Omnislash has been taking the metal scene by storm. Formed from the ashes of another band they are leaving a series packed venues and screaming fans in their wake. Founder and singer, Jeremy Phoenix, sat down with Shockwave Magazine at the band’s CD Release show to discuss the record, how the show was put together, what the future holds and state of the Baltimore metal scene and his sheer love for it.
Shockwave Magazine: Omnislash’s CD Release show…
Jeremy Phoenix: Omnislash! Yeah!
How was the set?
Oh man, it was long. [Laughs] It was good though, it was some good shit. People were screaming and there may have been foam noodles out in the crowd. I think I saw somebody with a sword, shit got weird, there was dancing and moshing and more dancing and more moshing and screaming, a lot of screaming.
Makes for a good show though.
It was fun times, that’s for sure.
You played the new record full?
Yeah, yeah. We played the whole thing in order and it was extremely difficult. [Laughs] This new album is, needless to say, very technically hard to pull off. But, fuck it. [Laughs]
Absolutely, talk a little bit about the album. It’s out now so talk a little bit about how you put it together.
So, the album is called Slash ‘Em All. It’s got a series of completely different songs. It starts off with an intro, kind of, thing called “Banners Rise” then it goes “Empires Fade” which is an interesting topic to say the least but, let’s just say it’s that moment in time when it could have been the Egyptian Empire but it became the Roman Empire so that’s, kind of, what it’s about. People can read the lyrics and figure it out for themselves. “Desolation,” I don’t think I have to explain what “Desolation” is about. [Laughs] The fourth track on there is called “Metalliation Revengeance” and in parenthesis it says “Slash ‘Em All” and that one we did a full music video for and it went crazy online. Shit was nuts, we just put it out there and it was up to like five thousand views within twenty-four hours and now it’s like double that and keeps growing stronger and stronger, the internet’s cool, man!
So, that’s basically the title track?
Yeah, kind of. It’s a really long track. Not in time length but the spelling in general. “Metalliation Revengeance” and in parenthesis “Slash ‘Em All.” [Laughs] Then we have “Nuke the Moon” because project A1-19 was pretty strange. Check it out, look it up, history stuff.
We have a tune about vampires and shit. “Not One Step Back” is about the Battle of Stalingrad, there’s just so much history and hopefully the college circuit picks us up or something so we can teach the young minds through metal! [Laughs]
Absolutely, brother. Talk a little bit about the show. How did you set it up, because you had a lot of bands playing tonight?
Hell yeah! Well, this show, even though it was the CD release party, I didn’t want it to just be about Omnislash. I wanted it to be a celebration of the Baltimore metal scene. Quite frankly, I’ve toured and I’ve been around a bunch of different cities, Baltimore’s got it fucking made, man. This city has so many good bands. Sometimes you go to another city and it’s like pulling teeth trying to just find bands to play with but Baltimore’s just so lively, the crowd’s nuts, I love it. I remember, not to long ago, Blind Guardian was here and they were just blown away. I think it was the first time they’d been to Baltimore, I don’t know if it had been the first time forever, but they went nuts because of how awesome the crowds are here in Baltimore.
So, we had Sekengard start the show. They are fucking awesome, check them out! Sekengard, they do the folk metal, it’s bad-ass. Followed by Dogs & Day Drinkers, that’s wastelanders metal, I guess, is how they classify it.
Yeah, they have a, kind of, Mad Max thing.
Yeah, it’s fucking awesome. They’re so fun and if you haven’t heard of them, check them out. Lions Den went on stage and fucking destroyed it. They do this crazy-ass, fucking Metallica cover that blew everyone away. I’m pretty sure I saw some blood in the pit, it was cool. Then we went on and we played for way to long but right now, Master Sword is playing and they are like a Legend of Zelda tribute, progressive/power metal band. After they go on, we have one of the greatest death metal bands I’ve seen and I don’t just mean locally, I mean everywhere. Bound by The Grave is one of the tightest fucking bands you will ever see, ever and then, we’re going to finish off the night with Start the Scene. These are all good friends of ours, that was the whole point of the show. We could have asked all these random bands but fuck that. We want friends, we want a party and that’s, pretty much, the whole point.
That’s the thing too, though. If you book together a bunch of random bands then people split when they’re done but if you bring together a series of pretty tight people, they stick around, they bring friends, we drink, we laugh, all good things.
Hell yeah! I know the bartenders are probably feeling pretty good. We broke the fucking ATM machine earlier. They had to bring more money in from somewhere. Yeah, we broke the damn ATM!
But, we love Sparta Inn. We sometimes play places like Baltimore Soundstage and these other big concert venues. We’ve played with Hammerfall recently, Sonata Arctica, Delain, all this different stuff and that’s cool and we thought we could play there for the CD release but we came to Sparta Inn because this is more of a party atmosphere as far as dirty, dingy, it’s metal, it’s bad-ass and this place kicks ass.
What’s up next for Omnislash?
We’ve got some touring up ahead, trying to promote the album. We don’t have all the dates listed, available as far as public yet but I can tell you that at the end of the month starting on June 30th we’ll be in Roanoke, Virginia, the next day we’ll be in Atlanta, Georgia, then Charlotte and a bunch of other dates. I know we’re playing with Blaze Bayley, former lead singer of Iron Maiden, at Fish Head Cantina in August. That’ll be cool.
For the tour you have going on, can you announce the people that you’re with? Or not until there’s dates?
I can’t get into it yet.
To wrap everything up, what is it about the album that you want to see it accomplish? Not necessarily about selling this, selling that, just a personal goal for you.
Yeah know, heavy metal kicks ass and it’s such a wide range of age groups now. We saw it tonight. You see the older dudes that used to go and watch Deep Purple and Black Sabbath, they’re still out here kicking ass, rocking out. You’ve got the 80s guys that were all about Ratt, the dudes that were into the Bay area thrash movement and all that stuff as far as those times. What we love to do and the whole point of not just the show but the album in general is unite the clans. Like, Braveheart, just bring everyone together. There’s no reason for death metal and black metal and post-hardcore fans to not go to each other’s shows. You do it together, you play shows together, everybody has a good time and that’s the whole point of what we do in general. We like to keep everything together.
We should probably be more focused on money but I’d rather everyone have a good time, build the metal scene everywhere, even more than it already is and just see where it goes. Wherever it goes, it goes. All I know is when people are singing my songs, it’s the coolest fucking thing in the world. It’s pretty sweet.
Yeah, Baltimore’s metal scene is stupid under-rated, like scary under-rated.
It’s ridiculous. There’s some really good scenes out there. Atlanta has a killer scene. Buffalo and, of course, the west coast has their own thing going on but as far as out here goes, people need to get their asses to Baltimore because this place fucking rules!
Jeremy, thanks so much, brother.
Hell yeah, brother!