OHHMS have had a monumental year since the release of their debut EP ‘Bloom‘ in 2014.

That record was constructed of two songs, clocking in at a combined 30+ minutes. Despite this, the band still garnered a full 15 minute play on daytime BBC Radio 1, offers to play Temples, Arc Tan Gent, Fear and Hevy festivals, as well as shows with The Skull, Conan, The Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell, Hey Colossus, Earthmass, Hierophant, Slabdragger, Bastions and their own successful headline tour. Not a bad start.

Now the band is back with ‘Cold‘, another two monolithic tracks, once again clocking in beyond half an hour. That, however, is where the similarities to ‘Bloom‘ end. ‘Cold‘ presents a stunning evolution to OHHMS’ progressive stoner doom rock.

Musically, within ‘The Anchor‘ and ‘Dawn of the Swarm‘, OHHMS keep exploring new avenues in the cannon of lumbering stoner rock, depth-charge doom, classic rock and psychedelia. Vocalist Paul Waller meanwhile displays a huge leap forward in scope and confidence – alternating between sumptuously deep gravelly singing, Viking-warrior bellows and roar-is-war call to arms.

Once again leaning on Ian Sadler to record/mix, and Brad Boatright to master the record, with art stunningly realised by Black Sails Design, this is a band poised to prove to everyone that ‘Bloom‘ was no mere fluke or one off.

To find out a little bit more about them, we caught up with vocalist Paul Waller to answer our Hotseat questions this week.

Cold‘ is out now on Holy Roar Records / Shock Records.


