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Omni of Halos is a swedish band who released their debut EP via Lövely Records earlier this year, a prolific punk rock fueled label from Sweden. They are not at their first experience in music, quite the opposite. These veterans know how to make music and get influences from every kind of sounds to create their own signature blend of indie rock, punk, grunge and more. We got to catch up with guitarist and vocalist Henrik Hjelt Röstberg (Division Of Laura Lee) about this Summer’s Care Free EP and the past, present and future of the band.
Omni of Halos as a band was created from the union of musicians previously involved in other projects, but it was also born as a solo project. How does the songwriting process and the decision making process in the band work now?
“From the star it was pre- recorded demos that I brought to the band, but since then the whole band has been involved more in bringing riffs and ideas. Gabriel and Markku are also great songwriters. Markku wrote “Empty Shell” from our upcoming record, I just altered the tuning for an extra guitar. Gabriel has been writing more songs lately that he’s singing on. I like everybody in the band to be involved in the process.”
Your sound picks elements of punk, noise, post-rock, pop and many other genres, becoming something else, something with its very own identity. How would you describe Omni of Halos to a music enthusiast who hasn’t had the chance to hear you yet?
“Oh that one is hard ! But I did an hashtag once, and it said -massive indie rock for balding, middle- aged emo dudes that still believe they live in the 90’s. We perform a medley of all the songs we ever liked.”
Do you think there’s enough musical freedom in alternative music or music genres constitute boundaries and limitations?
“I think there is freedom but it’s so easy to put yourself in a box. The same goes with some know it all- music lovers that are just too sensitive about belonging to a genre. I’ll rather not. Omni of halos is all about trying new things and hanging out with great friends, and I never felt that I need to fit in.”
Would you consider using a steel pedal guitar your trademark? Do you know any other band using such instruments along with other “louder” instruments?
“No I wouldn’t say trademark, sometimes we even try to make it sound like a synth or some other instrument. I just love how it cuts through, it makes it really versatile. I just picked up a new band, or at least new to me. They have quickly become one of my favorite bands and they are called Wednesday. They mostly use a lap steel but I think they have been using a pedal steel too and they fucking rock!!!”
Lyrics are personal, emotional, intriguing. What’s the process? Do they come along with the music or separately? How difficult is it for a band who sings in English to establish in Sweden? And in Europe?
“We often do the music first, I think that the tune itself often delivers a feeling of what the lyrics is going to be about. I grew up with listening to music in English here in Sweden, and for an example my 7 year old daughter has English in school already and is correcting my grammar, so I have never seen that as a problem. Pretty much every one here speaks it, and I guess it’s the same in EU.”
If the four tracks of your EP would be used as movie soundtracks, what movie would that be? Have you ever musically inspired by other forms of art, like cinema, poetry, painting?
Probably an apocalyptic love movie since the EP is leading up to our coming LP which involves titles like darkest hour/final hour, which is about standing together by the end of all times. And yeah I take inspiration from all sorts of art, my daily job is about doing art all day long with my wife since we’re both Tattooers. She also paints weird and occult art, and she has influenced me a ton
You artwork was created by Viagra Boys’ frontman Sebastian Murphy. What’s the connection between your band and his band? Any chance to collaborate on music in the future?
Sebastian is an old friend. I’ve known him since I first tattooed him before he became a tattoo apprentice in one of my best friends tattoo shops. I have been friends with the other guys in the band since I was a teenager and playing music in the same scene. Who knows if we’ll ever do a collaboration? I really love them as people and for what they are doing
Will you tour Europe with this EP? Any chance for you to go beyond that, to the US for example? Your EP definitely has an international vibe…
We will tour as much as we can. We’re super excited to play as many shows as possible. We’ll see what’s gonna open up in the future. I really enjoy traveling and the rest of the band is great people to be around so I really look forward to get out and travel and play shows with them.