09 OH NINE
Interviews

Each track with a different frontman? Sure, why not! Introducing: alt rock act 09 [OH-NINE]

09 have no permanent vocalist and with each new track partner with a different frontman, to build a diverse and eclectic collection. Hailing from Portland, Oregon, 09 strives to celebrate the music they love with the artists they love.

The Portland alternative rock project of Chancelor Reeder and EJ Olson’s latest single, “Digital Vagrant”, follows collaborations with Kellin Quinn and Matty Mullins. The latest song is a cathartic “F You” anthem, taking inspiration from Billie Eilish as well as a swathe of the band’s progressive post-hardcore peers, as they bring a frenzied juxtaposition of eerie riffs and huge hooks. It’s available on the new album “Lost Years”, which is out now via streaming platforms worldwide!

‘Lost Years’ features an enviable cast of talent, including Rory Rodriguez, Matty Mullins, Malia Endres, Kellin Quinn and Cory Brandan. Produced by 09 & Justin Abel in Portland, OR, and featuring additional instrumentation from bassist Michael Palmquist and guitarist Bob Hall, the band’s first full length record is completely independent and self-released.

“This record is more than two years in the making—we decided early on not to have a front person, and instead feature someone new on every song…we didn’t really know where it would take us, but we knew it was a crazy idea. We couldn’t be more proud of how this turned out, and we’re so fortunate to have worked with some of our best friends, as well as some of our favorite artists ever. Working with some of the guys that influenced me as I came up in the scene was a dream come true.” – says EJ Olson.

“Conceptually, the record was mostly written about loss, and how that loss shapes someone as a young adult. It’s the story of my 20’s. I just tried to explore the ambivalence of the human experience, and to be as honest as possible in writing about my life. A lot of it is extremely personal, but I hope people can identify with it in some way. And I see the irony in creating something that almost mourns these moments in my life, despite this album and the entire process creating it having been an immense source of joy for me over the last few years. I think that’s as human as can be.” 

09’s EJ Olson joins us today to give us his thoughts on the alternative music scene in Portland, Oregon:

Chancelor and I cut our teeth as musicians playing shows together in Portland, OR from 2006-2010—a true golden age for DIY artists. With the advent of social media, it became easier to share music with the world and connect with like-minded music fans than ever before.

𝑇ℎ𝑒 𝑝𝑜𝑠𝑡-ℎ𝑎𝑟𝑑𝑐𝑜𝑟𝑒/𝑚𝑒𝑡𝑎𝑙𝑐𝑜𝑟𝑒 𝑠𝑐𝑒𝑛𝑒 𝑤𝑎𝑠 𝑡𝑎𝑘𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑜𝑓𝑓 𝑎𝑐𝑟𝑜𝑠𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑠, 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ 𝑠𝑢𝑐ℎ 𝑢𝑛𝑟𝑒𝑠𝑡𝑟𝑖𝑐𝑡𝑒𝑑 𝑎𝑐𝑐𝑒𝑠𝑠 𝑡𝑜 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑠𝑒 𝑦𝑜𝑢𝑛𝑔 𝑎𝑟𝑡𝑖𝑠𝑡𝑠 𝑣𝑖𝑎 𝑀𝑦𝑠𝑝𝑎𝑐𝑒, 𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑙𝑜𝑐𝑎𝑙 𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑚𝑢𝑛𝑖𝑡𝑖𝑒𝑠 𝑤𝑒𝑟𝑒 𝑠𝑜 𝑖𝑛𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑛𝑒𝑐𝑡𝑒𝑑, 𝑒𝑥𝑝𝑒𝑟𝑖𝑒𝑛𝑐𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑒𝑥𝑝𝑙𝑜𝑠𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑠𝑐𝑒𝑛𝑒 𝑠𝑖𝑚𝑢𝑙𝑡𝑎𝑛𝑒𝑜𝑢𝑠𝑙𝑦.

If it was happening in Florida, or Ohio, or California, it was happening in Portland and Seattle. There was this innocence to the scene at that time, like the industry cynicism just didn’t exist yet. These crazy tours would come through, just kids doing what they loved and trying to figure it out as they went, with no one to really help them.

Our community here was so beautiful, and that passion was infectious. You could catch a show at a different venue every night of the week—the Satyricon, Rock n Roll Pizza, the Hawthorne Theater, the Roseland, the Crystal Ballroom, the Branx (the Loveland, or the Meow Meow, for the OG’s). Someone was always hosting a house show, slinging homemade t-shirts on the front porch. There were the church shows too, as the Christian metalcore thing was taking off in a big way.

The community we built, and the things we learned over those years, have carried many of us through the last decade.

𝑇ℎ𝑒 𝑐𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑣𝑖𝑡𝑦, 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑝𝑎𝑠𝑠𝑖𝑜𝑛, 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝐷𝐼𝑌 𝑎𝑡𝑡𝑖𝑡𝑢𝑑𝑒 – 𝑤𝑒 𝑐ℎ𝑎𝑛𝑛𝑒𝑙𝑙𝑒𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡.

While some of us never stopped making music, there are just as many who went on to keep the spirit of the community alive in other ventures—tattoo shops, restaurants, barber shops, video production and design companies, all sorts of entertainment collectives, from theater to wrestling to comedy—we’re still here.

The city has changed in the last ten years, but the underground movement is flourishing again, and indie artists continue to create—many of the venues have disappeared, but the music refuses to die. 09‘s entire existence as a band is owed to the artists who continue to keep the dream alive, and those coming up today breathing life back into the scene—it was a natural choice for us to celebrate both them and their vision for our community, but also the music of our youth and all of those memories through our music today.

Each track with a different frontman? Sure, why not! Introducing: alt rock act 09 [OH-NINE]
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