ORIGIN – We are EVERYWHERE
Brutal death metal machine ORIGIN (US) will released their sixth album on July 4th. The album is entitled "Omnipresent" and will be released by Agonia Records here in Europe. Eternal Terror writer Karina Cifuentes got in touch with drummer John Longstreth and vocalist Jason Keyser for a little chat about the album.
I’ve listened to the new album and I can say there are some differences from what you guys have done before. So how would you describe Omnipresent and what can the fans expect?
JOHN – We are EVERYWHERE on this album. Get it? (laugh). We figured that we have proven to the world that we can play fast and brutal death metal. One can only do the same thing for so long before he gets tired of himself, right? With Entity, the song writing really came out. We know how to make it brutal, fast, and angry, but how do we make it brutal, fast, angry, and well written all at the same time? So that is the current challenge.
The lyrics of the song "All Things Die" lean towards social criticism and pessimism, are those lyrics representative of the overall lyrical concept in Omnipresent? Tell us more about the concepts and themes.
JASON – This is a central theme of the entire album, absolutely. While Paul Ryan wrote the lyrics to "All Things Dead" and I wrote the rest of the cd, we were definitely on the same page as far as our vision for the content. The theme of Omnipresent centers on the arrogance of mankind, and how the farther and farther we advance, our sense of self-righteousness and entitlement grows with it. When we reach a tipping point where we will no longer have the ability to sustain ourselves and decide to expand into the unknown reaches of space we will no longer be able to use the tactics of colonization and control we have become so accustomed to over the past several thousand years. In the cold, unforgiving reaches of the nether, we are at the whim of the indiscriminate forces that surround us. Or something.
When I first saw the artwork, Gustav Dore’s "Casting Down of the Rebellious Angels" came to mind, so tell us who inspired it and who made it?
JASON – We worked with Colin Marks from Rainsong design for the art on Omnipresent. He provided the art for Entity as well, which was cold and minimalist and felt perfectly harsh and unforgiving. On Omnipresent we wanted to stick to that theme but with a little more detail, something that displays the helplessness of mankind and our overall solitude in the galactic scheme. With not much more than those words, I think Colin captured exactly what we were looking for.
Some months ago some friend of yours commented on one of your pics in your official page in Facebook that he recalled the times when you use to just lay there on your backyard and daydream with the day you would finally become a great and famous drummer. Are you living your dream yet? And if you do is it the way you imagined it would be?
JOHN – I don’t ever remember laying in my backyard dreaming about being a death metal drummer. Everything related to being a death metal drummer has been about hard work and not laying around day dreaming. I am definitely happy with my success as a death metal drummer, and i am happy to keep pursuing to see what comes next. Things never really turn out the way you envision them, It always comes out different, as it should, because why would you want to be living the dream of your childhood self?
You did double-duty for both Gorguts and Origin some months ago. How did you manage to pull it off and would you do it again if you had to?
JOHN – That was a lot of fun. Easier than one may expect, actually. I basically just kept to a reasonable day schedule, and kept off the alcohol, partying, and fast food as much as possible. Getting good sleep was key. Keeping myself inline for both bands in turn kept myself inline personally. As a result, I felt healthier, and happier on the road than i have felt in a long time.
I’ve read Saligia is the Origin song you love to play the most, why is it? and which song in the new album is your particular favorite and why…
JOHN – Saligia is always fun because of the sheer challenge it has. That song is still difficult and fun at the same time, and that is the main reason behind playing death metal to begin with. It’s hard to say about the OMNIPRESENT songs because we’ve only played a couple of them live. However, in the rehearsal room, I remember All Things Dead, Unattainable Zero, and Malthusian Collapse being fun.
How much input do you have when it comes to composing music for Origin? and how does the composition process go?
JOHN – Lately, Paul and i send mp3s back and forth. Paul will send his basic guitar structure to me, and i will program minimal drums over it in order to get the basic structure. From there, the demo goes out to Mike and Jason, and they write their parts. By the time we get in the rehearsal room, the songs are about 90% written and all that is required is the rehearsal process.
So you got an Instructional DVD, where can aspirant drummers get it and how can it can be helpful to them?
JOHN – We are dealing with the common slow nature of self-release. When you don’t have a large label backing you, things tend to move a little slow. We are looking at an early summer release. There will be a dedicated website for DVD orders soon. I will also have them with me for sale on tour.
Tell us about the release dates for the new album and the European Tour that follows.
JOHN – Europe is July 4, US is July 8. The European tour, "Hell Over Europe" Is going to be fun. We’ve already toured with both bands, and we’ve known them for some time now. There is no doubt in my mind that this tour is going to be an out and out blast fest. When the bands get along back stage and on the bus, their performances are going to be so much better. I think people are going to be very happy with it.
Anything you would like to add?
JOHN – Thank you very much for the interview, see you soon on tour!