Omnium Gatherum

author EW date 16/09/08

With an upcoming review of their new album "The Redshift" soon to hit the RF online shelves and a hopefully not-too-alcohol influenced live review just round the corner, I s'pose the last thing we could do to push Omnium Gatherum on to you dear readers was to interview the buggers. So here it is, perfectly timed before their tour with Nile, Grave & Belphegor (see Tour Dates) kicks off in London this Friday, where of course yours truly will bring all that can be remembered from what should be an excellent gig to open a blinding tour package. Just don't say we didn't introduced you to that Finnish opening band on the bill...

RF.net: Good day to all the guys in Omnium Gatherum. Before we go any further, please introduce yourself to our readership.
H: Hello, I’m Harri Pikka from Omnium Gatherum. I play guitar in the band.

J: Vocals

RF.net: The band have been going for over a decade now already despite none of the members looking any older than about 25! How did the band come to form back in the mid-90s?
H: The oldest member in the band, drummer Jarmo, turned to 30 in January. Other members of the band are a few years younger. We don’t have many close-up photos floating around about our faces and that’s for a reason. Without my hat I’d go easily for 45 year old dude. I’m 27 years now.

Answer to your question: Markus Vanhala formed the band in mid nineties. Lots of members changed during the years and now we have our 4th album coming out.

RF.net: A hell of a lot of has changed in the music world since you started, and as I’m sat here listening to the new Metallica album I’m reminded how much of an effect the internet has had on all bands. How do you view the ‘business’ side of the music industry from the point of view of someone in a band that presumably doesn’t live off the band alone?
J: Of course the music industry is a huge business and it is very complex issue to think and talk about. Well, my feelings towards it are controversial. On the other hand I'm used to being fucked by it, but on the other it is one of the cornerstones that enable people to make and listen to all kinds of music. Internet has changed a lot in the music industry as well in everything else. It helps people to gain access to vast amount of underground stuff, that could otherwise remain unheard. I think it helps the musicians to spread their music more freely, it evens the score a bit ;)

RF.net: How has the sound of Omnium Gatherum developed from the early demos and first couple of albums through to new release “The Redshift”?
H: Not so much radical changes happened. The same old sound and material has gotten better. We’ve grown older and have the patience and superior knowledge to do better songs. Also with not so much different riffs in them.

RF.net: What can you tell us about us about "The Redshift"; what’s your favourite track off it, why should someone who’s never heard of Omnium Gatherum check it out?
H: My favourite song is the last one "Distant Light Highway". People should check out our material, it’s good stuff. Really.

J: At the moment my favourite song on the album is yhe last one "Distant Light Highway". It is a bit complex song and it offers a variety of moods in a short period of reality. It also has a hidden catch in it. Everyone should hear it!

RF.net: Is the existence of a ‘Finnish sound’ similar to yours ever been something you have noticed? It is arguable that Children of Bodom have taken the lead in its creation but then there are bands like yourselves, Amoral and Norther who have pushed it further too; has there ever been much of a ‘scene’ mentality up there in Finland for these kind of melodically-driven extreme metal bands?
J: What is this 'Finnish sound' thing? I think that Finland produces a lot of excellent bands. In the underground too! The "sound" is just little similarity that exists between the bands and the individual’s style of playing their instruments. Finnish band are much cooler about each other than in the past and the co-operation scene is also ascending. So things are looking nice.

H. You said it J.

RF.net: Omnium Gatherum have a support slot on the bumper upcoming Nile tour, alongside other bands like Grave and Belphegor, making it a right mix of styles in one show. Do you have a preference for these kinds of tours where you are more likely to be playing to people not acquainted with your sound over the likes of the Dark Tranquillity one completed earlier in 2008?
H: I could answer you better after the Nile tour. UK tour with Dark Tranquillity was the best string of shows we’ve done and a superb trip. We have little softer type of material than the other bands on the Nile tour, but I think it’s going to go very good.

J: Well, I think it is a bit strange mixture of metal bands, but an interesting one at least heh heh... . I think it is indeed a great opportunity to spread our music to an audience which contains a variety of fans from different scenes. I don't mind playing to different kinds of crowds. If the feeling between the band and the audience is good it doesn't matter who is playing and who enjoying the show.

RF.net: What can be expected from an Omnium Gatherum live show? Will you be playing a mixture of material from across your discography?
H: Were now focusing on playing lots of "The Redshift" material, and we have also re-learned some different old songs to our set. There are songs from each four albums. We like to play very tight so we sound good live. Not so much jumps in the air, mainly moshing and tight playing.

J: It is gonna be a fast red flash of energy and insanely aggressive live performance! We are mainly gonna play the new material but of course there is gonna be songs from the older albums too.

RF.net: "The Redshift" follows quickly on the heels of 2007’s "Stuck Here on Snake's Way". How quickly can we expect more from the OG camp after this Nile and have you any idea at this stage what developments the band might be looking to incorporate into the next album?
H: "The Redshift" isn’t out yet so we don’t have any plans for the next album. Jarmo got new drum set. Toffee coloured kit, I think it will effect somehow to the upcoming material.

RF.net: Do you still actively check out other Metal bands as much as I’m sure you did back in your youth? If so, which bands and albums have caught your attention in the Metal world in the last year or so?
H: I check out bands if I find something new and interesting, or hear from my friends about some new band. Latest Electric Wizard album is really good, new Bigelf album sounds killer and the Witchcraft’s “Alchemist” rules.

J: I follow the sce$ne a bit, but not so much than before. I' so busy nowadays that I just don't have the time. I like Gojira's newest stuff. Also 'Come clarity' by In Flames is a goodie. I think it is their second newest album...?

RF.net: How has being a band like OG, where you have had to work hard to make any kind of name for yourselves affected the band members personally? It must beat doing the same old 9-5 job all the time!
H: It would be the best job ever if there was a paycheque every now and then. We’re happy pessimistic people.

RF.net: I believe a good number of topics have been covered in this here interview; what parting words do you want to leave before you depart for your European trek starting with the London show in a weeks time? I personally look forward to seeing you then!
H: Thanks for the interview! I start to pack my undies and socks. Hope to see many Omnium Gatherum fans and turn the Nile fans into our music also. See you at the London show!

J: See ya out there!!!

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