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Orangewood Interviews: No Fun Haus

Orangewood Interviews: No Fun Haus

Graphic by Hannah Travis

If you’re on the guitar side of the YouTube algorithm, you’ve probably already entered the No Fun Haus. From his nifty guitar lessons, his explorations of the sounds that define iconic bands, to his original music, No Fun Haus is a one-stop-shop for all things indie. 


We’ve teamed up with No Fun Haus (NFH) to bring you a little bit of that magic for the latest Orangewood Single. His track is a cover of “Yellow” by Coldplay — an instant classic reimagined to answer the question: what if this song was released by an indie pop star in 2022? We sat down with the man himself to ask a few questions to get some insight into his creative process.

 

 

  • Congrats on the release of your new single, “Yellow”! Let’s talk about the track. What made you choose to cover this Coldplay classic?
  • It’s exciting — I haven't released music in a while. I wanted to go with something timeless. When I write music, I try not to box myself into a time period. I think that track resonates with a lot of people, no matter what stage of life you're in or how old you are.

  • What are your thoughts on Coldplay as a whole? Would you consider yourself a big fan?
  • I wouldn't necessarily consider myself a Coldplay fan, but that song in particular stands out. I like their older stuff, because that's what I listened to when I was going through a lot of changes in life — middle school and early high school, you know? I haven’t kept up with Coldplay much lately, but “Yellow” was an easy choice.

  • Be honest. Have you ever cried to “Fix You”? I have.
  • I don't know if I've shed tears, but I've definitely felt some emotions to it. Absolutely.

 

  • You utilized your Mason Nylon Cedar Live perfectly on this track. What made you pick up that guitar for this cover?
  • Lately, I’ve been really into the idea of stripping down, or “acoustifying” songs, if you will. That guitar has such a beautiful tone completely by itself. I wanted to let that shine through and really showcase the songwriting on “Yellow,” rather than any production frills. Normally, I’m heavy in production, but experimenting with just the bare bones elements of a song was really nice. The Orangewood really allowed me to explore that in a sweet sounding way.
Lately, I’ve been really into the idea of stripping down, or 'acoustifying' songs, if you will.
  • You’re no stranger to covers, you’ve posted quite a few on your YouTube channel. How do you decide which tracks to make your own versions of?

 

  • It's really simple, actually. It just comes down to what songs are my favorite at the moment. That always happens to be the songs that I know the lyrics well enough to actually be able to perform a cover… because I'm not too good at memorizing those. So, I’d say it's pretty much just my tastes at that moment.

I'm definitely a fan of doing it your own style, but not trying to reinvent the wheel. I like to pay respect to the original songwriting.
  • On your channel, you’ve shown off your ability to perfectly recreate the sound of other famous indie artists, but on this track, you’ve really demonstrated your own style. How would you describe your own style of music?
  • It's always evolving. I think every artist can relate to listening to a track of theirs from a while ago and cringing because you've progressed so much since then. To be honest, I don't think I've found my style yet and, in a way, I hope that I never do. I always like to be evolving and progressing. That being said, lately, I've had a lot of fun avoiding synthetic elements in my music. I’ve been recording what I can find in my bedroom and using more natural sounds.

  • It’s obvious that production is a strength of yours. What was your journey like to learn those skills?
  • My first introduction to making my own music was with a guitar when I was really young, but I wasn't very consistent with it. When I started producing, I mostly stuck to beats around early high school. That's how I first got into it. I uploaded them on SoundCloud and all that. Just like with the rest of my music, it just kind of shifted with my tastes. As I started to listen to more guitar based stuff, that's what I wanted to produce naturally, just because those were the artists that I looked up to.

  • How to Mac Demarco in One Minute” is a YouTube hit of yours. If you had to make a “How to ‘No Fun Haus’ in One Minute” video, what would the steps of that process be?

 

 

  • People have commented asking for it before, but I don't know if I'm up for it yet. If I were to make a video like that, it would have to branch away from the typical format about production. Instead, it’d be more of an introspective self-portrait kind of thing. Maybe I’d get a little more experimental with it and show who I am.

  • Speaking of – where did the ‘No Fun Haus’ alias come from?
  • When I was in college, when I first started the project, I lived in a house with six of my best friends. I don't know how the house got its name, but it was called the “No Fun Haus” even before we moved in. I had this EP of songs — my first EP — and I was going around to my friends like, “You guys, what do I name this project? Like, I have no idea.” I just couldn't figure it out for the longest time. Eventually, I just settled on No Fun Haus because it's the only thing that didn’t feel like I was forcing something.

  • Which guitarists inspired you to start playing?
  • It's always been the people that are fully DIY, because that's my mentality with music, too. It started with Kevin Parker and Mac DeMarco at first. Lately, I've been really inspired by artists like Field Medic and Hether. I'm just obsessed with that sound; I find it so authentic.

  • Who are some other guitarists that inspire you to keep playing?
  • There's this guy that I found on Tik Tok. He's not too big. His name's Aubrey Key. He's got this Alex G “emo cowboy” vibe going on. That style of guitar has really inspired me lately; a fusion of bedroom DIY with country music. Especially in the local scene here in Burlington, that style seems to be very prevalent, and it's definitely influenced a lot of my writing lately.

  • What do you think is the best cover song of all time (other than your cover of “Yellow” of course) – and why?
  • That's another good one. Let's see. Do you mind if I pull up my Spotify right now?

  • Of course not! Pull up your Spotify. I think it’s interesting to hear whether people prefer covers that stick to the original spirit of the song, or flip the entire thing on its head.
  • Absolutely. I think there's merit to each interpretation, but I'm definitely a fan of doing it your own style, but not trying to reinvent the wheel. I like to pay respect to the original songwriting.
  • I've always liked the Julia Jacklin cover of “Someday.” That's been a favorite for a while. It's a classic, I think at this point. Oh, and the Cigarettes After Sex cover of “Neon Moon.” I had never heard the song before; I heard the cover first. At first, I didn’t believe it was a cover because it sounded so natural. I feel like that's the goal.

  • What’s next for No Fun Haus?

 

 

  • After releasing my album last fall, I definitely stepped away from production for a while. Lately, I've been so interested in writing, especially for a band; that's something that I've always wanted to do, but I've never quite had the resources or time. I just relocated to Burlington here; I've met some really nice people, and I’m excited to be writing with a group for the first time. Producing music by myself is all I’ve ever known, so I can’t wait to release some collaborative music.

 

Hear No Fun Haus’ take on Coldplay’s “Yellow” alongside some of Orangewood’s favorite acoustic covers down below:

 

 

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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