With OEF America– the first installment of the world tour – kickin off today in Mexico we thought we’d pump up the volume on its European counterpart and get hyped on one of this year’s UK delegates. Unless you’ve been living off the grid, under a bridge, with only a dead dog to keep you company, you’ve already heard of Oblivionized. Probably a lot. Taking a page from the punk rock bible, they’ve been working tirelessly since 2008, playing gigs so frequently they’re as familiar as disgruntled, pushy commuters in London, North Face jackets in Liverpool or fake tans in Newcastle. And between writing, packaging and designing releases, updating YouTube with practice videos and recording sessions, booking international bands and organising their own shows, and the countless other DIY promo activities doubtlessly taking up all of their time – if anyone lives and breathes their band, it’s these guys. Down sizing to a three piece in late 2012, they scrapped all their material and went at it fresh, ditching the straight up brutal death approach that characterized their early days in favour of more off-kilter dissonance and shred à la Discordance Axis, without forgetting plenty of thick chug to sink your teeth into. The new stuff is the most challenging and pulverizing to date and if you haven’t already, you’ll want to check ’em with Cryptopsy at the Underworld May 4th and with Leng Tch’e May 11th at the Unicorn, or of course at our favourite freak fest, Obscene Extreme! Vocalist Zac Broughton checks in to answer all the burning questions.
ZT: Please give us a brief history of Oblivionized!
OBLIVIONIZED: It was early 2008, Geoff (Bradley, ex-guitar) and I were recording in a dingy room I used to rent in Weymouth, and we were bitching off the local scene and how it was a cheap homage to Norwegian black metal. We had just finished an Iconic Destruction release when it suddenly dawned on me that if I put the drum machine up to 150BPM and make the timing 4/8 it sounded like a massive middle figure to the world! So we wrote and recorded a three-track demo called Oblivionized A Revelation Of Inconceivable Truth, I then moved near to London for uni and finished recording vocals in my new dingy flat. Out of curiosity I posted 5 copies of the demo to labels, I did no bio no info as there was none I just wrote my phone number on the CDr in marker pen, put the CDr in a white envelope and sent it… A month passed and Geoff came to visit me and we recorded new track, the next week I got a text message it read “Hi I like your demo would like to talk call back, Shane.” There is no need to go into what happened after, it was Shane Embury he gave us bunch of advice and if I am honest the band would have never gone past that demo if it was not for that text message. The rest of the bands history from then to now is what you’d expect from a DIY band, we’ve had up’s and downs lost members gained members, but I can talk about that another time.
ZT: With the member changes, how have you seen your sound change? What were your goals coming into a new era and why did you decide to scrap all of your previous material?
OBLIVIONIZED: I just want to do this and I have very little interest in anything outside of it, once we parted with Jon I thought it was done but we managed to drag ourselves through 2012, now everything is back on track. Neither me nor Sammy want to tread water so we left the old material were it was, this is all about pushing ourselves, some people get broken.
ZT: What was particularly inspiring to you during the writing of your new material? Would you say there was anything new on the music front that made a serious impact on your sound?
OBLIVIONIZED: With the new material we finally knew what we were doing, Will has obviously had a big impact on the sound, we don’t have any direct influences but there are bands I like a lot, such as: Daughters, Cryptopsy, Discordance Axis, Pig Destroyer, Psyopus, Lycanthropy, and Botch.
ZT: What does avant-grind mean to you?
OBLIVIONIZED: It’s taking grind and adding experimental elements, so any band that describes themselves as deathgrind, math-grind, tech-grind, any strange made up sub subgenre can be considered Avant-grind, I feel it works for us as it’s vague.
ZT: Do you see Oblivionized as more of a studio band or a live band? Is there any particularly grating aspect of either you wish you could just do away with?
OBLIVIONIZED: I prefer live, I’d do a gig everyday if I could. The studio is great but it is just a place to record a representation of what the band can do at that moment it time, a live performance is transient, real and it can brake you.
ZT: What’s your focus lyrically and why?
OBLIVIONIZED: Be unhappy, be disenfranchised, the world is overpopulated and you didn’t choose any of this, if you are lucky enough to have a job you probably fucking hate it and that’s ok.
Arthur Schopenhauer said, “Human existence must be some kind or error.” I think that sums it up… Like now, this is all very ridiculous why are you even reading this? What does any of this mean, I feel like were just clawing at a fleeting moment of notoriety and for what, we are only alive for the equivalent of a few seconds and it means nothing in the end.
ZT: Between promoting shows, hand numbering/spray painting your releases, social media and all that jazz, you guys are a very active DIY band. How do you think this has helped your rise to international noteriety? Who did you look to as an example? What advice would you give to bands trying to make their mark?
OBLIVIONIZED: No examples that’s the most important part, why live in someone else’s shadow?
I don’t have much advice but if you want to do any kind of music you need to ask yourself some questions, why should anyone do anything for you? I feel it’d be a very entitled to believe promoters should invest in promoting and booking my band if I’m not willing to do so myself, the same goes for releases, why should a label spend money and put effort into pressing, promoting and distributing my music if I’m not willing to do the same? To anyone starting a band or considering it, are you willing or able to do everything yourself? If not, then you need to fuck off.
ZT: What’s your opinion on the state of UK grindcore?
OBLIVIONIZED:We have more then the UK can handle which is sad as nowhere knows how to crush aspirations better then the UK. These bands are great: Human Cull, Black Veins, Evisorax, Sky:Lark, Shut In, Meadows, The Afternoon Gentleman, Atomck, there are lots more check out the Bloated Corpse Of Punk gigs at The Unicorn.
ZT: Have you visited OEF before? If not, what have you heard? What do you think makes people from all over the world to make the pilgrimage to this relatively small Czech fest?
OBLIVIONIZED:I think it’s the atmosphere, always a good line up of big and small bands and it’s completely zero fucks, I can’t think of any festival I’ve been to that would allow or invite the antics OEF is known for. We are on the bill this year, which is a massive achievement for us, we are all very excited!
ZT: Who are you looking forward to seeing?
OBLIVIONIZED: Obviously our mates Horsebastard, Sete Star Sept look ace, Gadget, Wake were good when we played with them last years so I’ll be catching them again and Cryptopsy are a must, who we are also playing with them in May at the Underworld.