By Brandon “B-Mac” McCarthy
Knotfest was an insane ride for me. Not only from checking out all the talented bands performing their hearts out, but also from talking with them in the media tent. At Ozzfest, I interviewed 5 people. At Knotfest, it was 6 or 7 interviews, so 12 interviews total, from that crazy weekend. One of the groups I chatted with is a band that I already caught once. They call themselves Oni, and they are a progressive metal act, that I saw open for Gojira back at the House of Blues in Anaheim, back in August. Frontman Jake Oni and bassist Chase Bryant sat down with me to lay the origin story of Oni, and where it is going.
In Japanese folklore, the band name, Oni, is a malevolent shapeshifting demon, able to take on many guises as it spreads pain and misery. They wanted a scary-ass name, and thought Oni was perfect. Jake talked about their debut album,Ironshore, and what makes it a special record for them. The origin of the group is a typical one; best friends coming with songs and music, wanting to put all together. Bryant even joked about going to Disney World with the guys, and that is when they decided to start Oni. The band is known to have a xylo-synth player (xylophone synthesizer), and we talked about how band mate John DeAngelis came to fit into their concept. I know it is weird, but it actually works for them.
Having just wrapped up a major tour with Gojira this summer, which they said was fun to be on, they are aching to get started on writing the next album, one that will be just as good as Ironshore. Jake mentions that when it comes to lyrics, inspiration can strike anywhere, from a quote on Twitter to a documentary. Oni gained recognition earlier this year by opening for Children of Bodom in Finland, and we were talking about what an honor it was to watch them perform, the night before at Ozzfest. They say their favorite song was “Hate Me.”
Jake and Bryant were great to talk to. I got to learn a great deal about the band, and I am excited to hear the next album, once they get it recorded. Humble about rocking out on stage, Oni is one of those talents that are rising fast up the chain. The only direction they can go from here is up. To Jake Oni and Chase Bryant, I salute you. Horns up!!!
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