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Interview with Born of Osiris

Clawing their way up through the ranks of metal, Born of Osiris must have the power of the Egyptian god they claim as their father. Relentless touring across the U.S.A. has ensured that no person is left untouched by their crushing music. Born of Osiris's latest album "A Higher Place" has already proven it has the breeding necessary to make it to the top. I caught up with guitarist Lee McKinney and keyboardist/backup vocalist Joe Buras on their headlining tour where we discussed their rise to fame and future plans. A transcribed version of the interview follows.

Buick Mckane: Hi guys. Welcome to New Orleans. I know you’ve been here a couple of times before. How did you like it?

Lee McKinney: It’s good times. We got stuck here before for two days.

Buick: Your second studio album “A Higher Place” came out in July. How successful has it been so far?

Lee: It’s been good. The first week sold a lot. It was on the Billboard Top 100 for maybe two weeks.

Joe Buras: It made it to 73 in the first week.

Lee: That was the accomplishment of that. But it’s been selling good. Kids have reacted good to the songs.

Buick: How many songs do you play from that album during a regular show as opposed to your first album?

Joe: Before the cd came out, we only played a couple of songs [from “A Higher Place,”] but now that it’s been out a while, it’s pretty much half and half.

Buick: Have you noticed a growth in your fan base since its release?

Joe: I would say…I notice a growth in our fan base every tour. I mean we couldn’t keep touring on the same cd for this long; it would be ridiculous.

Lee: Before it came out, we were on a big tour anyway. Now we’re headlining a tour. It’s a different situation. All of these shows are bigger than any headlining tour we’ve done, so it’s definitely a huge success.

Buick: Do you know the band Nile? They use a lot of Egyptian mythology in their music. Your band name comes from something Egyptian. Do you use any mythology in your music?

Joe: No. None of the lyrics are about Egyptian mythology. We’re not huge into that; studying it or anything like that. It’s kind of just a name that was cool. We know who Osiris is, and it fits out band in a way, if you know the history of Osiris.

Buick: Tell me how it relates to your band.

Joe: He was the god of life, then he became the god of the underworld.

Lee: He was innovative. He was a leader. So as far as relating to our band, that’s the things we want to grow to be. It would be nice to get as good as possible.

Joe: I see it as the dark side and the light side. We’ve been touring with a lot of crazy, metal, evil bands. The other side of it is more melodic. Our lyrics are not about gory stuff, really. It’s more personal.

Lee: You can interpret it different ways.

Buick: You’ve been on some big tours this year. You’ve been on Summer Slaughter, then this tour [Night of the Living Shred] and after this tour, you’ll be on the Decimation of the Nation 2 Tour with Cannibal Corpse and Hatebreed. How did you find time to write the album with all of that touring going on?

Lee: It just happens constantly. I think we felt rushed on “The New Reign,” so after that, we made sure that when it came time to make a new album that we were completely ready. And even though we weren’t necessarily completely ready, we made good use of our time in the studio. But we’re just always writing music.

Joe: It’s not just something we need to do; it just comes out.

Buick: Do you write on the bus?

Lee: No, not on the bus. It’s too cramped. We never have our own bus. We split a bus. There’s not really room to bring in a guitar. We only have a half-back lounge on this bus. There’s not a lot of room on this one.

Joe: I wish this room was the jam room. I think Korn had that on Cribs or something.

Buick: Do you plan on touring Europe anytime soon.

Joe: Yeah, [maybe] in March.

Lee: We brought Caliban here on our headlining tour, and they’re from Germany. They’re going to take us over there. This is more our market, that’s more there market. So we’re going to swap. We’re going to get a good idea of what Germany is like.

Joe: They were huge in the U.S. a while ago. They’re coming back with a new album. They’re coming back to the U.S. again, and we’re going over there.

Buick: That’s awesome because I’ve read on one of your band pages that your fans in Europe would love to see you.

Lee: We’re definitely going to do that. We’re also going to do Australia and Japan. We’re going to start getting out of the U.S. because we’ve done the U.S. a lot.

Buick: So you’re going global next year? That’s still a lot of touring going on. You’re going to be tired after that.

Lee: It’s fun.

Buick: Well, you’ve played with so many different bands on the tours you’ve done, who’s your personal favorite?

Joe: We’ve toured with After the Burial a lot, who we’re currently sharing this bus with. They’re really good friends of ours. We have similar interests.

Lee: We’ve been friends a long time; even before we signed to Sumerian Records. We played shows with them. It’s cool to be on tour when we’re more established, and we can go out and do a successful tour together.

Buick: Who would you like to play with in the future?

Joe: Between the Buried and Me just put out some new stuff that we were listening to today. I always thought it’d be sick to go out with them at some point.

Lee: I wish we could go out with Scythe, but they’re not really a band anymore. As far as metal bands go, those are the ones.

Buick: Are there any non-metal bands you would tour with?

Lee: It’d be weird, but it would be kinda fun. Maybe I’d just go see those bands. We just watched the Jay-Z concert. That was pretty cool.

Buick: Tonight you’re playing a really small venue. Do you prefer playing large festivals or small venues?

Joe: As long as the crowd is diggin’ it, I’m not one way or the other. If you have a good crowd, that makes the difference.

Lee: You could have a crazy crowd in a small room, and there’s a lot of energy, but it’s a good time. In big rooms, it’s cool because you feel it more. There’s more room to move around. It just depends on the people and how much fun they want to have.

Buick: Is there anything else yall would like to talk about.

Lee: Check out “A Higher Place.”

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Emily is an avid supporter of the New Orleans scene, often filming shows and conducting interviews with local bands to help promote their music. She also runs her own site dedicated to the New Orleans scene, Crescent City Chaos.

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