OSYRON – The Interview – English Version
has been on the market fresh since 10.07.2020. If you are into sophisticated symphonic metal with depth of content, you have to listen to OSYRON. The work „Foundations“ was already presented by me in a detailed review. I was enthusiastic about the epic album and wanted to know more about it. The Canadians did me the honour of answering my questions and it really turned out to be a very interesting interview. If you read it, you will agree with me that OSYRON really is a great band from which you can certainly expect a lot of good things in the future.
Interview with OSYRON
Hello guys, you released the really great album „Foundations“. It is not only excellently implemented musically, but also has an outstanding significance in terms of content. So the album deserves to be honored and learn more about it and about the men who created the album. Let´s start….
MH: If I would visit you, what three things would you show me first to bring your country closer to me?
Cody (Drums): Visiting this time of year normally, the first thing I would recommend is to check out the Calagary Stampede which is a massive outdoor show which brings together music, cuisine, and western tradition. This is the first year since the show began in 1923 that it has had to be cancelled, due to COVID.
Next, I’d point you out of the city, into the great expanses of the Canadian Rockies. For a sense of scale, the drive time for you to travel to a neighboring European country is about the distance we travel to go to into the mountains. There are provincial parks everywhere with amazing hiking trails, as well as massive areas known as Crown Land, where you can go camp, hunt, fish, off-road, and explore endless amounts of wilderness. Just watch out for the bears and the big cats!
And finally, I’d recommend you head back into the downtown core of a major city like Calgary or Vancouver and explore the many pubs, music clubs and restaurants. Not only is there an absolute melting pot of different world cuisine and beer to be had, but also a very diverse selection of underground music to be heard. Of course, right now a lot of this is not possible as well due to the lockdowns.
Bobby (Guitar): A HOCKEY GAME!
Reed (Vocals): TWO HOCKEY GAMES!
Nature And Wilderness
MH: Canada stands for great landscapes and endless wild nature. What kind of connection do you have to nature and wilderness and what role does it play for you?
Cody (Drums): Being from Alberta means you would die if not for going camping, hiking, and shooting. Here in Alberta, camping is a major economic machine in the summer, followed by hunting in the winter. We have provincial and private campgrounds that are places setup for people to camp en masse. I personally think those are a joke. I prefer to go much further outinto the mountains than any campground, find a nice spot along a glacier creek and stay for a week to clear my head from city life! But I’m probably weird.
Ancestry and history
MH: Your album „Foundations“ deals with dark phases of history. Do you have ancestors in your family history who have experienced the First World War? Does any of you have Native Canadian ancestors?
Cody(Drums): My Canadian heritage only goes as far back as WW2, where I had a grandfather who fought in the Canadian Forces during the liberation of Holland. He was a forward operative working in maintaining the British armoured vehicles fighting against the German Panzer divisions, so the war stories I heard from him before he passed were very real and graphic.
Prior to that, my ancestors are known to be mostly from England, Scotland, and Ukraine; but I do have one grandparent who is Native American.
Reed (Vocals): I am of Metis descent on my Mother’s side. As far as WW1, I don’t believe I have any immediate connection in my lineage. Only WW2.
Krzysztof (Guitar): A great grandfather of mine was conscripted to fight in WW1 but spent much of the war avoiding shooting anything and trying not to die from trench-foot and a host of other shitty diseases you get from mucking about in mud and dead bodies. It affected him so negatively that in the time between the world wars he did everything in his power to dissuade all of his sons from serving in the army in any capacity. Of course, being that he happened to be a Pole living in Poland, he didn’t really have much of a say at the end of the day because war came for him anyway.
MH: Your first two songs, „The Cross“ and „Ignite“, deal with the colonization of Canada and the First World War. Why did you choose these two historical events? How did you come up with the idea to work out the history of Canada in this form?
Reed (Vocals): Both events play a crucial role in how Canada as a nation was formed. We are (like many other nations) built upon war, expansion, colonization and unfortunately genocide.
We felt it was important to have content that touched on both the European involvement of our country (Pre-Independence / Sovereignty) and the mistreatment of the First Peoples of North America.
MH: These two songs have become very bombastic symphonic and sometimes have a threatening and also accusing effect? Was that your intention?
Bobby (Guitar): For “The Cross”, we wanted a song that was pretty simple to play, but soundedhuge. If you listen to each instrument separately, they’re never really doing anything too technical. This was to allow Reed, and especially the orchestra, to really shine through and let those layers become apparent. We wanted the main orchestral melody of the song to build up during the verses, and then go full out during the outro after that last chorus.
Krzysztof (Guitar): From a musical standpoint “Ignite” was just something I fingered out on the guitar one day. It started with the chorus riff (“You wanted to speak” etc) and the middle instrumental section (the harmonized guitar/lead section after the big orchestra infused bridge). Everything in between those two points was developed after the fact to build into them unconsciously. In short, I woke up with this wonderful doughnut dropped in my lap and I had to figure out what fruit filling was best to smash into it.
Reed (Vocals): “Ignite” was Kris’s idea and his riffs. It ended up being aggressive and technical, which in turn was a parallel to “The Cross” and how it was aggressive and more simplified instrumentally.
Religion–a good thing?
