Olympus Mons-interview

Olympus Mons-interview

Hello, welcome to the Dinintunerec webzine! and thank you for taking the time to answer our questions!

-Please introduce yourselves and please tell us what was the beginning of your journey?

Hello Dinintunerec and we would like to thank you for this opportunity. Our band was founded in 2018. Alex, (bass guitar) and Chris (lead guitar) met around that time and discovered they had mutual musical interests. More than that, a friendship developed between the two and they decided it was about time to start their own band.

I have been playing in different bands for around 15 years, but always searched for people that would share my taste in playing and listening to metal. It’s funny, just when I thought I wouldn’t be able to find anyone, it finally happened! A mutual friend suggested I meet Chris, given that he played guitar and composed for various music projects like movies and video games. My curiosity paid off and sure enough, I quickly discovered just how creative he was. His love for doom metal brought us closer and we became best friends so starting this band was just natural. We knew from the get-go that it wouldn’t be easy finding band members, but I guess you could say we were lucky.” – Alex

Meeting Alex inspired me to want to explore my creativity together with others. I consider myself a consumer of metal because there are so many bands that truly marked my taste. I could talk about Shape of Despair, Colosseum, Ataraxie, Officium Triste, Evoken, Tiamat, Draconian, Longing for Dawn, Swallow the Sun, Anathema, My Dying Bride, Saturnus, Vin de Mia Trix, Revelations of Rain, Metallica, Dimmu Borgir, Agathodaimon, Negura Bunget, Satyricon, Afsky, Hecate Enthroned, Drudkh and so many more, as a guitar player. None the less, I also like Jeremy Soule as a game music composer, Miles Davis when it comes to jazz and Rachmaninov, Beethoven and Liszt when it comes to classical music. Alex and I share these musical tastes and he often brings a good balance to the composing core of the band.” -Chris

Shortly after meeting and exploring the creative possibilities, Alex and Chris started looking for band members. The first to join was Christian, who currently plays drums in the band. Alex knew he was a drummer after meeting him in a bar a couple of years back. The three met for the first time and they composed two songs in just a couple of hours.

One of the bands that marked my rise as an artist is Slayer, which I discovered at a very young age. Soon, I came across Obituary and I was struck by their old-school sound and decided to start playing metal myself. I was 14 at the time and decided to play drums. Playing drums simply takes hold of me and relaxes me by breaking through the routine. In time, I learned that I loved playing doom metal for the same reason. Meeting these guys was one of the greatest moments in life for me. I mean…a bass player that is almost like an animal when he dives into his music and a guitar player that makes everything sound hard, dark and intelligent. This combination really allows me to beat the hell out of my drums and find inner balance, together with these guys. And I love that!” – Christian

The hardest part was finding a keyboard player to share their vision. Also, a lead singer. Then, out of nowhere, came Antonia.

Oddly enough, I met these guys at work, Alex and Chris. They told me about the band during a cigarette break and I shared some of my musical background with them. They immediately asked me to come to rehearsals, even though it didn’t seem like we were on the same page. Musically at least, since I am mostly classically-trained. But, as soon as we started playing, everything just clicked into place and it created such an enormous sense of freedom and just seemed right. This is because we’re friends.

It was kind of mesmerizing, I’ve been playing flute since I was 7 and piano since I was 10 years old, graduated from the Conservatory in Milan, Italy and got my degree from Berklee College of Music, where I miraculously got a scholarship by improvising in E Minor on a jazz standard. Miraculous, because I didn’t know how to improvise and I had no idea what jazz was. And so, Berklee sought to enlighten my very classical self. My flute teacher at the time kept insisting “you cannot learn music, you need to feel it,” as I improvised to Stan Getz, John Coltrane and every imaginable Brazilian music genre. I studied Native American Drumming, Afro-Cuban Percussion, learned to play guitar, studied Music Therapy and applied it in a variety of settings. Though I was well-versed in the psychological effects of music, it was not until Olympus Mons – and 15 years since I had touched any instrument – that I can actually say I feel it.” – Antonia

The band started composing very soon after, each member drawing from their own musical experience and working to create and build something together. But, there was still the issue of finding a lead singer. One day, Victor, one of Alex’s childhood friends that shares the same love for metal, came to visit the band. Victor never sang, but the guys encouraged him to pick up the mic, just for fun.

Man… when he first growled! I remember that my mind was blown. I mean, we’re talking about my oldest best friend with whom I’ve shared life and death moments and I never knew he could growl. I was struck by it. I think we all were and of course we asked him to join the band! And Victor did.” – Alex

I have always enjoyed playing with vocals. However, OM (Olympus Mons) is the first band I am trying to sing with. It all started out of fun, not really being aware of my vocal potential, swiftly and continuously discovering several techniques from a low-frequency voice to various types of growling techniques. Encouraged especially by the band’s feedback and being on the same vibe, I found my own style of metal vocals, continuously experimenting with its potential. I have always wanted to be part of something great, a band whose members are foremost friends. Even though we’re different, with different backgrounds, we have a great chemistry when playing and composing music. Playing with Olympus Mons brings a great feeling of breaking out of the ordinary, being able to escape reality by creating, by letting our minds travel and eluding daily routine.” – Victor

-Why Olympus Mons? How did you come up with that name?

