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Friday, May 2, 2014

Heavy Planet's Initiation in the Order of the Owl

In the midst of an east coast tour with fellow Atlantans Volume IV, on the eve of a headlining slot on this year's Eye of the Stoned Goat Festival, and with a new EP release just over the horizon, it's safe to say the guys in Order of the Owl are pretty busy.  But that didn't stop guitarist Casey Yarbrough from taking time out to talk a little shop with Heavy Planet.  Read on to get acquainted with the six string wizard as he discusses his band's formation, his hometown scene, and most importantly new music from Order of the Owl.   

Heavy Planet: So I know that [bassist/vocalist] Brent [Anderson] was originally in Zoroaster and Casey, you've been involved with a number of other bands (Halmos, Demonaut, etc.), so how did the two of you originally come together to start Order of the Owl?

Casey Yarbrough: When Brent parted ways with Zoroaster, he got together with long time friend Corey Pallon to start OotO. Corey knew I had been wanting to get out of the more punk, dissonant, rock and get into something heavier. We jammed together and it stuck well. First song we did was "Class War." 

HP: It’s been a couple of years since the release of In the Noon of the After Day.  When can we expect a new album? 

CY: [It's been] just a bit over a year and a half from its release. With the departure of Corey Pallon it threw off our progress, but Joe has picked up well and we just recorded a 4 song EP.

HP: Is there any chance the new record will be put out on a label or will you be going the independent route again for this one?

CY: [That's] still TBD at this point. 

HP: Do you have a name for the new album yet?

CY: [It's called] The Wolves of True Diamond Hate.

HP: Now you mentioned Corey Pallon who played drums on the first record and I was reading that the reason for him not being able to continue with the band had to do with some unfortunate health concerns.  How has it been transitioning to a new drummer?  

CY: It's been really good. Joe [Sweat] has brought an element to the band that was unexpected, and we have made some real progress.

HP: How did you come up with Joe as Corey’s replacement?

CY: Corey wanted to pick his replacement since he had a lot to do with the band's existence. He picked Joe Sweat and we couldn't be happier.

HP: Are there any differences in Joe’s playing style or perhaps other nuances that he brings to the band that are different from what Corey brought to the table?

CY: Corey had an improv and jazz kind of vibe that he added. The songs meandered a little more and that was fine and good. Joe has brought to the table a steadier and slightly faster vibe. Songs are tighter and we are liking the direction a lot.

HP: Speaking of differences in sound, how does the new material compare to what we heard on In the Noon of the After Day?  What can we expect to hear in the new material?

CY: [The] new stuff is faster.  Joe is adding more vocals, and it's just as heavy. You'll hear it soon enough.

HP: You’re out on tour right now with another Atlanta band, Volume IV and while it seems like little old Savannah gets all the credit for being the burgeoning heavy rock scene in your state, Atlanta doesn’t seem to be doing so badly itself.  Can you talk a little bit about the heavy music scene right now in your city?  Any bands we should be on the lookout for that we may not know about just yet?

CY: Atlanta has a hell of a lot of great bands coming out of it. To name a few...Drop Out, Demonaut, Mangled, Sadistic Ritual, Palaces, Pretty Please, Crawl, Ron Mexico, and so many more that I can't even name them all! 

HP: So can we expect to hear some new material on these current tour dates and at Eye of the Stoned Goat? 

CY: You'll hear the whole EP!

HP: Casey, you’ve been involved in the past with Sourvein as well, is that right?  Are you still playing with those guys? 

CY: My Sourvein days were very limited. But you will hear my guitar work on their new split with Graves at Sea. 

HP: Any other projects we should be keeping an eye on?

CY: [I'm] just really focused on OotO progress.

And you can hear that focus on the band's 2012 debut In the Noon of the After Day, which is available via Order of the Owl's Bandcamp page.  And keep an eye out for the new EP The Wolves of True Diamond Hate, which will be available very soon.

Heavy Planet would like to thank Casey Yarbrough for taking the time to answer our questions.  Be sure to check out Order of the Owl at the following dates:

May 02, 2014 - Buffalo, NY - The Lair w/ Volume IV
May 03, 2014 - Brooklyn, NY - The Acheron w/ Volume IV
May 04, 2014 - Worcester, MA - Ralph's Rock Diner, Eye of the Stoned Goat

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