In Her Own Words

Sarah Jickling from The Oh Wells

Sarah Jickling, lead singer and pianist for and co-brainchild of The Oh Wells (and my new BFF), took time out of her busy schedule of creating brilliant songs and cupcakes, to answer a few questions for  You will finally learn the real reason she altered her appearance by changing her hair color.

In addition, you will also discover why she pursues music as a career, her take on the Canadian music scene and her lack of interest in hockey (I know, I was pretty shocked too).  Sarah also weighs in on the age old Ketchup vs. Catsup debate and lots of other fun tidbits of information.

So sit back and relax as you learn some fun stuff about Sarah Jickling, in her own words.

[mars] Besides world domination, what are the long term goals for you and The Oh Wells?

We are working on a little something called “The Oh Wells heartU”, which will be a series of videos, interviews, and an interactive webpage about bullying, body image, GLTB, mental health and individuality. I just really hated high school and want to help those poor souls who are still stuck there. Also, we will be touring across Canada in March and working on a full length album next summer!


[mars] Ideally, what impact would you like your music to have on listeners?   

Ideally, I would like to make my listeners feel like they are always having a good hair day. And that it’s okay that they ate the whole box of crackers.



[mars] Your biography states that your lack of a love-life gives you the inspiration to make the amazing music that your fans have become accustomed to.  Do you think the introduction of a love-life would provide you with more/better music or would it become less interesting/worse?

When I began writing music, my lack of a love-life inspired my music. However, a lot has happened since then. I have been in some terrible, amazing, awful relationships that can be discribed as “similar to an eminem music video”. I have written some of my favourite songs while in agony over my relationships, but that’s not to say that my single-ness isn’t also inspiring. I’m excited to see what happens when I am in a healthy relationship… maybe I’ll write something someone would want to dance to at their wedding? I’m not worried.


[mars] You recently had a contest to give away your new EP, among other goodies.  How would you describe the winners of the “Not That Girl From Transformers” contest?  Was there a common trait all the winners possessed? I.E. coolness, amazingness, etc?

Everyone who entered the contest was beyond cool, and also highly intelligent! Especially the winners! I mean, I picked them randomly from a hat. But I feel like I picked well.

[For all those who don’t know, was a lucky winner of the contest.  So, yup, we are beyond cool and highly intelligent.  You heard it here first, folks!]

[mars] Why are you pursuing music as a career?  What is it that draws you to music?  Are you a musician first and a performer second or vice versa?

This is hard to answer without being cheesy. For me, music is about reaching out to people. A song has the ability to make people laugh, make people cry, tell them a story, and let them know they are not alone. It’s completely therapeutic. There are songs I can’t listen to because they make me feel hopeless, and there are songs I have to listen to ten times a day just to keep smiling! I don’t know what else has the ability to do that. Maybe food. That’s why when I started hearing over and over that my songs were “relatable”, I realized I might be able to turn my songs into a career. I am only recently getting really excited about being a performer. I feel like I’m a writer first. Lyrics are where I always start.

[mars] Does musical ability run in your family?

I have a cousin who plays the trumpet and another cousin who is currently in school for musical theatre. But for the most part, my family is made up of teachers.



[mars] For your Green Couch Session, did they make you bring your own couch?  Is being on Green Couch Sessions more prestigious than Pink Couch Sessions?

The Green Couch Sessions did provide their own couch, thank goodness, and they also gave us pie! I guess Green Couch Sessions is the Canadian version of the Pink Couch Sessions, so I don’t know if that makes it more prestigious or not. I plan to make my way through all of the couches. I hear there is a yellow one too. I can’t wait!


[mars] Help me understand the appeal of Harry Potter, cuz I just don’t get it.

You are a twelve year old girl with acne and pants that are too short for you and there is this book about a magical land where a boy with broken glasses is the most popular kid in school and there is a potion that makes zits magically disappear. Done.



[mars] What is at the top of your Christmas Wishlist?

At the top of my “I really want this but it’s way too expensive” wishlist is a piano, because mine was stolen last month. The top of my regular Wishlist that I gave to my mom just says “Shampoo”.



[mars] Your piano was stolen?  Do tell.

It was an nice keyboard that my dad had given me for my birthday. It was in my car unfortunately… rookie mistake. They left a can of beer in its place. There were also cupcake ingredients in my car (yes, I know) and the thieves stole the sugar. They left the flour and the sprinkles.

