Where were you born and where did you grow up?
ROB: West Germany.
What sort of kid were you growing up? Did you have many friends?
ROB: A rather average kid with many friends, playing soccer and staying outside all day, getting home every evening with bruises. When it rained we played Amiga or Console Games. Grew up as a child in the very late 80ies and throughout the 90ies – different times. For this interview, it might be interesting to mention that since childhood I was a magnet to stuff like the paranormal, sci-fi, space, darkness, you name it – long before I was ever attracted by metal or music at all. And like everyone else, had a tendency to cause trouble in and outside school.
Was music a big part of your life early on or did that come later on in life?
ROB: Absolutely not. It came later on when I discovered extreme music in my teens.
Now, what were some of the first styles of music that you heard? Now when did you start to listen to metal and what did you think of that style when you heard it?
ROB: Thrash Metal was the first, started like 20+ years ago. It absolutely changed my life, blew me away. From there I got into all other extreme genres which even exceeded all that. Was surprised nobody was talking about this old stuff. At that time, there were huge trends like keyboard-driven Black Metal and Alt-Rock, Nu-Metal and nobody I knew gave a damn about „Seven Churches“, „Darkness Descends“ or stuff Incubus from FL. For example, the first Slayer album here was considered old and dusty and from forgotten times.
Was basically the only one at school who actually worshipped all this, everyone else was into this other crap and it was hard to convince anybody to get rid of that. Well, you can do the math.
I discovered things the „natural“ way, which means I had to dig to find new music, searching endlessly in local stores, ordering tapes, vinyl and CDs from mail orders without having the possibility to listen to it before all the time, buying stuff from merch tables at shows – filling out mail-order forms even in some cases, a lot of distros were still sending out these xerox monthly or quarterly catalogues – at that point only half of it was already digitalized/on the internet. Also, I did a lot of trading, both Tape and CD-R, exchanging lists etc.
Can clearly remember all these gay trendy goths with Cradle of Filth shirts looking at me as if I’m a stranger with all my fucked jeans, bullet belts and bootleg Blasphemy, Beherit and Necrovore etc shirts, long before it reversed and became cool and trendy to be „retro“ and „kvlt“ which happened later on.
Now how did you discover the underground style of metal? What did you think of it the first time you heard it?
ROB: Almost answered this before. Nobody gave more fucks than I did, at least speaking about a very few metal people around me. It simply wasn’t enough and I was getting deeper and deeper into everything.
More and more I realized that the sound of old Morbid Angel, Possessed etc was absolutely what I was looking for but I needed more, but in the old way – doesn’t matter if it was skilful like Angelcorpse, Diabolic or totally careless like Vomitor. So I had to try out lots of stuff, trading with people from whole Europe and overseas by exchanging trade lists…but in fact, there was also a lot of shit, which I had to sell afterwards. Anyway, Bleeding the Priest is one thing that just came out and was something I discovered and absolutely loved. This sound was so fucked up and anti-commercial. „Ancient Death“ from Pentacle. Devil Speaks in Tongues from Mortem I discovered. „Resurrection“ from Sadistic Intent had a huge impact on me, as well as the Necrovore stuff (esp. The live VHS copy where unreleased stuff is being played). Besides getting into more stuff like this, I began hunting for unreleased songs (Live, Rehearsal) of all my favourite bands, simply because they lack bands around that would play this style.
Now the band is based in Germany, which has always had a great underground metal scene. Once you discovered this great scene, was it like floodgates for you, where you wanted more and more?
ROB: Yes. Was of course spending most of my money on ordering Vinyl, Tapes and CDs from distros ranging from very small to big, mostly from Europe, and the US. The scene itself in Germany isn’t what you would expect currently. Underground Metal is mostly a show-off thing for losers now. People are more concerned about who they give likes to keep following within their Facebook/Forum/Festival clique or how they present themselves on Instagram instead of worshipping real metal. Real maniacs who are into all this fucked up shit are still rare.
Fortunately, there is still a small but strong underground „within the underground“ around which has many inspired and self-thinking maniacs doing their own thing – as opposed to this current shit hipster black/death „scene“ that is surrounded and supported with grocery store magazines, artificial hype, promotion, ass licking to get bands playing at bigger festivals while everyone literally knows these people are posers, have always been and will always be. Things haven’t really changed over time.
Now I don’t know which band member I am interviewing, but you all play instruments. What made you pick up the particular instrument you play and who are some of your favourite players?
