I got the pleasure to interview Osi and the Jupiter mastermind Sean Deth and our conversation led to many different paths from the origins of the project to the meaning behind his music. He took the time out of his busy schedule making music to answer my questions with a sense of depth and introspection. Osi and Jupiter have always been one of those music projects that I immediately gravitated towards. The mix of Norse/Appalachian music is such a unique combo that surprisingly works very well because there is an inherent sense of nature and the mysteries that lie beyond the veil. When you listen to the notes and imagery of Osi and Jupiter it will take you to a time where nature was the dominant force untouched by humankind, to a time where the land wights and the gods roamed free.
Hi Sean, can you tell us a bit about the origins of Osi and the Jupiter what was the catalyst to getting the project started?
S: Since I was very young, I have always been into different folktales especially ones that connect closely to nature and mysticism. Also, I am intrigued by folk music that had a dark feel to it and that moved me in some way shape or form. In 2014 I decided to start a project that would be part of my spiritual path that would paint a picture within its own folklore with influences from all that has helped me on this path. Those that have stated my music has helped them in some way really means a lot.
An additional note project is named after my two dogs Osiris and Jupiter.
So, what kind of folktales have been passed down to you and do you have any interesting examples of moments where nature and mysticism converged for you?
S: My grandfather used to tell different folktales to me as a child, we also went for many hikes when I was young. He would read some brothers Grimm stories as well as some of the Norse/Icelandic sagas and Celtic mythology. Nature has always been a solitude and if you engross yourself in it things start to unveil mentally and physically.
Norse themes are spread throughout a lot of your discography, what drew you to cover this subject matter with your music?
S: I am interested in many different folklores from all over the world. The Norse, Celtic folklore I connect more to, but I am very interested in Native American folklore as of the past year.
What Native American folklore have you been reading up on lately and what about the imagery has influenced your creativity?
S: Folk medicine and music as well as a connection to nature and the beings that dwell within. Shamanism and communication with nature. Respect and treat nature kindly.
Also, there is a powerful sense of nature worship and reverence in your music would you say there is a sense of that in your home state Ohio?
S: Nature mysticism and folklore is the backbone of my spiritual path and the music I created to help me on my path. I think it is important to disconnect and recharge yourself by taking some time to connect with nature in some way.
Speaking of Ohio specifically what about the state helps build that backbone for your spiritual path? Are there any specific folk legends associated with Ohio that has influenced Osi and the Jupiter’s sound/imagery?
S: Cuyahoga Valley is the closest nature reserve to me, when I was younger there was a lot less built up in my hometown and much more nature to explore, unfortunately over the years I’ve watched it just get built up, I really miss the old Twinsburg. I live about an hour from Appalachia southern Ohio and 45 min from the Allegheny in PA/West Virginia. I absolutely love the Allegheny area.
What is your take on the influx of Norse themed folk music you think it has become a bit oversaturated or is there still room for innovation?
S: There are a lot of good sounding music from a variety of different dark folk artists, I think one’s art is their own expression musically. There is always room for something different and similar, they coincide with each other sometimes.
Your work has now been lumped into the neofolk scene for a good while now, what is your take on the scene and how has your experience been with the musicians in the scene?
S: There are quite a few intriguing artists in the neofolk scene, I am a big fan of, Of the Wand and the Moon and have been for a while because of the atmosphere Kim creates with his music. I did a few runs with Blood in Sun this past year and became close friends with Luke who also creates a captivating art with his work as well.
I like how neofolk music is folk music with a dark atmosphere that expresses art and folklore with some spiritual backbone. More artists to check out are Rome, Sol Invictus, Sonne Hagal, Backworld, By the Spirits, Crooked Mouth, Tithe, Night Profound, Awen, Sun and Moon Dance, In Ruin, and Cradle of Judah from there you can find even more artists.
How would you describe your creative process? Do you have a specific ritual you follow regarding writing your music or has it changed for you?
S: For most of the songs off Uthuling and Nordlige I did some meditation and incantations during recording. As for the rest of my music, first I would write on acoustic then lyrics come usually afterwards with what is guiding me at the moment. Every once in a while, I will write something on synth and organ first, especially for a more atmospheric piece. I am still learning different things recording wise and instrument wise.
What themes and ideas were you running with in your new album “Stave”?
S: The concept with “Stave” is to bind yourself to a place and time. With me it is among nature and the process of growing and learning within it spiritually.
What was the process like engineering and rolling out “Stave”?
S: Right around the time we played Fire in The Mountains Fest in Wyoming (2019) I was recording “Stave”. I was in process of merging the old-time folk sound with dark ambience. The process was very fulfilling, and I learned a lot of new things along the way musically and spiritually. After all was mixed by me, we sent to Priory Records in the UK to get mastered by Greg Chandelier. Eisenwald has always lent a guiding hand though a lot of the release which I am very thankful.
What are some of your greatest influences in creating the images and music of Osi and the Jupiter as a whole?
S: Nature mysticism and folklore. As for artists I would say Townes van Zandt, Lindsey Buckingham, Ulver, Dax Riggs, David Eugene Edwards, Backworld and much more. The past few years I have been really into Sonne Hagal and OTWATM.
Osi and the Jupiter releases new music regularly is there anything you can let our readers know about for the next album?
S: During the beginning of Covid I recorded a bunch of covers and a few more originals that will be released sometime late this year or early next year. I currently am finishing the next full length in which I have a lot of different guest appearances on, stay tuned for that, everything is coming together very well.
Which bands or musicians have you been listening to lately?
S: King Dude, OTWATM, Sonne Hagal, Jim Croche, Wovenhand, Forndom, Urfaust, and Birch Book
What are some of your hobbies and interests outside of music?
S: I am really into animals especially snakes, I have eleven snakes (five boas, four king snakes and two ball pythons) and love learning about them, they are very interesting solitary creatures. I also like to go explore and hike, especially areas that have some sort of folklore attached to them.
What new areas have you hiked and explored lately that had interesting energy happening while you were there?
S: Pebbles Ohio near the snake mounds has an amazing energy about the area. Old, hilly and the wind whispers through the creaking of the trees.
Finally, do you have any parting words for our readers?
S: Set goals, achieve them, and go out and explore something new. Best of health!