Musicscan: How big is the interest in Omnium Gatherum being back with a new album? Do you get lots of requests from your fans and press people? What are they asking or telling you these days?
Omnium Gatherum: gone a bit bigger again with this album. It seems that we have managed to keep things fresh and inventive but still kept the album totally original OG-music style as well. There indeed is a lot of requests and questions from different kind of people which is always nice. WE try to be a group that stays in touch with our listeners and press as much as possible when the time is appropriate, when a new album etc. comes out. We find it fun to interact with different people around the globe. Both via the net and of course live also when it is possible. The questions in general haven't changed that much over the years. It is that good old basic things that a band is asked in an interview. Of course now that we are a bit more known group there are also questions concerning new places we have visited the other groups we have met and of course the questions about being well known and how it affects different things. We are always willing to take up the challenge to answer any kind of questions with only one exception; stupid questions will get the answer they deserve!!
Musicscan: Would you say that „Beyond“ is representative for what Omnium Gatherum wants to stand for in 2013 and beyond? What’s to say in this regard, what is the essence of what the band is doing at the moment?
Omnium Gatherum: It certainly is. 'Beyond' is a summary of years of perfecting our unique style and today it stands proud, tall, firmly and gallantly :). OG of course is a band that is constantly changing and reforming itself but the basic idea of the style of music we want to play has been disclaimed since 'The Redshift' album. The essence in a way is today the fact that there is really nothing we want to prove to anyone. This is the current shit. The foundations have been laid down years ago and now is the time to be inventive and not to get too stuck with routines inside this musical world of OG.
Musicscan: A more general one: Have you been surprised by the fact, that listeners from different musical tastes are getting Omnium Gatherum? There are not only melo-death fans. Is this something you can understand or explain somehow? Where do you see the reasons?
Omnium Gatherum: Yes and no. At first it came us as a surprise that there indeed were people outside the melo-death scene who really enjoy our music. When talking to these people they always say that OG is so much more than simply a melo-death band. They tell they have found a rich musical and lyrical world inside our songs and of course we do appreciate this immensely. I guess there is the answer to your question why non metal people can find something they like in OG. We have always wanted this to be so because music is basically music no matter how you try to genre it down. It is the atmosphere that counts in the end.
Musicscan: How do you feel about your place within the metal scene at all as well as in between tradition and gaining new ground to bring forth what the metal heroes you grew up with did before Omnium Gatherum were around?
Omnium Gatherum: We feel honored to carry on the metal music because that is what we grew up listening to. Traditions are important and must be remembered to certain degree but they can not ever stand in a way of inventive new music. Earlier it felt like that one is stuck between the hammer and the anvil regarding the traditions and our “own” style. Today I couldn't care less. I Am proud of what we are doing in OG and will tell it to anyones face. Of course there are young people who will see us as their “heroes” and we are glad that this might inspire people to write their own music, to pick up a shredder or start singing. Still the fact is that they have the equal right to make whatever kind songs they want and if fresh songs end up reforming the style or even a genre that is good. You can sense the past and influences in our music still but just as spices and subliminal echoes. One must remember that we are always influenced by our past but the present too and even the future yet to be made.
Musicscan: Are there bands you feel connected with that might have a similar agenda to what you have with Omnium Gatherum?
Omnium Gatherum: I don't know any. Perhaps ultimately the agenda is very similar with all the bands that take this shit seriously. To be as good and even better than one thought possible.
Musicscan: It is somehow quite impossible to describe your style of playing in a few sentences, because it is based on emotions and the atmosphere you create. What influences your view on the actual style of Omnium Gatherum? Do the influences vary within the band, and how did they change over time?
Omnium Gatherum: As I said before the influences come from all around and are not limited to the past alone. Earlier it was more obvious to hear the influences in the music. But today it is our own music that influences us the most. Of course the influences do vary within the band we can't have identical taste in music. There has been changes over time of course but they have always served our music well because there is not an idiot in this band who would want to mix something, like reggae, to this music because it wouldn't just fit the picture. And this is a lot of said from me because personally I like reggae and dub too.
Musicscan: Do you still remember when you wrote your first song for/with Omnium Gatherum and what it felt like and how it feels like now when you finish a song? How has your relationship to the music and the band changed over time?
Omnium Gatherum: I think my relationship to music have been really deep always, but going deeper and deeper all the time still. ... It's the best feeling that you can get via music, - to finish a new song and have that feeling that now it's finally ready and it rocks! Even the best gig live experience won't beat that feeling. The first OG song ever, uhhhm, we wrote it back in '96 or something like that with Olli (who's now doing only all our artworks for the albums) in local music schools corridor where we both were going to same guitar playing lessons back in the day.. We just found out from each other that we both shared the same influences like Death, Sepultura and Swedish death metal, so we decided to form a band and we started to compose stuff IMMEDIATELY in our guitar lesson! :) I'm really happy that Olli is still part of the OG-family and have done all our cover paintings since the very first demo cassette to the latest "Beyond" album. Official illustrator of OG!
Musicscan: From my point of view your taste in music has become wider over the years. True? And were there any musical elements you meant to incorporate in the music for “Beyond” by choice?
Omnium Gatherum: Yes it has. As said before the influences come from around and from our own material and this is bound to widen the perspective otherwise one would be small minded I thimk. This does not mean that the music grows to be ever so pompous quite the opposite actually. It is very cool to make simple songs that have a lot dynamic in them and also contains a multi layered insight within the song. I don't thimk we meant anything specific to surface in the album rather there was an element of doing our own music and if the influences are there they are there for th listener to pick up.
Musicscan: I got the impression that you had the chance to experiment a lot more with the intensity on “Beyond”. The record offers well balanced sounds and textures. Would you agree to this? How did you go about creating them?
Omnium Gatherum: I'm aiming to be versatile and think outside the box, going beyond the genre boundaries and not to be limited to like ehh "melodic death metal". My musical influences come from very large area nowadays, so it's natural to have much different elements in our "strange kind of gathering". This time we did the album more pressure free in the studio, means we did the album in 4 month period, not in a row. Usually we've been doing the album like 1 month in a row almost every day, but this time we didn't. It was way nicer and gave more chances to listen the songs on and on with fresh ears and produce and polish it way more then before. During the mixing stage i was touring the North-America with my another band Insomnium, and Dan Swanö sent me the mixes almost every day and i referenced them in the bus lounge. Sometimes drunk, sometimes sober, sometimes for the other party people and sometimes hangoveric, so lots of different atmospheres in head. But it gave lots of new perspective!
Musicscan: Is there something like a guiding line listeners have to know about to get a better understanding of what you are trying to tell them with “Beyond”?
Omnium Gatherum: Lyrically 'Beyond' is about the culmination point of one's existence. it is a coming home story where the mysteries of duality are melted into oneness but without losing one single point of individuality along the arrival. one must go 'beyond' in every aspect of life. This means that one must have courage to exceed the painful and and pleasure filled routines one has. The title also points to other things and I won't go into them here. Everyone will hack their gold themselves. That is a part of the fun.
Musicscan: Just let's briefly talk about your plans in 2013. What are the most important aims and plans with the band? What is about to happen to support the release of your new album?
Omnium Gatherum: Touring touring and touring. That is basically it. We already went to Japan for a quick 11-gig spin at the beginning of 2013. Now we are starting our Finnish-tour that lasts until April. After that European tour supposed to be in May and in the summer some festivals. Can't say much about the autumn yet but knowing us we will be touring of course. We love it so much! We also plan to make another video from one of the songs. To promote the album in general is also one of the main things. That is it.