With over 20 years of music industry experience under his belt, Melbourne-based artist Ezekiel Ox knows his way around a tune. He’s spent the majority of his career playing in a range of different bands, in 2013, he decided to go out on his own.
In 2016, he released his first solo EP Proper Gander, and today—the release day of his newest EP Cheering Bombs From Deckchairs—we caught up with the man himself to chat all about how the EP came together, his experience playing in other bands, and what the future holds.
Fresh off the release of his new EP Cheering Bombs From Deckchairs, we caught up with Melbourne-based artist Ezekiel Ox for a chat.
HAPPY: Hey, how’s it going? What are you up to at the moment?
EZEKIEL: Right now, I’m lying in bed with my girlfriend, looking out the window at my mulberry tree, listening to the new EP (release day tradition). So I’m going really, really well, thanks for asking.
HAPPY: We’re loving the new EP! How does it feel having it out there in the world?
EZEKIEL: First of all, thanks, glad you’re picking up what Steve and I have put down. I’m happy it’s out there now, it’s ready for everyone to listen to, and the artwork and video are great. Huge thanks to Muscle Mothership Productions for getting us over the line, and the best part is, now we get to tour it, which is my favourite part!
HAPPY: We’ve been spinning Megalomania pretty relentlessly since we first heard it. Could you tell us a bit about that song?
EZEKIEL: Glad you’re digging it. In this song, I play the part of “The Devil” or “Capitalism” which represent the same values to me. I’m asking the audience to forget their morals, their family, their ethics, and come with me to just “waste away”. Megalomania isn’t something I’d actually recommend to anyone, hahaha. Also, the film clip from Dave Krebelj is stellar, check it out if you haven’t already.
HAPPY: You’ve spent the past number of years performing in a range of different bands… how have you approached this new solo project differently to past projects?
EZEKIEL: The process I’ve used as a vocalist and record producer, is similar between the projects. But the team I have around my solo band, the muses, musos, video guys, photographers, management and agents are the most committed and talented I’ve ever had access to, I built it that way. They truly believe in what I’m trying to to do musically and politically, which is a new experience for me, I’ve always just been a band member, but I’m enjoying leading a team, it feels like it’s the right time to have it set-up this way.
HAPPY: Was there a specific point in your career when you decided to go out on your own?
EZEKIEL: Yes, in 2013. I’d given so much to so many projects and was constantly massaging and trying to manage others needs and desires musically, and dealing with their day to day dramas. I quit everything, and started busking on the street, just got out of the “industry” for a while, but I never stopped singing and dancing. One day, producer James Mangohig (Briggs, Daniel Johns, Caiti Baker) introduced me to Steven Smith from my now label and management company Muscle Mothership. Steve got it straight away. I wouldn’t be here today without Steve, he literally picked me up off the street, and supported my choice to go it alone.
HAPPY: We’re picking up a stack of different sounds in your music… are there any particular acts who are currently inspiring you?
EZEKIEL: Lately, I’ve been spinning Run The Jewels, Electric Mary, Of Mice And Men and Joan Baez, to name a few. We keep it pretty diverse around my house. The biggest influence on this EP was the Bard himself, Shakespeare. Listen to the lyrics, we were really trying to stretch our legs with the wordplay.
HAPPY: What’s next for Ezekiel Ox? Any other exciting plans in the works?
EZEKIEL: A national tour to VIC, SA, NSW, TAS and QLD, including one show in Darwin with Jimmy Barnes which I can’t wait to play. Really hoping I get to meet him, just finished reading one of his books Mum got me for Christmas. Check out ezekielox.com for all the details and to buy tickets.
HAPPY: Cheers for the chat!
EZEKIEL: No worries, see you on tour, and glad you’re enjoying the new music and clip!
Cheering Bombs From Deckchairs is available now. Listen above.