The printed version of this interview incorrectly names Oh, The Guilt’s guitarist and vocalist. His correct name is Elijah Dahl. We are very sorry for this and for any upset caused to Elijah.
a sound that combines cold atmospherics, rousing crescendos and a hell of a lot of volume
Three-piece, post-punk band Oh, The Guilt deliver explosive live shows and dramatic songwriting. The band have made a name for themselves on the live circuit and have obtained a loyal following locally, with a sound that combines cold atmospherics, rousing crescendos and a hell of a lot of volume.
Having met on the local live circuit playing in different bands, Chris Nicholls, Elijah Dahl and Hannah Layhe formed Oh, The Guilt at the end of 2014. Though they take their name from a Nirvana song, Oh, The Guilt’s sound is far from nostalgic. Drawing on the likes of Joy Division, A Place To Bury Strangers, Bauhaus and Slint, the band respect their lineage yet transcend their influences to create an original and distinctive sound.
Their latest single Burgundy dropped earlier this year and they’ve promised that more new material is on its way, spending time in the studio over summer and even hinting that an album could be in the works.
Oh, The Guilt answer some questions for us ahead of their show at The Lanes this month, where they’re supporting US power pop duo North by North, along with Bristol indie trio Seek Warmth.
1. What have you learned today?
Chris: That if I stay out till 3am two nights in a row, I’ll still be feeling it two days later. And that my chosen family are beautiful, resilient people.
Hannah: My drum student went to pride with ‘his LGBTQ+’ friends from school. I could not have been more proud.
Elijah: What the saying ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ means.
my chosen family are beautiful, resilient people
2. Which song by another artist most inspires you?
Chris: March Of The Pigs by Nine Inch Nails. It’s the first song I can remember where every aspect of it – the inspired mix of electronic and organic elements, the artwork and the video – spoke to me all together. I come back to it very often.
Hannah: It’s wayyy too hard to pick one, but most recent inspirational song is Emma Ruth Rundle – Heaven. The slow build, beautiful vocals and intense explosion of sound at the end is exactly what I want in a song.
Elijah: A Perfect Circle – The Noose. The build in the song has always kept my attention, and the lyrics.
The slow build, beautiful vocals and intense explosion of sound (…) is exactly what I want in a song
3. Who are your top three acts right now?
Chris: Cultdreams, ITHACA and Elizabeth Colour Wheel.
Hannah: Emma Ruth Rundle, The National and John Grant.
Elijah: Aurora, The National and Future Islands.
4. It’s 3am and the party is winding down, what track do you play to get everyone going again?
Chris: Will Smith – Wild Wild West.
Hannah: Cardi B – I Like It.
Elijah: Phil Collins – Easy Lover.
5. If you couldn’t work in music, what would you be doing instead?
Chris: Photographer / artist.
Hannah: What I do now, working in healthcare and teaching.
Elijah: Gardener! That’s what I do.
6. What was the last book you read?
Chris: Queer. A Graphic History by Meg-John Barker and Julia Scheele. It’s helping me learn and understand and find my footing so much since coming out. But I think it’s an important read for everybody.
I think it’s an important read for everybody
Hannah: My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite. I am part of a feminist book group and this is our latest book. I couldn’t put it down once I’d started.
Elijah: Sphinx. It’s the remarkable debut novel, originally published in 1986, by the incredibly talented and inventive French author Anne Garréta, one of the few female members of Oulipo. The characters are genderless.
7. Most recent binge watch?
Chris: This Country.
Hannah: Killing Eve. I loved it!
Elijah: She’s Gotta Have It… The music is on point.
8. Do you have a party trick?
Chris: I can burp the alphabet?
Hannah: I can do the worm.
Elijah: Mime artist stuck in a box
9. Tell us something people don’t generally know about you…
Chris: I care. A Lot. About everything. I think I gained a reputation somewhere in my teens for being very laid back, but it simply isn’t true. And I cry really, really easily.
Hannah: I am terrified of moths and spiders. I rarely cry.
Elijah: I wet myself when I was five in a teddy bear costume in an ice skating show.
I gained a reputation somewhere in my teens for being very laid back, but it simply isn’t true
10. What are you doing tomorrow?
Chris: Trying to teach a toddler to be kind and gentle and not to eat mud, like I do every day.
Hannah: Going to work in the hospital and taking my girlfriend out for dinner in the evening sun.
Elijah: Cutting down trees and putting up a fence/ drinking lots of coffee writing for our album.
23 August – Oh, The Guilt, North by North & Seek Warmth, The Lanes
Free show // thelanesbristol.co.uk
Photos via Oh, The Guilt