Not just four guys playing Metal in a basement in Copenhagen

ORM

Thank you for taking the time to talk to us, how are things in your world?

Very good! We were just rehearsing. We have the release party for our upcoming album next Friday, with a song that we haven’t played live before, so we wanted to fine-tune it. We just received our LP’s as well! You might see the boxes in the background there! So, that’s what we’ve been doing.

Yeah, I saw that, you’re releasing your new album in vinyl and digital, so no CD’s this time?

No, no CD’s. That’s a decision we made. We wanted vinyl as the physical copy, and the digital, well you can’t really get around that these days. You have to have that as well. But no CD’s, we played for ten years or something together and we released many albums before this one, and we always end up with a lot of CD’s just stacked somewhere. They sell, but you know, no one is really selling anything these days, so we produce a small number of vinyls, and that’s it!

Well, your cover is vinyl worthy, it’s really great artwork man!

Yeah, that also has something to do with it. Of course, when you get an artist like Paolo Girardi to make a painting for you, then obviously you want it big, in a format that justifies it!

That would be either vinyl, or a CD with a poster in it, I guess.

Yes, but that would be much more expensive to do, I think. I don’t know. We like the vinyl format, and it’s really big here in Scandinavia. Otherwise you can just burn a cd yourself!

Absolutely! I have a question for you guys. When I was preparing this interview I found a whole Encyclopedia Metallum page for a band named ORM, but I think it’s another band! Is there another band with your name that you know of?

Probably, I don’t know! It’s a good name, so there could be.

It says here from Denver, Colorado.

Oh, yeah. Like a Doom band. I think the last time they put something out was in 2012, but they seem on hiatus I think, when we took the name. We stole it *laughs*. We felt that we were more entitled to the name than they are *laughs*. I don’t know.

How did you actually land on this name?

It was actually Simon’s, my guitarist over here. He had a thing he wanted to do for a long, long time, when we were playing together in another band. When we stopped being the other band, we wanted to do Black Metal, and the name was already there. We took it and made it into our own.

Very cool! You had your live debut in 2016, and you already played big festivals, including Roskilde! That’s quite the beginning for a band, how did that come about?

Denmark is a really small country, you know? Even though the Roskilde Festival is a big festival, it comes down to one booker in the end, who comes to see your show, or maybe doesn’t come to see your show but has heard about you somewhere. We weren’t on any of the main stages or anything, it was an upcoming stage, but still. It was our fourth or fifth show or something, so it was a really big thing for us. I think the Roskilde Festival has like a profile where they try to push upcoming bands and try to find them. They want to be the one who kickstarts someone's career, and that’s a nice thing. It’s what I love about the Roskilde Festival. They always give the upcomers a chance. It was a bit of luck, but still, maybe we were interesting. *laughs*, maybe we bring something else to the scene.

Yeah. If I listen to your new release, this is your debut album right?

Yeah.

If I listen to it, it has a really unique sound.

Yes, we think so too, and we thought about it a lot. We’ve been developing this sound for many years now, but we’ve been playing a lot of other stuff as well. We just wanted to do something that sounded organic, and all the cliches, you know? Organic, live, stuff like that, with the Black Metal vibe. It really sounds like us. We have the guitars and the drums setup that way. It was a live recording, and it’s really how we sound.

What would you say are the most important ingredients in your music?

I don’t know. Melodies, and the attitude of the day. Sometimes we do really fast stuff, and sometimes we do really slow stuff, but it’s always based around that theme, the guitar theme we have, the riff. It’s usually Simon who comes up with an idea or a riff, and then we build the song about that. I think the main ingredient of the band is that it’s us four guys, who have been playing together always. It comes really natural to us, in some way. If you would take one of us out and replaced him with someone new, I think the whole process would start over in some way. We’re just really tight, we’ve been together for over ten years.

That’s a long time!

Yes it is, and it’s not, you know? Many bands play longer, but we’re at the end of our twenties, so we’ve been playing together for most of our lives. You could almost say.

Most of your adult lives anyway, yeah. Do you have a designated songwriter in your band, or do you all contribute to the creative process?

We all contribute, but as I said, Simon is the main guitar riff bringer, he puts up the skeleton of the band, and then we each contribute in our own way, and arrange stuff, and talk about it. With ORM it’s very much, talk about each part, how we want it to sound, and do the drums, and make everything sound just right for that bit.

For the readers that don’t know ORM yet, could you introduce the members of the band and tell us who does what?

Well, my name is Troels and I play the bass, Theis plays guitar and vocals, Simon plays guitar and screams high pitched vocals, and Adam is the drummer.

Awesome! I read through your biography that came with my press package, and it almost read like a description of a fantasy book series, instead of a band! Was that intentional?

Yes, we try to build up a universe surrounding this project, and it just fits the theme of the band very well. We are very tired of band descriptions that always go like “they mix melodies with like raw and blah blah blah, thundering pace”. You know, you read it a thousand times, and we really wanted to do something based on ORM, the theme of it, and not concentrate as much on us as musicians. We primarily make it a story about something else, like a universe. Not just four guys playing Metal in a basement in Copenhagen.

Is this story something that goes through all your lyrics and all your songs? Or is it something that’s just added onto this album?

