in Connecticut, and it is snowing there right now. Roland is their cool boyfriend from Brooklyn.
AEO: Tell us about any upcoming tours/releases that you have.
X&O: We’ve just released a new album on Ghostly called ‘Par Avion‘ – and we’ve just been on a tour of the US and Europe. We’ve got our eyes on Japan for our next tour. It’s a dream of ours!
We used “Sheen” by Xeno and Oaklander in our ABO Video.