ORYMUS: Re-Introducing Rock Music

Daniel Brönnimann of Swiss hard prog rockers Orymus talks with Prog Sphere about the band's second studio album "Miracles," and more.

Swiss prog hard rockers Orymus returned earlier this year with their sophomore album “Miracles.” The band’s frontman Daniel Brönnimann speaks for Prog Sphere about the band’s mission, “Miracles,” and plans for future.

Define the mission of Orymus.

Our mission is to re-introduce rock music into the everyday-life of modern people and freeing them from auto-tuned electronic music. Orymus is a band aiming at producing interesting music with unusual concepts and train of thoughts rarely encountered in the work of other artists. Everybody fails at defining our specific genre but it’s somewhere between progressive rock and heavy metal. We do this since more than 10 years in the exact same band composition – namely five friends, which have met as teenagers and simply loved music.

Tell me about the creative process that informed your second album “Miracles.”

As for every album, we initially came up with a detailed concept on how Miracles is supposed to appear and sound – which atmospheres and moods should be created and transmitted to the listener. After we’ve more or less agreed on these, I would then spend a lot of time by myself, write and pre-record all the songs. Since we are a live band, the next step is to practice the songs for real, changing some (usually minor) things and, well, then enter studio. Sounds all fairly easy but can be quite complicated. ;-)

I would say that “Miracles” is a very diverse release. Can you describe the thread that holds it together?

That’s a question I hear quite often because the sound of Orymus is very open, integrates many aspects of music but yet sounds precise and specified. One reason might for sure be that it mostly originates from my feather. People say that I am able to give a touch to my music, not only by singing, which is recognizable. In turn, I am constantly trying to surprise and kind of mock our audience. If someone didn’t expect a rapid turn in a song but still likes it, then I am happy because I know that I did my job well.


How does the title of the album reflect on the material you present with this release?

The title Miracles plays with everything on the album. First of all, the artwork displays a huge miracle. Namely some small birds, which are able to carry away a huge uprooted tree. At the same time, the album immediately starts off with the bombastic opener End Of The World. Isn’t it a miracle that mother nature is able to protect herself, that birds help trees, even when the world is about to end? This is why I love this album so much – there are so many hidden and interconnected small stories that I’m never getting tired of. But I won’t tell any more of those here but rather leave it up to the good ears of the listener to explore and detect all the hidden miracles.

How did you document the music while it was being formulated?

Doesn’t matter if I am waiting for the train or urinating on a public toilet, I would take out my phone and quickly record what is going through my head – ideas for lyrics, moods or melodies. Once in a calm moment at home I would then go through all my thoughts, pick up the useful ones and pre-record them.

Is the dynamic flow of the pieces carefully architected or is it an organic outgrowth of performing them together?

It is definitely architected. We always leave space for being spontaneous in the studio or during live performances. But you know, I am Swiss, so all the songs have a well thought-through structure, meaning and music.

How long “Miracles” was in the making? 

This highly depends on the definition. There are songs, which I have carried the ideas in me for 7-8 years and all of a sudden I got inspired on how to finish the song. If one does not consider these inspirational holes, it took us about 2 years from writing to concept until releasing the album. But I have to say that it was two tough years – the songs on Miracles are not written on a rainy weekend and need a lot of patience and care.

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the release?

You will be surprised to hear that I almost don’t listen to any music all day. I’m trying to keep my head clear and catch every moment of inspiration on my dictaphone. But if you insist on the question, then I would name Deep Purple, Frank Sinatra, Opeth, Dream Theater but most of all – Ronnie James Dio, may he rest in peace.

Orymus band

What kind of gear do you use for recording your music?

To record at home, I am using ProTools 8.0 with some different microphones. All the rest was totally up to our amazing producer Yann Rouiller (Nazareth, Core 22). I’ve never seen a guy putting so many great vibes into a record.He absolutely knows what he’s doing and the best thing is that he’s also one of us – an amazing rock artist.

What is your view on technology in music?

As rock artists trying to perform music in its pure essence, we’re not that dependent on technology. Of course, we’re using Amps and whatsoever and if we’re having a good day we might even plug a delay or a wah-wah but apart from that we’re not at all dependent on it. All these novel kind of musical experiences such as dubstep-core are definitely not my style. Music is about transmitting your energy and your feelings to an audience. Auto-tuned, pre-made samples and computer-generated noises are cold, harsh and do not transmit feelings. They’re just an easy way of creating music for people who are too lazy to learn an instrument. Or others who’re just heading for cash. It’s all fine to me but it’s definitely not my style.

Do you see the band’s music as serving a purpose beyond music?

No. We’re no scientologists and we’re no Bonos. We don’t make political statements and we don’t want to create vegans. All we want to do is good music that touches people.

What are your plans for the future?

Funny to hear but we’re already working on our next record. As I mentioned before, we’re always starting off with a detailed concept and that’s what we are doing right now. I’m afraid I cannot lose any details yet but I can tell you that it’s definitely going to be different again. We are Orymus, we are different. Thanks for the interview, have a good one!

“Miracles” is available from Bandcamp as a name-your-price download. Buy it and support Orymus.

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