ROB: You’re talking to Rob, Vocals/Lead Guitars and main songwriter. It may sound odd, but the only reason why I started playing the guitar was to create exactly what I am doing right now – completely self-taught.
Was never into playing for the sake of guitar love as far as looking at it as an instrument, I only wanted to learn to play so I could write wicked atmospheric and extremely evil and violent black/death stuff and create my own personal advanced vision of that, take it to next levels possibly – stuff that I would personally buy. I treat all instruments like complete shit; half of my guitars are always damaged.
Still to this day, I am not using any pedals, effects, also I don’t know any scale. Never tuned the guitar below D, which is good and low enough. The playing is very handcrafted and less as seeing it as “musicianship”.
Early influences that are obvious: Trey Azagthoth, Bob Vigna, Larry Lalonde, Sterling Van Scarborough(RIP), Deplachett/Humphrey, King/Hannemann(RIP), Mustaine, Gene Palubicki, Fernan Nebiros/Wilber Rosan, Euronymous(RIP), Snorre W. Ruch, et cetera.
The first stuff I ever could play was playing along „Drawing down the moon“.
Are there still many record stores that sell underground metal in Germany? What are some of your favourite fests that you go to?
ROB: Not many, they are slowly dying. Used to live near one which has unfortunately closed since. I always preferred those that smelled of basement and old vinyl, that have lots of 2nd hand vinyl to sell instead of all the shitty soulless and way overpriced re-releases – but they are getting less and less. Would have probably gone to Under the Black Sun if Covid wasn’t ruining it all. But I don’t have a favourite festival anymore – I wish that festivals like Bitterfeld Open Air or Hells Pleasure (before the hipsters discovered it) would still be around but that’s the past. Smaller venues are still the best for this sort of music.
So now how did the coming of Omegavortex come together? How did you all find each other and how long did it take to find each other? Were any of you in any other bands prior to the coming of Omegavortex?
ROB: Absolutely, everyone in the band is very experienced. Guitarist S. I knew for quite a while already. He and bass player K. played in a much known and well-established German Black Metal band. Well, namedropping of bands that everyone used to be involved with, I want to keep this at a minimum. The very first drummer was D.M., who can be heard on rehearsal stuff on the compilation disc. He and I were basically the earliest foundation in 2009, that was when the band was still called AMBEVILENCE. It was put on a hiatus because things broke apart. It’s no secret that I did the Beyond thing with a friend and that led to the recording of „Fatal Power of Death“, which was basically a mesh up from all ideas, since Beyond used to sound rather „Scandinavian/Swedish“ and not very brutal before. That band also broke apart due to exactly the same problems as with AMBEVILENCE earlier, lack of finding the right people for an entity like that. As you can imagine, it isn’t easy to find adequate personal resources for a band like this. However, the most recent lineup is stable and will probably keep performing once we start playing live again.
So what was like the early practices like? How long did it take to start writing original songs and how quickly did songs start to come together?
ROB: Early on, they were horrible. I was and am still the principal songwriter and I always had a lot of material around, but the stuff requires extremely fast and skilful drumming that is absolutely on because of all the weird timings. Back then, this simply didn’t work out. At one time we had like 4-5 tunes ready but they simply weren’t on the level that they could be flawlessly recorded. The time wasn’t right for this in 2010.
Now how long was the band together before you recorded that demo you put out in 2018? How long did it take the songs to come together? What are your thoughts on this tape now and how long were you in the studio for this recording?
ROB: See above about the lineup. Most of the stuff was already written ages ago. It was just re-arranged so it can be recorded. The Tape itself made quite an impact and received much praise, which was great at that time. It was supposed to be just a heads up pre-production tape before the release of the album and generated A LOT of label interest just like the AMBEVILENCE (renamed to OMEGAVORTEX in 2017) promo before in 2014, even more than that, as way beyond 400 copies of the 2018 promo were sold.
Unfortunately, there were severe complications with the drum tracks. It turned out that the drummer wasn’t able to play any of the songs in one piece, some cases not even complete parts in one piece, which led to endless playing errors and cutting errors and after several days spent inexpensive studio on trying to fix this, turned out to be impossible – with advice from various studio technicians and the label these recordings were thrown out and later re-done much more professional with our current drummer, done the traditional way, rehearsed and played together in one piece – which then became the album. This is also why there is a little time gap between the Promo and the Album.
