Orwell – Tim Bradley – Interview

Cris Bissell: drums – Logan Hauser: vocals – Erik Bolstad: guitar – Tim Bradley: guitar – Will Strickland: bass

Wisconsin group Orwell have been making a name for themselves in the short time they have been together, I caught up with guitarist Tim Bradley recently to find out more about the group that describe themselves as a continually progressing heavy project.

Gerry:
The name Orwell, does this have anything to do with (English Novelist) George Orwell?  Is it linked to his beliefs in democratic socialism?

Tim:
Yes, we named the band after George Orwell. No the band doesn’t promote any sort of political agenda as a part of our creative output. The reason for the name is that it is simple, and to me calls to mind something that is more than just entertainment. Orwell created new worlds within the ones which we already inhabit.

Gerry:
According to the bands website, the overall creative direction has changed dramatically, what was the reason behind this more positive outlook?

Tim:
The change in direction is a result of many things. Member changes, geographical changes, personal changes, all had their hand in shaping our sound as group, and inspiring Avohfasih. After our Endeavors tour, everyone basically had to move for one reason or another. This put us all about 3 – 4 hours from each other individually. Our decision was between dissolving the band, or attempting to create something that we all felt was a statement to cohesion and potential as a group of friends and artists. We needed a monument to stand behind both personally and for our fans and friends, because we knew the band wasn’t going to be able to be as active as it had been previously. It turned out that when we sat down and talked about what we all really wanted to accomplish in music, none of us cared about it being “metal.” We all wanted to do something that would allow us more freedom. It was about creating something so personal that having a regular “practice” schedule was irrelevant, something that was such a part of us that continuing to do it wouldn’t ever be a question. In creating Avoh, we accomplished that, and it will remain the key to this band going forward.

Gerry:
How does this positiveness come to pass in a live surrounding?

Tim:
Our live show is 10 times as good as it ever was. The focus is on making sure that seeing us live is just as immersive as it is to listen to the record in the dark by yourself. We have started using projected visuals and keeping the majority of the stage as dark as possible so that the audience can really allow themselves to go where we are trying to take them. We don’t talk between songs, and there isn’t usually any actual “silence” where there isn’t something happening, be it music, or just ambient noise, everything thats coming out of a speaker is a direct contribution to the overall experience we try to bring with us.

Gerry:
You have many influences, Death, Black, Melodic and Instrumental metal. What genre would you say best suits Orwell?

Tim:
Metal is somewhat of an archaic term for what we are doing in my opinion. I don’t want to sound pompous, but I think when people hear the world “metal,” they think of Lamb of God, or Slayer, which just isn’t us. Not that I have anything against it, I just don’t think its very descriptive of what we do. Our concern is with portraying emotion and movement within a story. Writing riffs that makes people headbang is not part of our collective thought process. How about we call ourselves “continually evolving, heavy music?”

Gerry:
When you compare Avohfasih to Endeavours (previous release), what are your initial thoughts?

Tim:
Endeavors is a fun melodic thrash metal record. If you like fast metal, guitar solos, and screaming, chances are, you’ll dig it. We did that, and now we’re done with it. Avoh is a “sit down and space out until this is all over” type of record. Avoh is a more complete vision than Endeavors was, and the next one will be more so again.

Gerry:
How would Orwell define success?

Tim:
Success to us would be simply to be able to continue making music together for as long as we can. We’d love it if some traveling and touring presented itself as a good opportunity, but honestly, Avohfasih is our success, and the next record will be to. We all live 3-4 hours from one another, so every time we get to practice and enjoy a weekend together as close friends playing the music that we created and love, we consider it success.

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