MAY 5th 2017

We sat down with
vocalist Jake Oni and guitarist Martin Andres from the band Oni. Here is what they had to say...

1: Can you give us a quick bio of the band and where you currently are at the moment?
Jake: Our name is Oni , we are a six-piece metal band from Canada that has xylosynth in it! Currently, we are in Los Angeles practicing for our tour with Devin Townsend. We have one album out, Ironshore, mixed and produced by Josh Wilbur and featuring guest vocals from Randy Blythe and a guest guitar solo from Francesco Artusato.
2: In November of 2016 you guys released Ironshore and worked with Josh Wilbur, primarily recognized for his work with top metal artists Lamb Of God and Gojira. What did he bring to the table for you guys?
Jake: A really solid second opinion. A great ear for the mix - killer mix. For me personally, he really pushed me to the next level vocally and I really appreciate that. Working with him taught me a lot and he definitely brought a lot of connections for us. He’s just a super helpful guy to know and to be friends with. A big part of our state in our career comes down to him.
Marty: I think he had a great ear for input too when we were practicing all the Ironshore songs and were getting them “tour ready”. He would always have something really great to contribute to help us perform better or play something or to have something sound better in the jam room so it was really great having his two cents.
Jake: He’s so easy to work with. There a lot of parts on this album and Josh helped rearranged and bring other ideas to the table.
3: What was the main inspiration for creating Ironshore? I really dig the cover so also wanted to find out how that was conjured?

Jake: The art work was conjured up from a guy named Brent White, a super famous illustrator. He did the new Megadeth album art work, solid guy and he listened to the album and it was his interpretation of our sound. A lot of it came from me as well. I wanted a really powerful Oni demon on the cover and I think it represents us, our name, that’s what it is really. So, it’s just the visual side of the music.
4: You are currently under Metal Blade/Blacklight Media. How did that relationship transpire?
Jake: That relationship transpired quite a while ago through our management team. We weren’t really signed to anyone, we were just doing everything ourselves and they liked the project and scooped it up.
5: How have you guys solidified your sound since starting the band?

Martin: There are a lot of more natural tendencies when we play all the songs now live. It sounds much more organic and like one beast. Not that the songs on the album aren’t but, there’s definitely a different natural, organic vibe to it live that just makes it a little heavier and I think a little smoother to listen to and it’s a different experience.
Jake: We’re not a band that’s been playing these songs for five years before recording our first record, you know? The band, we’ve jammed together before but this is all new material that we wrote and then we recorded. It’s not like these songs have been around for years. So I think it sounds a lot better live now than it did when we recorded the album. Literally, our practice today probably sounded better than the record so it’s pretty cool.
6: How did you come up with the concepts for your video "The Only Cure"?
Jake: That was my idea. I wanted to create like a horror scene that worked well with the lyrics that were there about “As I lay down with my chest cut wide open”- we literally made that happen on a visual level so that was pretty cool. I just thought it was a really rad concept to be honest. The whole Only Cure itself - I don’t even know where the inspiration comes from, like apart from what it is, you know?
7: Can you tells us being from London, Ontario what the metal scene is like?
Jake: The metal scene in London, Ontario? It’s not that common as far as I know. Maybe I’m ignorant to the whole scene. Me and Martin are from Windsor but half the band are from London and I’d say southern Ontario as a whole is stale right now in metal, personally. Protest the Hero are still huge - they’re from there. You have your super bands from Toronto that have been around for forever but as far as new underground metal?
Martin: I know that there are a lot of venues closing up too in the southern Ontario scene which always makes it harder to get exposure as a new band coming up. So I know they’re out there but…
8: What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs? Do you think these topics will change over time?
Jake: I would say it’s an overall darker metal vibe. I can’t see it changing- maybe just going more heavy. I just want to make dark sounds and lyrics that just really push the bar. I guess every song is different, you know? Like we don’t have like a concept album right now. It’s definitely an eclectic mix of lyrical content between me and Chase. It’s there, it’s real and we’re really proud of it but every song is different song.
9: What do you like to do outside of music that you feel still contributes to the band?
Jake: I guess for me writing lyrics but that’s still part of the music. Also, I definitely try to fight for as many opportunities as we can get and just go out of my way to make all the connections I can and really just push the band forward in every way possible.
Martin: I play drums also, so sometimes I think playing different instruments helps with my composing. Also, I love nature. I get a lot of my best ideas out in nature whether it’s just like at the beach or swimming or a hike. I’ll think of ideas and have a notebook to just write ideas down.
10: Which songs do you perform most frequently? Do you ever play any covers?
Jake: Yes, we have played covers before. We used to cover Metallica and Slipknot. We’ve done our fair share of covers - definitely a lot of the guys like to learn other songs from other bands and that keeps the chops up overall. Recently, I’ve even been doing more vocal stuff and trying to sing other bands’ parts whether it be, you know, death metal like The Faceless or even Incubus, just a bit of everything. It definitely helps, but we don’t really play covers live. I don’t know if we ever will. It would be really hard for us to agree on a cover, I feel like it would never happen.
Here's what we mostly play live:
Eternal Recurrence
Spawn and Feed (which we just released a new music video for!)
Barn Burner
The Science
The Only Cure
Coast to Coast
11: How can fans-to-be gain access to your music?
Jake: Just come to the shows and check out the website, Spotify, Apple Music, all over the internet. If you type in Oni band in Google, you’ll find it. The whole album is on Youtube as well. You can stream it there, or watch our music videos.
12: Heading into May what are the plans for ONI for the rest of 2017?

Jake: 2017’s going to be crazy. We’ve got big festivals coming up. We’re playing some shows with Gojira. Obviously, I already said the Devin Townsend ones coming up with Thank You Scientist. We are always writing. We want to have so much more material next time around, you know, musically and lyrically, like everything.