Interview: Orion Stephens of In Dying Arms
BearlySinister: First of all, thank you again for taking the time to do this. I’ve had
a few burning questions about the album since I started listening and
I’m honored to be able to get some answers.
What was the inspiration that brought on the title “Original Sin?”
Orion: – Original Sin was a title I had in my mind for a very long time.
Mainly because there are tons of bands who try to tackle that theme
with their records like we do, but I was surprised to not see a band
use the title yet. Not to mention, it sounds cool, hits right the
point. When you see it, you know the album will be devastating.
BearlySinister: While there are a lot of comparisons I can make to your previous
album, “Boundaries,” there are some songs that seem like really new
territory for you guys. One of the most notable is “Absence of Shame”
which, honestly, sounds like a mixture of melodic hardcore/metalcore.
What made you decide to choose that route with this song and what is
the inspiration behind it?
Orion: – Well bringing on new guitarist Christian Becker back in 2014, he
brought so many new styles and techniques to the table we rarely
touch. He’s a metalcore kind of guy & this song came out naturally for
him. Collaborating on it as band was smooth as well. It came out great
in my opinion. The song itself is about not letting things consume
you. Like, people who have their drinking problems or anything drug
related. Its cool to have fun, but I’ve seen so many people get caught
in that downward spiral and fight to get out. So I wanted to take on
that subject for this song.
BearlySinister: “Kingslayer” has a killer guest vocal spot from Enterprise Earth’s Dan
Watson, who featured you on their latest album “Patient 0” on a track
called “Kiss of the Recluse.” Was the decision to feature him on the
album simply a reciprocated favor or did you have him in mind from the
Orion: -I contacted Dan on Facebook right before we started recorded. He was
down immediately and come to find out Dan lives 15 minutes away from
the studio we recorded at. He actually featured on our album before he
asked me to feature on their record. He’s a cool dude man. Was fun to
work with him.
BearlySinister: You’ve heard me talk about a couple of my favorite tracks but what
track(s) are you most excited for fans to hear and why?
Orion: -Kingslayer being one since Dan slays it. But I’m also very proud of
Blackwater. It has the feel from our last two records but more up to
spew with what we do now. I love the melody and the hook is great.
BearlySinister: It’s no secret that this is your biggest, most ambitious release to
date. Signing to Tragic Hero Records came as a bit of a surprise but
an incredibly welcomed one. How do you feel that this signing is going
to take “Original Sin” to new heights and how was it decided that THR
is the right label for you?
Orion: -Tragic Hero was done a lot for this record already. Mainly, we like
the team. They are very hands on. Its a big difference from previous
labels we’ve worked with. Not to mention, we put so much into
“Original Sin”, with a team behind us putting in as much as we are..
The sky is the limit.
BearlySinister: While I’ve been a fan of you from the get-go, you really raised the
bar with your vocals on the new material. Something interesting for me
is that there is quite a bit of clean singing, though, which is pretty
new territory for IDA. How did you decide to add in those parts, so as
not to be out of place or overbearing?
Orion: – Adding in cleans was a learning experience. It actually isn’t new
territory at all for us. We have clean singing tracks on every one of
our records. “Original Sin” has the least clean vocals in it since our
2010 release “Deprivation”. Our Self-Titled and “Boundaries” album was
us trying to find our sound. We experimented a ton and added cleans
all over the place. We think with this album, we found a good balance.
BearlySinister: You held a vocal contest for “Original Sin” that ended recently. What
went into the process of picking the winner and how many entries did
you guys receive?
Orion: -We actually didn’t get many entries. I had some fans come to me and
say they weren’t even going to try lol. Not sure why, but we had over
10 solid entrants. I picked the winner based on overall sound. There
were sound covers where a vocalist would have amazing lows and the
high’s weren’t quite there and vice versa. The winner Brian Goetz had
all ends of the spectrum and did a fantastic job.
BearlySinister: The final album art for “Original Sin” was recently revealed. Who did
the artwork and how did the concept for it come about?
Orion: -Cesar Adrian from Peru made this artwork. We wanted something bigger
than the earth, but on the darker side of things. We did have the idea
of incorporating a snake and apple to represent the Adam and eve
story, but we felt we could do something a little more outside the
box. Cesar didn’t have much to go off of, but when we saw what he did
for the cover we were blown away to say the least. Very happy with the
BearlySinister: What do you hope that fans will take away from this album, once released?
Orion: -That the band In Dying Arms is here to stay. I know its been years
since we released a record, but for a good reason. We had a chance to
tour more, gain maturity, get better at what we do. It just worked for
the better. A lot people thought we were done. We hope this albums
shows everyone we are back and better than ever. We want listeners to
feel what we feel, whether it be anger or sadness. We always try our
best to deliver diverse metal records and push ourselves
BearlySinister: Recently, it was announced that you would be reissuing the bands debut
full-length “Deprivation.” How long has this been in the works and
what made you decide that now is the right time?
Orion: -The idea was always lingering. I reached out to Chris Killbourn the
owner for Matchless Records, which isn’t doing much anymore. He liked
the idea and agreed to create this re-press. Which actually launched
today 2/19. That album never got the push it deserved and only small
amount of copies were made. Wanted to give fans the opportunity to get
their hands on it again. Has an updated design layout as well as
special VIP passes.
BearlySinister: I’m sure there will be plenty of touring together go along with the
release of “Original Sin” but you’ve been brought on to play a very
special farewell show with I, The Breather. How did the band approach
you about the slot for this show and how are you preparing for such an
emotional and monumental night?
Orion: -Actually the promoter booking that show reached out. We had just
played a couple shows with the promoter at the start of the year, so
he knew we delivered live. It’ll be a good night I remember when I The
Breather played our EP release show in 2009, which was their first or
second show ever as a band.
BearlySinister: Finally, what is next for IDA, once the album is released?
Orion: -We will be touring man. We already began writing for the next
release. We are staying busier than ever.
BearlySinister: That’s all I’ve got, unfortunately. Thank you, again, for doing this!
It’s been an honor and a pleasure. Is there anything else you’d like
to say to your fans, our readers and the general public?
Orion: – Yes. Thank you all so much for the ongoing love & support. Be sure
to pick up a copy of “Original Sin” and we hope you like it as much as
loved creating it. \mm/
2. Original Sin
3. Skeleton Queen
4. Caught In The Balance
5. For What You Believe (Stand Up)
6. Kingslayer (Feat. Dan Watson of Enterprise Earth)
7. Absence Of Shame
10. Valar Morghulis
12. Mother Huldra
“Skeleton Queen” (Official Music Video)
Buy Original Sin
Buy Deprivation (Collector’s Edition)
Website (Pre-Orders end on March 8th, first come, first serve!)