While I was made aware of Ashe O’Hara through his tenure with TesseracT (Altered State is amazing, fight me) I was stoked to discover Voices from the Fuselage through this intersection. In many ways, their brighter and more atmospheric sound utilizes his ethereal timbre better, setting off other and pleasing areas of his range. It also helps that the band themselves are extremely talented musicians, skilled in creating the type of progressive/alternative vibe to their rock that keeps me coming back again and again. While there are plenty bands that operate within this genre today (although it’s “Golden Age” perhaps ended a couple of years ago, there are still many, many bands left over from that time), none quite have the unique mixture of execution, composition, and larger than life production that Voices from the Fuselage have displayed again and again.
Their upcoming album, Odyssey: The Founder of Dreams (releasing tomorrow on White Star Records), is no different. It sees Voices dig deep into what makes them tick as a band and bring forth another evocative and emotional release that’s sure to get your heart pumping. As part of the lead up to the release, we’ve gotten the amazing opportunity to run The Anatomy Of Voices From the Fuselage! I was especially happy for the chance since I expected diverse and unexpected influences from musicians so obviously involved in their craft and I was not disappointed. From O’Hara’s opening choice (which, I think, is not as surprising in retrospect) through the excellent This Will Destroy You and all the way to the more expected Karnivool (containing the correct opinion that all Karnivool albums are great), the list below is made up of unique and interesting choices.
Scroll down below to dig in for yourself and don’t forget to pre-order the album right here.
Ashe O’Hara (Vocals) // Alanis Morissette – Flavors of Entanglement (2008)
It’s a bit far afield than I imagine most would expect an influence from which, to stem, but I have to hold my hand up as a self-proclaimed Alanis “Stan”. Ever since I was 5, I have been amazed by her way with words, her use of misplaced emphasis to ensure a specific turn of phrase would fit and gel, inspired me from an early age. Thematically, Flavors of Entanglement bore the exact amount of relationship turmoil and macroscopic existential questioning I needed at 18. I have hailed Alanis as the biggest inspiration on my writing my whole life, purely for the way she writes. Her use of language and storytelling elements are what kept me hooked, and with every song came a slice of her psyche.
Tracks like “Citizen of the Planet”, “Versions of Violence”, “Torch”, “Underneath”, “Tapes”, and “Limbo No More” from the bonus edition, are standouts for me. Some of the subjects she touches upon resonate with me on another level and I always learn something from her upon every listen. I try to channel that energy when I write and I always think about what message I am conveying with the lyrics. A personal favourite track would have to be “Citizen of the Planet”, which takes you on this colourfully told journey of self-discovery, all the way from childhood home to world travels. The eloquence in her words is unmatched in this day and age, and I’ve never heard a song so beautifully told. The instrumentation is also incredible, with a full rock band/orchestral combo making maximum impact to match the gravity of her words.
Mitch Ramsay (Guitar) // This Will Destroy You – Young Mountain (2006)
At the beginning of this decade, shortly before Voices From The Fuselage started creating music together, I was introduced to This Will Destroy You and specifically Young Mountain by a friend from college. I hadn’t heard anything like it before, most of my music taste up until that point revolved around more popular rock bands such as Muse, Incubus and Stone Sour, so this was something of an awakening to what has become a large influence in my writing.
The emotion and atmosphere they can create by building layers upon layers and shrouding them in effects, to create what many describe as a wall of sound, is incredible and it’s the kind of emotion I want to be able to provide for others in our music. My favourite track probably has to be “I Believe In Your Victory”, it starts off as a lone but beautiful melody that quickly grows into what I would describe as the musical definition of inspiration. I would also have to give honourable mentions to “Quiet and There Are Some Remedies Worse Than The Disease”.
Josh Galloway (Guitars) // Karnivool – Sound Awake (2009)
It won’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows Voices From The Fuselage to learn that Karnivool is a huge inspiration to us as a band. Our musical tastes vary greatly but Karnivool is one band we would agree upon unanimously. The first few months of our existence were even spent performing Karnivool covers as a college band! I, personally, think that every Karnivool album is fantastic, but many fans would consider Sound Awake their pièce de résistance. It’s got a pretty hefty run time of 72:10, but it certainly doesn’t feel that long. The band’s incredible use of melody and dynamics keeps you entertained for the whole duration and prevents you from ever tiring of the music, like you might experience from music that’s on ‘one level’, like a lot of metal, for example.
“Simple Boy” is a stonker of an album opener. The dirty bass tone and groovy drums really kick the album off with a bang and entice you to listen to the other 10 tracks. Jon Stockman and Steve Judd are, hands down, the tightest rhythm section I have seen live to date. It’s almost like they have some sort of telepathic connection. Whereas Ashe has a penchant for lyrical content and vocal melodies, I’m always drawn in by a solid groove, good riffs and tasty guitar tones. Which Sound Awake has an abundance of, by the way. You can tell that Drew and Mark really spent a vast amount of time in the studio tweaking and perfecting their tones. They always seem to have the perfect sound required for the part, which is aided by the near-perfect production of Forrester Savell.
It’s difficult for me to settle on a favourite track from Sound Awake, as I’m constantly changing my mind, but “Change” is always up there. “Change” is a 13 minute (including Part 1 from Themata) long epic album closer. There’s everything you would expect from a Karnivool song in there; fuzzy guitars, groovy bass and drums, an abundance of reverb and delay, and a superb use of dynamics and melody from all five members. The song twists and turns until it culminates at around 8 minutes in with a section that gets you right in the feels. The recurring themes and melodies used here from throughout the song are one of things that I love about Karnivool. It is something which we try to recreate when writing our own music.
Mitch Ramsay (Guitar) // Hans Zimmer – Inception (2010)
Around the time that writing for Odyssey: The Founder of Dreams started to pick up some momentum, Scott and I went to see Hans and his orchestra perform some of his most famous pieces from throughout his entire career, I don’t think I had ever truly appreciated what it takes to make an amazing film soundtrack until I’d seen all the small intricacies that Hans uses happening right in front of me.
We had toyed with orchestral elements in our music before but seeing Hans Zimmer live was something that definitely made us want to bring new instruments, from many different cultures, into our sound. This influence shines through in tracks on our upcoming album such as “The Monolith”, “Life on Titan” and “Machina”. So my all-time favourite of Han Zimmer’s soundtracks is probably his work for Inception with the main song, “Time”, being my favourite. In a sense, it’s similar to my other pick as it has the slow build up to a great emotional ending but the instruments and effects used to create that feeling is where my choices differ most.