GATHERUM - The Thinking Man's Band
Omnium Gatherum remains the epitome of how metal can move beyond
the tropes of the genre while becoming something else entirely. With
Century Media Records, Omnium Gatherum is releasing a new record
that the band calls, “Fresh rebirth of Omnium Gatherum!” Set for
deliverance August 31st, 2018, '"The Burning Cold, " interpretation
of metal music far surpasses any expectations. This is hands down
the best melodic death metal album of the year so far.
The depth of the sound these guys are able to produce, with the
kind of guitar solos that make you want to learn to shred, is
astounding. Every time you listen to "The Burning Cold" or any
Omnium Gatherum record, you will discover new lyrics that inspire, a
harmony that entrances, or a wicked riff that makes the devil horns
In support of "The Burning Cold," Omnium Gatherum is hitting the
North American roads with Amorphis, Dark Tranquillity, and
Moonspell. Guitarist extraordinaire, Markus Vanhala
(Insomnium) talked with us about the new record and upcoming tour.
DB: First off, I am super excited about the new record. I have
mine on preorder.
MV: Thanks for the support, I’m super excited too about this
release, even [if] this is the eighth one. Finest hour for sure. So
DB: I like how Omnium Gatherum has a family behind the music,
Dan Swano, and Olli-Pekka. Were you happy with Olli-Pekka
interpretation of your concept for the album cover? In particular
the pile of skulls.
MV: Yes, we like to work with our creative circle, [a] band of
brothers, that goes over the musician borders in Omnium Gatherum and
these guys are an important part of the process and feel. Like
Olli-Pekka has made all our cover artwork since the first demo of
’97, Teemu Aalto has been recording and engineering [with] us since
the 2004 ”Years In Waste” album. We just had a tenth-anniversary
co-operation date with Dan Swanö as the fifth album with him. Also,
been working with the same band photographer, Jari Heino, since ”New
World Shadows” album 2011. Are we just too antisocial Finns who
don’t wanna meet and work with new people. (laughs) It’s only why
change the working winning team with whom we’re having a lot of fun
together. Olli is one of my best buddies in real life and we’ve
grown together with listening to music and OG et al. I always send
my new material demos for him to illustrate and we speak a lot about
concepts and ideas. So our cooperation really goes on both ways with
visuals and music. Last time we had two skulls on ”Grey Heavens”
album artworks. Now we needed more. This is still death metal.
DB: You have released two singles off the new record so far, both
with video, "Gods Go First" and "Refining Fire," both are
beautifully shot, where were these videos filmed?
MV: Both titles were filmed near where I’m living in Kotka,
southeast coast of Finland. Especially with ”Refining Fire” we
wanted to have a lot of local nature for the visuals, and there’s
this streaming little river of life. It would’ve been too cliched to
use fire in [the] song with a fire song title, so there’s a lot of
different metaphors and [symbolism].
DB: Did Olli-Pekka produce "Gods Go First" as well?
MV: Olli-Pekka produced only ”Refining Fire” video on top of
artworks, ”Gods Go First” was made by another video team.
DB: Does the band come up with the idea for what the video will
MV: We the band had more input for ”Gods Go First” video, where
we wanted the main point to be on lights and colors in the same
line with the album cover artwork. We also wanted it to be intimate,
the band playing in some small barn inside, and not huge factory
industrial hall as metal bands usually [are] playing in videos. It
was funny to film it in this really old dusty small barn in the
middle of forest. Gnomes and hobgoblins and ghosts were definitely
in with the spirit.
DB: The vibe I get from "The Burning Cold" is almost cinematic in
a way. Kind of like being on horseback about to go into battle. Very
Music-wise, I always tend to think of music as visuals and
landscapes and yes, in a cinematic way so you got the point there! I
try to take people for a little journey through my music, escape to
some different place than you are for a duration of the record(s).
DB: Being a "mature metal" band, or a "thinking man's metal" band
for this album lyrically, it is reflecting on human emotion and the
overall hatred in the world. Correct?
MV: Album concept is dealing basically with how human emotions
and your inner world can cope with the craziness of the too
intensive outside modern world of today. Emotional scales are pumped
up to the maximum with all the never-ending stimulants in this
modern fast world which have turned a bit to a chaotic space.
