Requiem For Oblivion (RFO) is a constantly evolving 'hybrid' death metal band from Erie, PA. Started by multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, composer Steve Jacobson in a basement as an ambient, solo recording act.
The band/name concept/project is based on Steve's years struggling with inner demons (i.e. drugs, booze, depression, self-destruction in almost every form) and the years since silencing those demons. However, since establishing a stable lineup, the lyrical content has started to branch out to worldly ills like corruption, oppression and terrorism....and even science fiction.
The project grew and attracted various local musicians, including current, long-time, second guitarist Geoff Radziszewski in 2011, to keep recording and performing regionally.
The music evolved on each release, with the band experimenting with progressive and atmospheric tendencies, acoustic and classical guitar passages, ghostly clean vocals, and increasing extended range instruments.
Websites or Social Media Pages:
What Musical Genre Do You Feel Best Describes Your Music And How Would You Describe Your Sound?
Definitely death metal. But more specifically, we fall in the hybrid death metal camp. A little old school, but mostly tech/slam. The sound has changed a little over the years but some of the signature things we do never changed (extended range instruments, creepy cleans under heavy distortion, diverse vocals, etc).
How Did You Get Your Name? Is There A Story?
Yes, the name Requiem For Oblivion represents a funeral for the disease of addiction. I'm a recovering addict and have battled mental illness for many years too. The name is empowering for me and the subject matter and project as a whole has been very therapeutic for me.
What Are or Have Been Your Musical Influences?
I grew up infatuated with Rush so my love of complicated, intense music was born there. Opeth and Agalloch were huge influences in the early days of RFO but more recently tech, slam, and old school death bands like Fallujah, Cynic, Beyond Creation, Obscura, Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel and Suffocation have been heavy in the rotation.
What Are You Working On Now? Any Future Collaborations We Can Look Forward To?
Currently we are finalizing a new 5 song EP 2020 that should be available in September. That will be a raw collection of songs mostly written with the old lineup.
However, we're really excited about another 11 brand new songs for our full length, 'Amidst Chaotic Earth' due out next year. The new material is so fresh and gritty and evolving in a direction we're extremely pleased with. We're also trying to enlist Brian James (formerly of Fallujah) to mix and master it.
What Is Your Ultimate Goal In The Music Industry? What Is Your Plan Of Action?
Goal is to attain a sustainable music career and leave a good legacy in the metal/music world. I guess that looks like a big email list, occasional tours, professional videos, and keep pushing content. I would like to hob knob and collaborate with some of the guys I idolize as well. Lol
What Is Your Favorite Track To Perform Live and Why?
The favorite track has changed over the years. Most recently it was I Am Myth off of Burning Nation. Before that Tortured off Dark Tales...Currently it is Shattered Skies which no one has heard yet. Lol
What Has Been The Biggest Challenge In Your Career Thus Far?
Just getting heard. Being pushed out in front of enough people that we can connect with die hard type fans. Fan acquisition is a huge obstacle for us. Locally we've made our name...and a bit regionally, but this is a small place. I cant help but feel that we would find way more people into our specific hybrid genre of metal in LA or NY, etc...
What’s Your Typical Songwriting Process?
Riffs. More riffs, then bring em to Mike (Scutella...drummer) for blasts n slamz. Then we enrich the song a bit...give it its unique flavor. I tend to solidify vocal patterns and ideas in the studio. I also 'produce' up tracks in the studio coming up with creative things on the fly while recording...to further enrich the songs.
How Has Social Media Influenced Your Career As An Artist?
I think it's helped some but none of us are particularly genius with it. I just dont have time to keep pushing stuff out constantly unfortunately.
What Are Some Tracks and Artists Currently On Your Playlist?
Aborted, Gojira, Gorod, Beyond Creation, Singularity, Ignominious incarceration, Akercocke, Alkaloid, Archspire, Artificial Brain, Augury, Batushka, Be'lakor, Beneath The Massacre, Bloodbath, Cattle Decapitation, Darkane, Devourment, Dying Fetus, Fallujah, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Gorguts, Hour Of Penance, Katatonia, NILE, Obscura, RUSH, Soreption, Suffocation, Ulcerate, Vainaja, Visceral Disgorge, etc ..
What Did You Do Before You Started Making Music?
I've always had day jobs but nothing too serious. Have a college degree from UC Davis in California. However the last several years, after moving to Erie, PA I have worked for my investor/best friend as a property manager and maintenance guy and I really enjoy it. I have learned enough so that I am investing now too. I have 3 units and hope to do that and music full time in the next couple years.
Any Advice For Young People (Men or Women) That Want To Succeed In The Music World?
Content is king! And NEVER GIVE UP! And if you do, it wasnt right for you anyway.
What Would You Change In The Music Industry If You Were A Top Music Executive?
I would somehow make it easier for artists to break through. Like I said before, getting our music in front of enough people to get some real traction in the industry, has been the biggest challenge.
How Do You Feel About Originality?
Originality is super important! That was actually a big goal of mine in the beginning...didnt want to sound like anyone else in our city. Since then I've learned to just be myself, do what I do and it will be original. I see a lot of the younger bands who tend to sound 'cookie-cutter', especially with metalcore bands. I know it's easy to fall into that trap tho.
Is There Anything Else We Should Know About You Or That You Would Like to Add?
Here is a link to an exclusive stream and review of the title track off our last album:
No Clean Singing exclusively streamed the title track to RFO's sophomore release, Burning Nation.
Here's what they had to say: "The song you’re about to hear is both an eye-popping mind-bender and a big adrenaline trigger. It’s so multifaceted and so constantly surprising that it’s likely to leave most listeners exclaiming, “WTF did I just hear?!?,” and then hitting the Play button again without delay. The song is the title track to Burning Nation, the second full-length by a band from Erie, Pennsylvania, named Requiem For Oblivion. It will be released on June 9th."