So another week rolls around, and with it comes the characteristic introduction of another exciting up-and-comer. In an attempt to diminish your Monday blues, this week we will be taking a closer look at Melbourne-based prog rock quintet Orsome Welles. To put it concisely, if melodies, riffs, and sauntering grooves are your thing, then we’re confident that this band is for you.
To first cover the more basic details, Orsome Welles is, again, a five-piece progressive rock outfit hailing from Australia, and is made up of vocalist Michael Stowers, guitarists Nick Toohey and Steven Angell, bassist Matt Manders and drummer Justin Price. Originally having formed as a university side-project six years ago, the band presently have a discography in the shape of three singles and two EPs, the most recent of which being the virtually brand-new Rise EP, which was officially released less than two months ago. Another key detail at the heart of this band is the name itself, which, understandably, may be initially confusing to many people; commenting on this directly and putting an end to the curiosity, guitarist Nick explained the background for us:
‘Our name started out as a joke based off Orson Welles, who made the famous War of the Worlds radio show amongst other things, if you haven’t heard of him definitely look it up. It started out as a joke then it just stuck and we found it a good conversation starter when people asked about it so it stayed for good’
To move on and look at the band’s sonic style in more depth, it would be fair to suggest that Orsome Welles certainly have their own unique approach to music. In a nutshell, they’re able to take the somewhat simple structure and sound of a rock outfit and add a significantly progressive spin to it. Combining a wealth of grooves, technical riffs, polyrhythms, guitar solos, and soaring vocals to complete the picture, it’s safe to say that this band are reaching new heights within the realm of progressive rock. It would be an understatement to suggest that these guys are endeavoring to combine multiple musical styles, and this claim is wholly supported by their statement that ‘Everyone in Orsome Welles draws from different musical influences’. Again providing us with even more insight, Nick goes on to explain how the band’s abundant diversity and spontaneity is able to translate efficiently:
‘Our creative process involves everyone in the band contributing really. Its not like one or two of us that runs the creative aspect, its everyone having their say and adding to it in some way with every song. There is definitely no formula or routine to our process, it tends to come together when it comes together and that’s one of the pros of being an independent band’
This creative approach is abundantly present throughout the band’s latest affair, the five-song EP Rise.
Moving on to what is an almost inevitable topic within the sphere of progressive music in the modern day, we thought it would be fitting to query Orsome Welles‘ choice of gear, both for use in a live setting and in the studio. Nick Toohey gave us the full rundown:
‘Our current gear list is as follows. Guitar 1 runs a PRS through a Line 6 Helix and a mesa Cab. Guitar 2 runs an Ibanez Rg1451 Prestige and a Gibson Voodoo Explorer through a Mesa Dual Rec, and a Marshall Cab with a JHS Alpine reverb and an Analog man Dual Delay ARD2Ox, plus a boss Ns-2. Bass runs an Ibanez SrFF805 Bass through a Kemper into a GK 4×10 Neo Cab. Drummer uses a Tama Kit, Sabian cymbals and Vater sticks’
The band’s approach to a crisp tone across the board is quite evident, as is duly presented by the thoroughly technicality behind each member’s rigs and setups. Having said this, however, Nick also opted to regale us with a decidedly amusing anecdote involving an unfortunate live gear malfunction:
‘I think we were two songs into our set when he broke a string ON HIS BASS!? and luckily the bassist from the band before us, Tundrel, saw it happen and gave Matt his bass to use in time for the next song. During the next song the lug for the guitar strap pulled out of the new bass and Matt was lucky to catch it before it hit the deck, and proceeded to play the rest of the song standing on one leg whilst supporting his new, now strapless bass. It was all good in the end though, we got the whip out after the gig and made sure Moe got his punishment’
As far as the band’s current activity goes, it’s certainly not looking too bad for Orsome Welles. They’ve just come off the back of an Australian tour in support of the Rise EP, and they’re currently gearing up to support the mighty Haken at a Melbourne show in September, which is definitely no small feat. In addition, the band were able to reveal to us that they ‘have a few things in the works that we are really excited about’, not only in terms of writing and recording new material (possibly a debut full-length), but also in regards to booking some shows overseas.
To put everything into perspective, Orsome Welles are not only yet another exciting and compelling band coming out of Australia, but are also a thoroughly intriguing act in their own right. Their ability to fuse together some of the most tranquil aspects of rock, and some of the heaviest and most technical aspects of metal is nothing short of captivating, and it is almost doubtless that they have a bright future ahead. Once again, we at It Djents are both exceptionally proud to present to you another exciting outfit with great potential, but also saddened that said outfit currently haven’t gained as much traction as they deserve. As a result, all that’s left to say is that we hope Orsome Welles are able to go forth and achieve what they are so clearly capable of.
Head over to Orsome Welles’ Bandcamp page to pick up copies of their EPs Rise and Swim, in addition to their three single releases and a selection of merchandise. To keep up with all the latest from the guys, make sure to follow them via their Facebook page.