Interview With Tony Bro of Orbynot
Rockin’ Interviews- How did you come to pick up the guitar?
Tony Bro- “I actually started back in 2002. I was trying to impress a girl that was also playing guitar so we have something in common. Then once that relationship and friendship went sour, the guitar was kinda just there. Then I ended up sticking with the guitar. I never really took it serious until I ran into the girls from Jaded, Hillary Blaze and Britt Lightning at a KISS Expo four years later. Then they inspired me to really take it seriously. At the same time they (Jaded) were on stage, Metal Mike (Chlasciak) from Halford was playing Youth Gone Wild on stage with them. I’m like, oh that’s really awesome, now I really wanna play. A year and a half later, Metal Mike actually became my guitar teacher. I’ve been his student every week ever since then, including tonight.”
R.I.- You mentioned all-female Boston-based metal band Jaded. What’s your favorite song of theirs?
T.B.- “This is funny because I’m very old school with them. I really like “Tragic” of their demo record. That was always good. I actually made a music video for them from the 2008 KISS Expo. I think it’s still on Facebook or Youtube or something. Off the last EP the released with Katy Reign, I would say “Higher” was pretty good, or “Tonight”. I still listen to that EP all of the time in my car. I have it on a thumbdrive and it comes right after my latest Orbynot recordings, so as soon as my last song is done playing, “Higher” comes on and I’m like, oh crap.”
R.I.- How did you form Orbynot and where did you get the name?
T.B.- “I used to play in my college cafeteria, my own little thing called The Tony Bro Experience, as silly as it sounds. I really wanted to play live at a bar because I saw all of these local bands playing there. I really wanted to do something myself and I started recording a song on an 8 track. I didn’t have a whole band so I wrote all the lyrics I could and recorded what I could. I had a friend sing for me at the time and after two or three shows, that went sour. I started recording with Metal Mike at the time. Then in 2012 I came out with my first album called “Try To Stop Me”. Then after that I had a new album released every three years, but the whole Orbynot name, actually if you read it backwards, it’s my nickname Tony Bro.”
R.I.- What do you find to be the hardest thing about marketing your band in the 21st century?
T.B.- “That’s such a big question because it’s so true. I literally spent money on Facebook advertising to get nothing out there. I’ve even spent a lot of money on outside promoters to advertise with honestly no return. No new Facebook likes or anything. Sometimes even have to do the girl-scout cookie technique and go up to individual people and say, Hi, do you like metal? Yeah. Do you wanna listen to my album? Okay. It’s literally a matter of putting yourself out there. Don’t stop emailing anyone. Even if you don’t get a response, email them again. Always do a follow up email. Communication is the hardest part. If you can’t establish communication than no one is gonna listen to you.”
R.I.- Who are some of the musical influences for Orbynot?
T.B.- “Seeing that my guitar teacher is the guitarist for Halford, obviously Judas Priest and Halford are huge influences, I always play what I love which is Megadeth, Metallica-style. Motley Crue, Iron Maiden, Doro, all the traditional metal bands. I like Ozzy, too. We even did a Black Sabbath cover, and a Judas Priest one on the last album. So that says something. Dio, Guns N’ Roses, Motorhead, Pantera, all these guys. I think it’s like a tossed salad of metal, that’s what Orbynot is.”
R.I.- What influenced the Orbynot logo?
T.B.- “I was bored at work one day a long, long time ago and my original Tony Bro logo, I drew a Phoenix because I always loved Phoenixes. I kinda wanted to incorporate the Phoenix vibe flying around. So I got the wings and the tail and kind of a face, so if you look at it, a Phoenix is flying down. So I got that kinda vibe for it.”
R.I.- You’re latest record Metal-Morph-Us came out recently. What is your favorite track off that?
T.B.- “They’re all great, which is a good problem to have. I absolutely love the intro track “Rusted Chains” because it’s so killer. That was actually the last track we put on the album. There are a couple guests on that song alone. I always love “Shadow Walker” because I wrote all the lyrics and riffs myself which also had a close meaning. So those would have to be my favorite two songs.”
R.I.- What do you look at to determine the order of tracks on a record?
