Bad Omens is shaping up to be one of the scene’s next big acts. Our writer/interviewer Matthew Powers got a chance to sit down with frontman Noah Sebastian regarding the band’s debut self-titled record which was released earlier this year via Sumerian Records. Check out the interview below.
Additionally, we have released two brand new videos of Bad Omens performing “The Worst In Me” and “The Fountain” from their CD release tour back in August. Watch the videos below and be sure to check out Bad Omens perform on the Sumerian Records: 10 Years In The Black Tour.
I’m here with Noah Sebastian from the band, Bad Omens. How you doing tonight man? Thanks for joining us.
Noah: I’m doing really good, it was really great night. How are you?
I’m great man, thank you for asking. So first of all, what is the story of the band? How did it come to be?
N: Well in late 2013, basically, I was playing guitar in like a pop punk band out of Washington D.C. when I lived in Virginia.
That’s a BIG contrast!
N: Yeah, it is! *laughs* But I was just playing guitar. I wasn’t really writing anything, you know. Like, I helped write, but it wasn’t very serious. And I began song-writing and I started recording, and stuff like that, and I really wanted to start writing my own music. I was talking to the guys in the band and sending them ideas and they weren’t really into it. They didn’t want to change their style or anything, which was fine, so I started writing my own solo stuff and I eventually became so passionate about it that I was like “hey, I’m just gonna focus on this. I don’t want to keep playing guitar for this band anymore.”
I really think too that whenever you can write alone, on your own, and still have faith in it, especially as a solo artist, that really proves your credentials as a musician right there. So Bad Omens is your brain child, more or less.
N: Absolutely, yeah. Not just musically because once I got everyone involved, they all kind of contributed and we made it even better. The EP I did by myself, but the album I can’t take credit for. Everyone kind of pitched in on that, even though it was still my brain child like you said, but like everyone put in a good amount of work and made it was it is.
And that proves that there that it’s not the ‘Noah Sebastian Show’; everyone in Bad Omens who have come together from different areas of the U.S, right?
N: We have a guitarist from Sweden.
VERY Metal! Very Metal. You’re already off to a great start as a Metal band if you have somebody from Sweden *laughs*. But yeah, you guys are definitely off to a great start, obviously, to have someone like yourself in the band who already knows what they’re doing with song-writing and already have those ideas thrown out there and have influences. That’s a very big part of having a big name as a band. And you go on YouTube, you guys are seriously huge on there alone. That’s not even to start on Facebook, or Twitter, or Instagram. The presence of this band already is massive.
N: Yeah, it’s growing very fast.
It’s crazy to see that happening, especially in this day and age. You guys are really using the social media to its potential.
N: I read a lot about that. Like social media marketing and digital strategy.
It’s good to be smart about that stuff. In this day and age, that’s exactly how you sell a record, and this Bad Omens self-titled is definitely what I would personally say has the potential to be like a ‘Hybrid Theory’ in terms of the quality. Every song on there is gold.
N: I would hope so. Every aspect of the band and the record, we put 100% in to. Not just the song-writing, but the mix, the production, the business marking, the image, it all has to be cohesive and it has to be done in good taste. So we put the same amount of effort as we do in the song-writing as we do into every aspect of the band. And I think that’s why the reach is doing so well.
Now, the jump from the EP to this new Bad Omens self-titled record, it is a little bit drastic. It’s not necessarily as focused on heaviness. I think it makes for a better listening experience though to have everything kind of all branched out.
N: It’s so much better now. Especially once everyone else got involved and started to help write, it really made it more diverse. Before it was just hard, in your face, kind of tough music and now we have those strong aspects where it comes from a place of strength, but there’s also the sad, emotional songs, and it kind of goes all over – which i love because I love that kind of music.
Yeah, and that makes the record very human in that way. There’s so many different emotions.
N: Yeah, I wanted it to be real. That’s something that’s important. I’ve been telling the guys, as far as the next record is concerned, it’s going to be real too so we’re all in better places and i’m not as, you know, screwed up as I was when I wrote that record *laughs*. It’s going to be more positive and strong. But no matter what, it’s going to be authentic.
That’s great! And that’s what I really like. That’s what every band should strive to be.
N: We’re not going to romanticize any emotions that aren’t there.
That’s a very good way to put things. Now, I’d like to say that music, the best music, comes from a very dark personal place. Music can be a catalyst – it can get you though difficult times. What did you go through in order to put so much out into this record. What was the inspiration for that?
