To me a band’s name is like a declaration of intent. How hard was it to choose a band name?
-For a lot of bands that holds true. We, however, did the opposite. We took a contextually meaningless word, in this case a region in Belgium, and give it our own meaning. A friend had mentioned it in passing when discussing his travels but as soon as it had left his lips we all looked at each other. It just felt right so it became an easy decision. Over time, Overoth has become a character for us who has been the antagonist in our lyrical themes and has graced our album covers.
Do you feel that you are part of a national metal scene? Do you feel that you represent your country’s metal when you travel abroad with the band?
-Ireland is a small country and there are limited venues to perform at so it is not uncommon to be sharing the stage with the same group of bands from time to time. This means we have built up a great rapport with them and look forward to each other’s performance and support. That, and the fans, makes it feel like we are part of a scene. When we play abroad we are sure to make it clear where we are from and we always have a number of promotional materials from other Irish bands at our merchandise stall so yes, I do believe we are representing our country’s metal when abroad
How important are national boundaries in today’s globalized world?
-If I hear a new band, the first two questions I normally ask would be ‘Who are they?’ and ‘Where do they come from?’ I am curious to know there origin but it does not make any difference to my opinion of them. In the early days you could make an educated guess as to where a band was from by their style and even there guitar tone (such as the buzz saw tone of Sweden) but nowadays new bands are probably less inspired by their local peers and more by the iPods in their back pocket. With social media being as seamless as it is these days, nationality probably isn’t that important.
How pleased are you with your latest record? What kind of expectations do you have on it?
-Kingdom of Shadows has had somewhat of a second coming. It was rereleased under Hostile Media in 2013 but recent reviews would lead you to believe this is a new album. It was originally released in 2010 so we are well aware of how it has done and are glad to say it has met most of our original expectations.
What would you consider a success? How do you define success?
-That is a very difficult question to answer. Personally, my definition of success would not be based on popularity or monetary gain even though both would be most welcome. I would be much happier with a discography and a scrap book reflecting my accomplishments rather than a speed boat a three billion followers on Twitter. I think my definition of success evolves as we progress though. If someone had of told us 7 years ago we would be sharing the stage with the likes of Bolt Thrower, touring countries like Sweden and playing at Wacken Open Air I would have assumed that we had ‘made it’. Come August we will have done all of the above but would I say Overoth has ‘made it’? No, so where do you draw the line?
When you started the band with what intentions did you do so? How well has the journey you’ve been on so far matched those expectations?
-I don’t think we started Overoth with any intentions other than to play music and have fun doing so. For me it is a passion but it is also a hobby. The moment I stop enjoying playing metal will be when I hang my guitar up and walk. The countries we have visited, the people we have met and the music we have created has far outshone my original expectations but I now know we are capable of so much more.
What were your greatest sources of inspiration when you started? With how clear an intent did you shape your sound?
-You could trace Overoth’s roots back to when we were at school and first picking up our instruments. This is a time when we were discovering metal ourselves so our inspirations where constantly shaping with each new record we got our hands on. We knew we wanted to play metal but that was pretty much it. We certainly did not intend to write Death Metal. I think we have a clear understanding now on how to craft a song and create the Overoth sound but we are still evolving as a band even now.
What band’s non-existence would have made our world a worse place to live in, if you know what I mean?
-Ha Ha, I guess it’s always going be bands like Black Sabbath, Metalica and Iron Maiden or on a broader scale something like the Beatles. Like them or loathe them, it would be hard to say what we would be playing or listening to without them. I personally would not be as happy a person if I had never heard bands like Immolation, Demigod, Broken Hope, Demilich or Vader to name but a few.
How much of a touring entity is OVEROTH? Is touring still a great way to build a band?
-It is something we have always enjoyed doing. Some tours have been more fruitful than others but that is all part of it. We have learned a lot whilst on the road and some tours have formed my fondest memories but it can be difficult for an underground and relatively unknown band to make as big a mark as they would have hoped. However, the combination of a proficient band, a savvy online presence and promoters cognizant of their game will make all the difference.
What future is there?
-Concerning Overoth, I believe we have merely revealed the tip of the iceberg with regard to our potential. We have the material for the next release almost complete and we are so excited to get it out there. We have evolved and matured as songwriters a lot since our last release. We wholly enjoy what we do and will continue to do so for as long as we see fit. Concerning metal as a whole, I think it will be around for a long time yet.