Having been together for a decade and selling over 140,000 albums independently, there’s nothing stopping ever-diverse Australian troubadours, OKA. Stu Boga Fergie, aka DidgeriSTU, speaks with AARON BRYANS about the band’s incredible journey and success ahead of their Australian tour.
OKA have been all over the globe spreading their infectious blend of experimental jazz and roots into every country they can.
The trio are one of the most dedicated touring bands coming out of Australia today and they’d do it over and over again simply for the joy of music.
“I’m paying for it right now with a bit of jetlag and my body’s pretty tired, but it’s going pretty good,” Stu Boga Fergie says. “We’re getting used to doing summers where we’d do a lot of shows. A couple of years ago we did 150 shows in 90 days, so we’re kind of getting used to getting through the pain barrier, but it’s all music so it’s fun.
“We did a festival called Colours Of Ostrava that was in the Czech Republic. That was a big crowd; 20,000 people in this industrial, crazy environment. That was amazing energy. We did a support for George Clinton in the USA and that was an amazing time, too.
“I think the only way you can keep going in music for a long time is to create a lifestyle, as much as you want to balance your family and your time off. We like to spend a lot of time just chilling and not doing too much, it is getting a lot busier as of late, but it’s good.”
The break from endless touring hasn’t kept the trio down however, as they’ve been working on their fifth album and prepping for their spring Australian tour.
“We’ve just got back from doing a big tour overseas in Europe and Canada so we’ve doing a bunch of new tracks all along that trip,” Fergie says. “It’s a big part of our process of writing.
“Most of it is myself but our music is based around improvisation and jamming on top of things so I’ll just try an idea or something like that and then it will work or it doesn’t kind of work and if it works we just keep building and refining it that way.
“We’re all just pumped to be able to play some of the new tunes from this tour. It was our first trip to Europe this year and we kind of got this whole bunch of new colours from the vibe and the music of Europe. I guess bringing that to WA is going to be pretty exciting.”
Catch OKA this Wednesday, September 24, at Mojos; Thursday, September 25, at the Prince Of Wales, Bunbury; Friday, September 26, at Settlers Tavern, Margaret River; Saturday, September 27, at the Indi Bar and Sunday, September 28, at the Railway Hotel.