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Om
Om
Background information
Origin San Francisco, California, USA
Genres Stoner Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Doom, Ambient, Dub, Middle Eastern Folk, Post-Metal, Avant-Garde Metal
Years active 2003 - present
Labels Drag City, Southern Lord Records, Neurot, Holy Mountain Records, Sub Pop
Associated acts Sleep, Grails, Shrinebuilder, The Sabians, Holy Sons, Lilacs & Champagne, Lichens, 90 Day Men
Website Official Website
Current members Al Cisneros
Emil Amos
Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe
Past members Chris Hakius
Band Logo
Om Logo

Om (sometimes formatted as OM) are a three piece Stoner Metal, Doom and Drone band from San Francisco, California, USA. Formed in 2003, they were initially known for being the first project involving Al Cisneros and Chris Hakius since Sleep's dissolution in 1997 though has since become a trio with Cisneros, Emil Amos (Holy Sons, Grails) and Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe (Lichens).

While the nucleus of Om's sound is based in stoner metal (With the band's MySpace referring to their sound as simply "(((VIBRATIONS)))" the band draws from a host of influences such as psychedelic rock, Middle Eastern Folk, Dub, Reggae and post-metal among other sounds. The band's lyrics are heavily inspired by spirituality and various forms of religion, namely Eastern Orthodox and Middle Eastern variations.

Since their inception the band has released five studio albums, three live albums and has toured all over the world making appearances at a host of different festivals over the years.

HistoryEdit

Om 2

Om originate from San Francisco, California.[1] Their sound could be categorized as traditional stoner metal, but also has influences in doom and psychedelic rock, as well as Middle Eastern sounds in their recent years. They were formed in 2003[1] by original Sleep bassist and drummer, Al Cisneros and Chris Hakius, respectively. Currently, the band functions as a three-piece with Cisneros, Emil Amos (Grails, Holy Sons) and Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe[1]. In a departure from Sleep's stylistic influences of Black Sabbath and marijuana, Om's influences are driven from spirituality and the concept of freedom. The name of the band itself is derived from Hindu culture, where the sound 'om' represents the natural vibration of the universe.[2] All of the bands studio albums from Pilgrimage onward, feature Eastern Orthodox iconography.

Original lineup (2003-2008)Edit

After Sleep had officially disbanded in 1997, Chris Hakius joined former Sleep guitarist Justin Marler to form The Sabians, who lasted from 1997 to roughly 2004. Al Cisneros on the other hand stopped playing music entirely, at one point becoming a chess teacher[3]. At some point in 2003, Cisneros met up with Hakius about possibly forming a new band, opting to not have a guitarist due to the intrigue of exploring music as a duo.[4] Om officially formed in 2003 with their first official live performance was on Sunday, August 14, 2004.[5] On February 14 of 2005 their début album Variations on a Theme was released via Holy Mountain Records[6] billed as the triumphant return of Cisneros and Hakius. The band sporadically played shows around the San Francisco area in 2005, notably the ArthurBall[7] in 2005.

Conference of the Birds followed on April 17, 2006[8] Two split releases, recorded during the Conference of the Birds sessions, followed that year; the first was a split with Current 93 titled Inerrant Rays Of Infallible Sun (Blackship Shrinebuilder) released in June[9], with the second, a split with Six Organs Of Admittance, dropping in July[10]. Sporadic appearances in New York and a mini-tour followed in support of the album (But no information on a full 2006 tour has been found.). A live recording of "To The Shrinebuilder" culled from a show in Toronto became available for free on the Om Vibratory webpage (and later, the japanese version of Pilgrimage.).[11]

At some point after the release of their second album, Om toured with Grails, where Cisneros would meet and befriend future drummer Emil Amos. After this tour was the band's first full tour of Europe, including a date at the Roadburn Festival. On September 13, 2007 another album would follow in the form of Pilgrimage, their only studio release on the Southern Lord label.[12] Two North American tours, the Pilgrimage Tour, would happen in support of the album. Shortly after, the band performed two nights in what was the Israel Pilgrimage. Their December 5, 2007 show in Jerusalem has become and infamous performance that spanned five hours[13], a portion of which saw a physical release on the Southern Lord LP Live at Jerusalem in 2008.[14]

In 2008 the band performed a short tour of the west coast of USA, with a short east coast tour in the works. On January 20, Om performed at the Echoplex in what would be Chris Hakius' final performance with the band, with a jam including sections from future songs "Thebes" and "Gebel Barkal" being the last song played.[15]. Chris Hakius would retire from music after this show, barring a brief return at the beginning of the Sleep reunion in 2009. In an interview with AVClub Al spoke of Chris' depature.

