EMQ’s with ODYSSEUS
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Northwest, UK based Progressive Metal/Tech-Death band, Odysseus. Huge thanks to drummer, Sam Martin, for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
My name is Sam Martin, I write and play the drums in Odysseus. We’ve been a band for just over a year now. The band was initially our singer Rachael Downey, Guitarist Kevin Testagrossa, and Bassist Tom Rose deciding they wanted to form a band and start writing together. After a few attempts with different drummers, I approached Rach on joinmyband.com, after seeing the position advertised, and they sent a demo of ‘Wretched’ and a few other tracks. After learning those tracks within a week or so they took me onboard and we filmed our first single ‘Wretched’ a few months later. Dylan Knaggs joined within the last six months after we were advertising for a new guitarist and we’ve been together since.
How did you come up with your band name?
Rach, Tom and Kev met up at ground central in Manchester and many beers later, after dismissing names such as “Perennial”, they agreed on the name Odysseus. A lot of us are into our Greek gods and mythology so the story of Odysseus really struck a chord with everyone. When I joined, I instantly knew who he was, so I was more than happy with the name.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
I grew up in the small town of Mold in North Wales, when my big brother played in a band called “The Day Before Mortality” the music scene around here was booming. Places like The Tiv and Y Pentan would put bands of all genres on regularly. Mcleans and the MT2M team would always go out of their way to host shows and competitions but it seems the demand and audience isn’t what it used to be before the world went into lockdown, But I’m determined to be a part of the scene resurgence and it’s going to go off when all this mess is over.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
We recently released our second single and music video for our song ‘Thy Gathering’ on the 22/01/21, With our first single ‘Wretched’ released in November of 2019. Both videos were produced and edited by our friend Abigail Henry who has done an incredible job!
‘Thy Gathering’ (Official Video)
‘Wretched’ (Official Video)
Who have been your greatest influences?
As a drummer you’re never far away from amazing talent in the heavy music scene, I’ve always held people like Sam Applebaum (Veil of Maya) and Nic Pettersen (Northlane) highly just because how they navigate and implement their instrument into the songs with power and confidence.
What first got you into music?
My Brothers are 6 and 8 years older than me, so they always influenced me with what they were listening to. We always had Queen CD’s on in mum’s car and they loved to blast Linkin Park, Bullet For My Valentine, Enter Shikari and other old school bands from the noughties on the CD player at home.
Dad brought me to my first heavy metal concert, can’t remember the year but it was Iron Maiden at the M.E.N arena supported by Airbourne. The show they put on was amazing, and the realisation of how many people turn up to shows where the musical genre is frowned upon in today’s society, made me realise I’m in the right place. I got the same feeling at my first ever Download in 2018.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
At the moment I’d love to do a collab with Alpha Wolf, just because they are heavy and aggressive as hell, and I’m loving my HEAVY heavy music right now. SpiritBox Or Jinjer would be our band pick as they heavily influence us being female fronted and having such a wide musical pallet, it would just be amazing to see what stuff we could come up with and be a part of.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
I’d love to revive Warped tour and be on that line-up. They always put-on high-energy bands that have been around for years, as well as helping the smaller bands having the chance to share the stage with some of their idols. One of my favourite bands, “Every Time I Die” played on the last Warped tour so being able to hang out with them would’ve been a dream come true.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
A light breeze, but in all seriousness, we have yet to build up a massive fanbase but appreciate every single one who has commented, played and shared our material so far. We’re all just stoked other people enjoy the music we make!
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Thank you so much for your support and we can’t wait to play shows and drop more material for you guys to enjoy. We have no plans of stopping or slowing down despite what the world around us is doing.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
A few spring to mind, Freddie Mercury for sure, just so he can write and record with today’s standards of engineering and producing. Justin Lowe (After the Burial) Because without Rareform I probably wouldn’t be where I am in terms of musical taste and musicianship. From a drummer’s perspective it would have to be Ginger Baker, that man is a God and he changed and opened doors for many prog, metal and rock drummers we can now enjoy today in my opinion.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
I enjoy the freedom to experiment and being able to come up with ideas collectively and individually. I think it’s always important to have an artistic outlet otherwise you start to go loopy.
One thing I hate is the price of equipment haha, we’ve all invested so much into gear and we’re barely getting started. Another thing with being a drummer is definitely setup time, if there was a way to just make it all become setup like one of those pop-up tents then I’d be much happier.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
The greater acceptance of heavier music and being allowed to explain that we’re not all devil worshipers, granted there are a few of us. Having crossovers between heavy bands and pop groups so they could be played in clubs would be pretty great. Imagine having a Lamb of God and Arianna Grande collab?
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Johnny Truant – “In The Library Of Horrific Events”
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
Im a lover of CD’s, my brother had a 3-metre span of a wall filled with CD’s on his shelf in his room and I loved reading through all the lyrics and looking at the cover artwork whilst I was growing up.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
We have yet to play a proper face-to-face gig with Odysseus due to C-19, but when I was drumming in my old band “Favela” we played an “End of an era” gig at Skerries in Bangor, all the locals and popular bands from the surrounding area came and played. The crowd was so involved and the energy in there was incredible. The bands we played alongside with included “Krank” and “Winter Hotel Band” and those guys put on an amazing performance too.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
I’m currently an engineering apprentice so I’d be mainly working at the factory, but as a hobby id be putting more time into my powerlifting career and competing.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Louis Theroux, Joe Rogan, Ricky Gervais, Karl Pilkington and Eddie Hall.
What’s next for the band?
Be making more music videos with our amazing video producer and editor Abigail Henry, people looking for talented people to shoot music vids for their band should check her out! The plan is to release a full EP in the future, to give guys a clearer idea of the type of music we want to push and promote. Hopefully, pick up some of the gigs we had to cancel, such as Rabidfest and be able to play alongside some awesome bands like “Osiah”.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
We use LinkTree which holds all our socials into one page so it’s all easily accessible! We use Spotify and YouTube for our music mainly.
Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?
They go hard when they go off, so I’d say a cake, but its Kinder Buenos that do it for me!
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Just another big thank you to people who have taken the time out of their day to read this or have gone and listened to our material.
And just to say that obviously my old band “Favela” is no longer going, but I hope people enjoy my new musical experiment! Hope everyone stays safe and we can’t wait to get on stage and start playing gigs in the future!
Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.