Voices from the Fuselage – Interview with Ashe O’Hara
After two top notch albums with “Odyssey I – Destroyer of Worlds” (2016) and “Odyssey II – The Founder of Dreams” (2018), it was high time we reached out to Ashe O’Hara, frontman of British proggers Voices from the Fuselage to check out what is going on.
Two years have passed between the releases of “Odyssey I” and Odyssey II”, while the debut full length took years to complete after the formation of the band. What was different this time around? Did you guys write Odyssey I and II in one go? Tell us a bit about the writing and recording process.
Ashe O’Hara: Many of the songs on “The Founder of Dreams” are ideas that have been circulating for some time, even before “The Destroyer of Worlds” was finished. A lot of the time one of us will have the inception of an idea, for example our drummer Scott will record an idea and I will write a top line. We like to remain fully flexible regarding who writes what, as it helps to ensure we are not limiting ourselves in terms of sound, and 4 heads are better than 1!
Album titles and artwork hint at more than just a loose connection of the two “Odysseys”. Can you fill us in about the concept and will there be more parts?
Ashe O’Hara: I always had an idea of a concept which was an abstract narrative that plays out like a novel, each song resembling a chapter. Odyssey was originally going to be a single album, which then grew to 2 EP’s, which then ultimately became 2 full length albums.
I wanted the concept to remain largely obscure, so as to not infer a specific message within the listener, I just knew that I wanted the subjects of change, loss and grief to be prominent themes within the albums.
Do you have any favourite concept albums you would like to share with us? Do you draw some story-telling inspirations also from movies/literature/games?
One of my all time favourite concept albums from a relatively young age was always “Phobia” by Breaking Benjamin. The album consists of many of Benjamin Burnley’s fears, such as being sick. He suffers from hypochondria, which has fuelled a lot of his writing. He also is terrified of flying, which you can hear has inspired some of the sonic choices in the album. A very well rounded album which has always influenced my music. Another concept album worth checking out is MaybeSheWill’s “I Was Here for a Moment, Then I Was Gone”. A fully instrumental album which utilises the instrumental elements to tell a story, and it is pure perfection. I have always been inspired by film, novels and video games, predominantly Science Fiction.
As front-man and due to your short stint with TesseracT, you obviously get all the media attention. Could you introduce the rest of the band to us and tell us about their roles that might be more than ‘just’ playing their respective instruments. Is VFTF a group effort or more like a solo project for you?
Well we have the elusive chanteuse Mitch Ramsay & Josh Galloway on Guitar (Mitch being our tremolo enthusiast) and Scott Lockhart on drums. We all share the responsibility of writing our respective parts, with the exception of of the occasional solo-written song, which can happen from time to time. Another thing I love about this is that we have some varying tastes musically, and we like to pleasantly surprise each other with what we write on occasion.
Musically, you are sitting comfortably between the progressive (metal), post rock and pop worlds, merging all of them seamlessly. Was that a conscious approach when you started writing music for VFTF or is it just what comes naturally out of you? Tell us a bit about your musical influences.
I think this is merely a product of our combined influences. I’ve always loved elements of pop that contain a sense of strength and sincerity, and I’m a sucker for a strong soulful vocal line. I also have been a fan of metal and alternative rock from a young age, where bands such as Thrice and Anberlin have probably most heavily influenced my writing along with Alanis Morissette. We have been discussing our sounds recently and I’m very excited to see what direction we take on the next album, as we may be taking a little detour with it. We’ve always been inspired by bands such as Karnivool and This a Will Destroy You, but I think we are all intrigued to see how we can pay homage to other influences we have in a more prominent way.
VFTF are confirmed to play the prestigious ProgPower Europe next year. Can we expect to see more of you on the live front in the future?
Yes we are very excited for Prog Power! Can’t not love a good festival! You most certainly can expect more live appearances in the future.
Thank you for the interview and hope to see you on the road!