Orbiter exclusive interview and talks of the new album Hollow World
C: Carolin Koss (vocals)
A: Alexander Meaney (guitars)
T: Tuomas Talka (bass guitar)
S: Sami Heiniö (drums)
1- Hello and welcome to Metal Music News and Interviews. Our readers are excited to get to know you and your band. Could you give us a brief description of the group? Where is the band from?
T: We are Orbiter, a doom metal band from Helsinki, Finland. Our musical direction relies heavily on building dynamics between massive riffs and hazy calm soundscapes, spiced with hypnotic vocals.
2- Hollow World is the band's first full album. How long did it take to compose and record?
T: The composition phase for this album lasted from spring 2020 to spring 2022, so two years in total. The first song we got ready was Under Your Spell, which I made with Carolin already in May 2020 and it became sort of ready in one go. The last song that got ready was actually the opening track of the album, Silence Breaks. This got ready just a few weeks before the studio, some time pressure actually did good to it, as it streamlined the songwriting of the final parts, and we are very happy with the end result! The recording of the album was done in two legs at two different locations: Drums and bass guitar tracks were recorded in May in four days at Soundwell Studio in Espoo, and the guitar and vocal tracks were recorded in June during two consecutive weeks.
C: In terms of lyrics writing Silence Breaks got probably ready 10 hours before the vocal recordings. I remember I was still sweating with Alexander over the final epic lines at midnight. The other lyrics I wrote mostly right in the mornings, after awakening from my vivid dream adventures or then in the darkest times of the day, when most lights are switched off and only a few creative sleepless souls wandered with their minds through the night.
3- What musical influences inspire the band's compositions?
T: For me personally, the songwriting is part intuition and part learned from music that I have heard or played with guitar previously. But intuition plays a very large role also in the original composition work, as I am one of those people who doesn’t really get melody or riff ideas in my head. I just start playing my guitar at home and something comes up or doesn’t. Of course in this process also I subconsciously use what I have learned and heard, regarding the rhythm and tonality. I have been listening to a large variety of music during the recent years ranging from various types of metal to rap music, alternative rock, post-punk, darkwave, synthwave, and some very noisy electronic music genres.
C: Like Tuomas, I am also highly driven by intuition and inspired by all the music I sucked in since childhood. I am fortunate to have grown up in a very musical home. My dad listened every day to everything from jazz, blues, folk, electronic, psychedelic to progressive rock. I woke up and fell asleep to music and I realized just recently that I even hum a song in the back of my head when I wake up in the middle of the night. So all these influences impact me when I intuitively come up with vocal melodies and harmonies. When the guys present me new riffs, I usually experiment on top of them and often find some resonating melodies or phrases, which I develop further throughout the composition process. Sometimes I also might sing on unexpected places, which the guys haven’t thought out to be for vocals, but that has so far brought a lot of interesting dynamics and contributes to the style of Orbiter.
4- The group started in 2014. Can you tell us how the members met?
T: I met Alexander in university as we were studying at the same time in the same department. This was around 2011. Then in early 2013 he asked if I could join his alternative rock band of that time, called Saturnalia, as a bass guitarist. I had never really played bass guitar at that point, just electric guitar for six years, but wanted to be in a band so it was an easy call for me! The story of that band ended in less than a year after, unfortunately, so after some very short in-between projects and different genre testing we were settling more towards stoner rock and later doom metal direction in late 2014, and asked Sami to play drums there. He had played a bit earlier in another rock band of Alexander’s, called Ural. Very soon after we asked another university friend, Jere, to join the band for second guitar to leave Alexander some more space to concentrate on singing. That is how the original format of Orbiter was born. Then after developing our sound for a couple of years Alexander realized that he doesn’t want to be the vocalist in the band long-term. We started searching for a new singer and Carolin joined the band in 2019. We found her through a website made for musicians to contact each other. At that point Orbiter was then a quintet until 2021. Then Jere left the band due to working abroad and since then Orbiter has been in its current form.
5- The new album title is Hollow World. Tell us the details about the content and a more in-depth meaning to this title?
T: Hollow World was actually originally just the working title for the song when I made the first demo of that in very late 2020. It just stuck along and Carolin started building lyrical content around that atmosphere. I think she can tell more about that.
C: When the working title Hollow World came first to the table, I felt very inspired and couldn’t hold back to write a song around it. To me it captured all the tremendous struggle our society and world have undergone throughout the past couple of years, like climate change, covid pandemic, and the war in Ukraine. At the same time the title also created an abstract vision and spirit of the time.
6- Are the current members of Orbiter part of another band or project? Or is everyone dedicated solely to the group? How do you maintain a good balance working together?
C: I have started my solo project under my name Carolin Koss in 2021. Throughout the years I collaborated with different musicians and many interesting songs were made, but partially ended up in the drawer, which felt very frustrating. So starting this solo project also came out of the drive to release these wonderful, almost lost, jewels and to intuitively create music without genre constraints. As I mentioned earlier, as a child I listened to all kinds of music and nowadays I make all kinds of music. I am also the singer in an electro techno band, but up to this point it’s top secret.
A: I also play guitar in a band called Pennies by the Pound. That’s a completely different trip compared to Orbiter, it’s a sort of 80s prog influenced style. It’s musically invigorating and enlightening to play a completely different style of music, and playing with different musicians always teaches you something new. Interestingly, Johannes, the singer in Pennies, produced the Orbiter’s early recordings.
T: I have a music project with Jere, the ex-guitarist of Orbiter. I am not allowed to say more about that but better keep your ears alert towards the end of the year. There might be something quite surprising coming up. I also compose a bit for Carolin’s solo project.
7- Have you performed any shows in your area? If so, how receptive and supportive are the people of your music?
T: We have done lots of gigs in the Helsinki area. The audience has started to find their way to our shows more and more during the recent years and the response seems to be just getting better and better. It’s certainly a positive sign, as I dare to say it on behalf of everyone in the band, that we really love playing gigs.
A: Through dozens of live shows, we’ve gradually built a pretty solid fan base in our local area. It’s great to see familiar faces showing up at gigs, and I enjoy hanging out with audience members after the show and grabbing a beer with them.
8- Are there any upcoming shows or tours you can tell us about?
T: We have two confirmed shows this summer in Finland, one in Helsinki on 10 June and another one in Paimio 1 July. Both are one day festivals, but in totally different venues. The first one is an indoors event and the second one is a DIY generator festival located at a large sand pit, paying some tribute to the original Palm Desert generator parties.
9- Thanks for your participation. Finally, what is the best way to get a hold of the group just in case someone wants to book or promote the band? Any final words?
T: You can send us email to firstname.lastname@example.org or just drop us a message on Instagram (orbiterband) or on Facebook, but the first two options are much more preferred as a way of contacting via messages.
A: Sleep late and listen to Black Sabbath!
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