The Obelisk Questionnaire: Bill Kielty of O Zorn!

Posted in Questionnaire on February 22nd, 2024 by JJ Koczan

O ZORN! @twistedtripodphotography

The Obelisk Questionnaire is a series of open questions intended to give the answerer an opportunity to explore these ideas and stories from their life as deeply as they choose. Answers can be short or long, and that reveals something in itself, but the most important factor is honesty.

Based on the Proust Questionnaire, the goal over time is to show a diverse range of perspectives as those who take part bring their own points of view to answering the same questions. To see all The Obelisk Questionnaire posts, click here.

Thank you for reading and thanks to all who participate.

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Bill Kielty of O Zorn!

How do you define what you do and how did you come to do it?

When I first heard the band Electric Wizard in like 2001/2002, I thought wow, this sounds amazing. I want to do something like that. The band I was in at the time was kinda rock, kinda emo. Just kinda lame. I was sick to death of it. When that band broke up, I formed a band called Who Rides The Tiger, and started exploring the darker sound. Tuned down. Got heavy. That band disbanded in 2008 or so. A couple years later, I formed O ZORN! and went even heavier with it. Not sure I can define exactly what we’re doing at the moment, but I feel like we’re progressing.

Describe your first musical memory.

My family went to some folk festival at the University of Riverside in California. I was maybe 4 or 5 years old. My memory of it is super spotty, but the picture in my head has stuck with me my entire life. The venue was called “The Barn” and throughout all my twenties and early thirties, it was THE local venue for all things punk, metal and hardcore. Saw a shitload of bands roll through there and took the stage myself a bunch. It’s still there. Place went soft years ago. Mostly cover and tribute bands these days.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

The Ramones and Murphys Law at the Palladium in 1989. It was the Pet Cemetery tour. I was really young. My best friend’s older brother drove us to Hollywood, which was a first. It was the loudest thing I’d ever heard. The pit was the scariest thing I’d ever seen. My ears were ringing for three days after. It was fuckin awesome.

When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?

For years, I firmly believed that I could control my drinking. Turns out, after years of trying, I cannot. I tried REALLY hard though.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

For me, artistic progression simply leads to and justifies me continuing to create.

How do you define success?

Seeing something through, no matter the task, as long as there’s some sense of accomplishment.

What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?

Many years ago, I spotted Kerry King (Slayer) buying a scented candle in Things Remembered at The Galleria Mall in Riverside. I’ve never looked at him the same since.

Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.

I’d like to start painting someday. Maybe a large oil painting. I feel like I’d be pretty good at it.

What do you believe is the most essential function of art?

I think there’s many functions but for me, Art allows my brain some escape from my daily bullshit. Temporarily of course. Most of us don’t have enough of it weaved into our lives.

Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to.

I’m looking forward to the day where the last of the boomers are out of office.

[Photo credit: @Twistedtripodphotography]

O Zorn!, “Slow Mood” from Vermillion Haze (2024)

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