Blazing a trail and crossing a line within their artistry that is daunting to cross, Sumerian Records latest prodigies, Bad Omens, are leaving their mark in the world of metal by shedding light on the dark and consistently delivering high energy shows that are drawing in a frenzy of fans around the globe. Currently embarking on the ‘10 Years In The Black Tour’ with fellow Sumerian Records Kings, I caught up with lead singer, Noah Sebastian, to discuss how his roots influenced him as a musician, tattoos, tour and more.
You guys kicked off your career with a bang throughout your self-titled debut album that was released earlier this year. Tell us about the creative and recording process behind this album.
Well, it was a very long process as a lot of the songs I’d written or started writing way before we came together to actually record it at the studio that the final recording/mixing process was done at. Basically, though we locked ourselves in our drummer’s basement for a month straight writing new songs, recording, and reworking old songs. We’d work for about 10 hours a day just trying various ideas and recording things. Needless to say, there were a lot of songs we made/started that month that didn’t make the cut of the album.
You are currently on tour with quite the lineup up of fellow Sumerian Records musicians. Tell us about your most standout experience so far.
Well, I’ve been doing a guest vocal spot with After The Burial during their song “Collapse” every night of the tour and that has been so cool to have the chance to do considering what a legendary band they are and how much of a fan I am of those dudes. Outside of that, the whole tour package is very friendly and it’s been quite an enjoyable ride with no weird vibes or bad experiences.
Let’s talk tattoos. Tell us about some of your favorite pieces and the artists that brought them to life.
Well, my right arm/hand is definitely one of my favorites and was done by Mike Moses, who owns Spiritus Tattoo in Columbus, Ohio. It’s basically this half-witch, half-crow-woman as well as a really rad goat on my hand. Mike’s quite an amazing tattooer, from Richmond Virginia actually —our hometown. Nick and I both have driven 7 hours several times from Virginia to get work done from him. IG: @thedrowntown
My throat is also one of my favorites and was done by Dusty Neal at Black Anvil Tattoo in Fort Wayne, Indiana. It’s basically a scene from the story in the Bible with Adam and Eve and the serpent in the garden of Eden. The tattoo is of the serpent gripping an apple and a hand reaching for it. IG: @dustyneal
My knuckles are one of my latest tattoos and definitely some of my favorites. They say “Bad Omens” in a real tough, West Coast script style of writing with a cryptic spooky twist to it.
I’d been following the artist for years online and always thought he did the most unique lettering and I told myself he’d do my knuckles someday. When I moved to California, I realized I could finally get tattooed by him and I contacted him and made it happen. You can find him/contact on IG by the name @oilbvrner as he works at several different places.
Noah, you candidly share your personal thoughts and feelings on Twitter. I perceive this as commendable, as your fans can draw inspiration from your vulnerability. What life experiences have led you to this state of vulnerability?
I just like to keep it real and open online when it comes to my personality. I’ve always enjoyed following other artists I admire or respect that tweet their thoughts, ideas, or opinions online and broadcast their personalities instead of strictly treating their social media pages like an advertisement or tool for marketing. Obviously, as an artist, I use mine for that too but I wouldn’t want to limit it to just that. If all I tweeted about was the band, people could just only follow the band’s social pages to get the information they wanted to receive regarding the band. I like to show people that I’m just a regular dude with frustrations, funny thoughts, and interests that I like to share/discuss with others, just like them.
What are you guys jamming out to on the road while you’re on tour?
Well when I drive it’s usually artists like The Weeknd, Justin Bieber, J Cole, Vince Staples, etc., the list goes on. Honestly, though, it’s whatever we’re in the mood for that day. Everyone in the band has stuff they like to jam with headphones in too when they’re sick of hearing the same two new Weeknd songs over and over again!
How do you perceive growing up in Virginia influenced your artistry as a musician?
I definitely learned a lot from the people around me, as I was always somehow involved in the music scene there. Whether I was in a band, writing music with others, or working at a local venue, I liked to be around other productive people that shared the same goals as me so I could learn from their successes as well as their mistakes and apply it to my judgment/knowledge used for my own band.
Bad Omens music has a rambunctious energy showcasing the raw passion that I perceive stems from your inner being. What made you all gravitate toward that sound and delivery?
While that sound is heavily present on the album, we also have some very ambient laid-back tracks as well and honestly, I gravitate towards those more frequently these days.
As far as the more raw and energetic songs, most of those are about overcoming an adversity or proving someone wrong. With that being said we all know those experiences can be long and tiresome and more often than not feel like an uphill battle. So the vibe and sound had to be synonymous with those feeling. It comes from a place of strength but it’s still a struggle and that’s a big part of living.
Do you perceive being on stage as therapeutic? If so, how so?
It doesn’t feel that way until we actually begin playing. The whole day is busy and hectic when you’re on tour. You’ve got a ton of things to do and a schedule to do them all based on. But once I finally get to walk out as the first song starts and I realize I have nothing else to worry about for the next 25 minutes, it’s very nice to be able to give all of myself to that one part of my day. The one part of the day that all of the work and bullshit that comes with being on tour is all for.
What do fans of Bad Omens have to look forward to over the next six months?
We like to surprise our fans and never give too much away at the right time. I’d like to mention though that we always have something big up our sleeve we’re working very hard on behind the scenes. With that being said, there’s a lot of cool things and news in the works that will be known within the next six months, so stay in the loop!
Last but certainly not least, any closing messages for your fans?
I’d like to close with a quote I’ve been repeating lately that’s made keeping my head up when times get hard on this tour much easier. One that can be applied to so many different instances but really needs to be understood before you can use it:” Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”