OSMIUM from New Zealand impressed me so much that I just had to interview them. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

Even though you are new to me you seem to have had a life as a band prior to me discovering you. Tell me about the origin of the band and the intentions for forming?
-I put the band together in 2005 because it didn’t really seem like the music I really enjoyed which is just riff heavy, groovy rock/metal with good clean vocals was being represented at all & it’s still few and far between. But really it’s all just for the love of the music and we take inspiration from all the music we listen to regardless of the ‘genre’.

I have a hard time deciphering your music. To my ears you sound like a cross between Soundgarden and Black Sabbath. What would you say characterize your sound?
Haha, That’s a pretty mongrel cross of bands! I like it. People have also said it’s like a cross between Pantera & Alice In Chains. I’m personally a massive Alice In Chains and all the bands mentioned above so I guess all those influences are bound to show in our music. I don’t like to really put a label on it but it generally gets called groove metal or stoner metal or just heavy rock but it’s all the same to me. I mean some of songs could be called metal and some hard rock.

How hard is it to find “your” sound in the myriads of bands that exist in the universe?
Well we don’t claim to do anything new so I wouldn’t even say we’re a new sound. We just do what bands have been doing for a long time but just try not to sound the same, I think one of the things that puts us apart especially in NZ is the clean vocals. It’s pretty rare to have a band in the metal genre over here with clean vocals.

Being from New Zealand has its limitations. What in your opinion is the hardest being so far away from the rest of the metal loving world?
-Well we’re not really on some path of hellbent destruction trying to conquer the world…We just play music cause that’s what we enjoy so it doesn’t really matter where we do it it’ll be the same as long as there are people there enjoying it. But I guess really if you compare the amount of people in NZ to anywhere else you’re going to have a limited amount of people you can get your music out to.

When you are from such a small country as New Zealand is how important does the cooperation between bands become in order to even have a working music scene? Is there room for petty arguments between bands?
-I was about to say everyone in NZ gets along but I don’t suppose they do. In general they do. We haven’t encountered any problems. Everyone is great to deal with.

How important is a DIY scene in a scene as small as the NZ metal scene?
-Well if no one had the DIY attitude not much would get done to be honest. It’s odd when you compare a band like Sinate who are one of the most well known and respected metal bands in this country in my opinion and they still do everything themselves where as you compare them to one of the most well known rock/pop/dub bands in the country it’s a whole new world. They have massive road crews and tour management and everything. Whereas with Sinate what you see is what you get & I think that’s awesome.

“Misery Harvest” is an amazing album but if no one gets to hear what good does it do. How do you intend to take the album to the most possible masses of metal fans?
-Thanks for the compliment! Well in NZ we do as much touring as our schedules allow so that’s how we promote it here. As far as on an international scene we’re just trying to get reviews and such on blogs and pages such as this one and hopefully a few people will pick up on it.

How many times can you play the same places before it starts to become stale and non-productive?
-Depends on the place but generally not to many times. We’ve definitely been guilty of over playing venue. We actually played two nights in a row in Dunedin not so long ago at the same venue supporting two completely different bands but the thing we always make sure to do is that we played completely different sets. No song was repeated the second night.

What does the art work represent to you and how does it fit with the songs?
-The Misery Harvest was an idea I had. It kinda just portrays every life and how miserable people are with their 9 to 5 jobs. Cause that’s kinda the stuff I harvest into my music. So all that stuff is harvest into one finished product.

What does the future hold for Osmium?
-A long and fruitful life in the NZ heavy music scene hopefully. We just love playing music. Doesn’t get to much better.

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