I’m impressed by the number of Canadian bands that I’ve come upon in 2012. Another one is ODIUM. The interview answered by vocalist Tom Emman. Anders Ekdahl ©2012
I often wonder what it is like to know that there are other bands with the same name as yours. How do you avoid being confused with the other ones?
Tom: It is fairly difficult to avoid being confused with the other bands of the same name at this point. As our band grows it becomes easier for someone searching the net for our band to come across the right pages and articles. We chose the name in 2005, when MySpace was the Social Network to be in, and Mark Zuckerberg was still changing Facebook’s diapers, bands all over the world started connecting with other bands using this new social medium. I remember building the band’s first MySpace with our original guitarist and finding all these other Odiums and saying, “Oh Shit!”. By this point we had already developed a local reputation and decided against changing our name. Confusion has ensued ever since (laughs).
How do you go about choosing a band name? What criteria do you have for the name?
Tom: First off you always want something that’s gonna catch people, but i always wanted something that would mean something to us. I first found the word “odium” in a book I was reading when i was nineteen. The word was used in the context of someone who had been left behind, being able to change their surroundings through the feeling of intense hatred. I remember at that time sitting back and thinking that that was where I was in my life. I wanted to use my anger and aggression in a way that would change my life and surroundings for the better. The intensely emotional experience of performing the vocals in Odium has provided that positive change.
For those of new to the band can you give us a brief rundown of the bands intentions?
Tom: We are trying to make the music that we would want to listen to. We are trying to make songs that will survive trends and last for a long time. We are avoiding trends and we’re trying to keep things as pure as possible. A lot of people have questioned in the past my vocal approach in singing and screaming because that is popular right now. A lot of people have questioned the strings you hear in the background of the choruses. These things are not done as a gimmick or some cheap desperate try at the latest trend. I believe that heavy music should always be free to any and all artistic expression. I believe heavy music was created for the very purpose of having that freedom. Odium was made to have that kind of musical freedom. We try to have a lot of diversity on every album, We are trying to play as many shows as possible and trying to reach as many people as we can. Our intentions are not unlike many other bands, to make the music we want to make and try to make it available for anyone interested in hearing it. We continue to work daily on expanding our reach.
What benefits are there to being DIY? How hard is it to reach out to the right audience?
Tom: There is really only one benefit, but one that is really important…Control. As I have already said, artistic freedom is everything to this band. I’d rather reach ten people the right way then a million the wrong way. This mentality however makes it extremely difficult to reach different audiences. The underground music media is a great way to reach people, as well as social media. The best way though is to be out there playing the shows and meeting people. Fortunately, the diversity of our sound appeals to many different audiences.
I wonder occasionally how you do to become noticed. How you go from being unknown to known?
Tom: Very simple, surround yourself with competent, hard working people and live for the band. If your aren’t playing shows you should be booking and promoting them, or writing new music. There are no breaks and rarely any second chances. Never stop pushing yourself and the people around you to strive for more.
What kind of feeling is there when you see you first review? What kind of feeling is there when you stand on a stage for the first time?
Tom: Well depends, is the review good? (laughs) I am always interested to hear other people’s opinions on our musical output but I try not to let what critics say influence what I do. We want to make music we like and not worry too much about what everyone else thinks. I think letting what other people think guide a band’s decisions could really compromises the integrity of the band so I’d like to stay away from that. Standing on stage for the first time in a new city is our first chance to make a connection with new fans. We have that half hour or how ever long our set time is to win them over. To make them feel something and leave a lasting impression. It’s the greatest rush I’ve ever known.
How do you build a following? What is the most important thing to think about when you try to build a career for the band?
Tom: Building a following is a combination of playing as many shows as possible and social networking. It is important to not only play the gig but also to make people aware that you’re doing it. With many promoters you only get one shot so you have to make sure people knows to come out. This is not the type of music that gets much support from main stream media and even if it did, we are not at a level where those resources would be available to us. There is a lot of work that must be done to raise awareness for each show but that is how you build a following. If the record is good, you’ve made sure people know to come out and you give it your all when you hit the stage, they’ll come out to support the band the next time you roll through town. Other than promoting the shows, the most important thing is to play your heart out every time. Even if there’s only twenty people out there because the people who support this band deserve everything we’ve got.
Is Canada a good place to be a metal band? How much does national borders mean in today’s electronic world?
-The great thing about today’s technology is that it’s easier than ever to share our music with anyone in the world. Getting to those countries is another story. I feel very proud to be a Canadian band. We have so many amazing groups in our country who are just starting to get noticed. Canada does not have as many really huge metal bands as say, the US…yet, but I feel very optimistic about the Canadian metal scene and its future.
Are there any benefits to being a metal band from Canada?
-I think the Canadian metal scene is growing and people are very supportive and open minded here. There seems to be a general awareness of the importance of supporting up and coming artists here. Canada is also a very beautiful country to tour in. The cities are diverse and the landscapes are incredible.
What kind of future do you envision?
-The only expectations I have are that this band will continue to make music we can stand behind and that there will always be a core fan base who will support us. We will expand our reach as far as possible and we will tour to new places in the hopes of new fans. We really believe that this new album will open some doors for us and in fact it already has. We’re the type of band that could never be satisfied with where we are. Expect to see a lot more of us in the coming years. We’ve only just begun.
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/odiummusic
Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/odiummusic
Record Label – http://www.yearofthesun.com/
iTunes – http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/burning-bridges-to-nowhere/id515043101
Music Videos –
At The Bottom – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ad09pJ8vT84
Population Zero – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78W6j1rZp8s