Interview with Paul Ryan of Origin


“I’ll be playing death metal when no one cares what I play…”

Interview by Jason Guest

Hi Paul. Thank you very much for taking time out for this interview and congratulations on Omnipresent (MR’s review is coming soon!). To begin, can you tell us what you wanted to achieve with this new album?

Well this line-up has been performing together live since 2011 so it was important to have a record that represented what we are as a band today. As far as a guitarist almost of all of my guitar influences are Omnipresent in this album, from EVH to Jesse Pintado.

Does it mark a progression for the band?

It’s a more dynamic album for sure. I do some different approaches to our music. Some will enjoy. Some will not.

When you were writing for this album, did you have an idea of what you wanted it to sound like or did this take shape as it was being developed?

I feel like each album is written during the tour cycle of the previous album. What the crowd reacts to is different than your online persona. Sometimes you’re in the studio and think this is gonna go over great and the response didn’t work out that way. Touring together and watching the crowd react to our show and what was missing from our show is how I wrote this album

What’s the significance of the album title?

To me personally, if you listen to modern death metal you will find Origin is Omnipresent in the sound of many bands. I feel like we have made a mark in the history of extreme music

What are the lyrical themes on Omnipresent? And what inspired them?

Well I only wrote one song lyrically. ‘All Things Dead’ was inspired by the opening sequence in 2001: A Space Odyssey. ‘Infinity Gauntlet’ was another. Generally a lot of sci-fi mixed with some horror themes

There’s a cover of S.O.D.’s ‘Kill Yourself’ on the album. Why this particular song?

To me it was one of the most extreme songs of the 80’s and also about the same time Dan Lilker announced he was retiring from music so it was an ode to an old grinder!

This album sees the debut of Jason Keyser. Why did you choose to work with him in Origin?

On Entity it was recorded as a 3 piece where I did the primary two voices and Mike did the super low. We wanted someone that had a wide range someone that was professional and also had good stage persona.

What was it that made him stand out? And what has he brought to the band?

His live performance was impressive when I saw him perform and has made us more of a complete package live.

Origin - OmnipresentColin Marks designed the artwork for Omnipresent? What is it about his work that drew you to him? And how much direction did you give him in its creation?

He also did Entity. I think he worked with Jason on the concept. We’re pleased with his work!

Origin’s albums have always been technically challenging. With such complex and technical material, how do you balance your remarkable (and mind-blowing!) technical ability with song writing?

To me it’s more about song-writing than technique; if I can find a way to incorporate a new thing into a song, awesome, but never just technique after technique. I want the listeners to have something memorable to hold onto…

As a guitarist, you must have a vast collection of material from which to draw from. When choosing the riffs and writing the music for Origin, do you keep audience expectations in mind?

From a live standpoint, yes; but as far as a commercial standpoint, no. I’ve been playing death metal before anyone cared to listen to my music and I’m sure I’ll be playing death metal when no one cares what I play…

Origin has been making music for almost twenty years. How do you keep it fresh for yourselves?

That’s the great thing about music. It’s an endless endeavour. There is always a new path you can discover that totally can open new ideas to your playing that was done 30 years ago!

What’s your opinion of the internet and its effect on metal?

It’s a great resource for discovering music but outside of that the people that lurk on the boards and comment sections don’t really come out to shows or buy albums so their opinions are worthless…

Early days I know as Omnipresent is yet to be released, but do you have more music in the pipeline?

I have so much material that hasn’t been released yet and I have also started two songs since Omnipresent was recorded. There isn’t enough time in the day!

What tour plans do you have for Omnipresent? Will we be seeing you in the UK?

We are making our 3rd appearance on Summer Slaughter followed by a headlining run of the States and Canada. We will be in Europe/UK in Nov/Dec!

Thanks again for taking time out for this interview. Do you have any closing words for our readers?

Thanks for all the years of support. I hope you enjoy the album! Thanks for the interview!

Origin - band
Origin – Photo by Jeffrey Sisson