Grego Hajer and Kevin Talley

A metal band that explores atmosphere, psychedelia and the universe… well that pretty much ticks all the boxes for me!

Hungary based OMEGA DIATRIBE blend 7-string heaviness and groove (inspired by the likes of MESHUGGAH, MACHINE HEAD, SLIPKNOT and SOULFLY) with melody and psychedelic themes that add an extra dimension to the music.

So far the band has released a full length album IAPETUS and more recently the Abstract Ritual EP featuring drummer Kevin Talley of SUFFOCATION fame. NZRock caught up with founding members Gergő Hájer (guitar) and Ákos Szathmáry (bass) to find out more…

NZRock: On Abstract Ritual you did a great job with the mix, it sounds like the band is playing together even though Kevin Talley recorded the drums in another country. You do all of the mixing yourself, so how were you able to achieve this?

Hájer: Thank you! I’m glad you like the sound. Actually, we recorded the whole album track by track. Talley recorded his parts in a studio in Texas and the other instruments and vocals has been recorded in our home studio in Budapest which is called 515 Studio. How can I achieve the recording and mixing procedure? You know, I always searched the way how can I record my ideas in the best quality since my really young ages. Later, I did some sound-engineering studies to learn the little essence of the professional music production. Now, I am here… I have a clear vision how can I reach my goals in mixing/mastering. But I will always be open for learning and new things, so I hope the next record will face ‘Abstract Ritual’ quality and it will be more blasting!

NZRock: There is a jump in production quality from your album IAPETUS to the Abstract Ritual EP. Were there any things you did in the mixing process that were different on the EP?

Hájer: After we finished IAPETUS, I started to search the advanced “mistakes” about my mixing process. I learned a load of things about professional mixing after this record and I really wanted to start use this knowledge as soon as I can. This knowledge leads me to achieve the sound quality of ‘Abstract Ritual’. This was the first time when I worked with real acoustic drums and not triggered or electronic drum kits.

NZRock: The artwork of Abstract Ritual was done by your tattoo artist friend, Roxy. Does he think in a similar way to the band or did you go to him with a concept?

Ákos: In the band we all really love his works, and we also think about music and lyrics as art, too. So it never occurred to us that we won’t like his ideas. We only gave him the lyrics of the song Abstract Ritual and really soon he came out with some draft ideas which we chose the one to work out.

NZRock: I really dig the bonus track Hydrozoan Periods (Glass Medusa Remix), who is dOTS?

Hájer: Me too! dOTS is a talented electronic music artist here from Budapest, Hungary. He also played in a metal band called SUBLIMINAL MERGER as a sampler/synthesizer. I remember when we got this remix we were on the Rockmaraton Festival (the biggest metal Festival in Hungary, where we played a show), wasted as hell and the remix just kicked our head off… We listened a million times and we knew this will be perfect for the record as a bonus track. By the way the final mastered version was done by me, but dOTS made a really good job on his original master version. The reason why I remastered his version is because I would like to make this remix similar sounding as the other tracks.

NZRock: I see on your Facebook that you met Kevin for the first time the other day. What was it like to meet in person?

Hájer: Ohh man… this was such a great night. Kevin Talley came to my town with SUFFOCATION. We met before the show for a quick talk and I gave him a little gift pack. It contains a copy of Abstract Ritual, a T-Shirt and some stickers. Then, he ran backstage and said we’ll meet after the show. After the SUFFOCATION show had started… when I stared at the stage I just saw that Kevin Talley was playing in an OMEGA DIATRIBE shirt. This was such an honor for me you know… Some other fans from the crowd just poked me and said “OMG Hájer, Kevin is playing on your band’s shirt, can you see this, can you see?” hehehe, so much fun… After the show we met and he signed some ‘Abstract Ritual’ copies for us, talking and boozing. This night was a fucking blast! Kevin is one of my favorite extreme metal drummers since a really young age.

Grego Hajer and Kevin Talley

NZRock: How did you find your new drummer Tommy Kiss and which band was he in previously?

Ákos: We met him at a gig we both played, and when David left us we remembered him as a really good drummer, so we asked him if he wanted to play with us. Unfortunately, he said no, haha. At that time Tommy played in three bands (the main one was SUFFER AS WELL), so he did not have time for another one. By his own admission he didn’t check out our stuff seriously. About half a year later we contacted him again because we had run out of ideas of who could be our new drummer, and that second time he gave us the opportunity to check him out in a rehearsal. And it worked immediately.

NZRock: You have a song featuring Tommy coming out soon. What’s it called? And what other plans do you have for new recordings?

Ákos: I think it hasn’t got a final title yet. We just call it ’15th’ for the time being (as it is our 15th track, haha). Recently OMEGA DIATRIBE won a 100,000 HUF studio time in one of the biggest studio in Hungary (SuperSize Recording). So we decided to record this song there and not in our own studio (515 Studio). We are very curious what will be the result.

Later in 2016 we would like to come out with our second full album. We already started to work on new ideas, but it remains to be seen.

NZRock: The chemistry of your band is something unique. On one hand you are generating these technical / groove laden metal riffs, on the other you have Geri and Ákos exploring everything from science to spirit and psychedelia. It all gels to make each song an interesting journey on multiple levels. Do you think so too?

Ákos: Absolutely right. I think OMEGA DIATRIBE’s biggest strength is that we are like a family. We spend a lot of time together and we have had some really great and also really hard times behind as friends. Hopefully we can discuss every problem. That’s why we know each other really well, also we complete each other, and it’s working really well in writing music.

NZRock: One example of above is your song The Quantum which you wrote originally as instrumental but then the guys recommended adding the Terrance McKenna dialogue. Were you pleased with the way this song turned out?

