We all cried a little when we heard that SubRosa had decided to call it a day. After 14 years, the experimental-sludge band released a statement in May 2019 stating they were disbanding. Fear not though, in September it was rumored that 4 out of the 5 members had decided to start a new project together. By December The Otolith was confirmed. We know the musicianship and chemistry will indeed be there, and they will be making their live debut in May at the Monolith on the Mesa fest. They have contributed a cover for an Alice in Chains tribute, and have a song on the upcoming Women of Doom compilation from Blues Funeral Recordings and Desert Records. I had a nice chat with the female powerhouses, Sarah and Kim, about what we can expect. Check out their new song ,Bone Dust, and be sure to pre-order Women of Doom which features several amazing women musicians in the doom-metal scene.
Let’s start with the end of SubRosa. We were all heartbroken when we heard the news. Months later though, we learn about the new project, The Otolith. Was this always the intention? Did you feel the band just needed to have a resurrection into something new?
The end of SubRosa was heartbreaking for us as well. It was an unexpected shift that left us reeling in sadness, confusion, and grief for many months. Working through a tragic event reveals many things. We realized that to heal, we needed to continue doing what we love and make new music together. It was creating with one another that we missed the most. So the four of us reunited as The Otolith.
So, the obvious question will be how is it different than SubRosa? What should us fans expect from the new project? I read somewhere you said it would be “heavier” so can you expand on that for us?
Heheh I think you are referring to the article where we said it would be “heavier than a truckload of lead bricks”. We all crave the heavy, and we are always chasing after it sonically.
I think the main differences between SubRosa and The Otolith are the songwriting process itself and the different elements that we are adding to the process. In SubRosa, we always started with thought-out guitar riffs/song structures as a foundation, and we wrote parts to go along with it. In The Otolith, we are doing the writing almost in real time, sometimes beginning with a violin part, sometimes with nothing but a vocal line, or just jamming out ideas during practice. We are building and using some intricate samples, and adding some fat, evil synth.
We all had concerns in the beginning that it would come out sounding too much like SubRosa, but as we progress, we are realizing that the different approach to writing takes over almost like an entity in the room, guiding us to shape our own aural sculpture.
What can you tell us about the new album? When will we see it come out, hear new music and have you decided on a label or any tours?
The album will come out on Blues Funeral Recordings, and we are aiming for a late 2020 release. We don’t have any tours planned yet, but we are playing Monolith on the Mesa festival in Taos, New Mexico, May 2020.
When the press has been discussing The Otolith, they are sometimes writing (SubRosa) in parentheses. Does this bother you at all? Are you looking for people to let go of the past and focus on the new?
This is a really thoughtful question, thanks for asking.
We definitely want to be recognized for what The Otolith does on its own merit, and to move on from SubRosa. But we are also grateful that the years of hard work we did in SubRosa can come to our aid in getting The Otolith out there. It’s a luxury that a lot of great musicians don’t have. So we don’t mind when we see that. SubRosa will always be in our hearts. We’re just making a new heart chamber for The Otolith.
You are a part of the Desert Records Women of Doom compilation out this April. I’ve been a fan of this project and I am excited to hear the entire thing. Does being singled out as the women in the band ever bother you? Why do you think the metal subgenre of doom is so much more accepting of women than others?
Women of Doom is amazeballs! We’re so proud to be part of it. It’s awesome to be recognized as female artists, and to contribute to something that showcases how many badass women are making heavy music. That said, we are four best friends that love making music together and gender doesn’t matter at all. We would love to see gender dissolve into a non-issue someday.
(Pre-Order Women of Doom - link below)
You are playing Monolith on the Mesa this year, which will be somewhat of a debut for the band. What was it about this specific festival that felt right for the world to be introduced to The Otolith? Who else is playing that you are excited to see?
Regardless of what you have done in the past, when you start a new band, you start over in some respects, and that is as it should be. So when we started The Otolith, we didn’t expect to have anything fall into our laps. That was why we did a maniacal happy dance when we were asked to play Monolith on the Mesa, because it’s such a cool event. We’re psyched to see Big Business, Old Man Gloom, Mars Red Sky, Khemmis, Mlny Parsons, Red Mesa, hell, every band is gonna be great!
(See link for ticket sales below!).
As veterans of the scene now, how has the music business changed since you started? If you could change anything, what would it be?
Probably the main way that the music business has changed is accessibility via the internet. There are positive and negative aspects to that, as with most technological advancements.
If we could change anything, we would wave our magic wands so that all talented and hardworking musicians could make enough money to live off of their music. (Don’t laugh too hard) hahahaa.
WOMEN OF DOOM IS AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER NOW!
TICKETS FOR THE MONOLILTH ON THE MESA AFTER-PARTY CAN BE PURCHASED HERE. THIS EVENT COINCIDES WITH THE RELEASE OF WOMEN OF DOOM. PERFORMANCES WILL BE: THE OTOLITH and an acoustic performance from MLNY PARSONZ (Royal Thunder)!
Mlny Parsonz will perform solo from midnight-12:30.
The Otolith will perform from 12:45-1:30.
Try to take a nap earlier in the day so you don't miss this! IT IS ONLY $10!!