Connor: This release was about us finally finding our sound, especially after our becoming a three piece. We wanted to nail our new philosophy and sound as a band in the most memorable and vicious way possible, and “Severing” was the product.
Kevin: We wanted to write music as brutal as the bands we were listening to at the time, and “Severing” is definitely the first time we recorded something where the end result began to live up to the band’s potential.
Roldy: This release took a lot of effort and practice on our part, and we finally found a strong identity musically and ideologically. It’s a release the band can be proud of.
What is the history of the band, its members, etc.? Give us, if you will, some background! When, where and why did the band form?
Roldy: The band began in late 2008 as a two-piece. Kevin joined on drums some time later in the spring, and we finally found a bassist about a year after that. At the beginning, we were aiming for more of a straight death metal sound (honestly, we didn’t know what we were doing) and, as years passed, it shaped us up for what we sound like today.
Kevin: We spent a long time doing everything wrong, and if we do anything right, it is because of the experiences early on.
Where is the band from? How has your local area influenced your sound? Why?
Roldy: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Connor: Edmonton is obviously home to some of the best black/death bands in Canada-Antediluvian, Revenge, Begrime Exemious, etc. A lot of our sound and influences come from old-school death metal and black metal, but we want to contribute to the scene that we’re proudly a part of in as individualistic a way as we can.
Roldy: The local bands influenced us immensely, and it’s evident in this release.
How do you describe your music? Why?
Kevin: I would describe our music as black/death metal in the Canadian vein, but with elements of old-school brutal death metal and atmospheric black metal. We wanted to marry the heaviness of the old-school bands like Suffocation and Incantation with the atmosphere of bands like Leviathan and Xasthur in a way that we felt is uncommon.
The material on ‘Severing…’ is very dark, well produced and leaves a lasting impression! How long was the material in writing and recording stages?
Kevin: The oldest song on the EP has been around since 2009, though not in the finished form on the EP. For several months, we went through a process of writing and re-writing the material to make sure they delivered as they were supposed to.
Roldy: Recording took one weekend at Sonic Dungeon, and we prepared for about two months. Intensely.
What are some of the more memorable events that led up to the EP’s release? Was it more enjoyable for the band to write rather than record or…?
Roldy: The tour in support of the EPs release was something very special for us, as it was our first cross-Canada tour.
Connor: The distribution deal with Tim Grieco on Serpent’s Head Reprisal was a real honor, because we all admire Antediluvian enormously. The positive feedback in general is great, but from people that we respect is truly humbling and is a sign we’re doing things right.
Kevin: Both writing and recording were enjoyable in their own way. We have the advantage of the fact that we all get along as people in the band, so most of the processes are enjoyable.
Your Facebook page recently made announcement of an alliance between Dire Omen and Dark Descent Records for your full length debut…congrats! Dark Descent put outs amazing stuff, Dire Omen being no exception! How did this relationship come about? When can we expect the full length?
Kevin: Our EP made noise for us in the underground and attracted attention from the labels. It has always been our intention to get signed to a label with a particular pedigree of releases and bands, to get ourselves out to a wider audience. The word of mouth was a huge asset to us.
Roldy: We have played shows with bands that had been associated with Dark Descent, which definitely, we think, helped. The full length will be released this fall.
How are songs written in Dire Omen? Is there a sole songwriter? As a group?
Connor: Kevin does most of the more straight-forward and old-school style riffs, and Roldy does more of the chaotic and atmospheric stuff. When we’ve got a song we want to start playing together, we rearrange the song collaboratively so the finished product is really a composition we’ve done together. I have free reign over the bass lines, which of course makes me very happy.
What about the recording process? How do the songs manifest themselves onto a fixed media? The production on ‘Severing…’ was quite clear and intelligible.
Kevin: We definitely go into the studio with an idea of what we want the finished product to be. It’s about getting our ideas onto the canvas. We wanted to find a production style that allowed the heaviness of the riffs to be clearly heard, but still be dark and cavernous enough to match the music. I feel like, on the EP, we did alright by that.
What other projects, if any, are members of Dire Omen involved in that we may be familiar with?
Connor: For now, while none of us are professional musicians, we are extraordinarily dedicated to this band and to each other as bandmates. For all of us, this is our sole project.
Who is responsible for the cover art to ‘Severing…’ and how does it tie in with your music?
Roldy: Mr. Tim Grieco, of Antediluvian.
Connor: We’d become friends with Tim, and considering how his artistic style on other projects is, he was an obvious consideration. Right away, he got what we were going for, and after only one preparatory sketch he pretty much nailed it. The art is supposed to tie into our occult and Thelemic themes, and Tim did a good job of getting that across.
I believe the EP’s CD format was self-released but there is a tape version available from Serpent’s Head Reprisal records, in Spain, yes? Are there copies still available…?
Roldy: SHP is actually based here in Edmonton, and is run by Tim. He released a hundred copies in cassette format, and distributed the CD for us as well. I believe he still has some cassette copies, but you’ll have to check his website. There are some copies at Nuclear War Now! In Germany and some in the Dark Descent Distro as well.
Kevin: In addition, you can get physical and digital copies directly through us on our bandcamp.
I wanted to ask about the Thelemic current in your work? The image of the hexagram as well as titles like ‘Presence of Ra-Hoor-Khuit’ speak of Crowley-an influence. Tell us, in you words, what the ‘Presence of Ra-Hoor-Khuit’ means to you, as well as Thelema…
Connor: The band has always had a fascination with the occult, and I’ve personally always loved to read Aleister Crowley’s works. When the other guys got into it, it became obvious fuel for our musical style. Our main focus philosophically as far as Thelema goes is to draw on Crowley’s teachings about the importance of individualism, knowledge and the extension of your Will onto the Universe, as well as the inevitable decry and self-imposed futility and punishment of the dead souls.
What does the immediate future hold for Dire Omen? What about 5 years from now?
Roldy: For the immediate future, the full length. Our other goals are to play outside of Canada, especially in Europe, for the upcoming years.
Kevin: Five years from now, we hope to be making music as good as we are now, if not better. Everything else is gravy.
Where is the best place for fans to hear and purchase your music?
Connor: Our bandcamp account: direomen.bandcamp.com