Connecticut’s Owl Maker just released their heavy metal infused debut Paths Of the Slain digitally via their Bandcamp page and will be following this edition with a physical version later in the year. This debut is six tracks of hard hitting metal that recalls memories of early wave NWOBHM but also the titans of riff driven hard rock. The band features Simon Tuozzoli (Vestal Claret) and was mixed / mastered by Arthur Rizk (Code Orange, Power Trip). So, that should be enough firepower to make you take a listen and once you do the hooks will be set. Just behind this release we had the chance to ask the band our set of Profile questions so head inside to see what they had to say.
How did you first get into playing music and have you achieved the level of success that you always hoped to achieve?
Chris Anderson (drums): From about my early teens, I’ve always been in some sort of musical project. We’re doing quite well, but we can always take it farther!
What’s the most you have ever debased yourself to get your band onto a show, into a magazine or otherwise promoted, covered, debased and praised? If you don’t have a story please tell us any embarrassing story.
CA: How about a bad gig story? In one of my high school bands, the singer never wanted to book gigs. “We’re not ready”, and all that. So after haggling him for ages, he told us he got us a “really big gig.” We get there, and it turns out to be a blues jam at an open mic. Kinda like that scene out of the Blues Brothers. Needless to say, we were NOT well received.
Jessie May (bass): Too old to debase myself for gigs these days — but one time about ten years ago, a promoter for a concert venue told my then-band that we could have a slot opening for In Flames… If we “sold” 50 tickets at $10 each to open for the singer from Ratt on a Tuesday. I think we actually sold about five tickets, but still gave the guy $500. We should have just went to the strip club.
What do you see as some of the great things happening in metal and what are some of the worst things happening inside the scene right now?
Simon Tuozzoli (vocals, guitar): Melody is making a comeback.
CA: There seems to be a good variety in styles in the metal world as of late. The downside is I think too many modern mixes are overproduced, over edited and sterile sounding.
It seems that now everyone has a passion for some cause and that those people are very open about displaying their passions. This is probably a very, very good (and progressive) thing socially. What are some of the most important issues (social/political/humorous/etc.) for you and how do you insert those issues into your music?
CA: While we as a society are becoming more tolerant, I also feel people these days are way more focused on language than the actual issue at hand. In a lot of ways, social media has made folks simultaneously more sensitive and conversely crueler to each other. As far as expressing ourselves lyrically, Jessie writes the lion’s share of the lyrics. This in turn gives them a female perspective that I think is lacking in a lot of metal.
JM: “99″ is probably our most socially conscious song. It’s a take on 1984 in the Trump era, where many people are unwittingly held hostage by commercialism and addictions. I’m including myself in that “many people” — I don’t even want to know how many times I pick up my phone every day. Our society is in a collective trance, with oligarchs pulling the strings… Now where’s my tinfoil hat?
What, or who, got you into metal and how old were you? How did your family take the news?
CA: I grew up with Led Zep, Zappa, Sabbath etc., so the jump to metal was no biggie. My parents were old school hippies, so none of it was shocking to them.
What advice do you have for aspiring music critics and outlets out there? How can we all better serve the genre in the eyes of a hard-working musician?
JM: My hat is off to anyone who spends their spare time writing about music. It takes a bit of effort to write a thoughtful review or come up with interesting interview questions. So, thank you for taking the time to talk with us!
CA: Just keep supporting the scene and the artists out there!
What’s your goal? You guys thinking world domination? Maybe saving a continent? Maybe invading one? Any interest in starting a cult? Do you guys have day jobs or hobbies you want to share? Whatever it is, please let us know.
CA: My goal is to make sure I can pay my bills this month followed by conquering a small nation. It’s good to have goals.
ST: Our goal right now is finding a label to work with. I still believe in printing music on media and having a package to hold, and we would like some support in making that happen successfully. Playing in Europe could only be good, that would be a great experience.
When you’re not obsessing over your own material, what are some of your favorite albums to listen to currently? (Feel free to include non-metal)
CA: My listening is all over the map. Two of my favorite albums of last year were from Dying Fetus and Kamasi Washington. Pick a genre, I probably like at least something from it.
JM: I’ve had Hunted by Khemmis on regular rotation in my car since I got it a year ago. I also love the New York City folk station 90.7 WFUV.
Summarize your band in exactly one word.
Many thanks to Owl Maker for their time!