MH: „The Cross“ is also about religion. You deliberately chose the symbol of the Christianfaith in this song. In this context, you are critical of the Christian faith. Do you see religion in general critical or only specific if, as then, it is a cover for the capture of a
Reed (Vocals): Good question. People have the freedom to believe in and practice whatever religion they so choose in Canada…in 2020. However this was NOT the case in the 1500’s, 1600’s and even until the 20th century. If the global powers of France, and England practiced Islam, or Buddism and inflicted cultural, spiritual genocide on the First Nations of Canada during this time, then the song would be critical of those beliefs. It is only critical of the period in which these events occurred. As well as how these beliefs and religion were forced upon people who maybe didn’t seek it’s practices. This is not so much a criticism of the religion itself, but more a criticism on how the church was used and implemented within the colonization of the nation.
Polish folk music
MH: „Ignite“ also includes oriental sounds? This surprised me in view of the issue. How did you come up with this idea?
Krzysztof (Guitar): So being a child immigrant to Canada (if my name wasn’t a dead giveaway haha) I grew up in a household that regularly listened to lots of folk music from back home (Poland).
This kind of music has this sort of weird feel; and it naturally drew me to guys like Friedman, Becker, Yngwie and other “neo classical” shredders, but it also drew me into guys like Django Reinhardt, and more purely Parisian swing/eastern european folk which is just riddled with this stuff. This particular section is basically that music manifesting itself through me.
For professional musicians
Although I consciously don’t think of the theory behind it, the whole section resides in the 5th mode of F Harmonic Minor, or the “dreaded” Phrygian Dominant mode (with just the 6th degreebeing raised and lowered if you want to be super technical).
After I wrote it and analysed it, when putting up a quick demo of it on my instagram i even titled the post “phrygian come at me bro” cause I’m a huge fucking nerd like that. I think theory is a great, great tool to know because it helps understand why certain sounds make you feel the way they do or why they sound the way they do. It’s fun to look at and analyse music with that lens after you’ve written it, just to nerd out. But it’s definitely not something I consciously think about when writing. Anyways, I’ll grab you a coffee cause I’m sure this put you to sleep.
Heroes and visions
MH: „Battle Of The Thames“ is a very soulful song that contains grief. Nevertheless, it is a powerful song that just ends up becoming a heroic epic. A worthy song for this extraordinary venerable man. TECUMSEH was truly a great visionary and an even a greater hero. Do you think such heroes still exist today?
Reed (Vocals): Yes, you’re chatting with them right now! All jokes aside, heroes rise during moments of despair, and grief. Tecumseh was fighting for what he and his people believed in. That is where true heroes are born. Today? Maybe not in parts of the world that are prospering, but maybe in nations and communities that are in less fortunate circumstances. I hope there are heroes like that today. We will always need them!
MH: „Foundations“ is dedicated to a global message. Unfortunately, the entire history of mankind is marked by many wars and other atrocities. You have a clear message that you must not forget everything so that you can shape the future better. Are these
kinds of visions even feasible when you look at the current situation of the world?
Reed (Vocals): The day we forget, or stop caring about a better, brighter future, is the day mankind has nothing else to stand for. We must always remind ourselves about our wrongdoings, while focusing on tomorrow and how we can make it a better place! Never stop growing! Humans and our societies have a long way to go still! So don’t stop!
Shake things up
MH: So let´s talk about „The Ones Below“. The song also deals with serious themes, but it is different in its kind than the other songs. It is not symphonic, but more rocky and sounds rather combative. Why did you choose this concept at „The Ones Below“?
Bobby (Guitar): Musically, that song was written to be a little more traditional (in the sense of structure, traditional solo, repeated choruses, etc.) and stripped down. Osyron songs tend to be filled with multiple layers of guitars, vocals, orchestral instruments, non-repeating sections, always progressing forward, and so on. While this song definitely isn’t “light” on the number of tracks, in the studio we wanted this song to stand out a bit, and to shake things up, so hopefully we achieved that.
MH: I do not know what answers you gave to my first question. So I want to close the circle and ask if there is delicious beer in Canada? Which is your favorite? What is the comparison to German beer?
Bobby (Guitar): My favourite Canadian beer would probably be Alexander Keith’s IPA, or Guinness. There’s also a Bavarian Lager made in BC called 1516 that is pretty damn cute as well.
Reed (Vocals): Sleemans Honey Ale, Big Rock Traditional, and Granville Island’s Winter Ale. Unfreakin’-real bud.
Cody (Drums): I dunno man, I’m into anything that is well made and tastes like real beer. None of the fruity stuff from micro-breweries really appeals to me personally. I’m more the kind of guy who will sit down in a brew house and order their house brand IPA or lager. If it’s good, I’ll order another.
Krzysztof (Guitar): I’ve only tried a few imported German beers, unfortunately, but let’s just say Alberta has a burgeoning craft beer market. We’ve got something like 125 craft breweries, and only 19 cities in the province. You’ll have to come here and just try them! We’ve got brewers making pilsners, ales, IPAs, stouts, whatever flavour you like! Just temper your expectations and remember, you guys have been making beer there for like 1500+ years, we’ve only been making it for a fraction of that time but it’s a culture/industry that’s growing and expanding every year. If you come this way, we’ll take you out and show you the taps.
MH: If you still have anything you want to share with our readers, you are welcome to do so now.
Reed (Vocals): Give us a listen! We play metal and drink our faces off for fun! And we aspire to tour the world doing both! Especially in your city or town! We can’t wait to meet you! Stay safe during this global shit-show and see you soon!
MH: Thank you very much for your time! -Cheers!-
You can find the german version of the interview with OSYRON HERE!
- OSYRON Album-Infos: Osyron-Foundations-COVER über CMM GmbH - Background www.pixabay.de (Orange Fox)
- Osyron_promo-Bandfoto: Osyron Bandfoto über CMM GmbH