Interviews: Opium Death

On this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the Death Metal/Thrash Metal band Opium Death from USA. Check out this band and follow them on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you plan it or come out just like that?

Irvin: If memory serves, I remember one night we were at my friend’s house in the backyard one evening and the lineup at the time was not what it is now. Back then we called ourselves Cazador and I believe I brought up my opinion on that name and how it just did not feel right for us. The rest of the band agreed and so we started brainstorming possible band names around the fire pit. After many back-and-forth pitches of names, we settled on a two-word name with death as the secondary one like Napalm Death. And after many pitches of that, it was either myself or my guitarist at the time that said opium. From there it clicked and since then it has stayed.

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

Irvin: My friend Rob, former bassist, and I have a huge passion for heavy music dating back to middle school and after playing Rock Band 1 and 2 for some time with another friend who would then become our drummer shortly after, it just felt natural that this is what we wanted to do. It was loud, fast, and limitless really because it meant we could do whatever we wanted with everything cranked loud and mean. It was the energy that we wanted to let out and share our frustrations of the mainstream conventional behavior across media and society as well as to promote individual thinking.

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

Irvin: Under the name of Opium Death, yes, we did through mutual friends. When one member left, a new one joined in and was not a total stranger. We listened to the same bands and loved playing the same type of music so everything came together naturally. Will, the second guitarist in the album Genocidal Nemesis, was the only one that we did not know because he responded to a flyer that Don had posted on a billboard at a college and one day Don received a text from him saying that he was interested in auditioning for the part. He meshed in with us very easily.

4. Each band member's favourite band? 

Irvin: My favorite band of all time is Megadeth. Dennis is Cattle Decapitation. Luis’ is a Demolition Hammer. Don’s is Cannibal Corpse.

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

Irvin: What inspires us mostly are the bands that each of us listens to every day especially when we see them live. That and local bands that either post on social media or have a gig in the area. There is this desire to want to do the same thing because the riff is just so good, or some harmonic melody/groove resonates very well and so we try to recapture it but in our own way. What helps too is between us in the band when we rehearse a set for a show and sometimes just a random musical idea comes into place and if we like it, we proceed to work on it.

6. Where was your last gig?

Irvin: Our last gig took place at Davern’s Tavern in Justice, Illinois on October 15th, 2023. It was our first time playing at that venue as well as our first time playing with local acts in the Chicagoland area. Many of whom I personally wanted to play with, and everyone was super friendly and had a great time.

7. Where would you like to act?

Irvin: We would like to perform in intimate venues in major cities or just around the suburbs of various states. We just love the energy that comes from the band onto the audience and back to us. We attend a lot of shows throughout the years and it is a goal to start playing in places where our favorite bands have played. 8. Whom would you like to feature with? Irvin: We would love to feature in splits with upcoming bands of the Chicago metal scene or possibly bands like Phobophilic, Molder, or 200 Stab Wounds just to name a few. We haven’t discussed really who we would want to feature with, but it would be great to record an EP or a split with these bands because we like what they do and hope they feel the same with us.

9. Whom not?

Irvin: We tend to befriend those who want to be treated with respect and likewise with us. It is a camaraderie that I think should be heavily prevalent in the metal scene across the globe. We do not associate with those who act irresponsibly amongst their peers or have some history of bad behavior within the community. 

10. Any of you has ever suffered from stage fright? Any tip for beginners on how to beat that?

Irvin: Yes, we have especially in our initial comings of performing live, but we noticed over time that the more gigs you have, the easier it gets to go through the anxiety and nervousness that arises. Moving around the stage sort of shakes off the feeling just because you are more attuned to playing the song and not focusing on the audience which can get overwhelming. I advise you to rehearse your songs very well so that the muscle memory is locked in and to look over the audience instead of right at them if possible or maintain focus on the song so one can block out the audience when needed.

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

Irvin: We believe that our debut album showcases the bands that inspired us the most at the time when we wrote those songs back in 2019 or so for example Gojira, Dying Fetus, Cattle Decapitation, and Cannibal Corpse. They have different styles within the heavy metal genre, but we believe we can use this to our songwriting abilities to be diverse and brutal at the same time to bring forth our sound.

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for? 

Irvin: As of right now, we haven’t received anything strange or out of the ordinary yet from a fan. Maybe when we go on tour sometime within the next couple of years, we may come across one. You just never know.

13. What do you think of your fans?

Irvin: They are fantastic and couldn’t be ever so grateful for their patience and loyalty to listen to our debut album after so many years since our inception. It is something we do not take for granted and could not be more excited to share more music that we will be prepping up for the coming years.

14. What do you think of our site?

Irvin: We love it and the organization of the content and links to bands are simple and straightforward. Navigating through the pages and seeing more information about bands and releases isn’t too difficult to read and the layout is very good.

15. Something to add?

Irvin: Yes, we have our debut album coming out on April 19, 2024, and this album has something that everyone will enjoy. It is mixed with influences ranging from black metal to death metal to hardcore that I believe with each listen you will gain a different experience each time. It delivers a concoction of brutality that I think everyone will appreciate and stands out as a sign for more things to come.

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