ORIGIN "Entities of Extremity"

Interview By Thor

Origin founder and ax-wielding wizard, Paul Ryan plays guitar like piranhas eat lunch – fast, and lethally proficient.  In the wake of Origin’s recent release and current supporting tour of their album "Entity", Wormwood Chronicles’ Thor caught up with Ryan to talk about the new album, the shows, and just how the hell one plays music this fast and ferocious every night.  Read on….

Wormwood Chronicles:  I’ve always considered Origin to be the Cadillac of tech-death. But the songs don’t sound like a musician circle jerk. Your incredible technical prowess comes off as more a by-product of whatever particular emotion/concept you’re trying to convey. When you first put the band together did you ever articulate a sort of mission statement? What was it that Origin initially set out to accomplish?

Paul Ryan:  Being from Kansas it was hard to get recognized. I had to make something that stood out that was different than what was going on at the time. Death Metal bands that were once good stopped putting out quality albums. I still loved the music and wanted to convey something that was extreme and in your face.

WC:  With the current tour are there any regions or cities in particular that you’re looking forward to playing?

PR:  All of them! We have done so many tours that we have friends in almost every city. Some markets are larger than others but sometimes the smaller shows have more intensity. Of course I look forward to the areas where the band lives (CA, NY, and KS).

WC:  How did Jason Keyser end up taking James Lee’s place on vocals and is he now a permanent member?

PR:  Jason was hired after the album was recorded. Things with James just were not working out anymore. It was time to move on.

WC:  John Longstreth is one of the most highly regarded drummers in the genre, yet there was a three-year hiatus during which time James King played and recorded ( i.e., Echoes of Decimation) with you. What led to John’s time away and more importantly what led to John’s return?

PR:  John wanted to branch out and see what other bands had to offer and how they worked. In the end and on his return it was more about actually being in a band rather than being a hired gun.

WC:  Do you fear a Spinal Tap-to-drummer correlation developing?

PR:  Anything to do with Spinal Tap is great as long as he doesn't die and we can all find our way to the stage!

WC:  On the new album " Entity", which is fantastic, there is far more groove (relatively speaking and for lack of a more accurate word) than there is on the three previous albums combined, making "Entity" the most accessible Origin album to date. Why?

PR:  Accessible? I am not so sure. I haven't seen a bunch of people all dressed up at the shows with their kids and grandparents. We’re just creating music that is fun for us to play and utilizing all the talents of the guys in the band.

WC:  Did you approach writing this album the same way you did your previous albums? What’s your process like?

PR:  I write the music on my own then I make an album of just guitar tracks and send it to the guys for them to listen to. Mike and I Skype-jam to learn the material and I go out to NY to jam with John in the practice hall for a few days at a time. Eventually we all get in the same room and jam as a band. The more time we spend practicing the more the songs develop and the better they become.

WC:  Did Jason have lyrical input on "Entity"?

PR:  No.

WC:  Are there conceptual territories you avoid with Origin or is the range of lyrical topics wide open?

PR:  Anything that comes to mind. 

WC:  What music do you all listen to as fans?

PR:  Oh, I like Death Metal. I listen to the old stuff primarily.

WC:  With your musical style dependent on superior technique, are there any discussions you have with soundmen when you play unfamiliar venues or any tricks/equipment you employ to assure you can execute your music as cleanly as possible no matter what the room or the monitors or the mix is doing?

PR:  We’ve had our own sound guy since 2008. 

WC:  Does your sometimes-revolving-door of band members – a problem that afflicts many bands that play underground and extreme music – affect your ability to play such a demanding style?

PR:  The guys who have been in the band in the past have been talented enough where there weren’t any major setbacks. It’s just reviewing the material and getting out there & playing it live together so we can move forward to the next album.

WC:  Do any of you have any side projects or creative outlets that are unrelated to metal?

PR:  I am a musician. I'm only known for Origin. I have a lot of music that is very personal to me but if you release something different nowadays you’re ripped apart in the media so I’ll just leave it at that.

WC:  What does the rest of 2011 hold for Origin?

PR:  After the States/Canada tour we do Puerto Rico. Then we are booking Europe right now. Talks with South America and Japan had to be rescheduled so looking forward to that as well. We’re gonna be busy! Can't wait!