The IMC Magazine Issue 15 /May 2016 - Page 75

I love the fact that it catches people off guard and our fans always tell us how awesome it is. The funniest part for me is the fact that the plural of the word ninja is ninja. It just goes to show that we are serious about our music, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously.

It's been 8 years since the release of your self titled debut album. What made you decide to get the band back together, so to say?

Wow, it does sound like an eternity when you put it that way. We did tour on that record for quite some time and came close to getting signed again which delayed putting out more music but for all intents and purposes, I don’t think anybody had the intention to still be making music for this group at this point.

As you know, I’ve kept up a pretty steady stream of solo releases since the last Oh Crap! Ninjas album and Frogs became a member of Stars In Stereo and was touring internationally for the last 5 years or so. Needless to say, we’ve been pretty busy. What brought me back is that fact that I absolutely love playing in this band and writing these songs. Now matter how long we take a step away, that feeling will always bring you back.

What were your goals when you started to put Death Connected together? Is there a new OC!N album in the near future?

“Death Connected’ actually started as a commissioned piece. Since I have been, among other things, working as a TV/Film composer over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to work on some pretty rad projects, one of which was the indie film “Death Connection”. After I finished the score and we were wrapping up post production, the director asked if I would be willing to write a theme song for the credits of the film. Stoked on the idea, I said yes and began to take the score and turn it in to a full blown rock song.

The lyrical content, though universal, is based on the characters and storyline in the film and the tone of the song in very much in line with director’s vision. When it was all said and done, it just felt like an OC!N tune. It immediately brought me back to the band and my love for writing these kind of songs.

Since the release of the film, Frogs and I have been having various writing sessions with super talented songwriters here and there to see if anything clicks. So far I’m most excited about the ideas we came up with while working with people like Sameer Bhattacharya (Flyleaf) and Julian Tomarin (Redlight King). On my own, I never stopped writing for this band. I’m putting together what I have and I’m in the process of demoing and going through song selection to see which ones I'm in to and which are destined for the bin. I’m not sure if we’ll do a full album but there will definitely be some singles coming out.

For the purpose of OC!N, did anyone influence your sound, or is this an extension of who you are musically?

Honestly, I am not really sure how to answer that. In some ways you write what you love. In some ways, you write who you are and in some ways, you connect to something so much greater than you and do your best not to screw it up as it passes through you.

Tonally, I love this style. Active Rock is a genre that I really get in to and I listen to quite a bit so I know that it plays a huge part in what I am attempting to emulate and what feels exciting to me when I am writing. Beyond that, influence is a funny thing.

We are influenced by everything we perceive, good or bad, whether we want it to or not. I may internalize a guitar lick from another song without even knowing or hate the line from a movie and not remember and then when I sit down to put a song together, all of that has an effect on how I craft a song and what I am making. I feel like it’s so complex. Who’s to say what guides my creativity? I feel like I would be super arrogant to assume I know where inspiration comes from.

You have a very unique and impressive song writing style, whether it be for OC!N or your solo music. Do you have a set process for keeping up this standard?

That’s kind of you to say. I just write what comes out. I try not to over analyze it too much because that can make you crazy. If it feels write, I go with it. It may crash and burn but intuition is a powerful thing and I wish more people listened to theirs more often. I think it would make for a more interesting musical landscape.