On their sophomore release, Omni's meticulous groove and feverish guitar work is relentlessly refined. Bassist Philip Frobos discusses their unmistakable energy.
Earlier this year you spent some time touring with Franz Ferdinand. How did that come about and what was the experience like? Were they a band you were into in your youth? Did your time with them impact your abilities as performers?
It was right around the time we were finishing up our first full US tour this spring that they asked us to join them on the road this summer. It was a truly fantastic time, they are great dudes. We all definitely remember buying their album for the first time how impactful it was! Spending time on the road was so fun, and we all learned to be more confident and comfortable on the bigger stages watching them kill it every night.
As a three piece band, how is songwriting divvied up? Each instrument seems independent from each other. Is there independent writing from each instrumentalist?
Frankie and I have been writing everything up to this point. He writes drums, guitar and miscellaneous, while I handle the bass and vocals/lyrics. We write and arrange everything together.
If music weren't a viable way to make a living for you, what do you think you'd be doing with your time?
Well I was bartending, and I ran an espresso catering business for a little while. In another life it would be fun to be something more scientific...
Your sound is very distinctive with the new album being unmistakable as an Omni record from the first guitar note. Was the new record built using concepts, tones, and energy derived from the debut record? What was the balance for the new record in terms of new creativity and maintaining the unique identity the band developed during the first album?
A big part of maintaining that identity was we never stopped writing between the two. As soon as we finished writing "78" (the final song for the first album) we wrote "Southbound Station" shortly after. There were breaks and time off, but really we just wanted to vary in song compositions and styles with the same energy without repeating ourselves.
You guys are based in Atlanta. What's the music scene like there? How is your music a reflection of your time spent living there? Has the continued growth of the city changed the music culture?
There's always a lot going on, although we are a bit out of the loop. The Algiers and Lyonnais guys are always up to something cool. It's a beautiful city to live in and walk around.
How did the band form? How long after coming together did the debut record get finished?
Frankie and I had been friends for quite a while. We just wanted to write some music together and we were so pleased with the songs coming together that we just kept writing until we had enough for an album. Then it was like "I guess we should record this?" It took about a year of writing and playing a couple shows. It was a good time.