Philadelphia, PA’s Oblivion Her Majesty is an experimental rock band that have come out of the gates with a polished, multi-dimensional sound. Having released their debut album in February of 2019 the band successfully blends their influences into diverse and original sonic palettes.
While just about every band says they have varied influences, that usually means they sound like everyone else. OHM manages the difficult and often abstract task of sounding original, but not bizarre. They have a modern sound, and are not afraid of displaying their instrumental chops. A song like One Thousand Ships is a good example of how they flirt with an almost prog-rock approach at times. No mere studio project, OHM performs live throughout Pennsylvania and its neighboring states.
I had a conversation with bassist Rachel Bello, and she was happy to shed some light on her promising young band. We discuss it’s origins, their future direction, even Rachel’s guilty-pleasure music tastes!
Hi Rachel, to start out, how did Oblivion Her Majesty form? Did you all know each other previously?
Oh god, we kind of came from all over. Will (lead vocals) and Mike (Drums) met each other in high school through a mutual friend. Then, Will met Adam (lead guitarist) in college. Next up, Will brought his childhood friend, Jake (keyboard), into the band. Lastly, I met Will in high school way back when, but ironically, we barely spoke. He knew I played bass, so when he needed a new bassist, he and the other members asked me to just “fill in” because I was working on my own projects at that time. I agreed to temporarily “fill in”, and well……here I am 3.5 years later.
The band has some diverse sounds and influences, is there a push and pull in songwriting? What I mean is, is one of you “the metal guy”, while another is a “pop and atmospheric” fan?
Yes, yes, and yes. Let me explain. Will and Mike are the progressive, math-rock, odd time signature-lovin’ nerds, which usually makes me want to rip my hair out because my roots are in 80s metal, blues, the straight rock and roll type. Jake on the other hand, is the huge pop fan (think Mariah Carey and Destiny’s Child) that keeps us modern. Adam is a thrash/speed metal guy, which makes for some insane guitar solos, thank god. An honorable mention to our amazing producer, Matt Ticciono, who knows how and when to steer us in the “mainstream” direction. The cool thing is though, they all push me to musical limits that I didn’t even know existed. I never thought I would ever be playing a Tool cover on stage, but they’ve all taught me and pushed me enough to the point where I can. They 100% have made me a better musician. As for song writing, that’s obviously what makes our music sometimes sound like this huge melting pot of genres.
“Hopeless Masterminds”, the album was released last year. You have announced that you will be periodically releasing new songs in 2020. Is this a better way to stay on the radar? Have a new song every few months as opposed to one album release?
That’s what we’re trying to figure out, but for right now we’re thinking that’s the way to go. You know, as opposed to just dropping albums once a year, touring on it, and calling it a day. The nice part about this route is that we never have to be pressed for time, we just kind of work at our own pace. Like, “Did we just randomly write this potentially great song that we think could get us some attention? Cool, lets record it and drop it. “ It’s a lot less stress free and a lot more spontaneous. We’ll probably put out a “compilation” at some point, but we’re trying to avoid the word “album” or “record”.
You attended this year’s NAMM show as an artist for Coffin Gear. How exciting was it to go as a representative/artist? Was it your first time attending?
…..I’m still processing it, haha! I have been wanting to go to NAMM since I was around 13-14, when I was really starting to get serious about a music career. Everyone I look up to goes every single year, and I remember just being like “man, I don’t think I’ll ever get that lucky.” But low and behold, I recently became an endorsed artist with Coffin Gear, which is crazy in itself for me, and their AMAZING artist relations rep, Michelle, hooked me up. I was even allowed to bring my 4 best friends with me, which was even more special. Needless to say, yes it was my first time attending, and hopefully not my last.
How do you approach touring as a band? Do you try to block off seasons? Like “ok let’s do shows in the summer and fall”, or do you actively book gigs whenever you can?
So far we only ever really went out on one tour, and it was during the summer of 2018. We were invited to play KABBOO Del Mar (a music festival near San Diego), so we used it as an opportunity to book a bunch of out of state dates on the West Coast. Our plan right now is to focus on the East Coast, but not really make an official “tour” out of it. Our goal is to do, say, Boston one weekend, Maybe Maryland the next month, Washington DC the next, and so on.
Was Bass your first instrument?
Like most bassists’ answer, no, it wasn’t. My first instrument was guitar, which I started when I was around 9. Funny story, but when I was 12 I went to see Steel Panther for the first time, and tiny rachel had a huge crush on “Lexxi Foxx”, the bassist. In my head I was like, “well, he plays bass and I love him, so I’m going to play bass, screw guitar.” So I guess that converted me. It’s interesting because I can now always say the bass player of a “parody glam rock band” is a huge reason that I’m where I’m at today. I’m not ashamed because if you know SP, you know how ridiculously talented they actually are, and they’re all just the nicest dudes.
What Basses and rig are you using now, and how has your equipment evolved as you evolved as a player?
You know, I never get asked this question, so thank you! Right now I have a Thunderbird, and my baby, a Schecter Stiletto Studio-4 in limited edition purple burst, and yes, it is as beautiful as it sounds. As for my rig, I use a Peavey 450 Tour Series. My effects processor and pedal just broke which sucks, so hopefully I’ll get a new one soon, because playing clean is NOT too fun for me. As for how my gear has evolved, well, my first bass was $150….my Schecter was most definitely not $150.
Are there new musical areas and/or styles you are hoping to explore in future music with the band?
Part of me wants to say I would love to see us venture into a more roots rock/blues sound, like old school Aerosmith with modern elements, but realistically I know that may not happen. Something like that would probably change the entire direction of OHM, because we are so far away from that right now, but I can dream! Maybe we can somehow work it into future material, but I’m not holding my breath.
If I could peak into your personal playlists, what songs might surprise me?
I have SO many Melanie Martinez songs on my playlists, I love that girl. That may be surprising because she’s pure pop, and I’m definitely not that, but her artistry and song writing is insane to me. I also adore how creepy and eerie her image can be, because thats the stuff I have always and will always use as inspiration for my own material. So yeah, the answer to that question is every Melanie Martinez song ever.
Please check out Rachel and Oblivion Her Majesty at their official site:
By Peter Harris