Life after Perishing…
Ben Orum talks about leaving All Shall Perish and stepping in Oblivion
Yes folks, this is indeed the Ben Orum that was once in the great All Shall Perish. He recently made the decision to step down from guitar duties in the busy, tour-ridden schedule of ASP. The silver lining though is that he has joined a new band called Oblivion, a technical death metal band that desires to remain unsigned and independent. Their intention is to rid their musical lives of the burden of being away from family. Though it is a different beast than ASP, it is probably the gem that’s been waiting for you to find and break things to.
What is up in your life right now?
Well, I left All Shall Perish… that was interesting… (Laughs) Probably one of the most bittersweet, difficult things I’ve had to do.
Why did you decide to leave?
I had taken a couple tours off to kind of regroup with my family. We’ve been going full force for the past ten years now, and I kind of realized at that point that there’s just too much to leave, you know? There are too many great things to leave at home and I just kind of don’t want to leave them anymore.
So All Shall Perish was kind of keeping you distanced from the things you really wanted to be around?
All Shall Perish was a great experience. We did incredible things, but at the end of the day there’s more import things than just constantly touring and you know… the reason I got into the band was to travel and to have these great experiences. It was never a money thing. So, that being said, I kind of already had been everywhere and had kind of fulfilled my dream, so now I kind of want to just be at home and do that whole thing.
And you’ve just joined an independent band called Oblivion right?
Is that because you want to keep playing music in a band without the commitment to being in a professional band part?
Yeah I mean, that’s the thing is it’s kind of a musical outlet without the touring, like no dedication to touring because everyone in the band pretty much has a solid job. two of the guys have PhD’s in music and math… so they’re not hittin’ the road anytime soon. (Laughs)
So are you guys trying to get signed at some point?
Not really! We’re actually putting out our CD ourselves through the powers of the internet, and obviously I’m pretty well connected after my ten years of playing music professionally, so we just want to get it out there, you know? I’ve been talking to a couple of labels that might want to distribute it, but were not looking to get signed really, unless it’s some crazy deal that works for us. But yeah, we just want our music to get out there and for people to enjoy it.
How does it feel to all of a sudden be in such a more relaxed musical environment?
Oh man, it’s awesome! There’s a lot of stress that comes with being in a band at the level of All Shall Perish, just day to day, and it’s great to have that all just gone… it’s fantastic, actually.
So far what are the best parts of this shift in your life?
Already I’ve been home for so many things. I’m going to be home for Christmas with my children, which is fantastic. I mean, there have been times where we planned on being home on time for Christmas, but got stuck in an airport and missed Christmas. Stuff like that, which to some people it might not be a big deal, but when you got two little people that love you and care for you and look up to you, it means a lot to them.
What do you think you will miss most about All Shall Perish?
They’re my best friends; were still great friends. We had some seriously awesome shows, some great moments on tour. It’s like summer camp when you’re out on the road and there’s always some crazy shit that happens. Like Mike (Tiner), the worst dude, he says that he tours just for the stories out of the road. I totally understand where he’s coming from, because one day you’re going to be a grandpa and your grandkids are going to be sitting on your lap and you’re going to be telling them these tour stories, and that’s what you end up with at the end of the day.
So when grandpa Ben has his grandkids up on his lap, what All Shall Perish- era tour stories is he going to bore them with? (Laughter)
I was playin’ cee lo with Dave Mustaine from Megadeth on the Mayhem Tour (laughs). I’ll probably talk about when we got in that really bad van crash. I think if you’re a serious band expect one or two serious van crashes in your career… those will mess with your head.
So what kind of stuff are you writing with Oblivion? Are you taking any different approaches to writing music, or are you kind of taking the same All Shall Perish musical mentality?
It’s kind of a different beast than All Shall Perish, but I definitely have a writing style that I think will work. They’re more straightforward Suffocation sounding, with an old school death metal vibe. I’ve always been able to write stuff like that and incorporate groove and speed, so I’m not really concerned. It’s already been fun picking up a bass for the first time and just learning a new instrument. It’s been fantastic.
Do you find that when you go through big changes in your life, or you find yourself in a new place, that the things you write and the way you write start to change a bit?
Definitely. When we wrote Awaken The Dreamers there was a lot of stuff changing in the band. Mike was going through some personal stuff, and I think all of us were kind of in a weird place during that record. My son was born. I was trying to adjust to that. There was some turmoil between members, and the stuff that’s around you is what ultimately forms the album. When I look back at all these albums that we’ve put out, immediately I think of what was going on at the time. It’s almost like a freeze frame of that era for me; so that’s kind of interesting.
What are your long-term plans with Oblivion? How do you want to see this band grow?
I just want to keep putting out consistently good and solid death metal and get people excited to hear something fresh and interesting, and that’s all I can really hope for.