Every week we give you the chance to get to know a new or up-and-coming band. This week, we’re featuring the Finnish group Oddland in Meet The Band. Their sophomore album Origin was just released.
Give us a brief history of Oddland.
The core of the band was formed 2003 out of childhood friends. After the demo Away from the Watching Eye in 2010 we started to feel we had found our own style, which was a melting pot of heavier influences (Testament, etc.), grunge (AIC, STP, etc.), and electronic music.
We entered this contest Century Media organized in Finland in 2011 not expecting a whole lot from it, but ended up winning the whole thing and recorded our debut The Treachery of Senses for CM in 2012. That record sort of got the ball rolling and we played a bunch of shows and festivals at home and abroad getting to share the stage with some awesome bands such as Soen, Leprous and Swallow the Sun, to name a few.
The last two years we have spent writing and recording the new album Origin, which really stole our complete focus. Now we’re ready and excited to hit the stage again!
Describe the songwriting and recording process of Origin.
We do all of the composing together with pretty extreme democracy. We all have to be very content with the decisions made and we pay attention to detail until exhaustion sometimes. It is a slow way to write songs, and you can drive yourself to the brink of insanity doing it like this, but you end up with something none of us would ever be able to create alone. This is naturally also why it took us so long to get this record completed.
How would you characterize the album’s style/sound?
We were aiming for a starker and heavier sound and atmosphere compared to the first album. This vision was emphasized very nicely by the mixing of Daniel Bergstrand. The songs are driven by rhythmic variations with strong and intricate melodies. Our compositions tend to be quite layered, in a way that we hope will allow listeners to find new details with repeated listening.
What’s the lyrical concept?
Lyrically the album is tied together by the idea that the lyrics represent our origin: what has made us what we are – individually and collectively. We discussed the themes important to each member and Sakari translated the ideas into the lyrics. Mohammed really brought life to these ideas visually and he also added his own artistic touch to elevate the ideas further.
What has been your most memorable Oddland live show?
There have been a lot of memorable moments with some lovely people as well as some comical situations, but Progpower 2013 festival was probably the most memorable show we have played so far. There was a special atmosphere and the audience was simply great.
How did you get started in music?
We all got started with instruments fairly young, and since our late teens music has always been the most important outlet for everything we can’t process or express otherwise. A couple of fun facts about our musical history: Sakari was listening exclusively to rap music when he was around 13 and Joni bought his first metal album when he was six years old.
Who are your musical heroes?
Well there are a lot artists we respect and follow, but if we all would have to name one that has been important to us: Massive Attack, Les Claypool, Robert Fripp and Jeff Buckley.
Who are your all-time top five favorite Finnish metal bands?
In no particular order: Kyyria, YUP, Sentenced, Amendfoil and Torture Killer.
Anything else you’d like to mention/plug/promote?
We have a new album! There will be a limited edition vinyl of Origin which we’re pretty excited about. It will have a 12 inch booklet to really showcase the art, so if you really want the full experience that’s the way to go!
(interview published September 10, 2016)