N: Well, it’s super personal. I don’t think I’ve ever talked about it in an interview. Nobody’s ever asked me that question. A few of the songs, the newer more recent songs, were about one of the most and the only relationship I’ve ever been in that was very intense for me like psychologically. And the rest of the album came from a lot of people like where I’m from that kind of stabbed me in the back. That’s where [I] got the line “stabbed me in the back, but not deep enough”. Like there’s a lot of underdog, kind of come up songs, there are like “you thought you screwed me over, here I am”. And then a lot of the more sad ones, like the bigger, arena atmosphere, like “The Fountain”, they’re co-inspired by the film The Fountain and like other movie inspiration, but when I was like 11, I was in a car accident and my dad died.
I’m so sorry.
N: It’s all good man. It happens. It sucks, but it’s part of life. It’s part of growing up. And then 5 years later, my mom died. I don’t know. My whole life ever since I was 15, because I didn’t really get along with my family very well to begin with, I’ve been alone in a sense. And not without great friends, obviously, that’s something that’s worth noting. Everyone in the band, we go back a long time. We’re good friends. It wasn’t just put together to play music. But as far as being a person goes, in my experience on Earth, I’ve been very independent my whole life. Which is why I’m so hands-on with the band. It’s like you said, my brainchild. Outside of this band, I have nothing. You heard me say it on stage tonight. I have nothing else. I have my friends who are in this band and I have this band. So that’s why I give everything to it and I think that’s why it’s working because there’s no other options.
It’s a very bold thing to go out on the road, leave pretty much everything behind, and put all your faith in your music. So I have a lot, and I mean a lot of respect for you for that. Thank you for putting that out there because you know that whenever you write these songs that they can be the soundtrack to someone’s bad day. They can be the soundtrack to someone’s triumph. And you realize you have that power.
N: Every musician says this, but I want people to feel the way from our songs the way I feel from other songs. Everyone loves music and music helps me get through days. Helps me get through good days or bad days. There’s music for everything. If my music can do that for someone, whether they’re in a mood and just wanna vibe and embrace the sadness, because we’ve got some sad songs. There’s songs for that. Or there’s songs where you’re just like, you’re on it. You’re having a great day, you’re feeling good and you wanna keep that vibe. And I try and capture all that because happiness and sadness, they’re both very natural.
N: Yeah! They have to. There’s no balance without both. So it’s important to acknowledge both. And it’s kind of the same take that I have on the album, which is why I say “I’ve seen the devil more than I’ve seen God.” I don’t like to shun God, or disrespect him. I’m not religious myself, but I don’t believe in bashing people that believe in that or anything like that. I don’t think that’s very cool. So I like to acknowledge the existence of God, whether he’s real or not. And the same with the Devil because, like you said, happiness and sadness, you can’t have one without the other.
It’s very respectable that you keep others in mind, but still make it your music and your album. That is a great way to connect with people and I’m telling you, Bad Omens, I really do feel have the potential to be one of “A” listers in this scene. I think you’re going to be one of the big ones on Warped Tour in the next couple of years.
N: Thank you!
I’d like to ask too, there’s such cinematic kind of backdrop on the album. That’s such unique thing. So many bands try to bring the Hans Zimmer thing when they watch ‘Inception’ and they think they can make a Hans Zimmer score immediately. What were some of the music scores and soundtracks that were the inspiration for this record and are you going to continue to use these elements in your music or do you see them kind of dispersing?
N: Absolutely. We totally want to do it on the next record 10x. I feel like we underwhelming did it on this one because we’ve grown as song-writers since we wrote this. John Murphy did 28 Days Later. Nick Gordon, he did the Doom soundtrack, the video game. He’s really good. He’s a very industrial kind of guy. Me and Vince are obsessed with Lord Of The Rings, so there’s a lot in there. Like, we like the big timpani drums and the orchestras, so any time we get the chance to bring that into our music with the guitars and the vocals, we’d love to drag it in there.
So what’s next for Bad Omens?
N: What we’ve been doing, but like I said with the record, 10x. We’re a band that we’re a self-sustaining ecosystem. Between our management and our label and our video guy and our graphic designer. We’re all from the same city, we’re all good friends, so it’s not just business. It’s a delicate balance and it’s an ecosystem and we grow and we learn from our mistakes very quickly. So these last two have done a significant impact as far as us musicians. We’ve learned so much from touring with these bands and being on these tours and I think we’re all self-aware enough to take it all in and be the best band we can be from every experience versus complaining about it. We take it for what it is and we grow from it.
Are you going to push any more singles out to radio?
N: We’re trying to get “F E R A L” on the radio. We just go “The Worst In Me” on the radio and it’s been amazing. We’ve gotten tons of good feedback.
Out of 2016, I’m telling you, this is the one record where every single song is so strong and it could be a number 1 Octane single.
N: Thank you so much man. I appreciate that.