Getting “Honest” With the Waiting Guitarist, Todd “Oats” Olsen,

It brings us great pleasure to offer you another BackSpinRadio guest post! This week it’s axe man for the Waiting, Todd Olsen.  Some may not know this, but back in the mid 90’s the Waiting released breakout album Blue Belly Sky on their own imprint, Anastasia records. They also helped launch a another up and coming band Villanelle by giving them a slot on Anastasia. Villanelle later became Smalltown Poets.

Having spent time in the radio studio and concert venue with these guys, I can easily think of one word that would describe them, authentic. Which isn’t surprising since Todd’s post is about being “honest”.

Around BSR we like to say the best music never dies and as far as I can tell, the Waitings vitals are looking great! ( I left Todd’s post as he wrote it in all lower case letters. I thought it might have been some “artsy fartsy” thing so I didn’t want to mess it up ) 

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as a founding member of a fairly successful chr band- the waiting- Ive gained alot of experience in all aspects of the biz over the years. as an independent producer i now have the opportunity to work with alot of up and coming bands and artists (our modern sonnet, dede swint, judah robertson, benjamin cole, kyra, david iduate etc). whenever im asked what the key to success in music is i always point to one thing- honesty.

honesty is the most important thing. as a writer u have to be honest in ur lyrics- if not they wont resonate. as a performer u have to honestly care about the audience or they will sniff u out. as a producer or engineer u have to be honest with ur clients (tactful but honest) or u will lose their respect. even in the business aspects its imperative to be honest bc the music biz is not a machine (although it may feel like it) its people and relationships people respect honesty. even in tough biz decisions its better in the long run to be honest.

 theres almost always a way to be honest and loyal and still do what needs to be done. whats the old song? make new friends but keep the old- one is silver and the other gold. sage advice. in musical decisions its best to be true to yourself and your roots even at the expense of short-term gains its the difference between a one hit wonder and a career.

in the career of the waiting we learned these lessons the hard way- we (i) made decisions in impatience for gains that cost us a significant portion of our core initial audience. i didn’t think of it as dishonest at the time, but it was and it would’ve easily been avoided perhaps even if no decision was different but the narrative was more straightforward. fortunately we were given the benefit of the doubt by many and we made it through. so yeah honesty key to the music biz.

ps- of course talking about music is like dancing about architecture…

Todd ‘oats’ Olsen

Many thanks to Todd for guest posting! Be on the look out for guest posts from Miss Angie, Marc Gersmhl (Whiteheart), John Lawry (Petra), and Tim Tabor (Prayer Chain). Don’t forget to like us on Fb: theBackSpinRadio and follow us on Twitter:BackSpinBill


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