Progressive and cinematic rock project Orissa, has released a new track called "Tara" off their album "Resurrection" out this fall! Orissa gives the details about about this track as well as the album and plans for the future.
1. What role do you play in the band?
I am the sole writer, arranger and lyricist in Orissa. On all of our recordings to date, I sing, play all guitars, bass and programmed/virtual instruments. When we play live I perform the vocals and lead guitar parts. I am fortunate to have a lineup of ripping musicians to perform the music with me at our live shows. This music is a lot of fun to play in fellowship with them and the people in attendance.
2. How did you come to get your band name Orissa? What does it mean if anything?
I chose the name Orissa for several reasons. The primary reason is that it is derived from some ancient historical figure and events that serve as a great metaphor for one of my primary personal goals for this project. Orissa is both a metaphor for and a very real place of conscious expansion and spiritual transformation. It is mine, it is yours and it is ours to explore through music, poetry and visual art.
The word had other qualities that I liked about it too. It has a dichotomy that I find attractive in that it sounds smooth, feminine and tranquil while having a dark side with a hiss and an edge about it. The third thing that I liked about the word is that it just had a symbolic feel to it that one could use to project their own vision and interpretation onto. For example, I would wonder, ‘is Orissa a person? A Goddess? A Nirvana?’ I like that it leaves a wide space for interpretation.
3. What has influenced your sound and style?
My sources of inspiration and influences tend not to be other bands. They tend to be things like: paintings and visual artwork; my direct personal experiences and human interactions; nature; human achievement in science, math, athletics, martial arts; history; biology; cosmology; literary masterworks; sensual pleasures … ...
That isn’t to say that I don’t admire, learn from and enjoy the amazing music and achievements made by other creators and visionaries who are far more accomplished than I am. I absolutely do.
My greatest inspirations and influences include: Dusan Bogdanovic; Haydn; Bach; Stravinsky; Bartok; Alex Grey; Hieronymus Bosch; Dante; Petronius; Kurt Vonnegut; the British Enlightenment and its peak/culminating thinkers and writers Jefferson and Madison; Hendrix; Chris Cornell; Morrissey; Stevie Wonder; Herbie Hancock; Wayne Shorter; Karnivool; Sikth; Tool; Meshuggah; Bruce Lee; great athletes like Roger Federer, LeBron James ...
4. What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
For Orissa, I tend to focus on an album as a whole rather than writing disparate songs and deciding which ones go on an album. I leave plenty of room for the subconscious to make connections for me, but I give it the power of my conscious mind and some very specific and concrete emotional and intellectual fuel to burn. I think it makes for a much more cohesive work of art.
On, “Resurrection”, I set out to explore ideas and feelings about relationships, eros, divinity, salvation, responsibility, eternity, masculine-feminine interplay and more. I set out to document that exploration with the best music and poetry I could write. Given a bit of distance from its completion it is interesting to see what my subconscious was working on during that period of my life. I am curious to see what insights the listeners and fans perceive after they listen to the album and get to know it on a deeper level.
5. Do you write your own songs? (Discuss the songwriting process in detail.)
I write all of my own songs. In Orissa, I am not writing songs in isolation but rather writing them in the context of a vision for an album. The way I approach writing an album is probably more like how a novelist or a filmmaker would approach writing a novel or a screenplay or cinematic television series. The songs are like chapters or acts in a book or film and the album is analogous to a novel, film or cinematic television series.
I have the catalyzing themes and topics for at least 3 more Orissa albums after this one. I call my albums Sonic Novels. The forthcoming Orissa album is titled, ‘Resurrection.’ Resurrection is an Empyreo-Erotic, Psychedli-Sensual, Sonic Novel.
The catalyzing and main themes inspire music which inspires poetry which inspires more music and poetry. It is a virtuous creative cycle. In the process of writing the album, new layers of meaning and related themes emerge. I take advantage of these spontaneous insights and work with them to add other layers of depth and meaning. These layers of depth and meaning are expressed in the music, in the poetry, in the artwork and even in the ambient layers of the music.
6. What is the difference between your newest album and the very first album?
The very first album, ‘Omens’, was an EP. I took several songs that I had envisioned for being on other albums and decided to put them on a cohesive EP. I am proud of, ‘Omens’. That project had a practical side which was to serve as a means to boost my project from being a writing project into a recording and performing project. Happily I succeeded in that endeavor. I am very glad that I did not have that as part of the motivation behind, “Resurrection.” You can feel the purity of, “Resurrection’s”, animus as a result.