T.B.- “You have to all the tracks and try to get a flow of the attitude. You have to listen and think, this would sound good in the setlist if it was like this. But when your in your car or at home you have to think what songs segway into one another. It’s really a lot of experimenting to see what flows best. We actually have three different types of setlists for the album, but we ended up choosing what we all agreed on, and we went with that.”
R.I.- What do you use as inspiration when writing songs?
T.B.- “I take one of my favorite songs, or whatever I’m listening to at that time and try to play riffs of the song, but since I don’t know how to play that song, I’m making it my own and then it kinda manifests into its own style and it’s own riffs and its own song. I’ll listen to it once and then stay away from it for an hour and try to play what’s in my head of what I remember. Obviously, I don’t know how to play the song, so that one riff I remembered from the song turns into its own thing. Then I’ll say ok, where do my hands naturally want to go from here. I do the next segment and the next segment and once the skeleton is done, then I go back and try to improve what I had. A song usualll takes about 10 hours of recording time, but it’s usually about 4 weeks per song.”
R.I.- What do you think separates Orbynot’s sound from other bands?
T.B.- “A lot of the bands nowadays, if you listen to one part of a song, you’ve listened to the whole thing. A lot of people like to do a carbon copy of each other. We try our best to stick out. We play what we like but we try to improve ourselves. A lot of times people are more worried about technique and playing clean and perfect to where it almost sounds robotic, but we just try to feel and put emotion in our playing. My goal is if I give myself an eargasm than I’m doing something right.”
R.I.- What do you think the music industry needs to improve on?
T.B.- “Letting metal come into the spotlight. The music industry nowadays is too predetermined and too much like, you’re only allowed to listen to this. Metal and hard rock get shunned, The Grammy’s is a perfect example. We are known as the stepchild that never gets the light of day. We don’t even get a proper award ceremony, a proper award show and it’s very disheartening. We don’t get the fair chance for people to listen to us and see if they like that kind of music. We get judged before we even get an opportunity to get listened to. That’s what they need to do, accept us into mainstream to be played. A lot of times, if you’re an unsigned band, just because you’re not on a label doesn’t mean your product isn’t good. A lot of times radio wont play you unless you’re on a label. It’s not easy to get on a label either because they judge you first based on how you look or what your album cover looks like. It’s even very difficult to have someone reply back to an email. That’s what needs to happen, allow opportunity to listen.”
R.I.- Do you think rock and metal will go mainstream again?
T.B.- “I hope so. I know Ghost has been getting popular recently with tours. Iron Maiden, Metallica, and Megadeth. A big one is Judas Priest and Def Leppard touring together. If you think about it, metal has always been put in car commercials, movie trailers, and any form of advertisement. But they never put us in the light of performances at big award shows. It’s there, it’s just hidden. If they gave us the chance, I can see metal coming back stronger than it’s been before.”
R.I.- Outside of metal, what other genres do you listen to?
T.B.- “I kinda listen to everything. I respect all forms of music. If it’s done well and it’s talented will actually respect it a lot. If it’s popular but I feel like it took 17 writers to write like 3 words, then I wont enjoy it very much. There are people who write almost all the lyrics on their albums. It only really takes one person to write a really great song. You don’t wanna have too many chefs in the kitchen. Classic Rock, Hard rock, when I drive around I let the other people pick the music, I’ll listen to whatever.”
R.I.- What’s your favorite horror movie?
T.B.- “I’m a big fan of Friday the 13th. I’m a big fan of Saw. You can’t mess up with the classics.”
R.I.- What are your goals in the music industry for the next 5 years?
T.B.- “I’m looking to release album number 4 in the next two. I want us to get acknowledged, we’re here with very good music that you haven’t heard yet. I want people to discover us and share it with their friends. I would like to tour the U.S. and Europe, that’s a huge goal for the next 5 years. Will we reach it? Well it’s a goal so we have to try to make it happen.”
R.I.- Any last words?
T.B.- “Yeah. Just because you don’t know us doesn’t mean you’re not gonna like us. So give us a chance and check out the music and let us know what you think because we don’t bite.”