No, it’s a theme that we try to put into everything that this band does, in some way, and try to make it as much a visual thing as well as a music thing. It are metaphors for feelings we have, it’s not literal. It’s not meant to be taken that way. It’s not like we believe in a serpent that will one day come and take us back to status quo or something. I think you get the point.

Yeah, I get it!

We were inspired by all the Scandinavian folklore and mythology that surrounds these parts of the world, and we feel it has a very interesting story to tell. We just took the creature, the ORM as a symbol for something that we wanted to express. A great example of that is the end song, it’s called Yggdrasil Brænder, which means Yggdrasil is burning, the tree of life is burning. That’s about a guy who lost all belief in life, and who is about to give up on life. It’s like a metaphor for that.

Very cool. Did you get your inspiration mainly from your local mythology? Or did you add a dash of Cthulhu perhaps?

A bit of Cthulhu? Nooo… I think it was mainly our local mythology that was the inspiration. When we set out with the name ORM and started that whole thing, we wanted it to be just Scandinavian stuff. That’s our history. Not to sound neo nazi or anything, but that’s what we thought was interesting. Denmark really hasn’t been on the map with Black Metal, it’s always Norwegian Black Metal and Swedish Goth or whatever. We thought it would be a cool thing to try to do something that was born out of Denmark and had it’s own feel, so yeah.

Yeah. It really reminded me a bit of the Lovecraftian tales. I don’t know much about your mythology, but it really reminded me of the destroyer.

Oh yeah, the Cthulhu destroyer, yeah.

Perhaps that’s based on your mythology, who knows?

It is, I think it’s all connected. The tale of the serpent, you find it anywhere you go in some form. I think it’s all connected.

What’s the story that’s depicted on your cover art, the burning village?

Yeah, actually it’s not a burning village, it’s a burning fortress! The three of us, we come from a small island called Bornholm in the Baltic Sea. It’s part of Denmark, but it’s next to Sweden, so it’s closer to Sweden than it is to the rest of Denmark. There’s a fortress there called Hammershus. Look it up if you want to *laughs*. We sent a photo of that to Paolo and asked him to put a serpent in the scene next to it. It’s a very scenic and beautiful fortress. We wanted to pay homage to that part of our lives. When we grew up on that small island, that was a very interesting story too.

So you would love to see it in ruins as well then *laughs*

It *is* in ruins, we just wanted to imagine how it became a ruin!

Ah yeah. Very cool! I like the story it depicts, it’s very powerful.

Yeah, it’s great, what he did. It’s just what we wanted.

What can you tell us about the songs on your debut album?

There’s a lot of different stuff. We just received the first reviews of the record, and thankfully they are all really good, but they all point out different aspects of the songs that they like, and which they thought was greater than the other ones. We have really fast stuff, and some almost doomy drone stuff on it as well, and a lot of Heavy Metal guitar parts. I think there’s something for everyone. If you like a broad spectrum of the Metal genre, then I think you will definitely love this album. Of course we also have a lot of the traditional kind of Black stuff in there as well, but we’re inspired by a lot of things, so a lot of things shine through in some way. Mainly we wanted to do, not totally atmospheric stuff, but more riffing, and more of an eighties kind of Heavy Metal vibe, but still make it Black Metal, with some beautiful Scandinavian sounding elements. Soundscapes, you know?

What really impressed me was how well everything fits together, how the album really sounds like a whole unit.

Yeah, we are a unit I think! *laughs*

It shows!

Thank you very much. We put things together that we think sound well, and that’s what we’ve always done. I don’t know what else to say about it, it’s very difficult to describe your own music.

Yeah, you are too close to it, I understand that. But I can tell you, this music grabs you, and it draws you in. LIke a serpent in the sea! *laughs*

Like a serpent in the sea, that’s what we wanted. That’s totally what we went for.

So, It’s only up from here on out! What are your goals with the band and do you have certain dreams that you wish to accomplish?

Yeah, sure! We want to spread the music first and foremost, of course. We also want to do a lot of stuff , but we want to do it in our own way, if you can say that. We’ve been playing a lot of shows before, and we want to continue doing that, but we want to do that in the right way. You will not see us post a two month European tour in slots all over Germany and Holland, Belgium, whatever. We will do things in our own tempo, and we will write new songs and play music, and see where it takes us.

That’s the most important thing. I think in due time, the Danish serpent will have it’s crusade to conquer Europe, I’m pretty sure of that.

We hope so!

Will we be able to see you play live this year?

In the Netherlands?

Anywhere! We have readers all over the globe!

Oh yeah, we are planning shows in Denmark for now, but if any booker out there wants to reach out , then we’re totally up for it. But for now, all the shows confirmed, it’s all in Denmark.

Then I’d really need to get to Denmark, for I’d love to hear this stuff live!

We will come to you, it’s just a matter of time.

I hope so! That leaves me one last question, and that’s, do you have any last words for our readers?

The album comes out in two weeks, the 24th of April, and we hope that your readers will listen to it, and hopefully they will like it, get drawn in, and feel all the stuff we just talked about. Listen to it, and we hope you love it! We spent a lot of energy on it, so we hope people will appreciate the music.

Well, I already do, you have one new fan at the very least, so I’m pretty sure there will be others as well!

We hope so too. Otherwise, it’s still been worth it. Thank you Randy, for reaching out!

My pleasure, and enjoy your release show!

Randy Gerritse