Denver rockers Owleye certainly cannot be typecast as your typical metalcore band. The quartet draws influence from all manner of music genres to form their unique metal sound.
There are echoes of the likes of Of Mice & Men and Architects in their music, and the band describe taking influence from bands like Underoath, Chiodos, Haste The Day, and Saosin. But just when you think you know what to expect, the band throws a spanner in the works and drops in moments of melodic calm or bursts of electronica.
Confessions of a Sociopath, from this year’s debut EP No Wounds, is a superb metal track that begins with screamed vocals before dropping into an awesome singalong chorus then descending into hardcore noise. Final track on the EP Cycles showcases the band’s diversity, starting off slow and soft, building up to a burst of metalcore followed by a melodic outro to bring the EP to an end.
From the same EP, the awesomely named Knight to B7 intros with a piano supporting distorted guitar chords before Graham launches into his distinctive screamed vocals, with some great little guitar riffs in accompaniment. A cool off-beat guitar interlude is electronically enhanced before bursting into a huge blast of screamed vocals, big guitars and some unbelievable drumming.
We spoke to lead singer Tim Graham this week to find out more about this fascinating new band, who hail from the beautiful mountain town of Colorado.
Tim said: “I think what makes us standout is the variety within our music. We aren’t just a typical metalcore band anymore and we put a lot of different musical genres within our music. We can write really heavy songs but we also write some really cool soft stuff with jazz influence. Our diversity and our live performance helps us stand out.”
“I always try and be inspired by just everyday living. I have to this point mostly written about my inner demons and how to overcome what gets me down. My music is my platform to get all my problems off my chest, however I am trying as of late to write about other things and be a little more happy.”
The band’s unique writing process may go some way to explaining their often diverse sound. Tim explained: “Our creative process is really different, we write sitting in our practice space then really fine tune it during pre-production, which makes things change a lot. We write according to how we are feeling, so one day we feel heavy then a week or so later we don’t feel so heavy so that heavy song turns into a soft song. We are just sporadic with our writing.
“It is hard to set a standard and we truly feel that you get what you give, so we are just busting our asses to get to the next level as musicians. We just want to write and play our music and share our music with people who want to listen because this is our life and soul.”
And the intrigue of this band doesn’t stop with the music, as Tim, who joined fellow band members David ‘DJ’ Sundine (guitar), Brad Stewart (bass), and Frank Woronoff (drums), last year, describes in the story of how they formed.
He said: “The band originally started over free pie day at Village Inn, DJ really gets inspired by pie and wanted to start a new band after parting ways with his old band. The original lineup had DJ, Frank and Brad with another vocalist. It was the very end of 2014 when the band wanted to shake things up and parted ways with their vocalist and at the time I was parting ways with my old band that I was filling in on vocals for. Basically I hit up the guys and we are what we are now. I think collectively we all just love music and being in a band is just what’s in our blood.”
The band also puts a great emphases on their gigs, describing their fans as friends and being all about being on a good show. Describing the best gig they’ve played, Tim said: “Our EP release back in April really kicked our asses in gear to know just how many people love and appreciate our music. We literally released the EP two days before the show and to have people singing along to them when we’d never played them live before really showed us we can do something big for Denver and for ourselves. Our fans (friends) are everything to us and we thank you all so so much.”
This led us to ask Tim for his take on the music industry, and he said: “Minus those 30 to 45 minutes you get on stage, everything else is a struggle and a grind. Nobody that’s not in a band realises how much time and hard work goes into everything, like anything in life things don’t come easy but being able to play shows is the light at the end of the tunnel of everyday life.
“The music industry is a fickle bitch, everyone only focuses on getting signed and thinking that once you have that contract you are in the music industry. I feel it starts at home and building up your local scene. In Denver bands have never supported each other more than right now, that is the foundation of the industry and it shows when you go to local shows. It’s not easy to be able to make a living solely off music but as long as you can be comfortable and be able to tour and play shows, all is well in the world.”
The band plans to be in the studio through January recording a new album, which we can’t wait to treat our ears to sometime next year. Follow Owleye on Twitter, Facebook and check out their music in the usual places.