Susan - Recently I had the immerse pleasure of reviewing Order of the Minus, by Project Renegade and this week, Ody, drummer extraordinaire took the time to have a little chat with me and answer some questions. You'll see when I wrote up the article there are spots where I add in my little thoughts. I've highlighted them in a different color.
Susan - What first got you into music?
Ody - I remember my dad played a lot of jazz and rock records when I was a baby, there is a video somewhere where I am rolling on my belly laughing every time they played music so I guess music got me into music…I just think the sheer power of this specific art form got me addicted to making music.
S - Who inspired you to make music?
O - I think the first time I saw MTV in the late 90s when it was still cool, that’s kinda where I got the itch to form a band and also my school was turning into an art school in the summer and we had painting classes, a small marching band class, and theatre. My parents would enroll me and my sister there every summer and we loved it, that’s probably the first time I said to myself “Ok I’m gonna try and make some music”. Later on, as I said, MTV and “Headbangers Ball” especially was showing all those bands and they looked and sounded super cool and wicked. I was so hooked on playing in a band because my dad gave me two vinyl’s, a Clash and a Sex pistols one and that’s what lit a fire in me because I realized that heavy and rebellious music existed all along and I needed to do my homework. So yeah, bands like the Sex Pistols, Rage Against the Machine, Korn, Limp bizkit, Faith no More…Everything that was coming out of that era and before was a huge inspiration to me in terms of metal, although I am heavily Inspired by other kinds of music as well. It’s all a matter of expressing yourself and figuring out what this life is all about.
S - It's amazing how much MTV has inspired a generation of musicians. I remember when we finally got MTV in Ireland it my mind was blown that there was all this unique and different music out there! I was also given two cassettes by my uncle as a child one of them being Meatloaf, Bat Out of Hell and it really did shape the kind of music I fell in love with too!
How would you describe the music that you typically create?
O - Non apologetic… Either that or “F-You we do whatever the hell we want to do “music. Hahahahaha! It’s just a big mixture of different tastes, experiences, opinions and feelings, that come together and create this big sensory attack that we are labelling as “Project Renegade”. There is always a lot going on hence why it’s very hard for me to put my finger on it. I know that our goal is to eliminate every obstacle that keeps us apart as humans and stops us from uniting as species to create a better life for ourselves and our planet, under freedom and mutual understanding….so yeah let’s say we play “F-You” music.
S- I'm always a fan of waving a fiddle finger to conformity and dpo
What is your creative process like?
O - We serve an original vision and an original Idea. We built up on that and try to do it justice. If I want to talk about mental health, or Marianna wants to talk about social problems, or Nick wants to talk about natural disasters or Jay wants to talk about political injustices or whatever, we have to bring a piece of music that represents that and we built from there. We always serve the song and the vision and the message in whatever we do…Honesty is key so we usually open up about our concerns and our feelings towards that specific subject so we can give an honest aspect of who we are and why we feel the way we feel about certain things.
S - Who would you most like to collaborate with?
O - Pffft, ain’t that the question…Amy Lee, Corey Taylor, Scarlord, Ghostmane, Maria Brink,
Jonathan Davis, Howard Jones…Let’s just say everyone how about that?!
S- Dude, I can totally get behind a Marianna and Amy Lee vocal extravaganza! I would also love to see Marianna and an Oli Sykes from Bring me the Horizon collaboration. And I would never say no to a drum battle between Dave Grohl and yourself...lol
If you could go open a show for any artist who would it be?
O - For me it would be Limp Bizkit, Slipknot, Korn, Deftones or Linkin Park…That would be like going to church for me! I am sure the other guys and Marianna would have different opinions that would totally be awesome! We just love good music!
S - I always say music is my religion and concerts are like going to church! Those are all bands I would go see myself, was lucky enough to see Linkin Park before Chester passed. Here's hoping that you guys get to travel more to Europe...Ireland has some pretty nice little venues ...just saying!
What is one message you would give to your fans?
O- Unity through Diversity, Respect and Love each other…. Enough said!
S - Unity through Diversity.. I like that...I kinda feel like that needs to be a slogan on a tee!
What is the most useless talent you have?
O - I do funny voices…but like to the point where I create characters and I am conversing with myself…Yeah, I’m crazy like that! Hahahaha!
S - What song of yours would you recommend new fans listen to first to get a feel for your music?