In late 2019, you released a 12 song CD, with some rehearsal songs on it. What was the purpose of this release? Did you send it to any record companies? If so what was the feedback?
ROB: It wasn’t sent to record companies, I already had all the contacts to labels and such – and there was a lot of label interest. Many fans were asking for a CD Version of our demos and so we just did exactly that. It is a compilation of all Promo/Demo tapes up to the Full-Length album and as a bonus; we put some of the old rehearsal stuff from 2009-2010 on it. It is not a big deal, other than showcasing all demo history. The thing was well-received; however, I believe many probably had the tapes before already.
We did this release with Aaron from Goatthrone Records (TX), and he did a great job. Still very satisfied. There were labels across the globe already offering to put this out on Vinyl – which is appreciated, but I personally don’t like bands that milk their own demos by making endless re-releases, shitting over their fans. This won’t happen. All this Vinyl re-releasing of demos of recent bands has become absolutely annoying and redundant, at least for me. I think many have forgotten about the purpose of a DEMOnstration record, not everything should be put and re-released on Vinyl instantly.
Did the band get to play many live shows up until now and if so who did you share the stage with?
ROB: We played only ONCE so far in Germany in early 2019, besides all the usual forgettable local acts, Ungod and Baxaxaxa also played that night. Also, I remember Megatherion played before us.
How did you come up with the name Omegavortex and were any other names throw around?
ROB: Many names which I all do not remember anymore. The thing was rather a name change from AMBEVILENCE to OMEGAVORTEX in order to adjust the name to what the music REALLY represented, and that is an obliterating cosmic whirlwind that destroys everything in its path, bringing all existence to an end.
Now you just released an amazing new record on Invictus Productions called “Black Abomination Spawn”. Why that title?
ROB: The title track Black Abomination Spawn (abr. B.A.S. On the record) is an old tune and it is the most fitting in regard to all the musical sick content, the artwork as well as the history of all the stuff and finally bringing the beast to life. You see it, you hear it and it tears your psyche apart.
How did you end up on Invictus Productions and how has it been working with them so far? Were any other labels interested in signing with the band?
ROB: Darragh (the owner of Invictus) was already interested in the band long before the name change. In 2014 when some promotional tracks went online before there was any physical release. Through a close friend Vasili (Ancient Spirit Terror/Unholy Metal Mayhem) who released the 2018 Promo tape, I simply got ahold of him again and we started talking.
We are very satisfied with working with Invictus. The album is a huge success both as far as the feedback from the maniacs go (most important) and also the distribution figures, which isn’t too common in times like these – especially for a debut album of a rather unknown band. Sales aren’t the most important thing to me but let’s stay realistic. Vinyl re-press is already in the works and we won’t stop until everyone has been ripped a second asshole by this record, as I am sure many still haven’t heard it yet.
2nd part of your question: Many known labels especially from Germany were interested in signing OMEGAVORTEX, to the point that it became annoying.
Without going into detail as far as envy or jealousy for others might concern: we decided against all that including our old label who put out a promo EP Vinyl of us in 2015. As you may assume given my previous answers, I am not a big fan of the current underground scene in Germany – to me, it’s mostly dead, has become a circus and I don’t give a fuck about it anymore.
Now how long did it take the songs for this new release to come together? How does the music writing and who pens the lyrics?
The material didn’t need as much time as one might assume, it just wasn’t properly realized and brought to life earlier. All in all, written between 2007 and the time of the release. I am the principal songwriter in OMEGAVORTEX as well as the lyrics, with some creative input from the others.
Now with this covid shit going on, obviously the band can’t play live. Are you totally itching to get out there and play some of these tunes live?
ROB: Sure, but it’s not as important as you might think: instead we’re probably just gonna record the next release sometime. The covid thing has a humiliating nature to it that a lot of the music business is in trouble and many bands are giving up and getting less hype. At some level, I must admit that I’m enjoying this! You have to take into consideration that many useless events ALSO get cancelled. Before Covid, there were severe problems anyway in Germany in regard to „supply and demand“ if you will. Often I saw or heard of shows mid-week where only 50 people went. That’s a sign of redundancy and it is about time that 90% of all local shitty Hipster Black Metal gets filtered out forever so much crap. Make the best out of it – it isn’t too bad, time can be used to be productive on other levels. I estimate there will be no shows as they used to be before 2022/23.
If someone had not heard the band, how would you describe the band musically?