World leaders aren’t thinking on the long run, and people have to
get it all now ASAP and as cheap as possible or even better, for
free. We’re living a sensitive minds era, where people feel strong
hate or strong justice or injustice or whatever, and with social
media explosion, everyone can get their opinions public in a second
and without thinking too much. It is you in the middle who have to
decide how you wanna live [in] this chaos, whether to fly or die.
DB: Going back to the lyrical content. As a touring band, with
how unpredictable the world is, are you guys taking any extra
MV: Fear is a mind killer. So we don’t surrender to fears, it
would kill all the fun, and you cannot live your life in fear. Do
your thing, and hope for the best.
DB: Have you noticed a difference in how security is handled at
shows and festivals to ensure everyone's safety?
MV: In some places yes, and then at other places not at all and
it could be way more well organized.
DB: OG has a huge tour coming up, kicking off with Summerbreeze.
It looks like you may achieve your goal of "most gigs played by a
Finnish musician," once this tour is over.
MV: Yeah, we’ll be touring North America first with Amorphis,
Dark Tranquillity, and Moonspell, so this is gonna be a melodic
death metal festival tour of your life. Definitely looking forward
to this great lineup of great bands and good friends that we are, as
I’ve been already touring with all these bands earlier and these are
the best guys in the business. After that, we’ll head out to
European headliner tour, and after that, there’ll be a lot more
later on in touring front. As always, so yes, my life is crazy and
as I’m playing with two touring bands with OG and Insomnium, I’m
constantly on the road.
DB: In an interview with you and Jukka, Jukka mentioned something
about a cover from a legendary '90s band. Can you elaborate on that?
MV: Yes indeed, we recorded a song by one legendary Brazilian
metal band for a bonus material. It’s from the album called ”Chaos
A.D.” It is we, who are not as others.
DB: Do you, or anyone in Omnium Gatherum ever listen to people
cover your songs that are uploaded on Youtube? If yes, what are your
thoughts on them?
MV: Usually not, as when I have free time I prefer listening to
some other music than songs made by me. (laughs.)
DB: Thank you so much Markus. Is there anything you would like to
MV: See you soon on the tour folks, let’s have a metal party and
enjoy some good American craft beers.
Special thanks to Markus for taking the time to chat. You can
purchase "The Burning Cold" at Backstagerockshop.com
||"Gods Go First"
||"Rest in Your
||"Be the Sky"
||"The Front Line"
Markus Vanhala - Guitar
Jukka Pelkonen - Vocals
Tuomo Latvala - Drums
Aapo Koivisto - Keyboards
Koto - Guitar
Erkki Silvennoinen - Bass
North American Tour
Tranquillity, Amorphis, Moonspell
07.09.2018 New York (NY) - Gramercy Theater
Montreal (QUE) - Corona Theatre
09.09.2018 Quebec City
(QUE) - Imperial
10.09.2018 Toronto (ON) - Opera House
11.09.2018 Ft Wayne (IN) - Pierre's
12.09.2018 Detroit (MI)
13.09.2018 Joliet (IL) - The Forge
Minneapolis (MI) - The Cabooze
15.09.2018 Winnipeg (MA) -
17.09.2018 Edmonton (AL) - The Starlite Room
18.09.2018 Calgary (AL) - Dickens
19.09.2018 Vancouver (BC)
- Rickshaw Theater
20.09.2018 Seattle (WA) - El Corazon
22.09.2018 Berkeley (CA) - The UC Theatre
Anaheim (CA) - The Grove
24.09.2018 West Hollywood (CA) -
Whiskey a Go Go
25.09.2018 San Diego (CA) - Brick By Brick
26.09.2018 Tempe (AZ) - Marquee Theatre
Vegas (NV) - House of Blues
28.09.2018 Salt Lake City (UT)
- Liquid joe's
29.09.2018 Denver (CO) - Herman’s Hideaway
01.10.2018 Dallas (TX) - Trees
02.10.2018 San Antonio (TX)
- Rock Box
03.10.2018 Houston (TX) - Scout Bar
05.10.2018 Tampa (FL) - Orpheum
06.10.2018 West Palm Beach
(FL) - Kelsey Theater
07.10.2018 Atlanta (GA) - The
09.10.2018 Louisville (KY) - Diamond Pub and
10.10.2018 Durham (NC) - Motorco
Baltimore (MD) - Soundstage
12.10.2018 Philadelphia (PA) -
13.10.2018 Worcester (MA) - The Palladium
14.10.2018 Clifton Park (NY) - Upstate Concert Hall
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