OMNIUM GATHERUM

omnium_redigerad-1With a new album out right now there is no better time than now to interview OMNIUM GATHERUM. Answers by Jukka/vocalist. Anders Ekdahl ©2016

What is it that fascinates you into coming up with new songs and albums?
-Many things I would say. The main thing of course is the fact that we WANT to make new music. It is, for all of us, a driving force and a very important thing in life. Humans do need outlets in their life and music is a beautiful way to express oneself. Playing live is another thing why we like to make new music. There are only few things life better than the feeling you get when playing live, interacting with the audience and to be able to reach that special atmosphere that comes from the interaction of the band itself and the audience. There is also the need to create something and to leave something real for the generations to come. It is not the most important thing of course but I think we OG have a thing or two to say about the human condition and the reality itself.

How is this new recording different from the previous? How do you take your sound one step further?
-This is the best OG album yet!!! Well, seriously I would have to say we really exceeded ourselves again. This new album ‘Grey Heavens’ is a bit darker, faster and agressive than the previous one. The previous album ‘Beyond is really epic in a sense that it has a sound that is really big. It is also super melodic. There is of course also epicness and a lot of guaranteed OG melodies in the new album too but what really differentiates it from the previous ones is the perfect mix of darker and positive elements. The whole idea was to make the album sound fully as OG style and still add something new and fresh into the mix. The secret is to get out of the zone still keeping in mind there is now sense to reinvent the wheel wholly but to make it better.

When you write songs about the topics you do what kind of reactions do you get?
-I assume you mean from the audience. Usually the feedback is positive and people have said they have found profound things from the songs. People have said that they have found comfort and strength for example from different songs and have been inspired by them and I think that is absolutely great! This is one of the things we try to do is to influence people in a positive way so they can be inspired by our music and the “message within”.

Whenever I think of you I cannot help wandering off to different bands. What bands do you indentify with?
-Oh really. That is interesting. You should’ve mentioned what groups you wonder off to when thinking of OG. OG as an entity really does not have any major influences but more so they come from every individual in the band. So to say There has not been any one band that OG ever was identified with wholly. And nowadays the influences mainly come from our own past music because it is a logical way to push oneself to move onwards with the music and not rot get stuck to the trap of over repetition. I my opinion there are a lot of bands who unfortunately fall for that and gets stuck repeating the same formula over and over. And most importantly the fact is that the inspiration for the music comes from all around and cannot be isolated into one specific idea or piece of music or style. The identification is an ongoing process like life.

How did you go about choosing art work for this new album? What was important to have in it?
-The artwork for the album was made by Olli-Pekka Lappalainen our trusted artwork guy who has done all the artwork for OG always. As I said we have worked with this guy a long time and he knows what we want and respects the lyrical content in his picturing of the world of OG. The important things to have in the artwork this time was the contradiction and balnce of black and white color which is grey. Also the eye with roots plays an important part in this. It is the controlled view of existence that bases itself to the foundation of certainty which is order and to the foundation of uncertainty which is chaos. And to make things simpler still they do work the opposite also. Order=chaos=order=chaos.

What kind of topics do each song deal with? Is there a red thread to the songs?
There is. I will give you very short explanations of each song:
-Pit: This is about beginnings and endings and how hard it is to deal with the ever changing face of the world
Skyline: This is about strength of an individual and the possibilities one has.
Frontiers: This is about the certainty one will have after finding one self and excepting the positive and negative sides of oneself
Majesty and Silence: This about the unsolvable mystery of life and love.
Rejuvenate!: This is about rising above one’s obstacles
Foundation: This is about universal freedom which is beyond any description
The great liberation: This is about balance in life
Ophidian sunrise: This about the hidden potential in the individual
These grey heavens: This is an instrumental song
Storm Front: This is about the turbulence and how it brings peace of mind
There are connections in between songs but every listener can find them on their own.

How do you come up with song titles? What do they have to have to fit the songs?
-The song titles are directly linked to the lyrics. Sometimes I may have a title ready and I proceed from there and other times it works the other way around. It always depends on the situation and the song in question. I usually have a couple of different versions of the lyrics and titles also. Then I converse with my band mates and listen to their opinions about the titles( what would be the best choice etc.). This is how it works for us.

Is digital a format that fits your music? Is digital killing music?
-I don’t think digital is killing music. Quite opposite. It helps to spread music to wider audiences and it makes the discovery of new music a lot easier. There are many positive reasons of this digitalization that is now in almost every technology. Nowadays it is so deep in our society that there is no reason to be against it.

How much of a live band are you? How important is playing live?
-We are very much a live band and we love playing live. After our previous album we toured for a year and half(over 150 gigs). These trips have taken us all over the world and we would not have it any other way.

What lies in the future?
-Playing live some more!!!

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