Sensory Records Artist- Oddland Interview Up
ODDLAND - Absolute Zero Media interview
1. Tell us a bit about the mix of Opeth, Meshuggah, Nevermore and Dan Swano .. Ok this is what I hear but how did you come up with this Tech Melodic Prog Death metal ?
- Those are fine artists indeed! However, we don’t really have a fixed concept in mind for our style; we collectively listen to a pretty wide range of musical styles and artists, and probably the only guideline in writing our own music is to try and avoid sounding exactly like any other band - to find our own thing and not follow any obvious influences. But generally, the elements that we consider most important in our material are strong vocal melodies, and sufficiently complex layers of harmony and rhythm in the instrumentation to keep us (and hopefully the listeners) interested in the songs for a long time.
2. There was 4 yrs between debut and Origin why the gap and you went from massive label Century media to a total prog metal label in Sensory. I do agree Sensory is an amazing home for this sound.
- The delay was mainly because writing and producing songs takes a lot of time for us. We started writing new songs already in 2012, and the last ones were completed just before we started recording ‘Origin’ in fall 2015. It was a pretty arduous process; we went through a lot of iterations with some of the songs, since it’s very important for us that we all are happy with everything in the final versions. Regarding the transition to Sensory, at one point CM got rid of a lot of smaller bands in their roster, including us. We started looking at options for other companies to work with in publishing the next album, and Sensory was one of our prime candidates; luckily Ken Golden at Laser’s Edge/Sensory already knew about us and liked our material.
3. There must be something in Finnish waters as some the best experimental and avant metal music comes from your nation. Why do you think this? Amorphis, Insomnium, Children of Bodom, Dolorian, Thergothon, Skepticism, Beherit just to name a few
- Probably it has to do with the general popularity of metal in Finland. There are a lot of metal bands here, so to stand out from the crowd even locally you have to make an effort to do something unique. Also, the music education system in Finland is quite good and stylistically flexible, so there are lots of opportunities for kids to get high-quality training even in metal styles of playing; this probably has contributed to some of the more technical stuff coming from around here, for example CoB as you mentioned.
4. How does " the Treachery of senses " differ from " Origin"? and where do you see the future sound of band heading?
- ‘Origin’ is a bit heavier, darker, and moodier than ‘The Treachery of Senses’ - we were going for a more stark atmosphere on the new album, and we feel that this is reflected quite well in the compositions, the production, and the artwork. The new songs are a bit more intricate in structure than on ‘Treachery’, with less in-your-face instrumental tomfoolery, more things happening in the background, and more fluid transitions between song elements. As for the future sound of Oddland, we honestly haven’t got a clue! Probably the next album will be a bit less dark than ‘Origin’, since we’re not big fans of repeating ourselves, but who knows? Maybe we’ll go for a progressive black metal vibe next! ;-)
5. If you could make a proper video off of one track on " Origin " which would it be and how would you want the visuals?
- Right now we’re planning and starting production on a video for the track Skylines. The visuals will probably be somewhat in line with the album artwork, but it’s really a bit early to talk about specifics. Hopefully you’ll get to see the end product sooner rather than later!
6. What are the band’s thoughts on Social media and how it represents extreme underground music?
- We see social media as a positive thing. It’s a good way of reaching and getting feedback from people we could otherwise hardly reach. As for representation of underground music, in some sense what you get out of social media is what you put in - as long as you represent yourself and your products honestly, there’s a good chance of getting in touch with people who are genuinely into what you do. Of course, the downside is that there is a huge amount of content competing for people’s attention online, so it can be pretty hard to get noticed unless you’re promoted by some really big players.
7. What is the theme or story behind " Origin " as I can hear come complex themes here.
- The loose concept of the album was to initially gather some topics and ideas for the lyrics which relate to our lives somehow; to explore where we come from and who we are. Sakari then translated these concepts into lyrics for the songs. Joni for example gave a photograph of four generations of men including him as an inspiration for “his” song Esotericism, and the album closer Will is about a collective experience of troubled father-relationships. But ‘Origin’ is not a strict concept album, and not all of the songs touch a personal base; there are a couple of songs like Skylines and Faraway that address more general topics.
8. Will you be touring North America at all for the new album?
- We would love to tour over there, but currently it seems somewhat unrealistic because of the costs involved. Probably the only ways we might be able to play there in the next few years are if we manage to get some good festival gigs (Progpower USA would be perfect for us ;-), or join some bigger bands on tour. We’ll do what we can to make this happen!
9. I would love to know what are the members of Oddland currently listening to?
- Sakari is listening to Snarky Puppy, Joni has Black Crown Initiate’s latest album Selves We Cannot Forgive on endless repeat (plus a bit of Raised Fist), Ville is listening to Jon Hopkins, and Jussi’s dividing his time between Jane Doe by Convergence, Vulnicura by Björk, and Donny McCaslin’s new album.
10. If you could rework any song in the vision of Oddland which would it be and why?
- This is a hard question. We’ve been discussing this recently, as it might be fun to have a cover in our live set, but we’ve yet to reach an agreement on what we would play… Too often cover versions don’t make much sense - to remake a good song exactly as it was originally is kind of pointless, while making a lot of changes just for change’s sake is no good either. In some private events, we’ve played straight-up covers occasionally from bands like Primus, Toto, Alice in Chains, Karnivool, Anathema, etc., but we probably wouldn’t do that as Oddland. Hey, if your readers have some good cover suggestions, send them our way!
11. I getting vastly different thoughts on this but can an underground band make a living with music in 2016 or is it just a labor of love?
- We don’t see much of a chance for making a living with Oddland, so it’s definitely a labor of love for us. That’s also a blessing in a sense: if we don’t expect to ever make money with the music, we can do whatever we want with it. Or maybe we’re just doing something wrong. :-) Of course it would be nice at least to cover our expenses, but so far the music costs us a lot more than it makes, financially.
12. Do the members of Oddland have other recording project please let us know so my readers can check those out.
- No; we’re all 100 % Oddland so far!
13. Does Imagine of a band change the way people listen or interact to bands and artists.As two bands can sound similar in genre but look very different correct?
- Honestly, we don’t care very much about appearances regarding music artists. It’s not good if the only way of distinguishing yourself from other artists in a genre is your visual look; on the other hand, if a band in any given genre sounds good and innovative, it makes no difference how they appear. But probably this is not true for everyone; it’s understandable that if being part of a certain subculture is a big part of one’s identity, it can be important to represent that in external appearance and expect such representation also from artists.
14. What is the difference of Oddland Live verses in the studio?
- We try to recreate the songs as faithfully as we can live; it’s a bit of a juggling act sometimes, as there’s quite a lot going on in the music at times. But that’s probably also entertaining for the audience - every now and then we get comments from people after gigs that only after seeing us play the material live do they really understand what we’re going for with the songs. Of course, playing live can’t be just a technical exercise; ultimately the main thing for us is to have fun out there, and there are plenty of parts in the songs which allow us to mess around on stage.
15. Thank you for your time any closing thoughts here
- Thanks for your interest, hope to see you on the road some day! And hey, the very limited edition LP version of ‘Origin’ is out now - it’s a 45 RPM double, mastered specially for vinyl at Dugout Productions, and includes a full-size art booklet. Go get yours at http://oddland.bigcartel.com/