Name : Paul Waller (not Weller)
Band : OHHMS
Job In Band : Singer
Website Address : www.facebook.com/OHHMStheband
Hometown : Canterbury
Hometown is best known for : Being a City that is typically olde world English with a beautiful Cathedral. Musically there was the prog scene in the 60s with bands like Caravan and Soft Machine and in the 90s there was a thriving hardcore scene here
Best venue in your hometown : Hmmm. There are a few good ones. My favorite to play is a tiny pub called The Lady Luck that holds around maybe 60 people maximum.
Favourite show you’ve seen in your hometown : Probably Converge around the time they released ‘You Fail Me’. It was the one show that seemed to unite everyone. The hardcore kids, straight-edgers, punks, metal heads, you name it. They played a scout hut and it was heavenly.
Favourite show you’ve played in your hometown : We headlined The lady Luck a couple of weeks after we released our 1st record and it was rammed inside and there were as many people that couldn’t get in that were hanging around outside too. Looking up I saw people wearing our shirts and just banging their heads, totally into it. It was the first time I felt we had made a connection. It was a great feeling.
How did the band first come to exist? I was treading water as a music journalist and I had interviewed 3 people in the space of a month that totally inspired me to drop the dictaphone and get myself in a band quick smart. They were the original Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett, Steve Ignorant from Crass and Michael Gira from Swans. Speaking to them and having them encourage me to pick up the mic again was HUGE for me. Plus their bands are rad too.
How long has the band been going? We played our first show in April 2014 so not long at all. You are not a band in my eyes until you have played your 1st show.
Is there an interesting story behind the name? Well it’s our guitarist Marc’s fault, we wanted to be called OHMS but it was too close to a band that plays similar slow and heavy stuff called er… OM obviously. Plus there is some little 13 year old in Malaysia somewhere who has recorded under the name Ohms so we stuck in the extra ‘H’ and called ourselves OHHMS. It’s much easier to google us that way as well.
What’s your most recent release? Tell us a little about it… Glad you asked. It’s called ‘Cold’ and its 33 minutes long and contains 2 songs. It came out on Holy Roar Records on June 29th 2015. It is equal parts heavy, slow, trippy and
we hope, catchy. Then we topped it off with some more heavy for good measure.
Got a personal stand out achievement of your band to date? Being able to release our noise on Holy Roar Records and having our releases in the same catalogue as Slabdragger, Conan, Rolo Tomassi, Bastions, Will Haven, Kayo Dot, This Is Hell… wow the list goes on… I was fans of all these and more before we got the word we were signing with them. I still pinch myself when I see their logo next to ours.
What was your first introduction to music that made you think seriously about playing it? As a nipper growing up in Frankston, Australia Kiss came through on tour and because I was really young I saw them as super heroes rather than musicians but one of my mums mates let us borrow her whole kiss vinyl collection one weekend and I remember listening to those records and studying the front and back covers and just being blown away. Since that moment all I have ever wanted to do is get me some of that. To have that physical product in my hands and to be part of music in that way is all I ever wanted out of life. Everything else is secondary.
Any band, album, or song that you personally credit as a major influence? For me with OHHMS it has been the first six Black Sabbath albums that I continually reference. There maybe a few missteps amongst that body of work but even those missteps where necessary folly to get the band to where they wanted to go. I reckon if we stick with those albums as a source of instrumentation, themes and the general vibe then we aren’t gonna go too far wrong. They were so adventurous, so heavy and so fucked up by the time they recorded ‘Volume 4’ and yet they still pulled ‘Sabbath Bloody Sabbath’ and ‘Sabotage’ out of the bag. Simply stunning work.
Your first band name, and what style did you play? Ha. I formed a band called Black Blood after discovering Bathory and so I saved up and bought myself a drumkit. We wrote a song called ‘Black Candle’ and split because I couldn’t play the drums so I sold the kit and bought a stack of records as you do.
Most prized music related item you own? A signed copy of KISSTORY, the coffee table book Kiss put out a decade or so ago.
When you’re not doing band related stuff, what are you usually found doing? I love hanging out with my misses and my dog and I also have a job where I try to get the homeless homed and the poverty stricken fed. It’s not as rewarding as it sounds.
The thing you most look forward to just before a tour is… I love it all so I look forward to it all, I love the travelling, the socializing and of course playing live with my mates. What is not to love about that? These bands that moan about the different aspects of touring can do one. If something doesn’t make you happy change it, don’t do it. Life’s too short.
The thing you least look forward to before a tour is… Being away from my old lady and my dog.
Any item you seem to always forget to take on tour? Toilet Roll. Everytime. Service station toilet roll is too close to sandpaper for my liking.
When on offer, what’s your one must have item on the rider? Anything vegetarian and a shed load of Beer.
Got a favourite place you’ve toured… and why? We have only toured the UK, we have another one coming up with Slabdragger in August and then from October this year we are going to be beginning our European expeditions. I’ve toured Europe a few time in a hardcore band I was in a few years back and we always got treated ridiculously well in Germany so I am looking forward to returning there with OHHMS for sure.
Got a favourite venue you’ve played… and why? A place on the South-Eastern coast of England called Ramsgate Music Hall is simply stunning. It has around a 120 person capacity and the staff are incredible. They treat bands that come through so well and not only that but the sound is simply stunning. It’s great when a place has their shit together when you turn up to play. It means the only thing you need to concentrate on is your performance.
Any embarrassing on stage moments come to mind? Repeatedly smashing my head on the low beams when we played Manchester Roadhouse earlier this year springs to mind. The sound guy warned me before we played and yet I still have a scar on my bonce today. Even after the show when I picked up the last piece of junk from the stage I cracked my skull on that bloody thing.
Any pre-show rituals? Just like at practice I take off my shoes and socks, I can’t remember why I first did it but it’s become a must do superstitious habit now. If people ask me after a show why I play in bare feet I make up a different reason each time. My favorite being that I sweat so much my boots literally fill up with enough water to fill up a cup.
What do you find is the hardest aspect of touring in a band today? Trying not to fall out with your mates because you are cooped up together for such long periods even when they are driving you nuts. Sometimes I just wanna chill on my own and there isn’t a lot of space for you to do that in the back of a van.
Last song you listened to? I’m listening right now to a song called ‘Love, Texas’ by a band called Marriages from LA. It’s on their new album called Salome, it’s shoe-gaze post rock type stuff.
Last album you picked up? I was in town this weekend and picked up a book and that new Kurt Cobain movie ‘Montage of Heck’. Out the corner of my eye whilst I was at the till I spotted a Mastodon LP that I don’t own called ‘Blood Mountain’. I only have it as MP3’s so I quickly ran over and added that into my haul.
Which band or album is currently on high rotation? I love the recent Death Grips instrumental album called ‘Fashion Week’ so I’ve been spinning that loads. Also I have to mention that I am listening to Blood Ceremony a lot more than any human being really should. They are my favorite band on Earth right now. Everything they do I adore and I wish they would do more.
Tell us an up and coming band or artist you think we should go and listen to right now? If you want a hardcore fix I would go for Employed To Serve but if you fancy just keeping things heavy I’d give Hogslayer a go. But maybe you fancy something a little more trippy, if that’s the case then the new Earthmass is a good bet.
What’s on the cards for the next few months for the band? Festivals. We have 4 UK festivals coming up; Temples, Hevy, ArcTanGent and Fearfest. Being so new we haven’t played festivals before so we are pretty bloody excited about it. Plus of course our second EP is now out on Holy Roar Records, I mustn’t forget to say that.
You can pick any one album for your band to cover in full, what would it be and why? Wow, I reckon maybe Prince’s ‘Around The World in a Day’. That’s beyond weird and doesn’t contain all his well-known singles except for ‘Raspberry Beret’. I can see us pulling that off.
You can pick any one band / artist to cover one of your albums in full, what would it be, and why? Something electronic like Com Truise would be ace. It would be really interesting to see what that guy would do with us.
One band you wish you were able to see live but never had the chance? Black Sabbath during that first 6 album touring cycle. Any period, I wouldn’t be bothered. I would be too busy being destroyed by the riff.
One venue you have yet to play that you would love to? As a kid to be on the Reading Festival bill was the dream, that and Brixton Academy. As an adult I think that they are still pretty healthy goals that I would still like to achieve.
The chance comes up to fill in for a member of a band for one tour, which band would it be, and why? It wouldn’t work, whoever I chose I would no doubt ruin that magic they have. I am like Vegemite; you love what I do or hate what I do. Outside the context of OHHMS I don’t think I really work to well.
A headline tour overseas comes up, tell us two bands you’d take along to support your band. I think I would upset too many bands if I named just two of my mates bands but if we could head out and support anyone then Sleep or Blood Ceremony. That’d be my dream.
Got any final words? Go over to the Holy Roar website and grab yourself some decent records. Apart from ours may I recommend the new Employed To Serve and the recent represses of Slabdragger’s ‘Regress’ LP and the Conan/Bongripper split.