Of One Blood are well known within the Glasgow/Scotland metal scene and are expanding their fanbase by consistently writing and recording new material. The fact that Of One Blood have self released their two albums to date speaks volumes about their dedication and having fun while plying their trade. After reviewing Of One Blood’s second album Bonedust and Rust last month, I contacted the band and asked them a few questions about their influences, next release and touring plans.
Simple things first – where are you guys from?
We’re all spread out over Central Scotland, ranging from Loch Lomond to Alloa to Paisley.
How did you meet?
Greig, Hoogz, Ali and myself were all originally members of Scarcinogen about eight, maybe nine years ago. During this time, we played a handful of gigs with Fro’s previous band What’s The Damage?! Both bands eventually disbanded with the four of us continuing on as Of One Blood. Three or so years ago we needed to find a new bass player. Fro got in touch, learned some songs and the rest, as they say, is history.
How long have you been playing as a band?
Of One Blood have been together for about five years.
What are your influences?
That’s a hard question as we have an incredibly varied taste across the band. Ali likes Tool (I’m sure there’s a pun there somewhere), Maynard Keenan has definitely influenced how he pieces together his lyrics and he also looks to books and TV for further inspiration. Greig leans towards bands and artists such as Hellyeah, Pantera, Zakk Wylde, Andy James. Fro grew up on Sabbath, Deep Purple and slowly gravitated towards the heavier side of metal. Hoogz is all about Ministry and old skool punk. I was mainly influenced by the NWOAHM back in the early 2000s – Shadows Fall, God Forbid, Unearth, etc. – before discovering bands like The Red Chord and The Dillinger Escape Plan.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
I guess we would probably be labelled as metalcore, although that’s not something we actively aim to achieve. I think the thing that makes us unique is our versatility. Nothing bores me more at a show than when you can’t tell when one song ends and the other begins. I like that we show a lot of different looks in our songs. I feel that whatever your kind of metal, you’ll find something in there that’s for you.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
Politics and personal stuff are the two big ones for sure but there are a lot more. For instance, “End of Days” is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s the story of a man witnessing the apocalypse and the testing of his faith. Mostly it’s stuff that is weighing on Ali’s mind at the time we’re writing the song.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
So far, I think we must be over 100 shows at this point. I would say our live show is fairly energetic and interactive. Ali tries to get as much crowd interaction happening as possible. He has this habit of making people get involved – even if they don’t think they want to.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
I don’t think there’s been anything too crazy at any of our live shows – although I’m probably forgetting something. We do get the usual things, people falling over, tripping over the railing etc. One of the weirdest things that springs to mind was the time when we were supporting, I think it was IKILLYA, if memory serves me correctly, there was some sort of a malfunction with one of the drummer’s floor tom legs in the very first song, so Hoogz being Hoogz decided he would jump up on stage and lay under the tom holding it in place. He must have spent a good 3 or 4 songs up there, headbanging while lying on the floor, before there was a break in the set to fix it.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
I think we would all likely agree that IKILLYA would be the main event. If you haven’t checked them out yet then why are you wasting your time reading this sentence, go check them out; “Vae Victis” is a 5-star tune. It would be cool to play with newcomers Ikari, Ali has been listening to their track “Ghosts” and says it’s a belter. Go check them out!
Now that the album has been out for a while now, what are the rest of your plans for 2017? Is it difficult for everyone to get away from their day job and maybe do a week long tour in Europe?
Our next show is in Perth at the Twa Tams on 2nd September. Other than that, I think the plan is to start pre-production on the handful of songs we have that are pretty much finished. A week-long tour of Europe would be great and is definitely on the list of things to do, though getting everyone off of the day jobs at the same time is difficult. Maybe next year if all goes well.
How often is the band able to get together and rehearse and is there any sign of new material?
We generally get together once a week or so to keep the set sharp or work on some new stuff. We have a handful of new tracks in various stages of completion with full pre-pro done for one. Hopefully we’ll get that one out this year with more to follow early 2018. For those that have seen us live, we have played one of the new ones, “Eyes of the Betrayer”, a few times and it seems to be going down well.
The sound of the album I felt was perfect and very clear, allowing each instrument to be heard but to remain brutal at all times. Was it difficult to find the sound that you wanted and how did you find the place to record your album?
It was actually quite a natural process. We’ve had certain tones etc. that we’ve used as our go to for the past few years. This meant that we were lucky to be able to pretty much just turn up and press record. Luckily, I dabble in some engineering and mixing so we’ve never really struggled for the facilities to record. We had toyed with outsourcing but due to budget constraints at the time it wasn’t feasible. So we ended up recording drums in the rehearsal studio and everything else in my house – which Ali hated as the ‘vocal booth’ was actually my sister’s bedroom and it was filled with porcelain dolls – he still has nightmares to this day.
A fun question to end this interview. If you were a DJ and were allowed to bring five CDs to the party, what would they be?
Since there are five CDs and five of us, I figure we’ll bring one each.
Ali: Ricky Martin – She Bangs
Greig: Pantera – A Vulgar Display Of Power
Fro: Municipal Waste – Art of Partying
Hoogz: Ministry – KE*A*H** (Psalm 69)
I would bring Shadows Fall – The Art of Balance
Any last message for our readers here at Moshville Times?
Thanks for anyone who took the time to read this and to the people who show up to our gigs and support us/buy our merch. You are the very lifeblood of the metal scene and we could not survive without you. Also big thanks to Ricky and Moshville Times for putting this together.
Bonedust and Rust is out now