Orion are getting ready to release their new single Somnium. We caught up with the guys to find out more about it.
You’re currently getting ready to release your new single Somnium. What’s the story behind it?
Well this single is kind of an introduction to the upcoming concept based around sleep. Lyrically it describes dreaming. From the majesty of things we can conjure and create, to the dark paths and frightening visions. We are at the mercy of our own uncontrollable imaginations. We feel musically the song really gives you that same feeling too!
Can you describe the writing and recording process for it?
Well the song was written by our ex guitarist Ryan Robb after he returned from his trip to America. He pitched this song to us that he had been working on over there and we all fell in love with it! He pitched the idea of initially expanding it into a fifteen minute epic, and that’s where we got talking about having a concept to our music, which was a challenge we had never attempted before, but it got us all excited. Phil Owen then pitched the idea of sleep to us and we thought that this would serve as a fantastic introduction to the concept itself. The name Somnium is the Latin for Dream so we felt that name suited the song perfectly!
Sadly, during the recording process Ryan Robb left the band kind of out of the blue, which was a real shame because he’s an insanely talented guy. But luckily we were in strong position to carry on regardless. We first got into contact with Auré Pereira from Uneven Structures when he contacted us telling us he loved our music, which needless to say, coming from a guy as talented as himself, left us kind of speechless! We got talking with him about the possibility of him producing the single and we decided that having someone with his skills on board would really improve our sound.
We recorded all the DI’d guitars and drums and vocals etc over in the Studios that we had access to at the University of Salford that Myself, Alex Huzar and Nathan were attending at the time and then sent them over to him to work on. As I said with Ryan Robb leaving in the middle of recording it did impair the workflow a tad, but when we started getting preliminary mixes back from Auré, boy were we blown away! Being a self produced band in the past it was incredible to all of a sudden hear our song produced by someone we’d had no experience with prior…and when we got the final mix back our jaws just dropped! It sounded HUGE!
What made you choose this track as a single?
As I said before, this song being an introduction to the concept of our forthcoming release it seemed the obvious choice to tease people with the concept. That coupled with that epic chorus, it just felt perfect to release!
As the single is part of a larger concept from your forthcoming album – would you say it is representative of what fans may be able to expect from it?
Yes and no. With Ryan Robb leaving, we all had to step up to writing. Everything being written has kind of stemmed from Somnium and the concept, but there’s so much more going on as we all bring more of our own influences to the table! It’s safe to say that the ambient element of our music has certainly taken more of a front seat as we try and really bring that trance like dream state to our music! That’s not to say the heaviness as gone, (after all, dreams are rarely all pretty) and we still sound like Orion…Only so much more!
You’ve also filmed a video for the song – how did that go?
It was great working with Ben Herbert and his team! The guy’s INSANELY talented and we felt really lucky for the opportunity to work with him. We sent him the demo of the song and a few days later we met with him at a gig we played supporting Mask of Judas in Manchester, and the guy just came out and pitched this massively ambiguous, contemporary idea to us and we all just went “Yes! That! Tell us exactly what you need from us and we will do that!” The guy’s a genius!
I found the venue for the shoot at The Old Courts in Wigan, which is a non profit company which focuses on helping the music scene there. They have recording studios, practice rooms, gig venues and all sorts just in this old Courts building. It was great to find such a perfect venue and get to help out an organization helping the local scene.
I joined Ben and his team for the shoot, just helping out where I could and their professionalism just blew me away. Ursula Griffiths was the perfect actress for the role, and Victoria Thomas’ make up was top notch. The shots Tom Hancox and Josh Hiles (the two guys on camera duty) lined up were fantastic too! Some of the shots they set up were better than we ever could have imagined. When we got the finished product, we couldn’t believe we had something so professional looking! We all felt so proud!
Any interesting anecdotes from filming it?
Poor Ursula getting drenched in freezing cold water made me feel so sorry for putting her through it! She was a real trooper and persevered though! We also went exploring through the basement areas and found some really weird freaky stuff! Turns out the Courts hold Halloween ghost walks and stuff, so we found one cell just covered in graffiti which looked like it was written in blood with some freaky stuff written there…at least I certainly hope it was there for the ghost walk…!
We also found this dingy little room with what looked like a wooden bed with neck and arm restraints in surrounded by jars of dead maggots…it was grim! Needless to say we had our fun though, Nathan got tied down to it…then we turned the lights off and left him for a while. The guy was not happy haha!