March 30th see's Ohhms release their debut album 'The Fool' through Holy Roar Records and we felt it would be a pefect opportunity to catch up with the bands to talk about the new records as well as whole heap of other stuff! Be sure to check out our review of 'The Fool' right HERE
Dont forget you can pre-order your copy of 'The Fool' right here!
Therevivalmusic.co.uk: What inspires you as a band when writing music?
PAUL WALLER: Lyrically I am a very observation based writer, I’ve only ever written one song about personal feelings, that happens to be our very longest song and half of the lyrics are maybe 15 years old on that. Words that I wrote for an old band when I was a teen that never sat well for me, so I altered them a bit and before I knew it we had ‘The Hierophant’ completed.
Apart from that most of our songs are more like what you would find from a hardcore band, they are very much skewed towards animal and human rights. These are the things that most inspire me to write.
Therevivalmusic.co.uk: Who are some of the band's favourite musical artists and why?
PW: The only bands that all of us agree on that are amazing are The Locust who were a futuristic power violence band from San Diego and Nirvana who we spent our youths idolizing, even though none of us knew each other, those two bands were our common ground. For me personally I listen to so much music each day it’s mental. I’m also a music journalist so I get new music on a daily basis to devour. Right now I’m digging the new Bardo Pond and Horisont albums. Incredible records both of ‘em.
Therevivalmusic.co.uk:What do you think of the sludge/post-metal scene at the moment?
PW: I’m still pretty keen to be honest, but the sheer glut of bands makes it hard work for the better ones to shine through, saying that, they always will eventually. I keep up to date with almost everything in the metal scene; I know what’s coming out and when the street date hits. But I don’t listen to it all, how could I? There is so much going on, for example, on the day our album, ‘The Fool’ comes out, so does 60 other albums all under the metal umbrella, about 10 stoner/sludgy type records amongst them. I have no idea how I could keep up if I tried.
Therevivalmusic.co.uk: What was the best gig you've played so far as a band?
PW: I can only speak for myself and I think it would have to be Temples 2015 simply because of the feedback on the day and the offers that came in after it, things went mental. Plus I had to overcome this throat infection which took hold the a couple days prior to the show I could hardly speak a word, let alone sing. Thankfully Dylan Carlson from Earth and his wife were on hand to help me out with whisky and honey, I managed to get half hour out of my voice box. I was so relieved you wouldn’t believe it. When the first words came out of me it was like magic. I couldn’t believe it.
Or maybe a much smaller gig, again in Bristol but this time at The Stag & Hounds a month ago. It was the first headline show we had sold out. We have sold out a couple of joint headline ones when we toured with Slabdragger a while back but there was a truly great feel good atmosphere within the crowd, they were just wishing us to kill it, you could sense the buzz. That was really cool.
Therevivalmusic.co.uk: Where did the concept for “The Fool” come from?
PW: The tarot card idea was born in very late 2014; I was obsessed with the artwork from Pamela Coleman Smith on the Arthur Edmond Waite decks, it’s just stunning, and then I read a few books on the subject. I found the whole thing fascinating so I asked Nico at Black Sails Design if he could design us some bespoke cards for a tie in with our debut album. Because money is always tight we commissioned him for 1 card a month and wrote the songs over the course of that 2 year period. The lyrical themes go hand in with the artwork and packaging on the album. A lot of work went into it, so much work but it came out great, I’m really proud.
Therevivalmusic.co.uk:You've only been around since 2014 yet already have three albums under your belts – do you think you can maintain this level of creativity?
PW: Well I like to think we have put out 2 Eps and ‘The Fool’ is our debut album. But some people don’t see it that way and you know what, that’s fine, I couldn’t give a shit. ‘Reign in Blood’ was like, 28 minutes long right? Both of our EPs are around the 32 minute mark so I get it but it just doesn’t sit right with me to call them full length albums. But yeah, we can keep it going and we want to at least for the foreseeable future. We already have the structure of a mental 15 minute opus of a song together and also a shorter Fugazi/Jesus Lizard style thing we are working on. It’s always exciting in the practice room.
Therevivalmusic.co.uk: What's your songwriting process like? Collaborative or individual?
PW: Like most bands it tends to be a bit of both, one person normally comes in with an idea and everyone else works on it until we are all happy with it. We do bin a lot more than we keep though, that’s for sure.
Therevivalmusic.co.uk: Do you feel that you have defined your style as a band, or do you think your music will evolve over time?
PW: I couldn’t really say. As soon as you hear my voice you know it’s OHHMS and also Chainy has a very distinctive bass playing style that is almost jazz fusion rather than metal based. But all the music we play is never forced, it’s always natural, we don’t overthink and analyze things to death and you would never say that ‘The Lovers’ for instance is the same as ‘The World’. There is enough of us in each song that keeps it very OHHMS but we try not to repeat ourselves, we aint AC/DC.
Therevivalmusic.co.uk:If OHHMS created what you feel was the best album you could possibly do, would you continue writing music, or bow out while on top?
PW: That’s a good question. And the answer is impossible to gage, I mean is it possible when you are an equal group of five people to all agree on everything? I don’t think so. There is always a bit of compromise. That is also what makes it a bit special and unique. But I tell you one thing; I would never do it for money and have the OHHMS logo on it, that’s for sure.
Therevivalmusic.co.uk: Do you feel that the Internet has made it easier or more difficult to succeed as a band?
PW: In general it’s about the same I reckon; it’s just that the parameters of how a band gauges success, that has changed. I love that instant communication with people that like our music that the internet has granted me. But at the same time to create some mystique about a band, that’s completely different. If I wanted to check out a band today I just hit my Google Play app and I can hear them in seconds and make a snap judgement a few seconds after that. It may not be fair but that’s just how it is. Back when I was growing up I relied on Rock Sound, Metal Hammer and whatever print mags were about for information on bands. The great thing is, is that if your band is killer then it will rise above the filler most of the time, same as it ever has.
Therevivalmusic.co.uk: If you could play a show with any three other bands, who would they be any why?
PW: For me, I’d love to have played with Sabbath before they finished up. When Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats got the call a few years back they must have been ecstatic, properly made up, I get to speak to them about it and Mr Acid himself was utterly taken aback by it, I would have cried like a small child myself. Who else? Let’s go with Iron Maiden and Iron Monkey. Why not?
Therevivalmusic.co.uk:What are the OHHMS' plans for the future?
PW: Well we went for a tarot reading as a band recently and our future is pretty plain sailing. Lots of success until November and then we hit a massive cluster-fuck that I have apparently got to handle with due care and attention and not be bull-headed about so y’know that’s blown it. I never take things easy. So if you want to see us then you better get your act together before then because that may well be it.
therevivalmusic.co.uk would like to thank Ohhms, Claire @ Purple Sage PR and Holy Roar Records.