Dripping in a mix of dirty blues goodness, Melbourne’s Razors of Ockham are a feast for the senses. Stemming from their industrial/metal band Voltera, Michael and Jess embarked on creating something that was different, deconstructed, but on the whole, reflective of their personal style and sound. Meghan Player chatted to vocalist Jess Koch about influences, Voltera and developing a new sound.
How did Razors of Ockham get started? Where did the blues sound come from?
Michael and I had always wanted to indulge in a side project. We listen to a huge amount of different music, with blues and blues influenced music making up a major part of that. It’s only natural to be inspired and want to act upon that. In addition, we work really well together, which usually makes the difference in seeing something through.
Which came first – Voltera or Razors…?
Voltera. We have been tinkering around with the Razors of Ockham stuff since late 2009.
Both bands experiment in different sounds and styles – is it hard to be in two minds with these bands? [eg. is it hard to focus on the industrial/metal style of Voltera, and then still be able to write/perform at Razors..?]
No, it’s not difficult in the sense that we have to switch mentally. However finding time to write, perform, record, promote and up-keep two bands is exhausting…. There is also a challenge vocally for me, as I am also performing instrumentally and using my voice somewhat differently, relying on different abilities.
With having two very different bands, has it allowed you to experiment with new sounds/styles that you wouldn’t have considered previously?
It has allowed us to experiment with sounds/styles that we quite often previously considered. But it does allow us to meet people we wouldn’t have otherwise met.
Are there any crossovers of elements between bands, or do you like to keep it separate?
There is this weird, contrary thing that happens, when I’m supposed to be writing for Voltera I get inspired to write Razor’s songs…. Mostly it’s quite separate, however we did an alternative cover of Knees (a Voltera song) which would fit Razor of Ockham’s bill quite well…
You’ve been playing shows in and around Melbourne on and off – how have the crowds been reacting? Do Voltera fans come along to your gigs?
Yes, support has been great for something quite different and minimal. There is an engagement that occurs that in some ways can feel more powerful than that experienced fronting Voltera. I think Michael would agree.
How do your live shows differ?
The Razor’s of Ockham shows are very different. For a start I’m sitting down for most of it, as I’m responsible for percussion and minimal keyboard melodies, as is Michael, for he is working guitar loops, stomp and various other oddities. It’s far more laid back and as the name suggests, simple yet powerful.
You’ve enjoyed some airplay on triplejunearthed – is this a good platform for unsigned artists such as yourselves, to get your music out there? Would you recommend it to other bands?
I would recommend it. We have received quite a bit of love on there, and it’s also helped us to connect with similar artists. I urge everyone to check it out for a great source of underground Australian talent.
Do you have a release out at the moment – or are you working on releasing something?
We were selling a 3-track demo called “Deeper Cuts’ at the first few shows, however they are all gone and we have since been steadily working towards our full length release to be launched at the upcoming Fiend Festival.
Yes, an extensive ‘tour where the travel takes us’ via caravan plan is in the works as we speak.
Many thanks to Jess and Michael for taking the time to chat to us. For more information about their upcoming dates, check out: