Interview by Cristóbal Torres
Osyron is a band originally from Ontario, Canada, although now they are based in Calgary. They began their journey in 2004 with the name Morbid Theory until in 2012 they chose to be called Osyron. The debut album saw the light in 2013: HARBINGER; four years later they released their second full-length called: KINGSBANE (2017).
Taking advantage of the enormous evolution that the band has had since its inception, the group made the decision to relaunch their sophomore album. For this new edition they added some very interesting details. Krzysztof Stalmach, guitarist of the band, talks to us about it.
What motivated you to make a re-release of your second album?
Krzysztof Stalmach (KS): We always felt that KINGSBANE didn’t get the release it deserved, especially in our desired market of Europe. We’ve developed a few partnerships over the last year or so where re-releasing it again made sense, and everything about the idea felt good.
Four years have passed since you released that album, how do you think the band has evolved since then?
KS: We’ve absolutely evolved as performers, writers, and engineers as well. Since Cody (Anstey, drums) joined the band we’ve all grown together as a unit, both in how we play together and communicate/write new material. The energy and vibe have been so positively affected and we wanted to reflect those changes in this new offering of Kingsbane.
“Viper Queen”, “Griefmaker” and “Razor’s Wind” present new arrangements. Why did you choose those three pieces to be worked on, do they have something special?
KS: “Razor’s Wind” gave us an opportunity to really explore a folky side that’s always been present in our writing, but not as bare/exposed like this. This is as stripped as we’ve ever been; acoustic guitars, vocals and atmospheric folk instruments backing them up. If we wanted it any more stripped down than that we’d have had to record the tracks naked! “Griefmaker” was a natural choice too as it had the most of what we considered “fat” to trim. Not that fat is necessarily bad, we just felt after a few years there are a few things we’d have done differently if we wrote that song “today”, so to speak and that’s reflected in the arrangement. “Viper Queen” was a song that was always the “odd one out” on the album (stylistically it would be the only song that didn’t take part in reprising sections to and from other songs, and isn’t part of the intro song’s arrangements) but it has definitely become a fan favourite. Especially live – performing it always brought a new level of intensity to the song, and we wanted to capture that here on the re-mixed edition.
How was the experience of recording the songs with Cody Anstey; how much did he contribute to give the pieces a new shine?
KS: Cody is an absolutely phenomenal technician on the drums, but he’s also laced with a swagger/groove that we all love. He instantly came into the old songs and made them his own. He managed to stay true to the core performance by our former drummer, Trevor Cobb, while imparting his signature style, and flair.
With this relaunch, has your perception of this album changed or do you still see it the same way since it was first released?
KS: I think we’re all still very proud of KINGSBANE and what it meant. It’s definitely a special album as it marked a big step in terms of our reach, and sonically it was a giant leap as adding Reed and Tyler were huge missing pieces of the puzzle for us. It set us down the path to get where we are now, and it will always be a part of our, hopefully, long history!
I read that you never saw “Viper Queen” as a single, but you were surprised by the good response it got live, are there other songs that have surprised you when you played them live?
KS: Definitely, I think “Griefmaker” was another song that we were surprised how well it did live. It had long sections of very clean guitars, but the vibe that delivers in the middle of a show is great. A live performance should have all the same emotional highs and lows as a good movie, after all. “Razor’s Wind” is another song that we pulled off pleasantly well live, and we actually only played it once. We made a bigger production of it, having Reed’s intro section being just him on acoustic guitar before the band came crashing back in. It’d be a song we’d have loved to play live more but logistically we can’t really do it at our level.
How was the experience recording the video for “Viper Queen”, taking into account the current global situation?
KS: Definitely a wild ride, that’s for sure. We had everything you could ask for in a music video to be completely stress-free; a tight budget, a global pandemic, last-minute cancellations, and only one day to get all the shots we needed. It worked out great, though. We made sure we were safe and following guidelines for masks, the number of people inside, etc. The last thing we needed was for one or all of us to also actually get sick this year, haha.
Is there any chance that you will also do a re-release of HARBINGER?
KS: Not currently.
Have you noticed more popularity since the release of your first album to date or has everything stayed the same?
KS: In the last year and a half we’ve seen very big growth, and that’s been a combination of the relationships we’ve been fostering in the industry, at the company level, the fan level, and the artist networking level.
It has been over a year since the launch of FOUNDATIONS. Do you prepare new material to present right away or what is your plan of action in that regard?
KS: We are currently writing the follow-up to FOUNDATIONS right now. We’re heading to the studio for drum recordings later this spring/summer.
Thank you very much for your time, any final words for readers?
KS: First of all, we want to say thanks for checking out this interview, and hopefully, your readers will enjoy the “Viper Queen” video! We definitely think you guys will love it, and we’d love for you guys to stay tuned with us on our socials going forward as we’ve got the next release right around the corner after this re-mixed album drops. Cheers!