We had a chance to catch up with the guys in Otherwise this past Friday at the Green Bay Distillery while on the “Defy the Sun” tour with Blacktop Mojo. Otherwise has recently released “Defy” on November 9th, so we got lots of things to talk about. Let’s dive in, shall we? (No pun intended, considering the music video for “Lifted”).
Otherwise band pic
Thanks again for meeting with us to talk about what’s going on in the otherwise world. You’re back with a new album 2 years after “Sleeping Lions”. It seems that you wasted no time at all. Which are those elements that separate your new album from your previous albums?
Adrian: I wouldn’t say “wasted no time” but, “Defy” has a different attitude than the other albums. We’re still covering heavy subject matter, but we’re doing it in a more tongue in cheek matter. We’re not taking ourselves so seriously. It still rocks, and it still smashes where it needs to, but it’s more fun. It’s more fun than other releases.
You’ve also signed with MLG? How did the deal occur?
Adrian: Mascot Label Group. Yes. Our manager helped us secure this. He came and saw us playing, and that was it really. They actually wanted to buy “Sleeping with Lions” from our old label, and tried to work it out, which it didn’t. But they saw us play and wanted to sign us right away.
What does the album title “Defy” declare?
Adrian & Ryan: The title is self-explanatory really. We wanted to defy the odds. We wanted to defy the haters and the industry. We wanted to defy our own insecurities. Defy the limits and expectations. It’s nice to show our piece of work that illustrates evolution and transcendence.
What do the lyrics of the new album talk about? Which are your major lyrics’ influences?
Adrian: A lot of social commentary. We’re always introspective as well. There’s some personal influence as well. You know, like picking up your britches type lyrics. Wow, lIfe. Life in general. The universe.
You’ve teamed up with producer Matt Good for the new album? How the experience was and how much did he help you achieve the result you had in mind?
Adrian: Brian got the drum track done in what, two days? He’s super easy to work with. I love being around that guy. He’s a wizard. You can have an idea in your head, and he already knows what you’re thinking. He just figures it out. He’s just gets it. And super efficient.
Brian: It took three half days for my drum tracks.
How would you characterize “Defy” and what are your expectations from the new album?
Adrian: It’s been injected with a new attitude, you know. Like a IDGAF attitude. And finally getting to do what we want to do. Even artistically. The label is supporting it. It’s already opened some new ground for us. On Spotify’s “New Alternative” playlist, which hasn’t happened for us until now. We’re going in with no expectations, because that way because if anything does happen, it’ll be a pleasant surprise. It was a lot of fun to make this record, and it’s a lot of fun to play these live, as you’ll see tonight.
Brian: “Defy” reclaims our purpose, as the band that was started by Adrian. You start a rock band as a soul rebel. But then you get into the industry, and a lot of people pigeon hole you into being a certain kind of way. This album reclaims the fact that you don’t know who we really are. It’s already surprising a lot of people, like yourself. It’s showing that we’re different than you think.
Ryan: You know, when we dropped “Lifted”, people were like, what? And not feeling it. But as people sat with it, and seeing us having fun with it, there was a total change in feeling what the song is. As artists, we need to grow.
How did the touring with Blacktop Mojo come about? How’s the tour so far?
Adrian: It started with a snowstorm (haha). On the way to Colorado Springs, our tour manager Josh, is a stoic gentleman. He was scared of driving the vehicle; we were sliding around in the snow. We didn’t even know, It’s funny when you wake up, and you almost die. We thought we were dying right there. It started off pretty hectic. You know… not a whole rattle Josh, so when you hear him swear… you know something is up.
Do you prefer to be on the road or in the studio writing and recording?
Adrian, Ryan & Brian: In the studio. But if it strikes on the road, they jam and it’s cool. When inspiration strikes, we won’t ignore it. But the studio is always nice. The funny thing is that some of the subject material is being on the road.
How did you come up with the name Otherwise initially?
Adrian: I actually had a dream that I told someone the name. We didn’t have a name yet, but on the dream I said that the band name was Otherwise.
On any of your songs that you’ve written, are there any of them that you wish you would have re-written and why?
Adrian: That’s a great question. There’s a way things that we do in the writing process, We could have changed that one thing. It sometimes has influences from the industry.
Ryan: This is a tough question. I think where the songs land the way they do at the time, because of the way you feel. But trying to change a song sometimes it will lose its luster.
Brian: There’s a saying that if you eat 4 slices of pizza, you’re OK. But you eat a whole pizza and you’re sick. You can easily overdo a song.
Which do you consider to be the best male & female vocalist in metal and rock history?
Adrian & Ryan: Maria Brink. Can we go all the way back? Janis Joplin then. Male? Corey Taylor. You know its Slipknot or Stone Sour. And Michael Starr from Steel Panther. He’s got a heck of a voice.