Hi guys, thanks for taking time out to talk to me about your new EP, The Slender Threads of Fortune. How did you guys get together?
Ryan: I was in the process of selling all of my musical equipment when I reconnected with Dan through a mutual friend. Weve known each other since we were 12, and were always fans of each others work, so when I told him I was about to pack it in, he dropped me the not so fast line. He already had James on tap, and after our original drummer left, we lucked out and were able to land Mike who was also involved with another death metal project. After we parted ways with our rhythm guitarist this summer, Jesse Benker was the first person on our wish list. Jesse was the vocalist/lead guitarist of Herod, a monster metal act in the area, so asking him was a no-brainer. And thats how we got to where we are today.
I hear some old school European influences in your music. What bands have influenced you to start a musical career?
Were definitely influenced by a lot of European bands. I think you can hear some old school Maiden in a lot of the riffs, as well as a lot Swedish melodic death metal like In Flames, At The Gates, Soilwork, and Scar Symmetry. All of Whitney Houstons songs off The Bodyguard Soundtrack were also extremely influential.
Has the New York hardcore scene influenced you in any way?
We havent really been influenced by the New York hardcore scene, but were really into Broadway musicals, and Broadway is located in New York, so does that count? Also, Michael Crawford was the bomb as the Phantom of the Opera.
How long did the writing process take for The Slender Threads of Fortune?
Dan had a lot of the riffs for a while, but Id say it took around 6-7 months before we finally had all of the songs just the way we wanted them.
Is it difficult to place the guttural vocals into the songs, or are they used when the feel right? I think that most bands these days tend to get the balance wrong with the dual vocals, what are your thoughts on this?
It hasnt been too difficult at all. With the exception of one or two parts, the screams are more of an accent, and James has a really great feel for when to inject them when the song calls for it. Sometimes, theres an urge to fit in screams just for the sake of it, but after working with our sound engineer (Nick Borgosz at World of Noise) and just playing around with some different things, weve developed a better sense of knowing when to not overdo it on the screaming vocals.
There is a live feeling to the recording, was this intended?
I don’t think we really wanted it to sound overproduced. We didnt intend for a live sound, but it just kind of worked out that way. Take the drums, for example. Mike went all natural with probably only 1-2 edits. We just wanted it to sound like we actually played and recorded it, and I think that comes through.
Which genre do you feel fits best for Orius?
Pretty much just metal. Theres an added element of pop vocals, but all in all, the music has its roots in traditional melodic metal.
Are you planning on touring soon to promote the EP?
Were planning a tour of the Midwest and Northeast this coming summer.
What are your thoughts on the future of Metal in general? With so many icons either retiring or sadly passing away, do you think that the bands of the future will have the same iconic status as say Motörhead or Black Sabbath?
Its tough because theres a lot of talent out there and its easier to market yourselves; however, with that ease comes a bit of market saturation. With so much talent in the scene, and really, just so many bands in general, its becoming harder and harder to make a name and distance yourself from the pack.
Also, I think part of the allure of those iconic bands was the mystery that surrounded them. Sure, they had great music, but you didnt really have the access to those bands that you have now with social media, and I think a bit of the mystique has kind of disappeared. I mean, its great being more connected to people who support you, but you definitely lose that aura that made those bands seem almost otherworldly.
So while I think its possible to gain that kind of a status, I do think the accessibility factor plays a big role in keeping bands from becoming icons like the ones of yesteryear.
What are your future plans? Does Orius like to plan ahead or take things as they come?
A little of both. Although we always have our eye on our next moves and carefully plan out our music and shows, weve also been really good at living in the moment, taking things as they come, and adjusting accordingly. Weve all been in bands for a long time, and that experience has been invaluable in helping us make decisions with this project.