From Las Cruces, New Mexico all the way to Denver, Colorado, drummer Abbey Apple and guitarist/vocalist Tommy Davis continue to tear up the blackened stoner sludge genre. The duo known as ORYX shared with us their upbringings and influences, first few shows and concerts, plus their album Widowmaker and newest release, Stolen Absolution. Be sure to pre-order the CD via Midnite Collective and/or Cassette via Graven Earth Records.
Normally what I do for the first question is an introduction. So, you are originally from the Barren Desert in New Mexico, can you tell us, where you met specifically, how you learned to play each of your respective instruments, where the name came from, and who were your biggest musical influences? Tommy Davis: We are originally from Las Cruces, NM and relocated to Denver, CO 3 years ago. Abbey and I met in a dive bar many years ago and have been together since. She and I had played in bands before ORYX and were both originally self-taught. We both started going to punk and metal shows when we were about 14 and developed a love for heavy music via bands like Corrupted, Black Sabbath, Grief, Carcass, Motörhead, and Earth.
On Facebook, one of your outside influences is the book of the dead, what makes this so special? Davis: I grew up having Christianity shoved down my throat most of my upbringing and declared myself agnostic at a very young. Of all of the reading I did during this time, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying spoke to me quite loudly. That had a lot of direct influence on our first album Widowmaker.
Where was your first-ever gig, and what reception did you receive? Davis: Our first show was at The Trainyard in Las Cruces. This was a DIY show space that we helped run at that time, and we opened for Same-Sex Dictator from Seattle. People were polite about our set... lol.
When you released your first album, Widowmaker, what made you both the most proud? What was the album about? Davis: We put a lot of ourselves into Widowmaker and are still really proud of it. See question 2.
How fast did the records come calling and when did you first sign with Battleground Records and What’s Left Records? Davis: We never signed with either label. Both labels are run by friends that helped us put out our last two albums.
Get your fix of the new music by streaming the entire Stolen Absolution album here.
In 2016, you both embarked on a full U.S. tour, and gained more recognition as you went along. What did that tour mean for you guys? Davis: The 2016 tour was huge for us. We covered the whole country as well as Tijuana, MX over the span of 2 months. To date, was one of the best times we’ve had as a band.
You have been performing and touring alongside regional bands such as Inter Arma, Yautja, Catheter, -16-, Mantar, Sea Of Bones, Mutilation Rites, Godhunter, Mothership, North, and performed at Southwest Terror Fest and Seven One Grind. How has that affected the way you both create music now looking back on it? Davis: Playing with amazing bands like those pushes us to be better musicians and stay motivated to keep at it.
You have been working on an upcoming album for two years. It was recorded by Dave Otero of Flatline Audio. How has Dave helped you both on this? Can you tell us the name of the upcoming album? Davis: We recorded our upcoming album Stolen Absolution with Dave and could not be happier with how it turned out. Dave did a killer job and really helped us articulate our live sound through the album. He has a great ear and was a pleasure to work with. The album will be touching on human contradictions and dichotomies. It’s focusing in on human greed.