Fresno Beehive

Metal band Oni stops at Strummer’s on the road to Knotfest

Progressive metal band Oni stops in Fresno on The Road to Knotfest tour. The band plays Wednesday, September 21 at Strummer’s.
Progressive metal band Oni stops in Fresno on The Road to Knotfest tour. The band plays Wednesday, September 21 at Strummer’s. Special to The Bee

Jake Oni isn’t looking for much out of his band’s set at Knotfest – just complete audience domination.

“I want everyone there to leave an Oni fan,” says the vocalist, who lends both his surname and singing prowess to the Canadian metal band. Oni (the band) is currently on the road to the weekend long mega-metal show, which is a team up with Ozzfest and features headlining sets from Black Sabbath and Slipknot (and Slayer, Disturbed, Megadeth, Anthrax and more).

The Road to Knotfest is the name of the six-day headlining tour, which stops Wednesday, September 21 for a free show (21 + sadly) at Strummer’s. This is the band’s second stop in Fresno this year. They played at Fulton 55 in April on an opening slot for metal super group Devil You Know.

Of course, Knotfest is far from the end of the line for Oni. Following the festival set, the band hits the road with Max and Igor Cavalera (of Sepultura fame) on their Return To Roots tour. That will be followed by a spot on the I Worship Chaos tour with Children of Bodom. In all the band will be on the road until December.

Oni is touring in advance of its debut album, Ironshore, which is slated for release this fall. So, any hype the band has received (and it has) is based on its live performances and the strength of its first single “Eternal Recurrence,” which showcases an affinity for writing songs with “a lot time signatures and moving parts,” as Oni describes it. The band also features a xylosynth player, which seem noteworthy.

For want of classification, the band is typically filed as progressive metal, though Oni says they don’t follow any kind of template when writing songs. Instead its a bit of mad science, he says, with the band pulling on vast sonic inspiration – like Slipknot for example.

Oni doesn’t sound like Slipknot, obviously, and doesn’t do what Slipknot does.

“We’re not that,” Oni says.

But the two bands do share sonic elements.

Oni (the singer) isn’t sure about the future of metal, with its seemingly endless array of sub-genres (and journalists and the like looking to fit bands in them). He is sure about his band’s place in that future.

“Who knows what the next 10 years will look like. All i know if that Oni will be there.”


  • 8 p.m. Wednesday, September 21
  • Strummer’s, 833 E. Fern Ave.
  • Free, 21 +
  • 559-485-5356,