The name of the band came around again by chance and again with the help of a good friend of theirs.

Lucian, a friend we played with in the beginning, told us that the music at that time was quite spacey, raw and dark. Kind of like a solitary rock in the Universe. He told us about Olympus Mons, the biggest mountain in our Solar System which is found on Mars. We fell in love with the name. Furthermore, I had a vision regarding our logo, whose acronym – OM – translates to human being in Romanian. This is very representative for us since the music we are making expresses much of the simple, yet powerful emotions, human beings go through, and very rarely face without fear.” Alex

-How would you define your music? If you would mention some bands that influenced your sound, what would those be?

I think for us this is one of the toughest questions. Because we have so many influences in the music we make, given our musical preferences, of course. You could say we play doom metal but our songs are made of passages that belong to a lot of other different genres, like thrash, heavy metal and even black metal. However, when we work on the songs we try to keep a clear line for the groove so that our music is clear to the audience. As for the bands we love and influenced us, well, the list is quite long and surely I can miss some: Samael, Theatre of Tragedy, Satyricon, Tiamat, Rage Against the Machine, Soundgarden, Metallica, Nirvana, Pantera, Sepultura, Slayer, Machine Head, Type O Negative, Shape of Despair, Colosseum, Ataraxie, Officium Triste, Evoken, Draconian, Longing for Dawn, Swallow the Sun, Anathema, My Dying Bride, Saturnus, Vin de Mia Trix, Revelations of Rain, Metallica, Dimmu Borgir , Anathema, Slayer, Obituary and many more.” Victor

What exciting gigs have you got coming up we should know about? 

“Well now the only gig we have planned and confirmed is the one on the 28th at Beraria H in Bucharest. But we are trying to make the posters for a lot of upcoming metal shows in Romania. So far nothing is confirmed but we will keep everyone updated if anything changes” Alex

-What music do you listen to? What do you recommend?

We could say each member of the band listens to various types of music. Of course, we stay away as much as possible from music that has no core or no meaning to us. As recommendations, the bands Victor mentioned above should stand tall in our top preferences list” Christian

-What are the things that you like and dislike on the Romanian metal scene? What is your opinion on how are things going on in here?

I think our band is far too young to have a sturdy opinion about this. But being realistic, we do feel that the metal scene is growing. Ant we do think that is actually the only thing that matters. Things cannot always be perfect but seeing young people and kids at metal festivals should mean a lot to us as metal heads” Christian

-Have you planned any new releases in the future? Tell us about your future plans.

Olympus Mons is working hard in trying to finish an album. We have released two songs (The Heavens Below and Darkness takes Over) that will be on that album. We have also put together two videos for these songs which you can find on our official YouTube channel ( https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2Erg_ODSJI5h9Zi3U3k0tQ/videos ) . Besides those songs, we managed to compose 6 more and are working on two other new pieces that we will try to fit into our debut album by the end of 2020” Alex

– Are there musicians (from abroad or local) that you hope to collaborate with and, if so, who is on the list? And why?

This is a tough question! I mean the list would be so long for us to even start thinking of some. But I do think we would all love to share the stage with bands like Tiamat or Paradise lost or Draconian. At the end of the day, we play doom metal as well and this kind of music does speak to us” Victor

-On February 28, Olympus Mons will be performing live for the first time at Beraria H. What are your feelings about this new experience? 

We look forward to playing live for the first time in front of an audience! We wished for this for a long time and this opportunity is great for Olympus Mons. We do hope our music and our show will give the audience something to remember and most of all we do hope that the audience has the chance to experience our true live sound as it is composed during our rehearsals” Antonia

-Recently you released the second video, “Darkness Takes Over”; what can you tell us about this?

Creating this video was indeed a challenge. But we were lucky enough to get help from a lot of great people. We wanted to express the visually what the music stands for. But we did want this to be clear not by using any special effects but by using the proper lighting. So the main idea was that only out of the purest dark you can see the light. We do hope that the video is to as many people’s liking as possible, even though as you can imagine we are quite young in creating such things. But we do our best in being involved in all creational parts when it comes to Olympus Mons so surely we will get more expressive in time” Alex

-We reached the end of the interview, please leave a message for our readers!

We would like to thank you all for listening to our music! Just keep on rocking and see you at our future shows! Olympus Mons salutes you! For getting to know us better you can join our Fan Group here 🙁https://www.facebook.com/groups/1049554945379054/ ),

Our Official Facebook Page here:

( https://www.facebook.com/olympusmonsofficialband/ )

And our official YouTube Channel. You can also find us on Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music and all the other content platforms

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