Block Party Artist Spotlight: An Interview with ON AN ON

Formed in 2012, ON AN ON is an American experimental-pop band out of Minneapolis, made up of long-time friends and collaborators, Nate Eiesland (vocals, guitar), Ryne Estwing (bass, vocals) and Alissa Ricci (keys, vocals). On July 24, 2015 they released their sophomore album And The Wave Has Two Sides. Be sure to catch ON AN ON at Capitol Hill Block Party this Saturday at the Vera Stage at 7:15pm!  


Seattleite: How was playing at Bumbershoot last September? 

ON AN ON (Ryne Estwing): It was great. We played mid-day and then got to relax and saw Flying Lotus and The Weeknd.

Have you played at Capitol Hill Block Party? What can we expect from your performance this weekend? 

We have not, but we are excited to be a part of a great lineup including Chvrches and STRFKR. It’s festival style so we only have so much time to play for our set, but we have been experimenting on this tour with some old and newer material so anything could happen.

How did you guys decide on the name, “On An On”? (I love it!)

It’s phonetic when you say the phrase “on and on”. It’s also symmetrical.

How did the three of you meet?

Nate and Liss grew up together in Brainerd, MN. After high school, Nate was living with a friend of mine from my hometown in Rockford, IL while I was at college in Chicago so we eventually met and started making music. On a drive up to Nate’s hometown of Brainerd, MN for some scheduled recording time I picked up Liss from UW in Madison and the rest was history.

Tell me about your two greatest singles, “Drifting” and “It’s Not Over”. What was the inspiration behind each of these songs? Listen to Drifting and It’s Not Over.

Drifting is about that moment after you lose somebody or a relationship shifts and you haven’t recalibrated yet. It’s the time before a new normal has been established. It’s also about falling asleep behind the wheel.

It’s Not Over is about navigating through the different phases of long-term relationships.

I love the band’s indie, slightly-electronic pop sound. Is this what you guys are going for? How would you define your sound? 

Probably one of the hardest things to on the spot—describing your own sound. We all share common ground with bands like Atlas Sound, Portishead, Yo La Tengo, etc. It’s definitely dreamy and shoegazy, but there are still some strong elements of pop interwoven into the songs.

What is the reason you guys are going on hiatus? When can (will we?) we expect you back? 

I think everyone in the band wants to re-focus and give more attention to other music and non-music projects for a while. There’s no hard date in site of when we would come back, but it could be sooner than later.

I’d love to get to know you guys a bit better. What are some of your favorite bands / what is playing on your music player (iPhone/iPod)?

Speaking for myself here and not the rest of the band I have been listening to:

Jamie XX – In Colour

Blood Orange – Freetown Sound

Damien Jurado – Visions Of Us On The Land

Shit Robot – What Follows

Underworld – Barbara Barbara, we face a shining future

Public Enemy – Fear Of A Black Planet

What is your favorite food?

We all seem to resonate with Vietnamese Food but also will go out of our way to find good ramen shops.


Thank you for taking the time to chat with us, Ryne. We look forward to hearing ON AN ON play at Block Party this weekend!