Hailing from Gold Coast in Australia, progressive rockers Opus of a Machine are soon to release their sophomore album “Stray Fire” this Friday August 3rd. While only 6 songs, the 37 minute runtime is full of memorable moments, catchy hooks/choruses, and just overall terrific musicianship from every member of the band. With “Stray Fire”, Opus have graced us with a truly unique and phenomenal album, one that hopefully reaffirms their position of being one of Australias greatest progressive rock bands. Seriously guys and gals, this is easily going to end up in my “Best of 2018” list in the top 10, if not top 5. Guitarist/Producer Zac Greensill was kind enough to talk to me about how the band was originally formed, why they opted for a progressive rock sound as opposed to an other, the trials and tribulations of self promotion/touring, and many other things.
If you like what you hear, give the guys a like on Facebook and preorder “Stray Fire” from Bandcamp! Share with your friends too, because I have a feeling these guys are going to blow up following this release!
What was the writing process like for the album? Did you go into the writing process with a certain mindset? For example, did you go into it with the “I want to write the best songs ever” mindset, or did everything just come naturally to you guys?
I think originally, there was an overall feeling of “where does this album fit in to the grander scheme of our musical careers”. We wanted to write and an album that had more of a consistent tone about it, rather than a mix bag of styles that we explored on Simulacra. With Stray Fire, it was more about how we could write an album that somebody can sit down and enjoy in full. There’s still plenty of variety in the album, but we knew we wanted to create a very concise journey of an album.
Originally, what made you all want to form a band together? What made you decide on the genres you play?
Mitchell (vocals/guitars) and I met in high school and from an early age we were always collaborating on song ideas. We had a shared interest in heavy music from an early age and even now our tastes still remain relatively similar. That was likewise with when Dale (bass) and Trevor (drums) came into the project. We all have extremely varied tastes in music and really love the idea of tapping into our own certain uniqueness that some of our biggest heroes have. I think writing progressive music just came from the love we have for experimentation and trying do be as varied as possible.
What kind of lyrics or themes are on the new album?
The newest album has a fairly consistent theme of personal growth and struggle. With each track, we really wanted write something that is close to us and very true to who we are. The album follows a loose narrative feel, but it was never something we sat down and thought about like we would a concept album.
Who would you say your biggest influences are musically?
Me personally? Radiohead, Opeth, Tool, Pink Floyd, Karnivool, Bon Iver and The Dear Hunter.
What were some of your most listened to albums while writing and recording the record?
For me, I was listening to a lot of post-rock and electronic music. I usually like to detach from listening to a lot of music while I’m writing, but I enjoyed a lot of Sigur Ros, plini, Bon Iver while I was writing Stray Fire.
Who did you work with as a producer? What kind of experience did you have with them?
We worked with old guitar buddy and good friend, Sam Vallen for mixing but the album was completely self-produced. I was basically the “executive producer” in a way, but Dale engineered the entire album and all of the band contributed in a way with the production of Stray Fire.
What’s it like to have to self promote the release/booking shows? It’s got to be difficult with you all having personal lives, jobs, and everything else life throws at you.
There’s pretty much no wait to endorse it! It’s difficult. We just recently signed a booking agreement with Wild Thing Presents, but managing the band and doing most things ourselves can be very stressful at times considering we all work full-time around it. But I feel like I couldn’t quit even if I tried, so I’ve got the love of music to drive me.
If you could tour with any 3 bands, past or present, who would you tour with?
I mean if we’re dreaming big, Metallica are my dream band to support. I’ve got a lot of childhood love for them! But touring with plini, The Dear Hunter or Karnivool would all be bucket-list bands for me.
Anything you’d like to tell your fans that are anxiously awaiting the release?
Be patient with it. It’s a slow-burner and something that is part of something bigger. If it seems short, don’t fear! We won’t take a long for the next one, I promise.