Interview with Montreal’s South Shore Natives Dead Obies

Dead Obies at Osheaga Festival, Montreal. Photo from Dead Obies' Instagram. Dead Obies at Osheaga Festival, Montreal. Photo from Dead Obies' Instagram.

I had the chance to talk with some of the members of the rap group Dead Obies. They perform in both French and English, and put on crazy shows. Sometimes they are even too crazy for the members themselves to take.

Robyn Homeniuk (RH): Where are you from? Montreal?

Snail Kid (SK): Yeah pretty much, we’ve all lived on the south shore at one point.


RH: So that makes Osheaga your home festival?

SK: Yeah, but it’s our first time for all of us.


RH: You’ve never even come as a fan before?

SK: Never been.


RH: How’s the first experience going so far for you?

SK: Oh shit, it’s been pretty crazy so far. We want to see a lot of shows, but at the same time we want to keep our energy for our set.  Today I’ve been pretty chill. Friday was really crazy, there were just so many concerts to see. All of them I wouldn’t have gotten to see if I wasn’t here.


RH: Who has been your favourite?

SK: Outkast

OG Bear (OGB): I probably would have said Outkast, but I was so high that I couldn’t come Friday.   It’s overwhelming, you look at the grid and see who you want to see.  You’ve got to run all over the place – it’s pretty exhausting.

SK: I’m getting pretty used to having a backstage pass. I have a lot of respect for the people who buy the three-day pass and go all out for three days. The traffic is horrible, and it’s intense.

OGB: It takes a lot of motivation to be here for three days. I’ve only been here for two days and I’m tired, but my friends have been here for three.  They’ve spent so much – just on alcohol.

20some(20S): I’ve been to Virgin festival and they had ads all over. You couldn’t buy a beer anywhere, it was so busy.  You couldn’t walk around with a beer. Here I think they respect the festival go-ers, which might seem trivial but to me it’s important. Yesterday we left at 4AM, and there were big bands coming in with all of their stuff. The people running it have it well organized.


RH: Are you ready for your show tonight? Are you nervous at all?

20S: We’ve done a lot of festivals this summer, about 8 different ones. We worked a lot before summer started to prepare our set but now we’re relaxed and not nervous. The adrenaline is gonna kick in and the set is late, so it’s gonna be about partying.


RH: So how’s the food back there? I’ve heard it’s pretty good.

OGB: Oh my god – it’s fantastic. It’s pretty cool too, I was eating the fried chicken and then Jack White came over  and got some too. I was just like, well there’s Jack White eating the same chicken as me.


RH: Maybe it’s spiked…

20S: Nah, they have one of the best chefs in Montreal cooking everything. His name is Chuck Hughes and he and his team are amazing.


RH: Other than Jack White, have you had any other cool run-ins back stage?

OGB: I saw Kid Ink, he had like 3 body guards around him so I could barely see him.

20S: I saw Line Beauchamp.

SK: Yeah Line Beauchamp is hanging out pretty hard back there.

20S: She was the Minister of Education when they had the big riots here.


RH: How do you like the festival compared to indoor shows?

SK: I like when it is free and outside because more people come. But I kinda have a thing for the small venues where it’s all sweaty and people know all of the lyrics.  There’s crazy mosh pits and stage dives, it’s very fun. Shows like Osheaga are more of promo shows. People come to see you and don’t know you, it’s a big attendance but people don’t really care about the music especially when you’re playing at the same time as the Arctic Monkeys and stuff.

OGB: I don’t know how it will be, but we’ve had a blast all weekend. I’m sure it’s going to be a party, I think it will be a lot of fun.

20S: It’s a great opportunity for us to play in front of so many people. I know there’s a lot of people from outside of Quebec who wouldn’t usually get to hear us play. It’s a big window for us.


RH: Do you have any plans for the fall?

OGB: We’re working on a lot of projects right now.  It’s our anniversary of the album, so we’re working on a little something for that.  We’re trying to get a tour in Europe because that’s obvious the next step. Especially France… We’re staying away from the States for now, because the culture is just too different for now. Maybe we’ll do a song with Drake and that will get us in.


RH: Who knows… maybe get a spot on Degrassi too. Do you have any last words for the Montreal audience?

SK: Yeah, fuck with us.

These guys have a lot of personality both on and off stage. Their energy is amazing and they have a truly unique sound. If you are into rap groups and want to experiment in listening to French music – I would give the Dead Obies a listen.