Florida's Orbweaver just released one of those records that sounds just like its cover art. Like, if Mastodon's latest actually sounded like the roar of a multi-jawed bull with scales, or if mid-period Novembers Doom actually sounded good. Copiously limbed, eye- and mouth-dominated monstrosities from space are climbing through razored tears in space-time to devour your body and eternal energetic self before you can say "Holyshitthismusicisawesome!" Which you will try to say, because it is. Discordant, dirty, twisted, demonic, but spacious and intricate - their latest material on Strange Transmissions from the Neuralnomicon will kick your 26-dimensional ass all up and down the omniverse. Luckily, these songs have projected themselves temporarily into our reality (at Bandcamp), so you can experience it all for yourself. Also, check them out at their official website.
We asked songwriter/guitarist Randy Piro about his vision for the music so that you could connect to a human behind the chaos. Take a listen to the album while you read his thoughts. Holyshitthismusici... AAAAAHHH!
Can you talk a little about how the members got to know each other and how the band formed and defined its sound?
Right from the start I had the concept of mixing harsh noise and metal; psychedelic to a degree, but more just pure chaos and noise mixed with abstract, off kilter, aggressive music. I met our original drummer Mike shortly after I started writing the first few songs. He came from a pretty straight forward death metal background, so it mixed well with the more abstract and chaotic elements. From there we enlisted Sally. She and I had previously played together for several years so we already had a good musical rapport. We found Jason who embodies exactly what I always wanted in a bass player; Geezer and Getty. Once the full lineup was established, the previous songs evolved through the trial and error of live performances, and our different musical backgrounds. We then wrote the remainder of the songs together as a band.
What specifically is exciting to you as a player when you perform this music? What do you enjoy most about these new songs?
As cheesy as it sounds, live performances are somewhat of a transcendence ritual for me. While I am setting up my gear I’m a total mess... stressed, freaking out because some pedal is not working, geeked out on adrenaline, just totally awkward and mortal. But once I hit the standby switch and let the first wail of feedback come forth...the world goes black around me and I am simply wrapped in the sound... that’s my favorite part. As far as the songs themselves, each are enjoyable and extremely personal to me, so just the simple act of playing them is beyond rewarding.
How do Orbweaver songs get worked out?
Most of the songs were written by me before the lineup was completed, the only reason for this was simply to get the band going. Everyone was very involved in the arrangements, and integral to crafting the overall sound. We recently welcomed our new drummer Scott into the band, and have begun writing for the next LP. These songs are written democratically... everybody contributes. That said it all starts with someone’s original idea, and from there we just lock ourselves in our lair and hash it out.
What musical or thematic goals drove the creation of this new material?
The goal was to create an experience that takes one from the comfortable environment they reside in and throws them on a journey far outside the zone of familiarity.
As far as lyrical concepts, I am writing a continuing story that unfolds kind of like a comic book would.The lyrics were omitted on purpose; and this is where the visual art comes into the picture. I worked with Jean Saiz (Shroud Eater) to create 5 comic style trading cards which depict elements from the story. These are revealed in the limited edition cassette packs released by Primitive Violence Records.
These cards are the only defined glimpse the listeners will have... for now. The albums artwork ties in directly to the story, but I wanted to be a little more abstract about it. My intent is that the listener would just zone out on the art while absorbed in the music, and draw their own conclusion. This will continue for the next few releases, and cummulate with the entire storyline being made available in one grand, mind twisting form.
How does the song development process differ in Orbweaver from the way Gigan works?
When I started Orbweaver I had every intention of finding local musicians who had the ability, drive, and creative fortitude to do what we do. The end result was exactly what I was looking for; a band that gets together several times a week to rehearse and write. Because of this a lot of our newer material comes just from jamming together, and we have the luxury to bounce ideas around for days on end if need be.
We all lived far apart in Gigan, so songs were generally written before hand and then shown to the band. But that’s the way we had to work. We had limited time with each other, and we made the best out of it.
What non-metal musical backgrounds do Orbweaver members bring to the material?
A lot actually. Every member of the band has different, sometimes polar opposite musical tastes and background; but we all have common ground. I myself listen to a lot of older prog and electronic music. Jason is the total stoner rock guy, Sally digs out on funkier, weirdo stuff. It’s funny, historically our drummers listen to the most metal...and Scott is no exception. He’s the young guy of the group, so he likes a lot of the more modern bands.
Now that you've got a couple shorter recordings, do you have any lengthier ambitions on the horizon? What, generally, do you see coming next for Orbweaver?
We are currently writing the material that will become our next LP, and will begin the recording process sometime next year. Until then Orbweaver will continue to tour and play as many shows as possible.