Swiss prog/hard rockers Orymus released their second studio album Miracles in March. The 10-track record is an excellent manifesto of progressive rock with heavy metal edge. Fronted by Daniel Brönimann, whose vocal performance sends chills down my spine by recalling the stalwarts such Dio and Coverdale, the band shows huge amount of potential.
Daniel answered our questions about the band, the album, and more.
Thank you for having time to answer some questions. First of all, introduce us to Orymus. What does the band name refer to?
Orymus is a band aiming at producing interesting music with unusual concepts and train of thoughts rarely encountered in the work of other artists. Everybody fails at defining our specific genre but it’s somewhere between progressive rock and heavy metal. We do this since more than 10 years in the exact same band composition – namely five friends, which have met as teenagers and simply loved music.
Unusual for us but the name “Orymus” does not have any meaning. We were simply looking for a name, which is easy to find on google – amazingly farsighted for teenagers, isn’t it?!
Would you mind telling us about your musical background, as well as education?
I started off playing the clarinet at the age of 7, which was my only musical education. Because this instrument is only partially suitable for hard rock music, I later shifted to the guitar when I was around 15. I got really addicted and had my first concept album written and performed shortly after. I eventually started singing. It sounded horrible but for some strange reason I to continued. Nowadays people say that I am good and I happen to believe them. Besides this, I also play drums and bass guitar but never had any teacher, neither in playing, nor in singing. My only teacher was John Petrucci on YouTube. Other than music, I will be finished with my doctoral studies in biomedical sciences next year.
The creative process was the same as for Escape to Reality. We initially came up with a detailed concept of the whole album –the mood, the statements, the atmosphere. Then I would go to my dark chamber and write the songs. When I would start lacking oxygen, I would come back to the band, present them my inspiration and we start practicing the songs “live”. Afterwards, the studio work starts, where we had the great help of Yann Rouiller (NAZARETH, CORE 22) this time.
Where does this new album stand comparing with debut Escape to Reality?
It immediately starts where Escape to Reality had ended – and that’s what we are proud of. Even though that the presented music is very diverse, the listener still knows within the first seconds that he’s got a record of Orymus in his hands. Miracles is in a way more complete, the production is more polished – more international, let’s say. Musically speaking, the songs are a bit more epic and straight forward – we love to experiment with large choirs. When I am writing the music, I always try to go one step further than other musicians, always add another brick to the composition until the tension is unbearable. Listen to “Another Friend of Mine” and you know what I mean.
What do you think I should describe Orymus as to my friends? The real question here is, what do you guys consider the music of Orymus to be?
Rock music receives a tremendous amount of skepticism from all sides: Metalheads claim it’s too soft, jazzers call it noise and people on the street call it the sound of the devil. But – and this is the biggest compliment for every musician – exactly these guys happen to join our concerts or listen to our records and they freaking love it. So, tell your friends to get their shit together and check out our records. No matter who they are, they will like it.
This eclectic music must have a wide range of influences and inspiration. Would you guys mind enlightening us as to some of the influences you haven’t mentioned already?
You will be surprised to hear that I almost don’t listen to any music all day. I’m trying to keep my head clear and catch every moment of inspiration on my Dictaphone. But if you insist on the question, then I would name Deep Purple, Frank Sinatra, Opeth, Dream Theater but most of all – Ronnie James Dio, may he rest in peace.
What’s the live experience with Orymus like? Any plans for a tour somewhere down the road?
An evening with Orymus is very personal and intense. We enjoy playing few concerts but with good atmosphere in cozy places. The music of Orymus is made for the big stages and we hope to reach those at some point. We’re currently playing a couple of shows all over Switzerland before going joining the studio for our 3rd album.
What have you been listening to recently? Also, would you tell us what your all-time favorite albums are?
Since I am back to writing songs, I am happy to evade any kind of music. My all-time favorites? There is Rainbow’s LONG LIVE ROCK N ROLL, Opeth’s HERITAGE or Dio’s HOLY DIVER. Plenty others exist but those were the ones entering my mind first.
What kind of advice would you impart to other musicians? Do you have any words of wisdom or inspiration for other artists trying to make their mark?
If you’re writing a song and you have the feeling that you’ve just finished it – push it one step further and you’ll greatly appreciate the outcome.