The Connecticut trio Owl Maker are featured in this week’s Meet The Band. They just released their debut EP Paths Of The Slain. Drummer Chris Anderson introduces us to his band.
Chad Bowar: Give us a brief history of Owl Maker.
Chris Anderson: Basically we’ve all been friends for years, and played shows together with our other bands for ages. So when Jess (May, bass) was looking to put together a new project, it just seemed natural.
What inspired the band name?
It comes from Lakota Native American lore. It’s the translation for the goddess Hihankara, who is the gatekeeper to the Milky Way for the recently deceased. Also, we thought it was a really killer name.
Describe the songwriting and recording process for Paths Of The Slain.
Jess writes a good chunk of the riffs and lyrics. Usually her and myself structure the tunes out and then hand it off to Simon (Tuozzoli, vocals/guitar) to put his spin on it. It’s a very symbiotic process. As for recording, Simon owns his own studio (Up Recording Studios), so we were able to record the album there.
How would you characterize its style/sound?
Hard rock/stoner metal, but with a ton of other influences. Amon Amarth was an inspiration for the track “Freya’s Chariot”.
Is there a lyrical theme or thread?
It varies. Lots of literary themes. “Lady Stoneheart” Is based on Game Of Thrones, and “Mashiara” is based on the Wheel Of Time series. Generally, they are written from a female perspective, which is pretty unique in the hard rock realm.
What led you to go the independent route with the release?
Pretty much because DIY is the way to go. Hopefully we can get a distribution deal somewhere down the pike.
What are your goals and expectations for the EP?
Have as many people hear it as possible, first and foremost. Hopefully get some better gigging opportunities, and possibly some label interest.
What has been your most memorable Owl Maker live show?
They’ve all been pretty good thus far. A while back we played with Cult Of Frost, who are a Celtic Frost tribute band from Ohio. That show was really awesome. Good vibes all around.
What are your upcoming show/tour plans?
Right now we’re just trying to book as many shows in as many new places as possible. Booking a tour is always a challenge when you’re a newer act.
How did you get started in music?
Me personally, I come from a musical family. I started studying at an early age, did school band, etc. I eventually started studying privately once around the time I started playing in my own original bands. I’m sure all of us followed a similar path in that regard.
What drew you to metal?
The aggression, the intensity, the technicality, but most importantly the comradery and passion. I find the metal community the most supportive out of any genre. It’s not casual music.
When did you know you wanted to be a professional musician?
Speaking for myself, I knew as a young child that I wanted to pursue this as a career.
How’s the heavy music scene in southern Connecticut?
Fairfield county is kind of dead right now, which sucks because there were tons of clubs around from the mid ’80s to the late ’00s. All the old clubs started closing around then. That said, the actual Connecticut metal scene itself is pretty vibrant. Out of state bands always comment on how people actually stay for the whole show here.
Seen any good movies/DVDs lately?
I’ve seen a ton of movies recently, but I can’t for the life of me remember which ones. I watch a lot of documentaries on my end. Both Jess and I are fans of the show Forensic Files, if that counts.
What’s in your current heavy musical rotation?
Jess turned me on to the new Visigoth, which is pretty dope. I’m looking forward to the new Rivers Of Nihil record. Ihsahn and Black Dahlia Murder are getting some play from me as well. I tend to listen to a lot of different stuff though. I’m sure if you asked the others, you’d get a very different answer.
(interview published March 17, 2018)