>> A recent music industry graduate from Fredonia State, Aidan Licker, has already begun making a name for himself as musical artist The Otherme. His knack for true emotional rock beautifully displays his love for music and his roots in pop-punk. Aidan was generous enough to give Floated’s Adam Antalek an interview after tearing it up at a show at BJ’s, a venue in Fredonia. See what he has to say about his influences, his reason for choosing Fredonia and the surprising genre that he was writing in before he discovered his emo rock niche.
F: Where are you from? How did you get into music?
O: I’m originally from south Buffalo, NY, and now I’m living in the suburbs. My dad plays guitar and my uncles all play guitar and sing; music was just all around me when I was young. It was something I just started doing. I was into pop-punk when I was young and my brothers were into Blink 182 kinds of bands. That’s the music I started playing.
F: How did you get to Fredonia?
O: I didn’t really want to go to school, but I felt like I should. So I decided to go to Fredonia just ‘cause it’s a huge music school. It’s a little ways from home, so I get the whole college experience. It’s a cool little town with a bunch of people who love music and art.
F: You mentioned what you listened to when you were young. Is that different from your influences now?
O: Definitely. When I grew up it was Blink 182, Good Charlotte, Newfound Glory and now I listen to a lot of emo stuff. I really like American Football, Microwave, Brand New. All that emo rock and pop-punk kind of stuff.
F: What was the decision of going to school for music like? Would you recommend it to other people?
O: I went to school for the music industry, and I just thought if I’m going to go to school I might as well do it with my passion for being a musician. I chose to be a music industry major to learn about the business of music, which I didn’t know a whole lot about. How to brand myself as a musician. The program here is amazing, and I definitely learned how to market myself as a musician. I recommend it for anybody who’s really into music and doesn’t really know what they want to do with their life. Especially in Fredonia; The program here is awesome.
F: Where do you see yourself taking this when you’re done with school?
O: I don’t really know yet! I graduate in a few weeks [May 2017] and haven’t really planned much out yet! Definitely trying to get my foot in the door at a venue or a studio. I’m doing an internship now for a music festival in Buffalo. I just like working with live music, like working with studio stuff.
F: Tell us about the progression from Keep it Simple to Blacksheep.
O: I was really into hip-hop for a long time, and I made it for a long time. I didn’t really want to do it anymore, so Keep it Simple was a transitional record of going from being a hip-hop artist to going into what I do now. I released that in January, and released Blacksheep on April 21st . It’s all just guitar and vocals on the whole album; It’s emo and pop-punk inspired and writing straight from the heart. It’s really an emotional record. I kind of laid it all out on the table. When you’re listening to it, you really get to know who I am. It’s me being honest with myself.
F: Tell me about the music scene in Fredonia? What are the best places to play?
O: BJ’s is the best place to play. It’s just a bunch of college kids that like drinkin’ and listening to live music. It’s a huge music school, so people here [Fredonia] really love this stuff. Pat Walker is the guy that books here, and he does a good job of booking really huge bands.
F: What sort of mark do you want to leave on the music community as a whole?
O: I just want people to listen. I always write about a struggle I’m going through at the time to help me get through it and if that can help somebody else get through it, then that’s a success for me. Just helping out one person that might need it and make them feel like they’re not alone in feeling that way.
For readers who found this to be TL;DR, The Otherme’s albums are Keep it Simple and Blacksheep. His content can be found on Spotify, Youtube, iTunes and elsewhere. <<