What would you be doing right now, if it wasn’t for your music career?
O - Well, I am a Special Education teacher so I would’ve focused more on that probably, but I would still be miserable. There is something inside me that gets to be unleashed only through heavy music and I don’t even want to think what my life would be like without music and without this release.
S - In a previous life, I used to work in childcare and was a trained as a special needs assistant as well, but my path took a different turn. I think when there is this base driven need to do something else, for you music, and me writing, you just have to do it. Without that creative outlet, I know I would be miserable too.
Where have you performed? What is your favourite and least favourite venues?
O - We have performed in Europe (Romania, Ukraine, The Netherlands, Malta, Italy, Belgium)
My favourite Venues was Piraeus Academy in our hometown here in Athens, and Stereo Plaza in Ukraine…We opened up for Bullet For my Valentine and Evanescence there respectively. My worst one would remain unnamed but it was this out of whack place that had the worst drum set I’ve ever played in my life, the owners treated us like shit and made fun of us and the bands we liked…Fuck that place, it’s closed now and I am very happy that it’s out of business!
S - You guys need a trip to Ireland, especially Cork! We have some nice smaller venues that are awesome and of course, I'd be first to buy a ticket!
How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?
O - Well, it’s a blessing and a curse. It’s easier for everyone to get their music out in the world which is fantastic because otherwise we would have missed on a lot of great bands, then again, the market is oversaturated with bands and the attention span is getting smaller and smaller so people don’t spend a lot of quality time with the records that us musicians make. Plus, it brought down the labels and the music industry in general so this is not a viable source of income by any means for a beginner band. Labels are keeping their finances tight and they are afraid to invest in bands…They are looking for an “it” and it’s very hard because everyone gets so offensive and controversial these days in order to be classified as one that has the “it” so yeah it also kind brought the whole thing down quality wise specifically in the mainstream media. But there are amazing bands and musicians out there…you just have to love the journey of discovering to find them!
S - Which famous musicians do you admire?
O - Jonathan Davis, John Otto and Wes Borland, Sam Carter and Dan Searle and now Josh Middleton, Devin Townsend, Maria Brink, Amy Lee, Lizzy and Arejay Hale, Justin Chancellor, Chris Dave, J.Dilla, Questlove and yes Lars fucking Ulrich cause he was RIGHT!
S - When I first listened to Oder of the Minus, I immediately thought of Jon Otto when I heard you play the drums. Sam Carter from Architects is a new fave for me as well- For Those That Wish to Exist is an epic album.
What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?
O - I used to get in a lot of fights in my teens and twenties, I was bullied for 6 years straight so after a while violence was like the only solution for me, which looking back at it now I really regret...
S - I am also a survivor of bullying in my twenties and I understand the anger. Music for me has always been a solace on the darkest days and now you get to take your aggression out on a drumkit which is awesome for us!
What is the best advice you’ve been given?
O - “Fuck’ em all!” By my sister!
S - Absofuckinglutely!
If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?
O - I think I would restore finances but keep the democracy that the internet brings. Maybe I would hire more talent scouters in order to give younger bands a fair chance… I would make better deals for the artists where their earnings won’t go to third parties regarding the vast majority of their income sales. Without musicians there is no music so fuck the suits…they can get a small percentage of what the actual talent is making but not almost the whole damn thing, I would try to restore respect in music with tighter contracts regarding licensing for other projects (movies etc.), I would make sure that royalties are getting paid where they should…There is nothing romantic about a starving artist contrary to popular belief. I don’t know…I would make the necessary moves to make music valuable again. And none of that free shit, thousands of dollars are being spent to make a record the artists deserve better…You want music? Go buy it! Oh, and I would either change the model Spotify is operating in or close the damn thing cause they are doing a major disservice to the musicians of the world!
S - What’s next for you?
O - We are making a new record and we are focusing on that, also we are slowly gearing up to make some new videos but we have to get through the quarantine first…once that is done, we are gonna do all the aforementioned stuff and try to tour as much as we can so hopefully, you’ll see us in a city near you soon! Stay tuned cause lots of good stuff coming up!
Susan - Thanks so much to Ody for joining us today for this chat! I honestly feel like this conversation should have happened over a pint and I think we could have talked all night about our similar experiences and music tastes!
I hope you all enjoyed this interview with Ody as much as I did! Check out the band on their socials below!
Missed my review of Order of the Minus? Check it out below!