What are two things that everybody loves? Getting drunk at weddings and listening to 80s music (not always together though), of course! So when I was given the opportunity to talk to Brad Oberhofer about his Ultimate Wedding Mixtape for the Jeffrey Blitz-directed movie Table 19, I pounced immediately. Not only did he create the entire soundtrack which is comprised of 80s covers ranging from Cyndi Lauper to The Go Go's, but he also acted in the movie as the wedding singer alongside Anna Kendrick. We talked about how the soundtrack came to fruition, what it was like being involved in more than one aspect of the film, and of course, it was totally appropriate to squeeze some silly marriage questions in there. Table 19 and Oberhofer's Ultimate Wedding Mixtape are out now.
KIRSTEN SPRUCH: I got really excited when I saw that you recorded a lot of the soundtrack in Greenpoint, which is where I live.
BRAD OBERHOFER: That's awesome. I lived in Greenpoint for a really long time too.
KS: What do you think of the whole Brooklyn music scene?
BO: When I first moved to New York, I started going to shows at Death by Audio, Market Hotel, Glass Land, and Shea Stadium a bit early on. And it really opened up my eyes and got me excited about music. You know, in a thoughtful, envelope pushing, creative way. And I feel like when I first moved to New York that the DIY community acted as inspiration for a lot of musicians to work hard and make incredible music. I feel like a lot of that DIY community still exists because it always will to a degree, but it is not as prominent as it was maybe eight years ago. I think it will always come back and go up and down like waves.
KS: So what made you create a soundtrack comprised of 80s covers?
BO: Well the movie takes place at a wedding. I think it lends itself to the 80s, the cheese ball aesthetic. The director [Jeffrey Blitz] and music supervisor [Andrea von Foerster] really wanted to take a long list of 80s covers that he liked from which I would work at a little bit.
KS: Who are some of your favorite 80s artists?
BO: I love The Cure. Always have... We didn't cover any of their songs though. I am also a huge Cyndi Lauper fan. We got to cover of few of her songs. I'm a huge Flock of Seagulls fan, it was awesome to cover one of their songs.
KS: Did you watch the movie before creating the soundtrack?
BO: No, I didn't. I actually created half of the soundtrack before even acting in it.
KS: Right, and since you also acted in the movie, what was it liked being involved in all of the different aspects of it?
BO: It was awesome! It was my first time working on a movie like this and it was my first time acting in anything. It was awesome.
KS: Did you meet Anna Kendrick?
BO: Yeah I did. We shared a green room together. We were all sitting down, idling about for several hours each day we were shooting so I got to hang out with everyone. It was awesome.
KS: Is she really as nice as she seems?
BO: Yes! She's extremely nice. I think that the characters she plays is really just herself.
KS: Would you do more soundtrack work in the future?
BO: Definitely. I pretty much would do soundtrack work with any opportunity I get. If the movie is good.
KS: If you could pick any song in the entire world, what would be the best song to walk down the aisle to?
BO: That's a tricky thing because there are so many different routes you can take. I think "Amish Paradise" by Weird Al would be kind of a cool one.
KS: What's the best song to have your first dance to?
BO: I keep wanting to pick Weird Al songs but at a wedding I really don't know. My first slow dance ever was to "Fallin" to Alicia Keys.
BO: That's a pretty good one. Or "Differences" by Ginuwine. Or "Crossroads" by Bone Thug.
KS: If you could pick anyone in the entire world be your best man, who would it be?
If it weren't my best friend or brother? Kind of hard...
KS: Weird Al?
BO: [Laughs] Yeah, Weird Al. Maybe I would say Weird Al, Mark Mothersbaugh, Jim Carrey. Can he be alive or dead? Definitely Prince... or Rick James. Yeah I'm going to go with Weird Al, Prince, Rick and James. Those are my top three. Oh, or David Bowie or Lou Reed.
KS: And you have two of your own solo albums out in addition to the soundtrack, are you working on another one right now?
BO: Yeah, I am. I've been working on a new record for a while and I'm kind of taking my time with it. I've been experimenting with a lot of different sounds. I've recorded two songs with Jonathan Rado from Foxygen. I have just been recording everyday - writing new music.
The movie Table 19 and Oberhofer's Ultimate Wedding Mixtape are both out now.