I was pretty impressed with ORDER OF VOICES self-released debut album last year, and on the back of the news that the band have recently inked a deal with CODE 7 Distribution Agency and Suburban Records we decided it was about time to catch up with the guys for a little chat. If you haven’t read the review click HERE first, then read on below….
Order of Voices is:
Ash Homar (guitar)
Stefan Blackwood (guitar)
Ian Gaunt (bass)
Aynsley Dickinson (drums)
Leigh Oates (vocals)
Myglobalmind: Hey guys, Firstly thanks for spending the time to answer a few questions for us and our loyal readers, and congratulations on having your album picked up for release via CODE 7 Distribution…
Leigh: Thanks a lot ZeeZee we’re really happy to be working with Code 7, it’ll mean the album is available in more places throughout the UK and online which is great for us, we’re also working with Suburban Records in Europe so we’re really happy how things are going. It’s also great that you wanted to have a chat about the band with us!
Myglobalmind: Can you tell us a little bit about how the band came to be in its current formation?
Ash: Well we all took cheerleading and synchronised swimming classes so it just came easy ? In all seriousness I guess it started when Stef and I started a studio together, we’ve all been in bands for years and so had enough experience and interest to try and set up a studio for ourselves. Whilst testing different recording methods, we decided to knock together some riffs and play with them.
Stef: We have a lot of musician friends in Sheffield and the surrounding areas, and many were eager to lend a hand and try throw some bits into the mix. It was then that Ian got involved. He’s played bass in a couple of bands before with Ash and they really work well together.
Ash: Yeah, Ian came in and put some bass down to a couple of bits we had floating around. It was then that things started to sound a little more song-like and we three decided to work on it as a bit of a project and write some new stuff.
Ian: At that time other bands were in and out recording things, so Ash and Stef really learned how to work the studio, and started producing some really good sounding music. At this time we were still using programmed drums and had no idea about singers.
Ash: I emailed Aynsley, who we know from his work in Rise To Addiction, more to see if he knew any available drummers than anything else. We respected him and knew he wouldn’t recommend anyone who wasn’t up to the task.
Aynsley: I received the email containing a couple of mp3 demos they’d done, and within the first few phrases I could see the massive potential in their music. I also thought that Leigh would be well into this music and so suggested to the lads that we both came to the studio to jam through some of the tracks.
Leigh: That first session worked out better than we all could have imagined, and so ideas and demos were passed backwards and forwards mostly via email until we had four or five song structures down. Then it was straight into the studio.
Ash: Well we all took cheerleading and synchronised swimming classes so it just came easy
Myglobalmind: As you may have noticed, I really liked the album, and actually awarded it with a nine out of ten, how has the other feedback been so far?….
Ash: Yeah thanks for that!!! Feedback across the board couldn’t have been better to be honest. We’ve had a great response from Europe and the States and also some unexpected places like Australia. Not that I didn’t expect Australia to like it 🙂 it just always seems that stretch too far, but thanks to the internet and mega pigeons…………
Ian: Really positive. We all love the album, but were surprised how many reviews from different genres all rated it really well and suggested influences that they were aware of that we’d never made the connection to. If we intended to write music that spanned genres, I think we did pretty well, (though we never consciously made that the main intention). Can’t wait to hear what they think of the new stuff!
Leigh: Yeah we’ve been totally blown away by the reaction to the album, we couldn’t have hoped for better really, when you release an album and ask for reviews it’s a nervous time as you’ve no real idea what people will make of it, it seems we did something right though as the reviews have been great across the board! We were very confident in the album and I think that really helps when you’re trying to push it as you really believe in it, I’ve been in positions before where you’re pushing a product you don’t quite believe in and it’s a little bit uncomfy waiting for the reviews to come in!
Myglobalmind: So what does it mean to you guys now that the album is gaining some recognition in the music industry, surely it must be a pretty exciting time for you?….
Ash: Yeah it’s fantastic to know that people believe in what you’re putting out there! Things only seem to be getting better for us as more people are introduced to our music and we’ve been helped out loads by the exposure we’ve had so far!!
Myglobalmind : I stated in my review that I heard a distinct TOOL reference throughout your work, can you elaborate a bit about any other bands and artists that have directly influenced what you do?….
Ash: To be honest across the whole band there’s such a diverse range of musical tastes. We obviously share a lot of them; I’d say that the biggest influence of all would have to be the bands of the early 90’s in general to be honest along with some of the electronic stuff going on around a similar time.
Stefan: Personally I’ve been a massive fan of Deftones and Tool for a long time, and I’m happy you’d associate us with such great names! We’re all fans of music and have very wide and varying tastes, hopefully some of that comes across!
