The Order of Things
When I stumbled upon Order of Voices six years back, I had just started social media promotions for heavy metal artists. They didn’t quite fit into my network of bands, and I was in a completely different headspace back then. Years later, I would revisit the lead single off of their debut album, “Don’t Falter”. It was if I were discovering the band again, and that particular song touched me in a way few songs can. When I heard rumblings of a new album, I knew immediately that something grand was on its way, and the anticipation began to build.
What impresses about this band in addition to their solid songwriting and outstanding musicianship, is the ingenuous nature of their songs. It is something that permeates every chord, every lyric sung. There is a warm, comforting strength in their aural offerings. The title of their new album “Constancy”, speaks to the band’s growth, expansion, and direction. Sophomore sets are often difficult for musicians to pull off, but OoV do so magnificently.
The band’s vocalist Leigh Oates talks about their absence, return, and what what the future portends for Order of Voices.
What have you gents been up to since 2011, if I may ask?
So much has happened in the time between 2011 and now! We spent a lot of time playing live supporting our debut album and writing substantial parts of the follow up. We then embarked on recording the new album Constancy, which turned out to be a very long hard road for various reasons. It became evident pretty quickly that we didn’t have the equipment we needed to make the album to the standard we wanted…so we needed to invest…being self-financed meant that it took an awful long time to get the finances in place! We also had some serious illnesses within the band to contend with that again just slowed the whole process down for months at a time at certain points. The usual industry bullshit also happened and we spent well over a year dealing with companies that ultimately wasted the band’s time and slowed the album process, promising things that were never delivered.
Lastly I think just general life happened; births, deaths, relationship breakdowns and start-ups! All have kept us very busy but we never lost sight of finishing the album and making it a piece of work we can be proud of.
Did you find it a chore getting back in the studio, after having been away for so long?
I love the studio, so I never found it a chore. The vocals for ‘Constancy’ have been recorded over a few years, so it was hard to stay focussed and make sure all takes/approaches were delivered with the same quality and intensity…but no, never a chore. It’s been very hard work at times, and very frustrating when we’ve been let down by poor equipment which did affect the mixing process. We knew how the songs could sound… it just took us a while to realize the vision.
You possess an incomparable set of pipes, which might lead one to believe you’ve experience in choir during your school days. Or perhaps, some other manner of training.
Thanks for the kind words, I really appreciate them! I wasn’t ever a choir boy unfortunately, so have to dispel that myth! I haven’t had any formal training. In my formative years I learnt from my inspirations and what they could do that I couldn’t, I practiced… and practiced. As I’ve got older I’ve made the time to really do the research and make sure I’m pushing myself with everything I do – I’ve learnt from some great producers over the years how to get the best of me down on ‘tape’, and how to consistently do it live. I’m still after the perfect take.
Upon listening to the new album, there is a noticeable departure in sound, with enough familiarity of your distinct style intact. It seems to me to be a natural progression, rather than what most artists seem to fancy, in trying to do something “radically” different just because. OoV didn’t follow that route.
I think you’re absolutely right, we’ve just grown as musicians and I think you can hear that on the album; we wanted to make sure the songwriting was tighter, and fat from the first album trimmed. We all really like the first album, [and] there’s things we’d do differently now, but it stands up and marks a moment in history when we first came together and took the first steps to find out what we’d sound like, so we didn’t want to depart from it – just push ourselves further.
On your last album, Ash and Stefan performed the production duties. Is it the same for “Constancy”?
Constancy was produced by Ash this time around, I sat with him many hours as his co-pilot – we’ve both got a love of production and have learnt an awful lot on this recording. I’m very happy with how it’s come out, I think it has a production sound that competes with the big boys but also doesn’t necessarily sound like anything in particular out at the moment.
The term “alternative rock” has been around for a few decades, and has supplanted what once was “rock & roll”. But is the genre separate from its progenitor, or did the music just one day mature?
Great question! I think people like labels to hang their music on… and unfortunately as a band it helps if you can be associated with a particular label or two – I’m not a fan; we just make music – good music I hope. Would a fan or The Stones like our music? Potentially. Would the alt-rock label put them of? Maybe. Or would it make them give it a listen? I’m not sure – I know I’m guilty sometimes of checking a band out because of the genre that the press have associated it with.
I think rock & roll was a catch all term and now we’ve just come to split that further so a more mature model to label bands maybe?
You recently announced Signing on to Domino PR. How big of a deal is this arrangement?
It's exactly what the band needs at the moment to help build the profile - Domino PR are a very well respected UK based PR firm and have proved really easy to work with so far. Watch this space!