Set to perform in Singapore for the very first time on May 4, we talk to technical death metal masters Origin‘s Paul and and John, to find out more about the plans that the band has in place, and what they feel conquering new grounds with their last album, Entity.
Greetings Origin! Thank you for giving us this opportunity to talk to you. The band has come a long way since its beginnings in 1997, with this band being your 17th year of existence. When the band first started, was it ever expected that Origin still be dishing out death metal almost 20 years on?
JL-Hello! And thank you! I don’t believe we ever thought that far in advance. I’m sure we were hopeful, as any band must be, but at this point it’s a pretty crazy thing to think on.
Paul: I guess I’m still angry! Well I’ve been playing death metal since even before the bands inception. Its something I enjoy doing regardless if people listen to my band. I’m sure ill be playing music long after people have a interest in the band as well.
When the band first started out in 1997, how did the idea of playing such brutal yet technical death metal come about?
JL- There was a lot of local competition at the time. Death metal was new, so there was a lot of “who can play faster and heavier” type mentality. It was also a violent mentality. In the Midwestern America, you had a lot of dangerous people that were attracted to dangerous sounding music, so….in lot of cases, there was a gang type mentality. So, lots of hypersensitive thought going into how to make the next song even faster and heavier. How to make it “brutal”
Paul: Well it was just a influx of what I liked & what I thought was missing in death metal & we had to make a name for ourselves somehow with just the music & not based on imagery.
The band has also had a steady stream of releases over the years, with the last release being 2011’s Entity. With the release being recorded as a 3-piece, how different was it compared to Antithesis?
JL-Entity and Antithesis, in my mind, are completely different from each other. Everything from the song writing, the line up, and the musical direction. For Antithesis, we had Me and Jeremy rejoining the band. We wrote it much like we wrote Informis Infinitas Inhumanitas, as a full band in a room. Jeremy, and Mike both wrote material on Antithesis, where Paul wrote all the music for Entity. The mood during the writing was very high, and everyone was excited to be back together again, however, the actual recording was plagued with scheduling difficulties. For Entity, we had lost our vocalist very close to the recording. We wrote most of the album in NY and though the material came out better than Antithesis, it was rushed. The mood was considerably darker during this writing session because we were skeptical on how this album was going to work out. So I would say Antithesis is much closer to Informis, where Entity is more of a strange, desolate planet we suddenly found ourselves on.
Paul:Well Antithesis was written in 6 months by 5 guys that had 9 practices together. Entity was put together in a years time with about 3 weeks worth of rehearsal where I wrote all the music & mike & john made the contributions as musicians as well. Mike & I also wrote the lyrics in the studio & then I did primary vocals & mike added backups
Was the songwriting process much different from before? With such technicality involved in the release of Origin, what is the entire writing process like for Entity?
JL- Entity was primarily written in late October, in my NY apartment on muted drums and a practice “amp”. The amp was actually Paul running his POD though my home stereo. Paul and I charted, and practiced all the material for a week as a duo, and then went to Kansas and worked as a trio with Mike for another week. We went to the studio immediately following those two weeks. Entity came out to be a product of being uncomfortable, and being rushed. As I stated earlier, we had lost our vocalist rather suddenly. Mike and Paul wrote the lyrics, mainly in the studio.
Paul:Over the years the bands writing format has changed from a garage grinder format to a composition based click track demos that we all work on individually @ home then we meet up for a week of rehearsal then enter the studio. Entity was basically written where I live & then mike & I would Skype to develop the songs. Then I spent about 3 weeks with john & mike rehearsing before entering the studio
While the lyrical themes of Origin often deal with death and misanthropy, they can also get rather abstract. Where does the band draw inspiration when writing such deep material?
JL- Lots of science fiction, horror, war, obviously. More recently American politics, which we find to be humorous on a tragic level. I tend to leave the vocalist alone on lyrical concepts. Lyrical concepts can come from everywhere and nowhere, really.
Paul: The path less traveled! I try to find something new in every song instead of just kill kill die die blood guts. Its more of a sci-fi based horror them than just gore.
Since the release of Entity, Origin has seen the inclusion of Jason Keyser on vocals. With the current lineup, what is in place for fans of Origin in future releases?
JL- With Jason joining the band, I feel that we finally have a proper front man. We have had vocalists in the past that talk to the crowd, but never anyone that can actually present a proper front for the band. The next album will have a much more developed narrative, than Entity had.
Paul:I think the interior mentality of the band has changed with what we are going to present to the audience. Instead of just a one track mindset “everything on 11” mentality we are trying to create more dynamics & a better live show than just watch us play super fast.
The current tour is labelled as “The End of an Entity” Southeast Asia tour, seemingly marking the last tour cycle for 2011’s Entity album. Does this indicate the band’s intention to enter the studio soon? Would fans of Origin be able to hear new material from the band soon?
JL- Yes, it’s the final nail in the coffin for all things Entity. There will be a new album from Origin in the summer, but we haven’t decided if we will play any of the new material yet.
Paul: We are finished recording our newest album Omnipresent! We don’t have a release date as of this moment but it will definitely be released this year. Hopefully very soon!
This May will be the band’s first performance in Singapore. What can fans expect from the upcoming performance, and are there any shoutouts to fans from Singapore?
JL- This is definitely the first time Origin has played Singapore. The fans can expect a very brutal, fast, and fun show. The fans can expect everything they’ve read about an Origin show as long as the venue allows it!
SO……be prepared, Singapore. We’re coming for you!
Paul: Really looking forward to playing in front of new fans & experiencing the culture of Death Metal in Singapore! Very excited. I was disappointed that I have been there previously & wasn’t able to play!
Catch Origin along with local death metallers Cardiac Necropsy, Asilent and Flesh Disgorged on May 4 at Aliwal Arts Centre! Details right here.