As unlikely as it seems, there are times when having a drug addiction can have a beneficial side-effect. Just ask Dan Wieten of The Omega Experiment.
“All the songs on our debut album are about my life as an addict. I suppose writing about those times is a bit like being in therapy,” he muses. Self-titled, the album showcases The Omega Experiment’s progressive metal appeal, with multi-instrumentalist Dan and keyboard player Ryan Aldridge displaying a penchant for wildly adventurous yet hugely melodic music.
“My tastes are so diverse. They go from 80s bands like Def Leppard to 90s names such as Dream Theater, on to Devin Townsend, Meshuggah and The Dillinger Escape Plan,” adds Ryan. “I also love the soundtracks to movies such as Star Wars and ET.” From Michigan, Dan and Ryan met in rehab during 2008, by which point the former already had most of the song titles featured on the album in his head;
“It’s not a concept record, but to get the full effect you have to listen it all. The theme throughout is my life over a 10-year period. I am definitely the creative force behind the band, and Ryan is my co-pilot.”
The album follows up the 2011 EP Karma, and Dan is already working on fresh material. “I’m demoing stuff at the moment,” he comments. “The new songs are about how I’ve dealt with life since I’ve stopped taking drugs. How I’ve faced up to meeting people now I’m clean.”
Recording should start in the autumn, and if all goes to plan there will be live shows over here before the end of the year. This will feature an expanded line-up with bassist Matt Ryan (now a permanent member) and drummer Cody McCoy, plus an unnamed singer. For Dan, the mission statement is a no-frills one: “Our aim as a band is simple: to take you on a journey to another world.”
The Omega Experiment is out now on Listenable