Creating a sense of mystery and magic has always been part of the deal when it comes to music. It’s what drove so many of the great artists – whether it’s Pink Floyd, Celtic Frost, or Emperor, there is a sense of something mystical going on. What Copenhagen’s ORM has managed to do on their debut album is create a magical journey full of mythical monsters, Norse mythology, and whole lot of headbanging. Their self-titled debut is my choice for album of the year, as it is one of the most impressive debut albums I have ever heard. I was lucky enough to get the chance to talk with drummer Adam Schønemann about where the band came from, the recording process, and the importance of being a band that makes people think about their art on more than just a sick riffing level.
Indy Metal Vault: First off thank you for taking some time to do this interview.
Adam Schønemann: No problem.
IMV: Orm, your self titled debut, came out to an overall positive response from the metal community. For me personally, it’s the best album of year hands down. Now that it’s had time to spread through the metal world, are you happy with the overall feedback from fans?
AS: Thank you! Yes, we’ve been very happy with the feedback we’ve gotten. It is always nice to get acknowledged for the hard work you put into writing, recording and releasing such an album. We’ve gotten very positive reviews, and the reception of the album has definitely exceeded our expectations.
IMV: You’ve also been out playing live quite a bit with Solbrud, another excellent band from your area that is taking off. How have the fans reacted to ORM in the live setting?
AS: It’s been a great tour with Solbrud this November. We’ve toured with them before, and they’re fantastic guys both personally and musically. I think we’ve been very well received around the country, and we’ve gotten some good live reviews as well – we’ve put a lot of thought into crafting an engaging live-performance that is still true to our expression as a band, so it is great to see that paying off.
IMV: The mythology behind the name of the band and lyrical themes is very interesting. Can you talk bit about the the subjects within the album and the name ORM itself?
AS: Well ORM means worm or snake in the Norse languages (akin to the old-english Wyrm), so we’ve always been very interested in the whole aesthetics surrounding Norse mythology of course. But that said, we’ve never set out to be a “Viking Metal” band or something like that. Mostly, we’re interesting in that kind of raw interaction between man, nature and spirituality.
IMV: You guys keep the lyrics kind of mystery. Why the decision not to include them with the physical album and keep the lyrics from getting out into the world as a whole?
AS: Personally, I really like art that is layered in such a way that you can keep coming back to it and discover something new about it. In that spirit, we’ve chosen not to publish the lyrics. We’re not a band that is trying to convey some great political or ideological message lyrically. We’d rather have that an attentive listener listens to the music and discovers his own meaning in the words that he hears.
IMV: The four of you have created music together in the past with the band By the Patient. Can you talk a little bit about the end of that band and going forward together starting ORM?
AS: Well, we played in By The Patient for quite a few years, but in the end we grew apart from our lead singer. We had to play a few shows without him, and that’s when we discovered that the dual-vocals of the guitarists really brought a new interesting vibe to the music. It was a good time to start over and begin something new, so we did.
IMV: The female choir passages on the album are beautifully woven into the music. Was the plan always to have those soaring choirs parts or was that something that happened organically?
AS: I think we toyed with the idea pretty early on, but after we did pre-productions in our rehearsal space, we were determined to go through with it. Luckily, Lasse, who recorded and mixed the album, knew a choir at a nearby church, so we wrote the parts and recorded it and it turned out really great.
IMV: I read somewhere that you guys recorded the album mostly live. Why the decision to do it live? How did that affect not only the sound but the vibe of the band while recording?
AS: A live recording of an album is something we’ve always wanted to do. We’ve always felt that recording to a click really kills a lot of that energy that arises when people play music together. So we went through with it this time and we’re really happy we did it. Recording live really gives the music so much more breathing room and nerve at the same time. In the end, we only recorded vocals, choirs and a few leads separately; everything else was live.
IMV: The dueling vocals play so well off of each other. How did that come about?
AS: See my answer a few questions earlier 🙂
IMV: What does 2018 look like for the band? Any tours or festival show on the horizon?
AS: Well, we have Copenhell 2018 which is a show we’re really excited about. We just got nominated for a “Steppeulven” award as “Hope of the Year,” which is a Danish music award, so we’re really honoured about that. We’ve got another show with Solbrud at the beginning of February, but aside from that 2018 will be mostly about writing the next album.
IMV: Thanks for taking the time to read and write along with me. I’ll let you guys have the final word. Anything else you’d like to add or share with the fans?
AS: Thanks for the questions! And we’d like to thank all the fans that buy our merch and our music and attend our shows for making 2017 such a great year for our band!