Resurrection is a full-length LP. It is a comprehensive, cohesive work of art. It is more mature than the first recording in every aspect: writing (music and poetry); performances; the production quality; packaging and album artwork.
7. What can be said about your single “Tara”? Does that title take place of someone named Tara, what is the story to tell about this song?
Tara is the opening scene or act on the album. In the settling, dungeon aired, dust of the introductory, ambient track, “Circle X”, the scene is set, and we find our protagonist, head in hands in a purgatory - a self inflicted hell. Tara introduces us to the protagonist and his emotional state, his awareness of it, and his desire to take responsibility for it.
Tara is invoked by the protagonist with a pained, vicious and determined cry for mercy. The Tara he is calling and who comes in moments of divination throughout the song is Red Tara. Red Tara is a deity common in Himalayan spiritual and religious traditions. The aspects of this mythical deity are full of metaphor and allegory that I interpret for my own purposes. My interpretation turns into imagery and layers of story that gets woven into the poetry and music throughout the album.
There is a lot of story to discover in this one song on its own and even more, way more, on the entire album. I hope this invitation piques your interest enough to accept it and listen to Tara, to find your meanings in the music and text and to follow and write your own story to it. The single is currently available on Spotify and Soundcloud and available for purchase on iTunes, Play and Amazon. The entire album is permeated with story on a fantastic musical and poetic journey. “Tara”, is just the beginning of it.
8. Give in more detail, some information about your latest album “Resurrection”?
“Resurrection”, is my first Sonic Novel - a term I have coined that describes the cinematic and literary approach I take to writing an album. “Resurrection”, is an Empyreal-Erotic, Psychedeli-Sensual, Sonic Novel.
9. What is the concept behind “Resurrection" and how did the idea come about?
There are no concepts behind the music I make. My music is grounded in my feelings, experiences and perceptions and a creative exploration of them.
“Resurrection”, is an exploration and exposition of ideas and feelings about relationships, eros, divinity, frailty, salvation, responsibility, eternity, masculine-feminine interplay and more. The final output is a sonic and poetic report on the feelings and ideas that I discovered and explored with the best music and poetry I could write.
The album came about originally when I was thinking of recording a demo or an EP. I quickly realized as I was working on the material that it was special and that I needed to take the time it needed to develop naturally in its own way. I produced, ‘Omens’, instead, and patiently developed the material for, “Resurrection.” There are many themes, sub-texts, references, metaphors and more on the record. When I pinpoint one overarching, primary topic of this album, it comes down to our relationship with ourselves. The clarity of our understanding and the quality of our relationship with ourselves is reflected in the clarity of our understanding and the quality of our relationships with others.
10. What is your favorite track off “Resurrection" and why?
Blue Communion is my favorite track on, “Resurrection.”
Aesthetically, it is gorgeous, visceral and compelling.
In terms of craft, it ties together and summarizes all of the themes and material running throughout the album. It also, interestingly, summarizes up a period of my life and the essence of the man that I was, am and always will be.
From a musician’s perspective, when we play it the collective energy is electric. We love it.
Personally, it is a love letter to someone who is very special to me. When I listen to the music and absorb the poetry, I am astonished at the depth of sentiment and the clarity and beauty of its expression. Blue Communion is one of those things that we get to do in our life where we know it is extra special when it is happening, but don’t yet know just how special. Then, in time, with perspective, we know we did something that at once is all of who we are and yet somehow it is way more because it came from something beyond that - perhaps what, not who, we are.
I thank the muse for this song, the divine creator for this life and the experiences that created it and for the unimaginably beautiful person who inspired it.
11. What can fans expect from the new Orissa album?
They can expect a work of exceptional depth and detail.
12. What was the writing and recording process like for the album?
Both processes were a lot of hard work and a lot of fun. The writing and recording processes and the resulting album are all extremely rewarding.
13. Why do you think people should check out your new album?
People should listen to my new album if they like music that is rich in intense and cathartic emotional experiences, that is created with a craft and vision that provides layers of depth for them to explore and interpret for themselves.
14. How would you say you differ from other bands and artists on the scene?
I don’t know. I think the listeners and the fans are best able to answer that question.