Hájer: Yeah, I’m totally satisfied with the result. It clearly reminds me the mood of the life period when we wrote ‘Abstract Ritual’. Ákos & Geri found a deep speech of Terence McKenna, which is perfectly fit for the song.

NZRock: Other influences of the band are psychedelic dub, drum & bass and goa music. These genres sounds can be incorporated into metal quite well. Can we expect to hear even more elements of these genres in your future recordings?

Ákos: We plan some innovations on the next album, but I can’t say that you would find these genres as concrete. So if we implant them into our music it would be atmospherically like the psychedelic leads. You know, that’s the OMEGA DIATRIBE way.

NZRock: In some of your other interviews you talk about staying true to oneself and how the media distorts people’s perspectives. What is the philosophy behind the band and what are the fucked up things in the world that you would like to see change?

Ákos: OMEGA DIATRIBE has its own sci-fi world, but it’s based on our point of view of the real world. There are a lot of things out there that mankind do not know or do not understand yet, but people like to think that they are the middle of the universe and rule over everything. The main thing we’d like to broadcast is to think for yourself and be open minded. There are a lot of fake people who are taking advantage of others; I would release them to space with a ‘good bye motherfuckers’ middle finger in their face!

NZRock: I went to the Metal Archives website to find out some more about OMEGA DIATRIBE and realised the elitists there did not consider your music to be Metal. What’s up with that?

Ákos: Haha, yes we had some conversation with the elitists, and it’s a kind of funny, but that’s true, they don’t think we play metal. WTF?! Or maybe we’re not enough famous for that modern website, haha. Anyway, who cares if some narrow minded guys are thinking that way. We have nothing to do there.

Hájer: We submitted our stuff three times and then we get blacklisted because our music is not “pure-metal”. This is quite weird because there are loads of bands on the site which are really un-metal. No comment…

NZRock: Outside of OMEGA DIATRIBE I heard your solo project HIGHER and the song Ghost Train. It reminded me of bands like EKTOMORF and SOULFLY – very cool! I loved the NAILBOMB cover too! What are your plans for this project?

Hájer: Thanks man! You know, I grew up in this style of metal music. It will be always my root. These grooves just come from my instinct as the grooves of OMEGA DIATRIBE. I have a bunch of solo tracks full mixed/mastered without vocals. I have serious plans with these tunes but I haven’t got enough time to start work with this too beside of OMEGA DIATRIBE. OD is the really first thing in my life!

NZRock: In your playthrough videos e.g. Luna Reliquit you make it look effortless to play the riffs. How do new riffs come to you when you’re writing and what inspires them?

Hájer: You know, we played these riffs a million times, so it’s no exacting to play anymore haha! I’m thinking about new riffs/grooves all fucking day long. It’s really non-stop… It happens sometimes, when I just wake up in the night because a killer riff spinning in my head. I have to get out from my bad and record the idea in some way… Sometimes I just whistle it to my phone recorder or if I’m not really sleepy, pull on my computer and work out the riff idea and record it as a demo.

NZRock: I saw on Vimeo you shared the MESHUGGAH Demiurge video. That song is my favourite on Koloss. What are your top 5 favourite groove-laden metal songs?

Hájer: Hell yeah! Koloss is a mind-blowing record… Demiurge is one of the simplest groove rager of all time! Top 5 groove-laden metal songs? Huh, it’s too hard… Can I pick 5 groove-laden albums? Then..

SLIPKNOT – Iowa
MACHINE HEAD – The More Things Change…
MESHUGGAH – Koloss
SEPULTURA – Roots
KORN – KoRn

NZRock: I read somewhere that Tamás from EKTOMORF was the one who suggested Geri for your band. Do you know those guys well?

Hájer: Yes, Tamás and Geri lived in the same city in Hungary, the place called Szekszárd. Then they moved to Budapest… Tamás is my die-hard brotha from a really long time! We move together a lot and help each other in any way. So when we finished the songwriting for IAPETUS we had to find a great singer really quickly. Then one crazy night Tamás came up with the idea, why don’t we make contact with his friend Geri? I got his phone number, sent him some demo songs and invited him for a rehearsal. He totally dug our atmosphere and mentality. When we played a song together, we knew he was our guy! Since this time he has been a big part of our family. By the way the most part of EKTOMORF members are close friends with us, Szabi the bass player helps me a lot in show organisation. They’re great guys and I’ve been a big fan of their music since the age of 10.

NZRock: You mentioned that you’d heard about NZRock through 8 FOOT SATIVA who are one of New Zealand’s best known metal bands. How do you know them?

Hájer: The reason why I know about 8 FOOT SATIVA is because their management agency has contacted us and when I saw their roster I just found 8 FOOT SATIVA, and their vibe is killer! I think they’ve got such a familiar mentality as us. So, I don’t know these guys personally, but when I found their social media links I saw a loads of stuff by NZRock. This is how I found you. Amazing site! We like it! Respect!

NZRock: You had a record deal lined up with an Australian label Twin Peak Records but that didn’t eventuate, are you hoping to break into the Australian/New Zealand market still and is there any chance of you coming over for some shows?

Ákos: Yes, they had financial problems and closed the business. We hope we could be in the market worldwide, and play in many countries. Personally I’m in love with New Zealand for years, but I’ve never been there. So it would be a dream come true if we could play there one day.

Hájer: We cancelled the contract with Twin Peak Records right before we released ‘Abstract Ritual’. So, in February ‘Abstract Ritual’ has been released as a self-released album, and then we got signed to the American Independent Ear Records. They re-released our stuff in the US with a bonus track of Hydrozoan Periods.

NZRock: Thanks very much for doing the interview!

Hájer: My pleasure buddy! I hope we’ll met one day. All the best! Stay true!

Ákos: Thank you too Man. Really good interview! Peace!

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