Monday, July 28, 2014

Exclusive interview with Mike Flores from ORIGIN (supersonic death metal act from Topeka / Kansas)


Somewhat comparable to the likes of extreme metal veterans Cryptopsy and relative newcomers such as Cephalic Carnage, the Kansas-based quintet Origin specializes in ridiculously technical, fast, and punishing death/grind metal. At the forefront of the modern technical death metal movement stands Origin, a quartet who are among the most extreme and precise noise-makers on the planet. The band’s jaw-dropping chops and absurdly heavy compositions have surely discouraged just as many hopeful metal musicians as they have inspired, and they’ve induced more than their fair share of ‘bangovers’ (neck pain after a night of relentless headbanging). But times change and so does Origin, as on Entity[2011], their first Nuclear Blast release (they made the jump from their longtime home at Relapse Records after 2008’s Antithesis) where they explored more dynamic, but no less severe songwriting.

As technically astounding as their music is, it’s still about the same thing now as it was in the beginning: Brutality. And this updated version of the band, made up of guitarist Paul Ryan, bassist Mike Flores, drummer John Longstreth and vocalist Jason Keyser, uses silence, space and longer notes (remember, this is relative to death metal) to create an unequaled, unholy and more-devastating-than-ever Origin.

BB: I wanted to start by thanking you for your accorded time, and let's begin!
For first tell us how was the tour? I'm sure you have had plenty of good times

We played The Hammersonic which was awesome. It was a festival which is always a rush on, rush off type of thing. SE Asia was great! I never thought we would get a chance to your through there. The crowds were great and the people were really cool. There is a fantastic metal seen over there. We also just played Australia again. We were there 4 or 5 years ago and it was good to finally get back over there.

BB: ‘Omnipresent’, your 6th full lenght album of the band is out now . Tell me please what are main themes of the album?

Jason wrote most all the lyrics so I can't really tell you were he was going with that, but musically it's much more theatric. There are a few twist and turns along the way but I feel like you can close your eyes and see the imagery created by the music when you listen to it.

 BB: Where do you think the new album ranks in terms of Origin’s previous releases?

I feel it's some of our best work to date. Each album is a progression from the last. It's not a continuation. There will always be familiar traits that let you know it's an Origin song.

For me, you are one of the best bass guitar players, your technique is incredible. When it comes to technical ability i dont think there are better bassists than you. Man, your basslines are super fast. Like you told, 'You are exploiting the tension of bass strings for 25 years''.
Tell me please how did you started to play Mike?

My father was a bass player and my grandfather was a bass player. I always had access to a bass. I knew early on that I wanted to play music. I never had any formal training so I basically tinkered around with it and gradually found out ways to play bass. The fret board slowly began to make sense to me and I began to see patterns. My technics are not text book. There were no "rules" as to how to approach playing death metal. I did what worked for me.

Do you have any current endorsements? and what gear you use?

I'm endorsed by Blakhart Guitars. I currently play a Lunar 5 model. I also use Mesa, Monster cables, DOD pedals, Furman, Korg, BBE, DBX, and SKB.

Why do you think Origin have lasted so long and become such an influential band to people all over the world?

I think the space concept set us apart from the normal Death Metal concept.

How have you seen the heavy music genre evolve since you first started playing?

Seems like bands are utilizing studio techniques more. Death metal was originally created in a garage or dirty practice room. Seems like a lot of younger bands write death metal in there bedrooms using computers. That kind of takes away from the rawness of it.

If you had to describe Origin's music in three words, they would be...

Ludicrous, Speed, Go!

Generically, is important for death metal to be a genre of "respectable/good" skills, because thanks to bands such as Origin, listeners can appreciate the creative force to the maximum. What advices would you give to ''young'' bands?

Practice, work together with both your band mates and other bands. Death metal was developed by working together with people how had a common goal.

..about your side-project, Troglodyte, are you guys planning something for the future? maybe a tour in Europe?

Troglodyte is touring right now in the US w Torn the Fuck apart. That are an awesome band and have really catchy material. The goal is to play as many shows Ina as many new places as possible and get the music out there. Everyone in Trog is really into making a working machine all the time. Those guys are really dedicated. There hasn't been a chance to play in Europe yet but we would love to do it if given the chance.

What's your favorite hobby away from music?
Hanging out with my wife and kids.

To the final, add a few words for the readers of Brutal Basarabia and all moldovian metal maniacs!

Thanks for listening. Hope to see all of you on tour this year. Cheers! (cu capu' ;))

                                                                                      Origin - Origin (2000)
                                                                Origin - Informis Infinitas Inhumanitas (2002)
                                                                      Origin - Echoes Of Decimation (2005)
                                                                                 Origin - Antithesis (2008)
                                                                                    Origin - Entity (2011)
                                                                               Origin - Omnipresent (2014)
                                                                                   Origin facebook page (support)