Exclusive interview with the band Oshiego
To my readers, please give a warm welcome to the band Oshiego
1- Hello and welcome to Metal Music Midwest, first off, thanks for taking the time to do the interview, could you give our readers a brief description of the group? Where is the band from?
Umar: Greetings! Thank you for having us. I’m Umar, the vocalist, songwriter for the first 4 albums. We play Death Metal with some middle eastern influences. We have tons of Thrash influence and we believe groove and intensity are the utmost important factors in good Death Metal. Many people will classify our music under OSDM. I won’t disagree with them. The old school stuff are still the best.
2- "Jaljalut" is the band's fifth full album, how long did it take to write?
Umar: I’ve been fatigued with all the songwriting the past 7 releases we’ve had, so its great to have Zul. I trust him 100% in the songwriting but still overlook the entire song writing process, deciding on the structure and what not. I guess it took us about a year or so to finalisze the songs then we had the drum stems and I would write the lyrics and finalize the song title.
Zul: Firstly I truly appreciate the opportunity, trust and space given to me by Umar. I hope I did not let him or any of Oshiego's armies of the unseen down! The writing process did take a year or so. It had like two phases, I did eight songs and did another four after a short break. Umar would review the songs and give his input on arrangements etc.
3- What musical influence inspires the bands compositions?
Umar: I would say my main influences are great bands like Grave, Kreator, Nile, Melechesh, Vader, Torture Division etc. Vocals wise I’m hugely influenced by Corpsegrinder and Mr Hustler.
Zul: Yup, all those bands Umar mentioned.
4- The group started in 2004, can you tells us how did you all meet?
Umar: I’m the sole original member of the band. We first started out as teens who had the same guitar teacher. I met Zul a bit later, maybe about 15 years ago. We attended the same Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) classes and shared common friends. We only got together to play Death Metal quite recently. He used to be a naysayer until he heard ‘Crossing the Bridge of Siraat’, released in 2015. I was already fatigued from all the songwriting, lineup changes and internal politics. We just lost Bryan, the last guitarist, who wanted to pursue sports journalism (MMA & Boxing). I had a great experience working with Bryan, so after losing him, I wasn’t looking forward to working with new people.
I already knew Zul was a great guitarist and he volunteered to play. I was losing steam and he decided that he will continue with the songwriting. Of course I was onboard. Zul is one of the greatest guitarists I’ve known. I’ve got better groove though, haha.
Zul: Yes we've known each other 15 years or so give or take. Oshiego's 'Crossing the Bridge of Siraat' is probably my favourite Death Metal album of all time. Haha wow better groove. Umar is smoking some good shite!
5- The new album title is ‘Jaljalut’, can you give us details about the content and more in depth meaning to this title?
Umar: We wrote ‘Jaljalut’ for our love of Sufism. Although we’re not good practitioners, we have great respect and hold the past Sufi Masters in high regard. Some songs are also based on daily struggles, the state of the world and slamming untruth.
Zul: Jaljalut is actually a 1,500 year old ode attributed to ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib, taken from the Shams al-Ma'ārif of the 13th century Sufi writer Aḥmad ibn ‘Alī al-Būnī.
The word 'Jaljalut' itself is said to be in the language of 'Suryani', an angelic language also believed to be the language spoken by our father Adam, the first man, and some elect few from every age. Some sources believes as well that 'Jaljalut' means 'al Badī' ' in arabic, meaning the unique creator of the universe.
6- Each member of this project is part of another band, how do you maintain a good balance working together?
Umar: I don’t have other projects. Oshiego has been my only main band since the start. I’ve had some minor side projects over the years but nothing that memorable. To tell you the truth we hardly have time for the band due to working commitments and family. I work during the day and Zul works at night. It’s hard to coincide our schedules. It’s a rat race here in Singapore.
Oshiego is mainly our gentleman’s club. A really expensive hobby. We just want to do great Death Metal. We are really passionate about it. I hardly meet Zul but we’ve got the technology to record on our own and share out tracks seamlessly online. To tell you the truth all guitars and most vocals were recorded at our homes.
Zul: Nothing but Oshiego at the moment for me. Who knows, i may work on others projects in the future, but Oshiego will remain my priority and main band.
Krzysztof is our session drummer for 'Jaljalut', his studio session works are quite massive in my opinion. He also toured with Vader for the De Profundis XXV Album Reedition Tour in 2021, probably right after he did 'Jaljalut' for Oshiego and now he is touring with Belphegor. Great things are happening for him. I believe based on our work experience with him, is largely due to his excellent work ethics and him putting out quality content consistently.
Working with Krzysztof on 'Jaljalut' was a breeze. We gave him the guitar scratch tracks plus the tempos, and he got to work. I can't exactly recall how long it took, but he got it all done within a few weeks to a month of receiving the songs. The drums tracks we got back were exactly how we wanted it to be, simply excellent.
7- Have you performed any shows in your area? if so, how receptive and supportive are the people to your music?
Umar: We have yet to play a show since 2015. We don’t really have a proper lineup to do a show now and most of us are stuck with work and what not. I think with covid taking over the world a lot of these ideas about touring has left my mind. Maybe in the future where we can find like minded people to join us. Who knows? Right now I’m just content with releasing Death Metal.
8- Are there any upcoming shows or tours you can tell us about?
Umar: No dates of yet
9- Thanks for your participation, finally, what is the best way to get a hold of the band, in case someone wants to book or promote the band? Any final words?
Umar: We really appreciate the support! Thank you.You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thrash and Destroy!
Zul: Thank you so much for the support. Thrash & Destroy 🤘🏼