The debut record from Atlanta's Omni seems like it was made for the end of summer. The 10 tracks on Deluxe slide between garage rock and post-punk, and the vibe of chasing the last rays of summer sun can be found throughout the album, from the catchiness of lead single "Afterlife" to the hazy, half-stoned vocals on "Jungle Jenny." I caught up with Omni vocalist Philip Frobos to learn more about the band playing Murphy's this Sunday night. —Chris Shaw
The Memphis Flyer: How long have you guys been a band, and what were you doing before Omni started?
Philip Frobos: We've been a band for about a year and a half. Frankie [Broyles, guitar] and I had been writing the songs before we started, and at the time, I was running an espresso catering business in Atlanta while Frankie was traveling with some other bands. In the meantime, we were just writing songs together whenever we had time.
There's been a lot of references to Devo and Pylon with regard to your debut album. What other bands are influential to Omni?
I was thinking about this the other day. For me, at least, the Monochrome Set is a band that doesn't get mentioned a lot with us that definitely influenced the record. We were also listening to a lot of that band Shoes — their first three records that is, not when they got signed to Elektra. The more bedroom-y kind of stuff that they do was influential.
I definitely think it's funny that we get compared to Pylon, because we don't really have anything in common with them other than that we are both from Georgia. I think it's kind of annoying when you see the whole journalist copy and paste thing.
Who came up with the name?
I suggested it. We had this other band name idea, Landline, and I was wearing my Landline shirt recently, and someone came up and said, "Oh Landlines is great," so I'm glad we didn't stick with that name.
We were just really tired of trying to come up with band names, and so I just suggested Omni. Omni was an old stadium in Atlanta. It was where the Hawks played in the '80s and '90s. It was a concert venue as well. A lot of classic rock bands played there.
How did you get linked up with Trouble in Mind?
We played with Dick Diver in Atlanta, and Bill [Roe, Trouble in Mind cofounder] was driving them around, and he started talking to Damon Hare [Atlanta promoter] about us. We kind of forgot about it for awhile, but when we were going to Chicago, we told Bill to come out, and he hit us up and came out to the show. We talked about our plans, and by the time we got back from tour, they were drawing up the contract for us to sign.
What's the story behind the song "Jungle Jenny"?
That one was written in the middle of the record. It was written somewhere in the middle of the writing process. I guess that song is a little more British than some of the other songs. I really wanted to write something that sounded like "Let's Spend the Night Together." That was kind of the influence there. The lyrics are just about how incestuous living in Atlanta is, and Frankie actually named that song.
Omni, NOTS, Tobotron, Sunday, August 14th at Murphy's. 9 p.m. $7.