West Virginia’s best hidden secret Byzantine have long been the underdog in the metal world. Their last album ‘To Release Is To Resolve’ along with the powerful single “The Agonies” really propelled the band out of the Appalachian Mountains and into the ears of metal heads worldwide. The band self released the album and it was well received and got tremendous airplay on Sirius XM radio. The hard hitting progressive band also snagged a record deal with powerhouse label Metal Blade. The band has wrapped up recording and are set to release their Metal Blade debut ‘The Cicada Tree’ in June. Byzantine also has a Pledge Music Campaign For album pre-order which includes some exclusive bundles and even guitar lessons or person phone calls from the band. You can pre-order and check out the bundles here. Byzantine also recorded their first music video for a track from the upcoming album ‘The Cicada Tree’ at The V Club in Huntington, West Virginia on March 19th. We can’t wait to see what the guys came up with, and eager to hear the new material. The bands founder/singer/guitarist Chris “OJ” Ojeda is one of the nicest guys and a true ambassador for metal heads everywhere. In addition to being in Byzantine OJ is also a true music lover. We couldn’t think of anyone better to kick off our new segment THE BUCKETLIST with. As music obsessed fans we always keep a list of bands we want to see live that we haven’t had the chance to see. Touring musicians have the opportunity to see a lot more bands than the common band through friends in the industry and while touring. OJ recently sat down with Metal Nexus to let us know some of the bands and artists that he has on his own personal bucketlist. Without further ado we give you the inagural segment of THE BUCKETLIST with Byzantine’s Chris “OJ” Ojeda.
1. Tears for Fears – Going to knock this off my bucketlist this Spring! I am such a Tears for Fears fan, it’s unbelievable. They’re use of dual vocalists and harmonies have deeply impacted the sound of Byzantine.
2. Porcupine Tree – My favorite prog rock band ever. Englands’ Porcupine Tree influences Byzantine heavily, especially on our new album, “The Cicada Tree”. Porcupine Tree easily crosses over the hallowed ground of eight- minute long songs and have one of the best drummers in rock in Gavin Harrison.
3. Bjork – I’ve had an unhealthy fascination with Icelands’ Bjork. I have at least 8 Bjork albums and have watched more youtube videos of her than I can count. She is a national treasure. I have to see this live.
4. Testament – My favorite Bay Area Thrash metal band ever. I have never seen Testament live and this spring I get to knock this juggernaut off my bucketlist as well. And to be invited to the show by Testament’s drummer Gene Hoglan is the cherry on top!
5. Hall & Oates – Knocking this off my bucketlist as well, as they’re touring with Tears for Fears! Again, dual vocalists and extremely odd chord changes make this band one of my all time favorites.
OJ has a very diverse list of bands he heralds on his bucketlist. Who would have thought that Tears For Fears were part of the influence of Byzantine’s signature sound. Adding Bjork, and Hall & Oates showcases OJ’s love for music outside the metal world. Testament should also be on anyone’s bucketlist that hasn’t had the opportunity to see them before. But a personal invite from “The Atomic Clock” Gene Hoglan himself certainly makes that show even sweeter.
Pre-Order your copy of ‘The Cicada Tree’ or Exclusive Pre-Order Bundle here.
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