ANDREW SCHWAB (PROJECT 86): “This Is The Album I Have Always Wanted To Make”

Project 86 band photo

Orange County Hard Rock band Project 86 have recently released their latest album OMNI Part 1 March 24th. Project 86’s front man Andrew Schwab took the time to talk with Metal Express Radio about OMNI Part 1, plans for the next Project 86 album, touring with a wide range of bands, and more. Check out the chat below!

Metal Express Radio: Project 86’s latest album entitled OMNI Part l was released on March 24th, what can you tell fans about the latest release?

Schwab: OMNI is most ambitious project we have ever taken on…a double album, animated film, fiction book, and ARG. This is more than just making music… it’s world-building! With all the content we are working on and releasing, though, the music is primary driver. This is heaviest, most ominous, and the most diverse material we have ever released. This is the album I have always wanted to make. It’s been incredibly satisfying so far, as has been the response, to OMNI, Part 1. People seem to really dig the more aggressive sound and the new songs.

MER: What kind of feedback have you been able to receive on OMNI Part l?

Schwab: Many have expressed this is their favorite record in our catalog. Many others have said something the effect of “This CAN’T be the last P86 record…you guys have just hit your stride.” My favorite comment (and one I have also heard often) is, “Who is the guest vocalist?” This one always makes me smile, because I had been keeping the more aggressive vocal style in my back pocket for quite awhile. The amount of positive feedback has been incredible, and it makes this whole thing like a complete rejuvenation of the band.

MER: How did it come about having OMNI be a double album?

Schwab: At first we added an EP to the album pre-order. Then, we added a second EP shortly after. Omni, Part one has both Metal and digital influences, so we decided to make an EP dedicated to both sides of that sonic spectrum. Think of the double album like an equilateral triangle. At the top is part 1, and the two bottom corners is the EPs. We have always wanted to make a double album, and the time was right to do it now. Part 2 will drop on streaming in Lte summer/early fall. We are recording it now. There are five super heavy songs and five more digital-leaning songs, but it still all sounds like P86, if that makes sense.

MER: Any song off of OMNI Part l that is your favorite and why?

Schwab: It’s difficult to pick one. I know that when we finished “Metatropolis” it was a special moment because it was the first time we achieved a level of heavy I always wanted to. If I had to pick one, that would be it.

MER: What do you see as plans for yourself and Project 86 for 2023?

Schwab: We are still recording part 2 of OMNI at the moment. We are also still working on the film, and I am still also working on the book. We will release all of the above before the end of the year, plus play shows in the fall. I am looking forward to playing Furnacefest, and also an album release show in Nashville in October.

MER: Who do you hope to tour with that you haven’t and why?

Schwab: I mean, if we are just talking dream tours it would it would amazing to open for Meshuggah. I would also love to play with Cult of Luna, Humanity’s Last Breath, and Vildhjarta.

MER: How is it being a band that has toured with MXPX, but then go and tour with Haste the Day?

Schwab: I guess it’s a testimony to the diversity of the music we had put out over the years. I definitely think we fit better with heavy music these days, versus pop punk 😉 Though the music has been diverse, I really like where we are currently…dark and heavy.

MER: Since forming in 1996, what have been some of your favorite memories with Project 86?

Schwab: That’s a pretty big question, because there are so many. One that sticks out in my mind is headlining at the House of Blues in Los Angeles-the original HoB-and selling it out! But, the best moments are always when we get to see the reactions of people when we release new music. That experience never gets old. Like, ever. Also, our Patreon community ( is VERY special place in general. It’s been a constant source of inspiration, encouragement, and support…while not a MEMORY per se, it’s been one of the most important parts of this journey, especially recently.

MER: Out of all of Project 86’s albums, what is one you would suggest to a new fan and why?

Schwab: OMNI, PART 1. DUH!


  • Matt Zaniboni

    Matthew is an interviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He started his passion for music journalism back in his college radio days serving as the Heavy Metal Director at WKKL out of Hyannis Massachusetts. During Matt’s tenure in radio, he has had time working for commercial stations in Boston Massachusetts such as WAAF, WZLX AND 98.5 The Sports Hub before landing with Metal Express Radio. Anytime you want to talk heavy Metal, hockey, Guiness, and dad life, Matt is your guy m/

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