TARTAREAN DESIRE WEBZINE
This short e-mail interview with the vocalist Jordy Steinberg of the Canadian death metal band Ockham's Razor was done by Sherrie Zemla in February / March, 2004.
Who is Ockham's Razor? How / when did the band come to be?
Currently, the band is myself, on vocals, Tom Gendron and Tristan Biggar on guitars. We are currently auditioning some new drummers and bassists, and we've got a few potential replacements for the void left in the band's roster... So hopefully we'll have the roster flushed out and ready sooner than later. The band came to be basically after my old band, The Filth, died when our vocalist moved off to Montreal and one of the other guitarists/bassists decided he didn't want to play metal anymore. The band started out with myself, Tom, and two guys formerly of The Filth, Kevin and Chris. This was in the summer of 2002. We've gone through a few lineup changes, and just recently parted ways with Kevin and Chris... On good terms, but it was something that had to be done. The current incarnation really owes a lot of the musical input to Tristan, who joined in early 2003. His previous bands include Obstructing Justice and Sinistry, and he is also the guitarist for Will of the Ancients.
How would you describe your sound to those who've never heard Ockham's Razor?
Hard to say, some of our songs are more melodic death, whereas others are straight up thrash... Some are more black metal influenced... The one thing all the songs have in common is they are fast and heavy. I guess you could say we sound sort of like At The Gates at times... but sometimes the riffing is more like Nevermore or even Emperor. There's even the odd time we sound like older In Flames. We're not really too big on having a definitive "sound" for the band, although all of our songs are undoubtably us. They just all have their own feel.
What do you guys hope to accomplish?
There aren't much plans down the road. Recording, playing shows... Beyond that... Who knows. But we need to go one step at a time.
Musically, I don't have all that much input, truth be told. Tom and Tristan are so much more adept at guitar than I am that I just sort of sit back and let them do the writing, and just give a few ideas if I've got them. Most of the time, I'm spending time getting my jaw off the floor. I'm lucky to work with two people who are so talented.
Lyrically, I'm trying to do something a bit different with this band. I'm a philosophy major, and I've always sort of been disappointed at how most metal band lyrics aren't really very introspective at all. I try to write lyrics about issues that are a bit deeper than "I hate the government, government controls are bad!" or frost-demons or what not. I'm still inspired by Lord Worm's dark poetry, and so I think if I could write a complete story as well as he could with my lyrics, I'd be more than happy. Of course, I'm not really content of just writing a story for the sake of writing a story... I want to have my lyrics be somewhat thought provoking.
So far, the lyrics I get the most responses for is the one I'm the least happy with... "Deny Reality." A lot of people look at that one, and because it is on epistemology, everyone's favourite subject when they haven't actually studied any philosophy, they are like "Wow! An intellectual metal band!"
Meanwhile, I think those lyrics are by far my worst.
Who/what are your major musical influences or inspirations?
There's so many for each of us. Tom and Tristan both love Nevermore. Tristan is huge into power metal... and Tom and I are huge into death metal. Especially Cryptopsy. It's really hard to say who our influences and inspirations are... if it's metal, we listen to it.
Can anyone interested get a hold of a copy of your CD/demo?
When it is done, we will have our CD available from our website (payable through PayPal). Tenatively, we hope to release a full length (around 10 songs) and charge about $5 for it via the website (including shipping and handling.) Of course, it'll be even less at shows... We just want to get our music out there.
Links of interest: