Most students, speaking from personal experience, use the opportunity to be away from their parents for the first time to blow their student loan down the nearest student drinking hole. But Newcastle-based Oliver Green has not only started one-man indie rock act Fever Days and released two singles in his first year of uni, but he’s also self-producing and recording his own tracks.
Oli started playing the guitar when he was about 10-years-old and the passion for starting his own band grew as he gradually got more into rock and indie music. As he explains: “I started to write my own songs, and ever since then I’ve wanted to be involved in music as much as possible. I never really intended to become a one-man project, but after coming to uni and having difficulty finding people to start a band with I just decided to start releasing the songs myself. Both of the songs I’ve released so far I actually recorded last summer, so I’ve had them ready for a while. I just really wanted to get them out there, so I created Fever Days and it seems like paid off!”
He’s since created what he describes as a ‘happy-go-lucky’ indie sound that draws influence from multiple genres and sounds. He’s largely inspired by Green Day, who were the first rock band he really got into, while the DIY ethoses of Jamie T and Rat Boy have had a major inspiration on his style, along with his hometown band Slaves.
His most recent single Hey opens up with a cool synth riff over guitar chords then drops into a laid-back vocal-led verse with light guitar support. Then the synth sound returns under echoey vocals, then more guitar kicks in through the second verse. A big guitar solo follows, with darting guitar chords in the background, then drops back into the fun synth sound to close.
While his debut single Bored is a bit more classic indie in sound, opening with a funky little repeating riff then a verse of almost spoken vocals, including the excellent lines: “So I think I might go out might go and get something to eat, but the nearest shop’s a long way down the street, I Call up my friends they don’t wanna meet up, It’s always the same, Now I’m getting drunk, So time equals money then I must be the richest man on earth, So little to do so much to spend I just don’t know what it’s worth.” Then it kicks into a heavier chorus with strange vocal sound effects over the top, then rolls back into the fun indie guitars that lead into another storytelling verse. Rolling chords follow the second verse as the intensity increases with loads of background cymbals, leading into a final chorus.
Going it alone as a one-man band can give you the freedom to do whatever you want to do, but at the same time you miss out on the opportunity of bouncing ideas off bandmates. As Oli says: “I have complete creative control which is really nice, but it is difficult when you don’t have any other opinions to work with. I’ve now started to get a band together to play gigs with, so it’ll be nice to have their opinions when writing too rather than just my own – it’ll definitely make it easier to work out which parts work best in the songs.”
In terms of what he writes about, Oli said: “I’m not sure there’s any big motivation behind it, it’s just something I really enjoy doing and I’d definitely like to make it something I can do full-time if I’m lucky enough! Lyrically, I tend to write about my own life a lot, and my relationships with friends and family. I especially like to tell stories about particular events or moments in my life.”
Oli already has a few gigs lined up for Fever Days in and around Newcastle in May, and plans to release new music while honing his production skills.