Legendary Organic Trip-Hop Ensemble OTO Reunites Tonight in Downtown Phoenix
An ultra-hyphenated sub-genre act like OTO was par for the course for the unusual career of the affably quirky Tokyo-born vocalist, who eagerly describes herself as being "from Mars." Classically trained on the piano from age 3, she regularly performed as a child singer on the NHK TV variety program Uta No Tomodachi before starring on a number of Japanese music-related television shows in her 20s. Over the years, she's also released more than a dozen solo albums via her Mango + Sweet Rice record label and previously collaborated with Spirit Cave's Ryan Breen before his days in Back Ted N-Ted.
"Sometime if the music doesn't make me trip, or it doesn't have element of noise, sometimes I don't get turned on," she says.
During her days in OTO, Coppé tells Up on the Sun that she would never put an overwhelming amount of thought when creating her vocals and instead would just come from gut instinct.
"They give me brilliant beats and made me sound good and I just started singing. I don't have an ability to think [when singing] I just do it. I am a junkie, can't live without making music." she says. "This is not going to sound pretty, but if you can't go poo, you feel really bad. If I'm not recording, if I'm not making new tracks, that's how I feel."
After a beat, Huerta asks, "Did you just compare your recording process to poop?"
Coppé considers this for a moment before answering, "Yeah."
After things gelled for OTO, they started playing gigs, like their crazy debut at Cowtown out in the West Valley.
"It was nutty. We dressed up as burglars with stocking on our heads I ate a bunch of ecstasy before that show," Huerta says. "It was a really terrible idea because it turned out that I couldn't feel my hands and had to use my hands in a very articulated way in order to make music and I was just slapping. Coppé kicked over a studio monitor and fell off stage."
Gigs at such now-defunct nightlife havens as Sanctuary in Scottsdale, The Emerald Lounge, and Bash on Ash followed. Then their was their S.R.O. show at Nita's Hideaway in Tempe, which was filled to absolute capacity, featured hundreds of inflated condoms as decoration, and boasted Z-Trip spinning nothing by classic rock 45's as an opener.