MIRP: Separation of Sanity has been around for about six years in the local Portland scene. What changes have you seen between when you started and today?
Keith: We have made some changes in the lineup of the band, which I think it has been for the best. There are no hard feelings from past members due to them making the decision on their own to leave, rather it be a medical or personal problem. We respect them all the same.
Ivar: Back in the day (a little more than six years ago) the local metal scene was in a serious slump…there were really no clubs booking heavier music and there surely wasn’t any money to be made trying to do your own thing. Fortunately, over the last few years, the split of heavier music making it to an almost “pop” status (Slipknot, Avenged Sevenfold, Mudvayne, etc.) has really breathed new life into the metal scene. Granted, we may be heavier than a lot of the other popular radio-play bands, but now there is a whole new crop of kids that have calloused ears and are out there looking to get their faces melted! It’s starting to show in the club scene as well…we can pick up shows just about anywhere these days!
Randy: It seems to me the clubs have become more defined in their genre. I feel like there are fewer clubs that cater to metal now.
Your live shows are intense! This is a two part question – first, where dose that excitement and passion come from? And second, how does that intenseness translate to recording?
Randy: The passion comes from true brotherhood and the feeling we all get when Jason peels paint. We all feed off of each other and believe me; we play with the same intensity in our rehearsal space just because we enjoy this music we have created together. To answer how this can translate is the million dollar question! We record individually so getting that feeling is difficult but we have our secrets too!
Ivar: Here is a secret to all of the younger bands out there. Great music just isn’t enough. Sure, we have some catchy stuff and I would like to think we are tight musically, but almost more important than that is how tight we are as a family! I would happily bleed for any of the boys on that stage and it translates to our live shows. Not only are we having a great time getting all angry together, there is a lot of love…and the show-gowers get that. And feed it back and get more and give more. It’s a positively brutal circle of metal love that sends everyone in the room (us included) through the roof. As far as the translation of the intensity to recorded medium, it goes like this: We try to make the instrumentals as perfect as possible, then we lock Jason in a little room with a mic, make some crack about his mom, then record him bouncing off the walls. Wash, rinse, repeat.
Explain the name Separation of Sanity and does its acronym SOS have any relevance?
Randy: The name came from me. I felt like I should be insane for trying to put a band together that would stay together, so I had to separate from sanity to accomplish it… the acronym was just a result of the ease of stating our name and it stuck.
Your vocal style is different than most bands in town, explain the style, and how that style came to you.
Jason. I’ve done more than a few different styles of music. When it came to doing this my feeling about my thing is the words and what they mean to me. I try to annunciate every fucking word so it comes through loud and clear. The anger and passion come from the amazing music around me pushing me into the darker places from where I wrote the words.
You are working on a new release. Where are you recording, and talk to me about where you are in the process and how recording and mastering is going? Release date?
Randy: We are currently with Kiel Bishop at Sleight of Sound studios; we are just a few songs away from mixing. Could not be happier with what is coming out so far. We are hoping spring/ early summer to drop the hammer.
When the album is all packaged, looking back what do you think the band will be the most proud of on it? Anything you think you’d do differently?
Jason: For me it is putting five years of making music with some of my best friends.
Its physical proof of years of working, drinking, fighting, screaming, and representing for “the Portland scene.”
Keith: I think we would be most proud of how much heart and soul we poured into it. I would not change or do anything differently.
Explain SOS’s writing style? Is a song born in the studio with the entire band? Is an idea brought by someone and enhanced by others? Does one person do all the writing?
Jason: Heh! “They make the weapons… I use them…”
Ivar: Our writing style is extremely organic and fairly group oriented. Like any family, everyone plays to their strengths and holds up a part of the group. Everyone, however, has a hand in every song that we write. Someone usually comes along with a starting riff or idea, but it quickly becomes something vastly different and new. We all pick apart each other’s parts and performance and push each other, even on songs that are already “written.” Most of our stuff will continue to grow throughout the life of the band…except for me…i’m perfect! Hahaha.
Keith: We all put ideas into each song. I would say that Randy and I will come up with something then bring it to the studio where everyone will put ideas into it. But there have been some songs where it is born with the whole band. It all just depends on the song. But either way we all will enhance it in some way.
Your drummer is quite an accomplished drummer, talk to us about his extracurricular hobbies and the unique sound he brought to the album.
Jason: He’s an animal that usually we keep locked in a small box in the back of the studio under a blanket. His only interactions with “society” are:
2. Getting poked with a sharp stick though his cage bars
3. Studio sessions
4. Being fed raw red meat laced with gun powder
6. Kitting class
7. Breaking off the NW with everything from Salsa to Metal to Rock to Hip Hop; he’s a keeper.
Keith: Jackson has done a lot of things in his past such as Salsa or Funk type music. As soon as we got Jackson to try out; we knew he was a winner.
SOS has received opening slot for some great National bands such as: Soulfly, Prong, The Accused, As I Lay Dying, OTEP, Butcher Babies, One Eyed Doll, Witchburn, to name a few. What band or tour would you love to be on in 2013?
Randy: I would love to be on tour with ANY Band!!! I just want us to get out there and spread SOS to as many people as possible!
Jason: I’d love the opportunity for us to travel and spread the gospel. Until then I will feel blessed to be in such a fine town. Playing with all the amazing talent the NW has in its boundaries. People should realize how good they really have it. Big shout out to all the boys that we constantly have the honor of sharing the stage with here in Portland.
What can fans expect from SOS in 2013?
Randy: For one, fans will get our first full length album and we will try to book as many out of town shows as possible. I would also love for us to open a show at the Roseland on the main stage. Those are my goals. We also plant to film several different music videos from different videographers and resubmit our band to a major label.
2. Cooking classes with Uncle Ivar
3. More shows with new songs. We are dying to start writing again.
4. Locusts and frogs
5. FAT MERCH
6. More out of town gigs.
7. Basket weaving.
8. New video