“We meet in the middle with a pool of common influences. But for the uncommon influences, we’re extremely different. I like really heavy music, like Swedish death metal. Lea has wide listening tastes; she likes everything from death metal to Christian music. Garon is somewhere between these extremes. We play shows with metal bands and pop bands,” Aaron says.
Oridium officially formed in 2006 and has been garnering acclaim for its mesmerizing mix of dark pop, metal, and spiritually-tinged lyrics. The band has been favorably compared to a wide range of artists, from metal acts like Metallica, Tool, Killswitch Engage, to pop song-oriented artists like Radiohead, Ben Harper, and Los Lonely Boys. Chris Blackwell, music mogul/founder of Island Records (U2 & Bob Marley), recently said "Oridium is onto something fresh an original." Billboard Magazine enthused “Amazing vocals, musical depth...what's not to love!” A rep from esteemed indie Epitaph Recorded recently commented "I always loved hard rock music, and now I fell in love with Oridium."
The group’s debut, From Ashes (2008), has been downloaded in 17 different countries. Grammy-winning producer (Paul McCartney, Sean Lennon, The Strokes, Lana Del Rey) praised the record, saying: "Great grooves, Great energy...I love the whole album!” Oridium has been featured in numerous publications, including Skratch, La Prenza, SA 210, and the esteemed Texas regional The Edge Magazine, just to name a few. Several Oridium tracks are receiving regional, national, and international airplay. The band has had numerous spins on 99.5 Kiss, New York’s Radio Crystal Blue, Los Angeles Indie 104~iRADIO, Radio Basile, Pandora, and IMradio.com.
The stunning album tracks “Perfect Distance” and “Frivolous” reflect Oridium’s intuitive melding of eclectic influences. “Perfect Distance” has gorgeously gloomy verses and choruses that flow into a cliffhanger of a heavy metal break. The band’s nimble shift of dynamics here is revelatory. “That song structure makes me proud because it demonstrates the different genres we pool as influences,” Aaron says.
The group’s songwriting is often guitar riff oriented with Aaron bringing in ideas and the band fleshing them out. “When you have your siblings in a band you know exactly what they like and that really forms your approach to songwriting,” he says. Lea writes all the lyrics and vocal melodies, her hauntingly powerful vocals reach from somber lows to skyward highs; a span rich with emotion but perfectly on pitch. Her lyrics are invigoratingly bold. On the live-set favorite “Frivolous” she writes about liberating oneself from a manipulative relationship. She sings: So you’re feeling all alone? Wondering how you’ve become the victim now? Those little white lies have laid you to rest, as she looks at you and laughs. At last you see her spirit now, the beauty, the innocence all around. Your sorrys won’t change her mind now. You’ve chased her away! The dark catharsis in the vocals are perfectly mirrored in the imaginative arrangement of crunching chords, double bass flutters, jangling moody side passages, and a emotive teardrop guitar solo.
The dreamy ballad “Charade” was an artistic breakthrough for the band. “That was the last song for the album. The guys at the studio said we needed another song. I had this instrumental and Lea and I went into the live room with a pen and paper and came up with the song in 15 minutes,” Aaron says. Tabber Millard from the acclaimed electro-industrial band VAST guests on the song, laying down a powerful bed of percussion (congas, tambourine, djembe).
The group has been nurturing their current sound for 9 years, though the Garcia family’s creative connection dates back much further. “We’ve always been around music. Our dad played in bands, and we always had instruments and played together. When we got older, we were in the school band and Lea was in the school choir. We were bands nerds,” Aaron says laughing.
Currently Oridium has shared the stage with such respected and diverse acts as Skindred, Flaw, Eyes Set to Kill, Murder FM, and One Eyed Doll. They’ve also played many esteemed venues. “One of the biggest things for us was playing at the Whisky A Go Go,” Aaron says, reflecting on the band’s career so far. “As a guy who grew up on Metallica and Megadeth, I always heard about those legendary shows at the Whisky. To be on that stage and see a place in so many documentaries and movies, that was just amazing.”