Odium | Interview with Bo Louther

Odium are a Canadian band that just released their smoking album "Burning the Bridges to Nowhere". The band sound like a mix of Killswitch Engage, In Flames and Tool. Unlike most generic metalcore that you hear nowadays, Odium actually have the chops and the hooky songs to make it big. Think metalcore is crap or "false" metal? Listen to "Burning the Bridges to Nowhere" and you will be converted to Odium's music. Check out what guitarist Bo Louther has to say below.

Your new album "Burning the Bridges to Nowhere" seems to be getting great reviews so far and I thought it was an excellent album. Can you briefly go over the history of the band as most people probably aren't familiar with you guys?

“We are a five-piece metal band from Hanover, Ontario. Odium was started by our drummer and singer (Joe Mullen and Tom Emmans) in 2007, at which point an EP entitled ‘Glass Barricade’ was released. In 2009 (after a couple member changes) we released our debut LP ‘At the Bottom’ through Year of the Sun Records, and shot two music videos for it. Since then we have been playing shows in Southern Ontario and even did a two week tour of Eastern Canada to promote the album in 2010. We started writing the new album in 2010 and it was released April 20, 2012.”

I've seen the album described as metalcore in many places and the tag would seem to fit to a degree, however as I personally don't like metalcore, but loved your album and you seem to be a bit more than that. I personally hear a cross between Killswitch Engage and Tool, especially with your vocalist. How would you describe your sound?

“Heavy and melodic. When people start using specific sub-genres to describe our music (like metalcore), it automatically makes people assume how we sound before they hear us. No doubt there are some elements of certain sub-genres included in our writing, but it's not like we sit down with a checklist of genres to include in any certain song. We write what feels natural for us, which (for the most part) turns out to be a combination of heavy riffing and soaring vocal sections.” 

Why do you think metalcore gets such a bad rap from a lot of metal fans despite its popularity?

“It seems like a lot of fans are really just yearning to hear metal that is made by people who do it because they love the music. A lot of these metalcore bands come out for all the wrong reasons (facebook friends, girls, partying, etc.) and ultimately will not last as long as something more honest like Pantera or Slipknot. Fans can tell when a band puts more time and effort into their image than their musical content.”

Musically who are the band's influences?

“There is a very wide range of influence throughout the band, from old-school hip hop to death metal to classic rock. Some of our favourite metal bands are SiKth, Born of Osiris, Nothingface, Lamb of God, Children of Bodom and Veil of Maya. Tom's influences (Tool, In Flames) obviously shine through the most, being the vocalist and all.”

How are you guys planning on getting the word out on the album? Is there a video or any tour planned?

“We actually just shot the video for the new single "No Way Out" on April 28th, so that will be released in the near future, and we are currently in the beginning stages of planning a two week tour in Canada this summer. Until then we will be playing shows in Southern Ontario and promoting the album on the road as well as online.”

Being from Ontario, have you found it more difficult to get recognized as a heavy band? I recently did an interview with another Ontario band who said metal is basically ignored there.

“It's definitely a lot harder than other places like the states, especially considering we hail from such a small town. We have to do lots of driving, lots of networking, and lots of online promotion in order to push ourselves further into the metal scene. We wouldn't really agree with saying that metal is totally ignored in Ontario, because most of the cities we play have a great scene and lots of awesome fans that support the local talent. That being said, a band from Northern Ontario would probably have a much harder time finding contacts and shows to play considering the distance from Toronto and the surrounding cities.”

Is the music more important when writing an Odium song or the lyrics?

“We find both to be just as important. Our songs come together in sometimes random fashions (one person will bring in a whole song, or just an idea or riff), and is always examined and polished by all band members before we consider it finished. When the song is complete, Tom writes the lyrics himself and again everyone sits down and gives their opinions about what he's written. This way nothing is overlooked, thus making the importance of the song and the lyrics pretty much equal.”

Do you foresee at any point that you will be able to do this full-time or is the band looked upon as more of a hobby for you guys?

“We are taking the possibility of making this a full-time gig seriously, although we have no plans to get to that point in the near future. We still have a long way to go, and we are working hard to try and get to that full-time stage eventually. We have put so much into this band that we wouldn't consider it a hobby anymore, but at the same time still enjoy playing and writing just as much as we did when it was a hobby.”

Any plans on touring the rest of N. America or Europe at any time in the near future?

"Nothing planned right now, but our next goal is to tour the states. We would love to eventually be able to tour Europe, but it's just not realistic for us right now."

Thanks for your time. Anything else you would like to say?

"Thanks alot Curt and a huge thanks to everyone who gave our new album a listen. Check out our facebook page to stay updated with show dates, videos, and everything Odium!facebook.com/odiummusic Cheers!!"

Words: Curt