Independent music has quite a lot to offer in terms of talent. Conor Oberst is one such powerhouse of talent which emerged out of the Indie world, and dazzled music lovers through his work. Conor made his presence felt in America’s music circles at the tender age of 12 through his singing and song writing skills, and since then there has been no looking back for this man from Nebraska. He recorded his voice on cassette and came up with a self-released album ‘Water’ on cassette tape at the age of 13. Oberst co-founded the music label ‘Saddle Creek’ along with his brother. While most musicians would stick to one band or maybe even two, Oberst has founded around 8 bands in his career so far. Of all the bands, ‘Bright Eyes’ has been the most acclaimed, and considered to be Oberst’s best association till date. Oberst was influenced at a very early age by bands such as ‘The Cure’, ‘R.E.M’, and ‘The Smiths’. He was also a big fan of legendary singers like Neil Young and Leonard Cohen. Many of Conor’s works have topped the Billboard charts frequently.
Childhood & Early Life
Conor Oberst was born to Nancy Oberst and Mathew Ryan Oberst Sr. in 1980. He grew up at Omaha, Nebraska. Conor’s mother worked as an Elementary Education Director for Omaha public schools, whereas his father was an information manager at ‘Mutual of Omaha’.
After studying at St. Leo School in Omaha, Nebraska, Oberst moved to Creighton Preparatory School. During his time at school, Oberst was a part of many musical troupes and choir. Oberst started learning to play the guitar at the tender age of 10.
Oberst went to the University of Nebraska to complete his further education. However, he discontinued studies after a brief period since he was very keen on pursuing music as a career.
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In 1992, when Oberst was 12 years old, he was invited by American rock musician Ted Stevens and Bill Hoover to perform on stage. Oberst also wrote many songs during this period which earned him the reputation of being an ‘artist’ at a really young age.
In 1993, Oberst released his debut album titled ‘Water’, which was funded by his brother. The album was released by the banner ‘Lumberjack’. Oberst and his brothers were the owners of this label.
After composing singles, Oberst formed a band called ‘The Faint’, in 1994, along with five other members. The band was originally named ‘Norman Bailer’. The group composed a total of nine songs together before they split.
In 1995, Oberst co-founded the band ‘Commander Venus’. The band was known for composing two albums ‘Do You Feel at Home?’ and ‘The Uneventful Vacation’. Both these albums were released under Oberst’s own label ‘Saddle Creek’ which was earlier known as ‘Lumberjack’.
The same year, Oberst also co-founded another famous band called the ‘Bright Eyes’. This band brought Oberst the much needed acclaim and success. Bright Eyes exists till date, and has been continually wooing music lovers.
1996 was yet another significant year in the life of Conor Oberst. This year saw the rise and fall of a band which he co-founded called ‘The Magnetas’. Oberst also started playing the drums for a band called ‘Park Ave.’ the same year.
In 2001, Conor Oberst founded a band named ‘Desparecidos’. Within a span of one year the band split. However, later in 2012, the band reunited and has released numerous songs such as ‘MariKKKopa’, ‘Backsell’, ‘Anonymous’ and ‘The Left is Right’.
In 2007, Conor became a part of a band, which comprised of four other members, namely Jason Boesel, Nik Freitas, Taylor Hollingsworth, Nate Walcott, and Macey Taylor. The band continues to be active till date.
In 2009, Conor was one of the four members of the band ‘Monsters of Folk’. This band was famous for an unusual reason. The members of the band used to exchange instruments, even the vocalists used to switch quite often.
The reason why Conor Oberst is well known in the world music scene is because of the band ‘Bright Eyes’, which is his own brainchild. Bright Eyes was initially thought of as a one-off project, but later it went on to become a band which composed several albums such as ‘Letting off The Happiness’, ‘Every Day and Every Night’, and ‘Fevers and Mirrors’.
’Conor Oberst and The Mystic Valley Band’ was one of the greatest things that happened to Oberst’s career. Along with this band, Oberst performed at various music festivals and concerts such as the Reading and Leeds festivals held in 2008. The same year the band also performed at the ‘Electric Picnic’ at Ireland.
Awards & Achievements
The self-titled solo album of the band ‘Monsters of Folk’, which was founded by Conor Oberst, released in 2009. The album reached the 15th position on the ‘Billboard Top 200’ music chart of that year.
Conor Oberst received the ‘Peacemaker of the Year’ Award from the ‘Nebraskans for Peace’ association in 2010 for his outstanding contribution towards American music.
Personal Life & Legacy
Conor Oberst has two siblings, Justin H Oberst and Mathew Ryan Oberst Jr. While Justin works as a partner of a law firm, Mathew is a teacher who also pursues music as a hobby.
Oberst got married to Corina Figueroa Escamilla in 2010. In the past it was rumoured that Oberst was romantically involved with actress Winona Ryder and singer Maria Taylor.
It’s said that Oberst is more supportive of the Democrats, since he has lashed out against George Bush’s style of administration in few of his songs. Oberst also made the allegations stronger when he performed in support of Barack Obama, at the latter’s election campaign rally in 2008.
It’s alleged that Conor Oberst had sexually assaulted a woman by name Joanie Faircloth. However, Conor has rubbished the allegations and even filed a lawsuit against the woman.