This London-based five-piece invokes spirituality, philosophy and psychology as part of the elaboration of its sophisticated vein of rock. Just days before they release their debut album, Jamendo breaks things down for you.
“Four of us went to high school in Switzerland. Between 2002 and 2004, we all moved to London to study philosophy and psychology and met another like-minded musician with whom we decided to form a band”, explains Sebastian, one of the band's guitarists.
“We all shared a vision of a progressive form of music that was to reflect ideas we had encountered before and during the course of our studies. Central to our discussions was the concept of two selves – the 'ego', a mental construction that we strongly identify with, and the true underlying self, undifferentiated being which connects us with everybody and everything. This focus on 'self' eventually gave rise to our name, 'Of The I'.”
The band started making a name for itself by distributing the demos recorded in their small London flat for free on the web. The “overwhelming positive response received on sites like Jamendo” inspired them to record a full length album.
They strive to nothing less than to create “a new kind of sound that invokes elements derived from spirituality, philosophy, psychology, each member’s personal experiences, as well as the music that has inspired them”. They describe their music as progressive, melodic, experimental rock, which places them not too far from the likes of Tool, At The Drive In and Quicksand.
“We've conceived this album to be one continuous journey. The physical copy contains transitions which connect all the songs, inviting the listener to experience it in one sitting. These transitions are all snippets of our lives – a stream in a Swiss forest I grew up next to, a recording I made outside a Buddhist temple in Vietnam, one of our grandmother's harmonium, a storm we experienced together, a tube that passes by under our flat... This album is very personal to all of us.”
Balance Instars will be released on 6 October. “It started off as a few ideas and finally turned into our 1-hour debut album.” Of The I being the kind of band that “personally manages every aspect of [their] music”, it will be for sale on the band's own website, ofthei.com. In the meantime, three songs from it are available for free download on Jamendo.