About Me

Interview with On Thorns I Lay

We had the pleasure of interviewing the Greeks On Thorns I Lay who shared with us thoughts about the new album, the new lineup, the new label and much more.  Let’s appreciate it to the fullest.

M.I. - Thanks for taking some time to answer some of our questions and hope you’re great. You started in 1992 in Athens, Greece, under the name of Paralysis. Later, changed to Phlebotomy and, finally, to On thorns I Lay. It’s a reference to Shakespeare. Why is that?

Back in 1993 we changed our name to OTIL as we felt that we wanted something to fit more to our music. Efthimis from Greek death metal band Nightfall gave us the name which we really love.

M.I. - In your first album "Sounds of Beautiful Experience", the sound was close to the death/doom style and, throughout the years, it evolved to gothic metal. What can you tell us about that? Why the change?

Yes, in our first album we followed our musical evolution, which started with our demo in 1992, by adding some new more aggressive elements. In the albums that followed we were inspired by the way that our musical genre was evolving, we explored more gothic paths. 

M.I. - Between “Egocentric” and “Eternal Silence”, there was a hiatus of twelve years. Why? What happened?

In fact, “Eternal Silence” was recorded after the “Egocentric” album but then we just stopped playing. We felt that we lost our musical identity. In 2015, when we decided to play again, we did the mix and mastering one more time and we released it. At the same time, we were working on the “Aegean Sorrow” tracks, our come back release.

M.I. - The band has a new drummer and a new bass player. Whenever you need new members, how do you find them? How is the selection done?  What is the criteria?  Do they usually adapt well to the band?

It’s very hard to find people that shares the same dreams and goals. We currently have a stable lineup and we are happy with it. 

M.I. - Last year, you signed a record deal with German label Lifeforce Records. Why have you opted to sign with them? How’s everything working so far? 

When we recorded “Threnos”, we were looking for a bigger label. Lifeforce showed us how much they wanted to have this release. It is very important for us that the label believes in our art. We have signed with them for 2 plus one album.

M.I. - You worked once again with Dan Swanö, who is responsible for mixing and mastering the new album “Threnos”. How was the experience of working with him again? Did he bring anything new into On Thorns I Lay’s concept? What tools did Dan use to make this album sound so amazing?

We are fans of his work from his start back in the early 90’s with Edge of Sanity and etc.  Dan gave us a great sound in “Aegean Sorrow” and in “Threnos” and in the next one we will work together again for sure. 

M.I. - Was this album difficult to produce? How did you come up with the ideas for it?

I started composing the “Threnos” tracks after the recordings of the “Aegean Sorrow” album. It took me one year to set everything up and we entered the studio in March 2019. I was mostly inspired by some difficult situations I went through in this specific period and I am very emotional to anything related with every moment of the album.

M.I. - Who came up with the idea for the album cover and the name for it? Do you think that Greek mythology influenced the writing and sound of the band? 

I came up with the whole idea. Greek mythology is something we grew up with and we are proud of. I really like that we mixed elements from there and we all love how the result came up.

M.I. - Each OTIL album has its own character, more Gothic atmosphere in “Orama”, less melancholic in “Angeldust”. Why is that? Why not continue the story of the first one? Which were your influences for this album?

Yes, that is true. But just think that when we started the band, we were 15 years old and our first album came out at the age of 16. It’s very normal now, after all those years, to finally have our personal, more mature sound.

M.I. - “Threnos” is above anything the band has done before. Can we say that it is a masterpiece on its genre?

Thank you for your kind words. Of course, we cannot say such a thing. It is though, true that we are very proud of it and we know that we need to put more effort to do the next one.

M.I. - What surprises can fans expect?

We did 2 video clips for the album. “The Song of Sirens” and “Threnos”. We just played one show here in Athens with Katatonia and we are planning our live shows for the next autumn, winter 2020, winter 2021. 

M.I. - “The Song Of The Sirens” is the new single for the album. Tell us the story for it, please.

Lyrically Stefanos would be the appropriate person to answer. Musically speaking, I really enjoy listening to this track. It combines different elements like the opening riff melodies, some need more aggressive parts as the 2nd and the 3rd riffs and, of course, the closing melody, in the veins of our personal uniqueness which I’m very proud of.

M.I. - Will you be touring this year, to introduce this album? Will Portugal be included?

We would really want to. Of course, it’s up to the local promoters...

M.I. - All the best for you. Any final thoughts you would like to share with us?

Thank you so much for the interview and for your kind words. Hoping to see you in one of our concerts.

For Portuguese version, click here

Interview by Raquel Miranda