Mark Dubec

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Oleander – The Interview

Oleander released the song Why I’m Here in the late 90’s and the song took off and touched a chord in many rock fans looking for a new band to follow.

I remember doing a story on them around this time. We were hanging in their rehearsal area which was a storage garage in Sacramento, Ca.

After a few beers they decided to play me their new song..

They tore into I Walk Alone.

Right away I connected with the sound and words…and knew it could be a hit.

One of the treasured memories of my career for sure.

All the guys in the band were humble and very passionate about their music.

After a few hit records and tours they took a break….

Now they are back, and I caught up with Lead singer Thomas Flowers to find out what is going on with the band.























What’s up with Oleander?

We’ve been busily making up for time away. Our new album’s being mixed and mastered, we’re planning a marketing strategy for the release and preparing for live shows. It’s exciting!!

What does a good song sound like to you?

Good question. . . . good songs connect with me on an emotional level, whatever emotion I’m experiencing at the time. We’re all looking for something throughout the day that makes us feel like we’re not alone, good or bad / happy or sad. It’s pretty amazing what a “good “ song can do for a listener.

Pat Benatar or Joan Jett?

Joan Jett. . . . I love rock-n- roll (have you googled her lately??? Smoking hot after all these years!!)

Best Live Band you have ever seen?

Unfair question!! Oleander on a good night is pretty hard to beat, especially the singer.

What are your thoughts on the music industry right now?

Everything has changed while we’ve been away, which is liberating and terrifying at the same time. Old formulas no longer work, and bands like ours are giving a lot of thought to creative marketing options. Good songs and great bands will always have an outlet for their music.

Many bands are hoping to get their music played on the radio and to tour around the world. You were able to do that. How did that change your life and is it worth the struggle?

Life changing experiences are always worth the struggle. They have been for us.

How do you write your music, where is the inception point of creativity?

It’s collective process. One of us comes up with an idea and everyone pitches in. We’ve always leaned on each other in every aspect of the band, song writing is no exception.

First time you heard your song on the radio…where were you?

In a boat on the Sacramento river with a good friend.
We still get excited every time it happens. It’s not something we take for granted.

Favorite Oleander song and why?

Unfair question again Mark. . . . How about . . . .whichever one charts the highest and allows us to continue doing what we love. Probably “Why I’m Here” though, only because it connected with people on such a massive scale. I never saw that coming when we wrote it. I was just trying to get some things off my chest. . . .hmmmm.

How have you changed as a band?

Musically, we’ve never paid more attention to detail. . and at the same time we’ve never been more willing to throw caution to the wind.

Personally, the time away has allowed us to grow closer as friends and get back to enjoying what brought us together in the first place. . . our love of writing together. It’s the best part!!

Vinyl, CD, or MP3 how do you prefer your music?

Eight track tape!!!

You decide to start an Oleander Musical Festival…what bands are on that bill?

Whoever fills the seats and helps us pay the bills.

What are you all about?

At this point. . . it’s all about having fun, writing good music and keeping our expectations low. We’ll leave world domination and reckless abandon to the upstarts.

Any words of wisdom?

Have a good time, all the time. (said in English accent).

Is it better to fade out or burn away?

We stopped smoking pot a long time ago Mark. . . Much more attractive to fade into view!!

If you liked this interview please pass it on and share…I would appreciate it….

Thanks -Mark


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