ROB: OMEGAVORTEX PLAYS PARANORMAL DEATH METAL EXCLUSIVELY.
In what moods do you write riffs and songs?
ROB: In every mood and at every circumstance. It is all a matter of imagination and inspiration. You can write killer stuff anytime and anywhere and I’m sure if musicians read this they will agree, it’s not a big deal.
Everything that is on the „Black Abomination Spawn“ album comes from different times, different personal circumstances, different moods and even mindsets. One thing I may add is that checking out your demo versions of the songs while being in the darkness alone, or in nature helps a lot to distinguish between which riffs work and which do not, something that you sometimes are only able to tell letting time pass and reflecting your works. To me, writing music is like writing a disturbing and horror story with lots of depth. Details are very important.
What bands and things would you say influenced you the most? How did they influence your life?
ROB: See few questions above. Metal has of course absolutely changed my life. Everyone else in the band more or less has a similar story to tell. Again, what influenced me most is all the fucked up black/death that started in the late 80ies and through the 90ies without all these scene and genre restrictions that came later on. Especially the weird high pitched and strange timing stuff of Possessed and Necrovore influenced me.
Vice versa, I listen to almost nothing that was done after 2010 and barely anything from the 2000ies. In a natural way, for some reason I always go back to the stuff that came before, not only because it has influenced my whole way of perceiving extreme music, or writing music myself, more like that I believe that the genres mostly already peaked long before the comeback bonanza that is currently going on with all this OSDM and Black/Disso and whatever is trendy. To give you the bridge to OMEGAVORTEX here: Perhaps unwillingly, we might be seen as part of this movement but I believe in spirit it has really nothing to do with the current scene.
As far as extreme metal goes, my world consists mostly of the aforementioned, Morbid Angel, Incubus (both US), Insanity, Angelcorpse, Immolation, Beherit, Sad Ex, Order From Chaos, Martire, Devastation TX & Chicago, Dark Angel, Bestial Warlust – stuff like that.
Beyond that, I have always listened to other music genres as well and expanded my radar such with hardcore, rap, dark ambient, movie scores, some techno, some pop music. Disgusted yet? (ha ha actually no-cf)
What are the lyrical concepts of the band? What and how plague do you spread around the earth in minds?
ROB: To make it simple and dank as I like it, OMEGAVORTEX deals with the end of all live, but on a larger scale, the end of existence as we know – the final judgement and loss of all sanity. Destructive in both symbolic and also in real-world terms. There are things in the universe, in regard to science, in regard to human history that does not add up. Not only do we NOT know the whole picture, but it is also things like other dimensions, the paranormal, distortion of reality, the fear of the unknown or psychopathic ideas of what reality could be, shattered worldviews that keep us moving.
It comes to the point that there is more weirdness to reality than what we might want to admit. It is there around us, no matter how much cognitive dissonance will keep you from the dark abyss, cosmic or earthly.
It is a psychopathic view behind the curtains of our existence. It goes way beyond just space or the void. Each song on the record tells a different aspect if you will and all of them are connected to each other in a larger picture. Sometimes the lyrics have multiple meanings. The complete desolation and distortion of all senses.
What is the concept, if any, of the artwork for your new album and who drew it?
ROB: The artwork and the whole presentation is 100% connected to the music. Both is one. Henry Mann drew it all in very close collaboration with the band, almost like being a band member. The artwork shows an inhuman abomination coming from space or the outer parts of the universe, seen both in a symbolic way for the arrival of a false messiah that brings humanity to an end and also in regard to the distortion and destruction of human tradition that has been going on for endless times – the rape and perversion of all being. The uncreation of all and the absolution of all ugliness. It is actually called the „Descendant“ and has combined meanings from Song 1 to the title track. Descendant from the Netherworld, or the beyond, if you will. Our primitive imagination of religion, gods and concepts of time and space, perhaps science are not what they are supposed to be. Don’t wanna reveal too much, if you read the lyrics and listen to the riffs, you’re almost already looking at the cover but see many more things, also in regard to what has ultimately been happening in the world all over. There is something out there we don’t want to deal with, but it is there and one day it will tear apart all reality with no return.
Horns up for doing this chat. Good luck with the band going forward and any last words to wrap this up, the floor is yours.
ROB: Thanks for your support. „Black Abomination Spawn“ CDs are still available from us, LPs will be restocked soon.
We also have Logo Shirts, Album Cover shirts (soon restocked) as well as patches available. Come and get them.