Interview w/ Connor McDonald of Oracle (Rhythm Guitar)


How would you describe your music?

A lot of people have different opinions on what to label the genre as. We are aggressive heavy/thrash but not constricted to that, we have elements of other styles and usually we find there is something there for everyone based on feedback.

What gave you the idea for the tittle E.P?

Being called Oracle gave is a lot of freedom on what we can call the E.P with tying it into mythology. We began researching into Greek mythology as there has always been an influence there anyway. We started looking into the origins of Oracles within Greek myth and came across Pythia which was the name of the high priestess of the temple of Apollo. We found her story interesting and went for that as her main role was to give prophecy and guidance. Many of the stories can be metaphorically be compared to what we can see happen on the world stage today and it’s an interesting writing process being able to speak our minds and mix it with stories in myth.

Do you work with others in the writing process?

We write our music as a band. Usually starts with a few riff ideas that we all agree upon. Jason (vocals) reads through his lyric book of wonders and makes the vocals fit around the riffs with a few changes here and there. Once we get the general foundations we piece it together with the full band set up. That also is a process in itself when more changes are made until we are all in mutual agreement.

How much time do you take to record songs?
Depends on the day. With the E.P we began with our dummy track and started tracking each instrument individually which took around 5 days. One dedicated day per person but we like to have fun and relax in the studio and not try to rush things. 

Does this release differ from past music releases? How?

The release of Tales of Pythia for us was a major step in the right direction to what we wanted to sound like as a band. Compared to our first release ‘Take my blood’, the E.P was done as the full confirmed band. When we first began playing together the writing process was very different having only met, testing each other’s boundaries on how heavy we where going to take it and separating what we didn’t like and was a lot of fun after much debates.  Having lost the drummer from the original line up we still met up and wrote songs while we searched for our next member, that is when the sound developed and Rhys (drummer) came along and pieced it together for the final recording. Now with the full confirmed line up we are hard at work writing for our debut album which is also stepping into new territories different from our E.P and continuing to develop our style.

Do you like to change it up for each release with lyrical themes?

Yes, we do change it up for each release, but more based around what we feel is relevant to write about as life goes on in terms of personal issues and the political stage which is interesting to watch. We also continue to research into different stories in different mythologies and see what relates to the present which can be heard in the lyrics.

Where do you draw your influences and inspirations from?

We are all different ages from different background’s so influences vary per person but still similar in tastes. But to name a few from each of us that mean something on a personal level would be Gojira, Meshuggah, Tool, Lamb of god, Mastodon. 

What has been the most enjoyable thing you have done?

To date our Bloodstock performance has to be our biggest and most enjoyable achievement as a band. Stepping out on to that stage in front of that crowd was an eye opener to just how real and possible it is to achieve slots like that with hard work and dedication, it really paid off. All we want to do now is power forward and see what the future brings.

What do you feel is the biggest challenge going forward with your career?

The biggest challenge I feel we have going forward is continuing to push on with a harder work ethic as we are striving to take things to the next level which can increase the pressure giving more work load and financial commitments etc… but it’s an exciting time and the challenge is welcomed. 

What do you enjoy outside of music?

We all like to do the same things. All of us are into gaming and going out for pints and the craic. The local scene in our hometown of Belfast is an exciting time to be involved in, so many talented bands on the rise and gives everyone somewhere to go and enjoy live music in good company.

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About Ancient Visionz

Gaz Visionz is a writer and Internet Radio DJ with the punk/metal show 'The Wastelands'. He is also a YouTube podcaster/creator, host of Ancient Visionz Talk Radio, co-host of Paradigm Radio with Planet X Films, and a passionate fan of hardcore punk, metal, underground hip hop, movies, science-fiction, comics, and indie film.
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