Based out of the wildly diverse Los Angeles music scene, I, Omega delivers a super intensive brand of progressive metal that is sure to impress fans of acts such as Protest The Hero and The Human Abstract. Now signed to Bullet Tooth Records, I, Omega has just unleashed the first sonic assault to the senses. Entitled The Ravenous, if the stunning comic book cover art doesn’t hook you in, the skillful artistry found within all the songs will surely captivate. Here is a recent interview we conducted with one of the I, Omega members to find out about their dynamic new EP, signing to Bullet Tooth, touring stories, and many other ravenous topics. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in I, Omega, and how long the band has been together.
My name is Clay Nevels and I sing in I, Omega. The band started as The Syncope Threshold in ’06 with Tommy, Ryan and three other members. During 2010, they changed the name to I, Omega and lost those 3 aforementioned members. Andrew and Calvan were the first to join and they found me after about a year of searching. I joined the band in April 2011.
What do you think of the local Los Angeles music scene and how does I, Omega fit into the scheme of things?
Well… I moved out here from Louisville, Kentucky and am still experiencing what LA has to offer music-wise. So far I have been thoroughly impressed. Some of the bands that have really caught my attention are: Assuming We Survive, Silver Snakes, What Hands Are For, Sea Of Skies, and The Material. I’ve been able to see a good amount of amazing bands while out here and it’s been a microscopic view on a vast scene that seems to be thriving. As for I, Omega; we’re still working like the rest of the bands/musicians out here, just trying to play as much as possible. Being in a band is kinda like walking up a down escalator… as soon as you take a break you’re right back at the bottom, so we’re still trying work our way back up after the year they took off.
How did the cooperation with Bullet Tooth Records come about?
Well… We recorded the EP at One Light Media in Las Vegas, NV during September. We shopped it for a bit and had a little interest, but nothing solid so we decided to self release it. Right after we came to that decision Josh Grabelle from Bullet Tooth contacted us, was super stoked on the songs we sent and didn’t mess around ha ha…. It’s cool because we’re still very much a small band. I’m sure there are plenty of other bands he could have picked up with more “likes” on Facebook or a more marketable look…. but in the end his main interest was the songs and it’s beyond humbling to work with a guy that is responsible for putting out some of my favorite records.
Is there any overall story or concept behind the EP title The Ravenous?
I actually came up with the concept before I had officially joined the band. I’ve pursued music professionally for the past four years. During this time I’ve met and experienced some amazing bands/people that are truly doing what they love for the right reasons….Sadly I have also met more bands/people that are doing things (in my humble opinion) for the wrong reasons. Music/Art is very dear to me; so when I see people abusing what it has given them, it frustrates me greatly. This EP is for the people who are working themselves to the bone to create something real both for themselves and for the people that follow them. It’s a reminder to never take anything you love for granted because one day it will all be gone.
Select any two I, Omega songs and what inspired the lyrics.
Cannibals – It’s a song that directly points an accusatory finger at the people who I feel are misusing their talents, It’s a brazen song of frustration.
The Ravenous – This song is the summation of the entire EP, a conclusion to the thought process. It also presents the qualms and contradictions. If you spend your time pointing my finger at everyone else then you can forget your own faults. I like to deconstruct things and typically when you take something apart you find hypocrisies and contradictions so I voiced the flaws in my perspective in this song. It reaffirms that the only way you can really protect the things you love is by making sure that you are doing the best you can to be honorable and have the right intentions.
What is a live I, Omega show like for those who have yet to see you play?
It’s just 5 guys trying to squeeze as many notes into a 20 minute or less set in front of the other bands and their girlfriends..ha ha….. The best I can say is come out and hopefully we can get you stoked or at least make you laugh with our stage banter. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, we’re there to have fun so we hope the people who check us out can have fun as well.
How close are you to writing and recording a full length album?
We’ve all been writing sporadically since we got out of the studio. Calvan (our bassist) is a mad man on Guitar Pro and has been writing riffs and arrangements since September. Tommy and Ryan (guitarists) have recently buckled down and been writing some crazy riffage for the past month. I’ve been mulling over a couple concepts and have been writing lyrics and phrases down for the past couple months on the notepad in my phone. We’re definitely making some headway on the full length. Based off of what I’ve been sent so far from the other guys, it’s going further into the technical realm of metal…. which is cool.
Who did the cover art for The Ravenous and how much input did you have on it?
Travis Roberts did the layout and the design. I sent Josh from BT a couple ideas and they kind of ran with it. Initially, I was envisioning something photography based, but after seeing some of the album covers that have already come out this year I’m glad we went the route we did. I think it definitely sets us apart from the album covers from other the bands in our genre. It also brings out the quasi-comic book nerd in me, which is always a plus……. To anyone that buys the album because they assume we’ll be a horror punk band…… our bad.
Who are some of the bigger bands you have opened for and what was the experience like? Are they any particular show that really stand out?
Since I’ve been in the band the only “big” band we’ve opened for has been A Static Lullaby…..which was rad because I’ve been listening to that band since 2004 so to get to hang out and bullshit with those dudes was super cool. As for shows that have stood out, our recent Whiskey show in LA was pretty surreal…. being able to play at a venue like that and actually have a good amount of people show up and support definitely made it one of my “top shows” ever played. I still have never gotten over that excitement of “the show” so any time I get an opportunity to get on stage and make weird noises into a microphone I get pretty pumped.
What kind of touring have you done so far and do you have any interesting or scary stories from the road you could share?
The band has done some touring before I joined them. They did a tour with our brohymns in I Am Abomination, a week on Warped 2010 and few dates supporting Attack Attack directly after Warped, before the previous singer quit.
In a previous band, I was left at a truck stop in Utah without my cellphone and had to borrow the attendant’s phone to play the worst game of phone tag. In this day and age, we don’t have to remember phone numbers anymore so I literally knew TWO phone numbers by heart….. I had to call my roommate to get another person’s number, who in turn gave me my drummer’s number so I could call him and get him to turn around. It was interesting to say the least. We also blew a trailer tire in Nebraska…. and discovered we didn’t have a jack…. by the time we got out of Nebraska we had watched the sun rise and set while still in that state.
What other bands or projects were you and everyone else involved with prior to I, Omega?
My first “serious” band was a rock band out of Louisville, KY called Hark The Herald. I was hooked on touring, so after we broke up I applied to every band needing a member in the country ha ha… eventually I joined the metal band Sea Of Treachery on bass. After I joined, the drummer left to pursue a great opportunity, so I joined an indie/pop band from West Virginia called Time and Distance. During this time SOT’s manager sent a copy of a pre-pro track I did with them to the dudes in I, Omega and they asked me to audition.
What in life turns you into The Ravenous?
Passion…hopefully…… I’m sure there are plenty of people that are motivated/hungry for money, greed and fancy record players…… but for me personally…. Passion.. for music and for life.
What’s up next for the band?
Right now we are working on getting our touring cycle for the EP together… It’s still in it’s early stages… so we’ll see how it pans out, but that’s the goal…. We want to get on the road so we can play for other states’ bands…..and other states’ bands’ girlfriends…
Any final words of wisdom?
I hope this EP means something to someone else, but if it doesn’t…. it’s cool that people may tap their feet to it and hum along…
Stay hungry and stay fresh…
I, Omega is:
Thomas Borboa – Guitar
Ryan Cano – Guitar
(Interview by Kenneth Morton)
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