OM @ Echoplex - Gebel Barkal (last song Chris Hakius played w OM)-006:39

OM @ Echoplex - Gebel Barkal (last song Chris Hakius played w OM)-0

"He mentioned that his heart wasn’t in it any longer and out of respect for the music he wanted to step down and I respect that. We still talk and are still friends. He’s since basically retired from playing—he’s onto a different phase. For me there is no end to the song. No option.”
 
— Al Cisneros, Av Club [16]

Current lineup (2008-present)Edit

Shortly after Hakius' departure, Cisneros reconnected with Emil Amos, which ultimately led to Amos becoming the new drummer for the band.[17] Notably the band's sound shifted with Amos' style being more based in complexity and fills as compared to Hakius' straightforward style. The first recording with Amos as drummer was the single, Gebel Barkal which was recorded on March 8, 2008 and released on the Sub Pop label on August 15, 2008.[18] The first known performance of this lineup is May 17 2008 at the Victoriaville Festival in Quebec. Tours of Europe, Japan and the United States would follow. Notably, one of these performances on September 20 in Monticello, NY was at the All Tomorrow's Parties festival. This set would end up being released as Live Conference (sometimes titled "Conference Live") on Important Records a year later.[19]

Al Cisneros would speak fondly of Emil joining the band in an interview with The Quietus:

“I think if you had tried to do it, just on your own, it would have been impossible to find someone that’s that perfect as a rhythm section partner. I feel, and have always thanked the universe, or something higher, for having been on a tour once where OM and Grails [Amos’ other band] were playing and just having the chance to become friends and Emil wanting to try it, once I gave him a call. Having seen him play drums I knew once we’d had some time playing together it would just start to blossom; I couldn’t be happier, it’s so fun to play music with Emil.

The drums and the bass, in music, to me they have to have a conversation – the drums being the ground – but there has to be a dialogue between the lyrics of the beats and the melodies and rhythms of the bass – all of those things have to go back and forth so, yeah, I couldn’t be happier.”

 
— Al Cisneros, The Quietus [20]

God Is Good was recorded in March 2009. This was around the same time Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe would join the band's live lineup, expanding it to a three-piece. Eventually, God Is Good was released on September 29, 2009 via Drag City.[21] Various tours and festival appearances would follow before the following album, 'Advaitic Songs, was released on July 24, 2012.[22] This album explored Middle Eastern and experimental influences more heavily, a drastic shift from their prior sound.

Om - At Giza live at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC, 07-19-1322:11

Om - At Giza live at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC, 07-19-13

In 2013, the band performed at the Temple of Dendur, located in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York , performing a special, site-specific version of "At Giza". Temple of Dendur: Metropolitan Museum of Art 2013 was the billed name for the show. [23] In November 2013, the band played the final holiday camp edition of the world famous All Tomorrow's Parties festival in Camber Sands, England.[24]

The band did two tours of the United States in 2014 with the band Watter. In December 2014, they released a third live album, titled merely Live[25]

Om continue to play sporadic live dates and played another All Tomorrows Parties event at the Electric Ballroom, London, England in November of 2015 along with a full European tour that year.[26]

Om have a follow-up to Advaitic Songs in the works, with initial recording done at Empty House Studio in Albuquerque, New Mexico.[27] The band embarked on a short West Coast tour in 2016, their only dates throughout the entirety of that year. Om's first announced appearance of 2017 will be in late October at Days of Darkness, a spin-off festival from the same people who conceived Maryland Deathfest (Also at the same location). Om were announced as one of the headliners alongside Neurosis.