[mars] Sounds like the tell-tale signs of the drunken sugar-piano bandits to me…


[mars] Tell us a little about the new EP (Not That Girl From Transformers).  I understand it is a mix of old and new songs?

Our last EP had two songs written by an ex-member. We are not allowed to sell her songs anymore, so we recorded two more of my songs with the money we were given in the PEAK Performance Project and printed out all new EP’s. It was something we had to do, and  I think it worked fairly well! The new songs are “Dance with you” and “Out of Love”, and I am pretty pleased with how they sound, considering how fast we had to record them.


[mars] Am I allowed to ask about the shuffling of the lineup?

Ahh, yes. Well, I started this band with my best friend when we were in high school, and we each wrote songs for the Oh Wells. As we got a bit older (we graduated two years ago), we grew apart and our songwriting began to veer off in different directions. She was getting engaged and listening to Patsy Cline. I was having dramatic breakups and listening to “Irreplaceble” by Beyonce. We had totally different visions of what we wanted to do with our lives. Finally, all four members decided they didn’t really feel like trying to take over the world anymore, so they let me keep the band name and they went their separate ways. Fortunately, I managed to find four slightly awkward people with terrible love lives to replace the old members and things are awesome.

[mars] What would you be doing if, for whatever reason, music wasn’t an option for you?

I would be sitting in a university classroom wondering what to do with my life while secretly planning on dropping out and writing a novel.



[mars] Do you have a process that you go through to make up songs?

I come up with one line first, and then sit down at the piano and sing it over and over again until it has a melody. It’s very embarrassing to watch. Once I have that melody, the rest just spills out of me. I’m always very confused as to how it all happened once I’m finished.



[mars] So what’s the deal with the new website?

Oh my. Well, there are lawyers involved with this so I better be careful about what I say, but I can say that The Oh Wells currently do not have control of Once all of this is sorted out, we will be launching a new site with amazing features, cool pictures and an #ohwell hall of fame where fans can post their most embarrassing moments! It should be up in the next month.


[mars] What is the music scene like in Canada?

We don’t have a lot of all ages venues, which I think is a problem. However, there are a million cool musicians up here, and for those of us who are legal, there’s always a great show to watch.



[mars] You are from Canada.  As I understand it, it is against the law to not like hockey.  So, who’s your favorite hockey team?

I don’t like hockey. Once, I played a show for a bunch of hockey fans right before a play-off game and I accidentally wore the colours of the opposing team… I still have nightmares.



 [mars] Why did you go blonde?  Was the law after you because you don’t like hockey and you needed to change your appearance?

It was a lame “I’m super sad so I’m going to try bleaching my hair how could anything go wrong” kind of thing. It was orange for the first month.



[mars] When I say “music” and “America”, what comes to mind?

“Illegal”, because of that time I was turned around at the border and they took my finger prints. But I also think “promise land”, because indie darlings like Regina Spektor and Zooey Deschanel do really well over there.



[mars]  So, you really are running from the law.  Is Sarah even your real name?

Sarah is not a very creative pseudonym… I was definitely born with it.



[mars] Why do you think Regina Spektor and Zooey Deshanel do so well in the U.S.?

Regina Spektor and Zooey Deschanel get a lot more radio play in the US than they do in Canada. Probably due to the fact that there are more Adult Alternative stations down there.



[mars] What advice would you give to new or forming bands?

Always ask “Why should they care” when you are starting something new. Make sure what you are doing stands out. Ask for help.



[mars] Ketchup or catsup? Dogs or cats? Cupcakes or Harry Potter?

Ketchup, cats, and NEVER.

[If you’re keeping score at home, that’s 2 ketchups and 1 catsup]


[mars] I heard a rumor that The Oh Wells were planning on making a song and dedicating it to MarsBands and then making it available as a free download on the MarsBands website and the soon to be new Oh Wells website.  Any truth to that rumor? 

Ummm… maybe??



[There it is fans!  The possibility of an ultra-rare Oh Wells song!  Make this happen!!! Flood The Oh Wells’ Twitter and Facebook Wall with “We want MarsBands Music!”.]

[mars] Who is your favorite new website that shares a name with the 4th planet in our solar-system and rhymes with “BarsHands”?

Well, that’s a close one. I’d have to say



[mars] Are we total BFFs now?

Yes!  We are!



[Famous BFF Count: 3]

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Other Songs to Check Out

  • Is It Too Late To Apologize
  • Closure
  • Secret Society
  • I Hate The Sun
  • Retail Therapy
  • Army Milan

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