THERE'S MORE WORK TO DO FOR ANIMAL RIGHTS “I
Addressing animal testing, conservation and pacifism with their new album EXIST, OHHMS’S PAUL WALLER is raising awareness in the heavy scene. But there’s plenty more still to be done elsewhere…
don’t look down on people who feel differently to me about animals, but I do want to share my opinions and make everyone aware of the issues. When I’ve been looking for bands that support my outlook on life, I’ve had to go way back to crusty punk stuff like Crass. You’ll get a lot of bands speaking out about animal rights in interviews, but you don’t hear many songs that actually address the issue; you certainly don’t find many concept albums about animal testing, which is what our new album, Exist, is. I felt like there wasn’t that voice out there for me, so I got the rest of the band on board and did it myself.
“Meeting my dog for the first time was what sparked me to take notice of animal rights. From that moment on I was a vegetarian, and a year later I became a vegan. However, I actually think a lot of vegans are dicks. I used to be really heavily involved in the hardcore scene, and I hated the militant, straight-edge attitude that existed there. I don’t even like the word ‘vegan’, to be honest – I hate being referred to in that way. My approach isn’t that of h p being hard-line, because I feel that people need to follow their own path in life. So, when someone asks me if I’m a vegan, I say, ‘No, I’m just living my life the way I want to.’ “When I walk through a supermarket, I can’t physically walk through the meat aisle – it’s J really horrible to me. I’ve been wondering if, in 15 years or so, buying meat will be viewed like purchasing cigarettes is now; I could actually see the meat section of supermarkets becoming a museum piece in future generations. Things are moving in a positive way, for sure.
“The charity Ohhms really gets behind is Animal Aid [animalaid.org.uk] – they deal with all aspects of animal rights. If you’re just dipping your toe in, they’ll have a pamphlet for you, and they’ll show you both sides of the argument. They’re an organisation I’m really passionate about, and I’m so glad they’ve backed Ohhms and supported what we’re doing. Sea Shepherd [seashepherd.org] is another charity doing great things – anyone can get behind their aims, whether you’re a meat-eater or not. Sea Shepherd have got it down, and Ohhms are completely behind them.” K!
“I WANT TO MAKE EVERYONE AWARE OF THESE ISSUES…” PAUL WALLER
OHHMS ’ NEW ALBUM Exist IS OUT NOW VIA HOLY ROAR RECORDS