DiscographyEdit

Studio AlbumsEdit

SplitsEdit

Live AlbumsEdit

SinglesEdit

MembersEdit

Current MembersEdit

Former MembersEdit

ToursEdit

  • Om's 2004 Performances (2004)
  • Om's 2005 Performances (2005)
  • Conference of the Birds Tour (2006)
  • 2007 Winter US Tour (2007)
  • 2007 European Tour (2007)
  • Pilgrimage Tour (2007) (With Daniel Higgs, Grails on select dates)
  • Israel Pilgrimage (2007)
  • Pilgrimage 2008 (2008)
  • 2008 Japan Tour (2008)
  • 2008 US Tour (2008)
  • 2008 European Tour (2008)
  • 2009 US Tour (2009)
  • 2009 UK Tour (2009)
  • 2010 European Tour (2010)
  • 2010 Australian Tour (2010)
  • 2011 European Tour (2011)
  • 2012 Spring European Tour (2012)
  • 2012 Fall European Tour (2012)
  • 2012 East Coast USA Tour (2012) (Rescheduled; With Daniel Higgs)
  • 2013 West Coast USA Tour (2013)
  • 2013 Australian Tour (2013)
  • 2013 May/June European Tour (2013)
  • Temple of Dendur: Metropolitan Museum of Art 2013 (2013)
  • 2013 European Tour (2013)
  • 2014 West Coast USA Tour (2014) (With Watter)
  • 2014 East Coast USA Tour (2014) (With Watter)
  • 2015 East Coast USA Tour (2015)
  • 2015 European Tour (2015)
  • 2016 November West Coast USA Tour (2016) (With M. Geddes Gengras; Daniel Higgs)

External LinksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Om Facebook Info, first accessed 3rd August 2015
  2. Huffington Post The Meaning of Om, first accessed 6th August 2015
  3. L.A. Record Om@ The Current is Beyond, first accessed 3rd August 2015
  4. Arthur Mag Interview with OM from the pages of ARTHUR MAGAZINE, first accessed 3rd August 2015
  5. Holy Mountain via Wayback MachineHoly Mountain Tours Page, accessed February 2, 2016.
  6. Discogs Variations on a Theme, first accessed 6th August 2015
  7. Setlist.fm Om Setlist at ArthurBall 2005, first accessed 3rd August 2015
  8. Discogs Conference of the Birds, first accessed 6th August 2015
  9. Discogs Inerrant Rays Of Infallible Sun (Blackship Shrinebuilder), first accessed 6th August 2015
  10. Discogs Om / Six Organs of Admittance, first accessed 6th August 2015
  11. Om VibratoryAccessed May 22, 2016
  12. Discogs Pilgrimage, first accessed 6th August 2015
  13. SF Gate Om: Sleep bandmates Cisneros, Hakius reunite in new duo, first accessed 6th August 2015
  14. Discogs Live at Jerusalem, first accessed 6th August 2015
  15. Youtube OM @ Echoplex - Gebel Barkal (last song Chris Hakius played w/ OM), first accessed 3rd August 2015
  16. Av Club Om's Al Cisneros blazes his way through sonic archaeology, accessed 6th April 2016
  17. A.V. Club Om's Al Cisneros blazes his way through sonic archaeology, first accessed 3rd August 2015
  18. Discogs Gebel Barkal, first accessed 6th August 2015
  19. Discogs Conference Live, first accessed 6th August 2015
  20. The Quietus The Gospel According To Luke: Al Cisneros Of Om Interviewed, accessed 6th April 2016
  21. Discogs God Is Good, first accessed 6th August 2015
  22. Discogs Adviatic Songs, first accessed 6th August 2015
  23. Youtube Om - At Giza live at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC, 07-19-13, first accessed 3rd August 2015
  24. ATP Festival THE END OF AN ERA PART 2: CURATED BY ATP & LOOP, first accessed 3rd August 2015
  25. Discogs Live, first accessed 6th August 2015
  26. ATP Festival OM & LIGHTNING BOLT + SUPPORT TBC, First accessed 6th August 2015
  27. Empty House Studio FacebookFacebook Post January 29, 2014, accessed March 22, 2016.
V·T·E Om
Current Members Al CisnerosEmil AmosRobert Aiki Aubrey Lowe
Past Members Chris Hakius
Studio Albums Variations on a ThemeConference of the BirdsPilgrimageGod Is GoodAdvaitic Songs
Splits Inerrant Rays of Infallible Sun (Blackship Shrinebuilder)Om / Six Organs of Admittance
Singles Gebel BarkalAddis DubplateGethsemane Dubplate
Live Albums Live at JerusalemLive ConferenceLive
Associated Bands and Artists SleepThe SabiansShrinebuilderGrailsHoly Mountain RecordsBilly AndersonDavid V. D'andrea

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