Leigh: From a vocal point of view I love melody and wanted to weave lots in, I wanted the vocals to be powerful and emotional but also use a large dynamic range, not to show off but to give the songs as much light and shade as possible. Voice wise I have too many influences to even try to list but hopefully I’ve come up with something people will find original and like!
Myglobalmind: Onto the album now…. How long did you guys spend in the studio getting it all recorded and mixed, it seems like a lot of care was taken to create a pretty big sound?….
Ash: In total, including writing I would say that it took 12 months. We were in the studio for roughly 8 months and kind of wrote as we went by experimenting and trying new ideas to create the best sounds we could.
Stefan: The album took around 4 months to write and then we jumped into our studio for the next 8 months to polish it up and finish it off. It took a lot of work, and some really long days/weeks but we’re all really happy and learned a lot from the experience.
Ash: Most of the songs were put down musically and then the vocals added as guides, at this point we only really had ideas about how the final songs would sound.
Leigh: Once the lyrics were written, the songs then took their final form around that, and we started to record the drums.
Ian: The songs were changed and tweaked so many times over the next few months, and we spent many late nights adding and stripping away pieces from the tracks until they took their own shape.
Stef: Looking back, the hardest part was getting the first song to find its own sound; once that was done, they all seemed to write themselves, the band had taken shape and direction, and we all flowed with it.
Myglobalmind: Did you guys use any odd studio tricks or weird instruments when creating the album or was it all pretty straightforward recording techniques?
Ian: Plenty of weird stuff happened at the studio, not much to do with recording though!
Ash: As far as the recording itself is concerned it was all fairly straightforward but we took a lot of time over the sounds and effects in particular. There are no duplications across the different tracks; each sound was made for that part!
Leigh: Recording the vocals was funny; if you listened to the bare tracks you’d hear all sorts in the background!! We had a drummer in the room just above us rehearsing for a tour which meant some of my best takes were ruined!! Still it all added to the ‘sonic tapestry’ (delivered in a Coverdale drawl).
Myglobalmind: I notice you guys have been racking up a fair few live shows lately…Can you tell us any interesting stories from the road?
Ian: On the morning after our first gig in Holland, I took us on a fairly long van journey on the wrong side of the road, it wasn’t until a car coming the other way around a round-about swerved around me that I realised we weren’t in England any more! We were all pretty ‘tired’ after the previous gig!
Leigh: Yep very ‘tired’…
Ash: Haha! Nothing major thankfully, though between us we did manage as Ian said to drive for miles down the wrong side of the road, smash a whole crate of beer over the hotel beds, stole breakfasts and found out that certain members prefer to use the ladies toilets.
Myglobalmind: Obviously when you are supporting a recent album each live show is a good one, but can you tell us about your best gig so far?….
Ash: I think that would have to be the Haarlem (NL) show with My Favorite Scar. Nice set of lads and the Patronaat is a great venue. We did however recently play a local show which was ace! It’s great to play the bigger stages but it can sometimes be more rewarding in the smaller places too.
Ian: my favourite gig is still our first gig in Leiden, NL. A Very friendly and entertaining place, great little venue!
Myglobalmind: And what about worst gig so far? every band has those handful of gigs they wish just simply never happened……
Leigh: I’ve played some shockers over the years but so far nothing to report with OoV, I know this may sound cheesy but I love performing live with this band so even if the room was empty I’d get something out of playing the set!
Ash: Luckily we don’t have any horror stories! Sorry haha!
Myglobalmind: Is there any current bands you guys are listening to at the moment, anything that has blown you away recently?
Ash: Personally I’ve been listening to the new Deftones album quite a lot recently, although I get through so much stuff usually. I would say, Deftones, Bjork, Andy Timmons, Magnetic Man, Tears for Fears and the new Whitesnake album BAAAABY BAAAABYY!!!
Leigh: I’m waiting for the new Earthtone9 EP, really looking forward to that!
Myglobalmind: So, what’s next for ORDER OF VOICES? Have you begun working on a second album yet or is all your energy being poured into promoting the current one as much as you can?
Ash: Well, obviously we’re working as hard as we can at the moment to get out there to the people but we’re constantly working so there’s new material in the making 🙂 We also should have a couple of surprises between now and the next album for you so keep your eyes peeled 😀
Leigh: Yeah we’ve got around 10 songs written for the next album so well on with the writing process and as Ash alluded to hopefully a few surprises between main releases.
Myglobalmind: Thanks heaps guys for taking the time to answer some questions for us and all the best for the future, at My Global Mind we like to let the bands have the final words so is there anything you would like to say to our readers before we finish up?
Ian: Maybe buy our stuff, and tell your friends?!! Lol!!
Leigh: Thanks for the support ZeeZee we really appreciate it, see you on the road and keep up to date with us here:
Interviewed By ZeeZee on behalf of Myglobalmind Webzine.