aking inspiration from every facet of life since they were kids, the men who make up Orca have taken it all and made their way to one another. What started out as an instrumental band, has grown to incorporate vocals and they talked about taking that step, their upcoming album Universe, and what the rest of the year has in store. Now let’s get to it!
Kendra: For someone who is a product of the 90’s, I see Orca and I instantly think of Free Willy. Was that movie as big over in the UK as it was here in the US?
Dave: I had just moved to the UK the year the movie came out. I can’t remember it being too much of a big deal. I never saw it myself and as far as having any connection to the band name there isn’t any. Everyone remembers it to some extent (thanks to The Simpsons perhaps) but it was no Jurassic Park.
Kendra: Since we’re on the subject, what was your favorite movie growing up and did it have any influence on you getting into music?
Chris: Star Wars, the original version. I guess the force equates with musical energy. My favourite track is “Aquarium” because I managed the best marriage of lyrics and melodies.
Matt: For me it’s Space Odyssey for similar reasons as what Chris said. The monolith in the movie is, in a way, a force of nature that draws parallels with the impact music had on me growing up. The movie also deals with the evolution of technology beyond the point of human limitations and systems of control. Perhaps one day computers will be able to create music more efficiently than humans using algorithms.
Kendra: If not, what did?
Dave: Mostly bands from the “Grunge” period for me. My parents played a lot of music when I was growing up but music became a lot more important once bands like Soundgarden, Nirvana, Rage Against the Machine, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains and Tool came on the scene. They were so different from what had been popular in the 80’s and made music very quickly a pivotal aspect of my life.
Kendra: When you all started out a couple of years ago – you were void of lyrics. For those who don’t see the appreciation of instrumental music, can you give us your thoughts on why it’s as important as music with lyrics?
Dave: We never intentionally set out to be an instrumental band. We always liked the idea of having a singer in the band, as far back as Martian Time Slip (the project Matt and I were in before Orca). We were operating very much under the radar so it was hard to find good candidates for the job. We toyed with the idea of giving in and just focusing on being an instrumental band, but when we set out to write Universe, Matt and I decided that it would have a vocalist on it no matter what it would take!
Kendra: What made you want to incorporate a singer though?
Dave: We always wanted to have a singer but could never find the right person. I guess we were held back by some of our requirements were ended up restricting our choices. The main thing was that were looking for someone who would sing rather than scream, at least for the majority of the time. That’s a big thing to ask considering how the music is often the exact opposite of melodic. After a few short lived attempts with other lead singers, Chris got in touch with us and Matt and I were very impressed by what we heard. He is able to take control over the melodies and separate them from the complex heavy music going on in the background thereby creating that extra layer we so long looked for that would complete our compositions.
Kendra: This year we’ll get your debut, Universe. Very cosmic name. If you could play the release show anywhere in this universe, where would it be and why? Like where would this sound fit best?
Matt: I’d say the folks in Zarmina would really dig our sound. There’s a big arena there with a state-of-the-art organic PA system and the locals are always up for some tasty prog so we’ll have to sort that one out providing the whole time travel problem is solved soon enough. Would only take 20 years to get there at the speed of light. Universe is best heard against a backdrop of alien planets with our very own pale blue dot perched somewhere in their night sky.
Kendra: What song off Universe would you consider your personal favorite of the bunch, and why?
Dave: Prism is my favorite song. It’s the last one that was written for the album and the melancholic ending seems to reflect that. It has a great drive at the start, a really big riff in the middle followed by a gorgeous outro. The song seems to contain all the elements of the album rolled into one and is a fantastic track to end the album on.
Kendra: You’ve got some shows coming up in April. What goes down at an Orca show for those who’ve yet to experience?
Matt: When Orca play, people stare hard. We’re not always sure if that’s because they’re undecided on our music or if they’re silently digging it, but in any case we always give out a full spectrum of sound, making sure to leave space in parts so things drop down to a pin-drop volume before kicking back in again. We offer the rollercoaster experience, so each of our songs takes you through a journey right there in the room. Come see for yourself!
Kendra: What’s up for the rest of 2016?
Matt: We’ll be touring the album throughout the course of the year and getting some airplay along the way, but also starting to piece together the follow up to Universe which is already in progress. We’ve got a collection of ideas which will be arranged into the bones of songs which then get texturized until they have enough depth to write and record vocals before finishing touches are added. Musicians just want to write and perform so that’s what we’ll be doing.
Kendra: Over in the UK, who are some other rockers and metalheads that we should be on the lookout for over in the states?
Matt: For sludgy heaviness, check out my good friend Tom Carter’s band Heavy as Balls. The name says it all really. Tom also runs a recording studio called Riff Factory recordings which pumps out some great produce. Tom also plays in Creepjoint which offer something different to the standard export metal. If you’re looking for more prog-leaning sounds check out Al Heslop’s band Heights signed to Basick Records. Very tasty stuff indeed. Basick Records also have Bad Sign who Kerrang had played before our track “Aquarium” on the airwaves.