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ORDEN OGAN: the rebirth of melodic metal? Quite possibly, yes!

ORDEN OGAN: the rebirth of melodic metal? Quite possibly, yes!
BANDS : Orden Ogan

The rebirth of melodic metal. Quite a confident statement to make, but if you listen to Orden Ogan's second release - Vale - you'll find out that they have enough material there to back it up. So go and get your copy and while you play it, take some time to read this interview, because I struggled hard to get it,  continuously importuning their manager for almost two months. It has definitely been worth the wait, see for yourselves!

 

Orden Ogan: Lars, Ghnu, Tobi, Nils, Seeb

 

Metalfan: Hi, how are things with Orden Ogan these days?
Ghnu: Thank you for asking, things are doing great for Orden Ogan these days. There’s a lot going on with the band at the moment.
Nils: Everything is fine at the moment. After a long period of searching for a label and technical issues during the recordings, we finally made it and released our debut album “Vale” on Yonah Records. It couldn’t be better!

Metalfan: Orden Ogan is a quite peculiar choice for a band moniker, what does it mean, why did you choose it?
Ghnu: Actually some of our ancestors made a long journey to an island far away, I think it was in the early 16th century. I don’t remember the name of this island yet - but that is insignificant at this time. They spent seven months and three days there and suddenly they discovered a giant X on the ground. So they began to dig the deepest hole mankind has ever seen and at the bottom they found a little wooden chest with iron fittings. As they opened this chest they were blinded by the overwhelming beauty of the Artifact they discovered… The Ogan! Cause of its overwhelming beauty we decided to take Orden Ogan as name for our band.
Nils: Yeah!

Metalfan: So, Vale, your second album, was just released last month (I’d like to take this chance to congratulate you one more time for this wonderful piece of work). There's been almost four years since the previous record, Testimonium AD, what took you so long? Is this the usual work rhythm  of the band?
Ghnu: Thanks! I don’t really know why it took SUCH a long time to release it, there were some delays in the recording process of the album and afterwards we tried to find a label to release Vale in a dignified way. After a long search we found a label that supports us in every way they can but also gives us the freedom to fully express ourselves.

Metalfan: Ok, Vale is out for almost 2 month now, are you satisfied with the reactions it got so far, from both the press and fans?
Ghnu: the reactions we got so far really satisfy us – of course! – the press guys don’t just like our album – they love it. We got some really great reviews in magazines like Rock Hard and Metal Hammer and so on. Sales are going well, too. From all over the World people write us that they love our music. That is a great feeling.

Metalfan: Vale is your first release with label support, do you think it could bring your breakthrough on the European scene?
Ghnu: Of course we hope that Vale brings us a kind of breakthrough, but I think it is really hard for a Metal band, especially for a German one.
It would be much easier if we were from Scandinavia or something like that, maybe America.
Nils: After 10 Years of “development” with Orden Ogan “Vale” has been the biggest step forward for us. A breakthrough always depends of huge financial support and success. So I don’t believe this will be the big breakthrough, because after all – Yonah is a small label. But as I said before: Everything’s fine and we hope we can make the next steps forward...

 

 

Metalfan: What is the meaning of the album title? The cover depicts a glooming image of this "Vale", with a road bordered by lots of gallows... That's depressing, not all your songs sound so dark, though...
Seeb: Vale means Farewell in old English. Alister Vale, the Protagonist of the concept story, is followed by a dark curse that forces him to go further and further. And unfortunately everything he passes decays in some way. The cover artwork is connected with some of the songs. You can find the whole concept story inside the booklet. There’s also a Code inside the CD that gives you access to the official backstage area on www.ordenogan.de, where you can download the exclusive “Vale” Comic for example!

Metalfan: Your music combines various influences from speed metal to thrash, neoclassical and progressive, how many of the band members are involved in songwriting, who brings what to the mix?
Nils: The main songwriter is Seeb. But all members give their influences to the overall sound. I am not a songwriter but I record my ideas at home and send them to Seeb. Tobi does the same. We trust him to get the best things out of it.
Seeb: I’m very open minded to all kinds of music. I’m also studying popular music. So I have a wide range of influences concerning the music that I listen to. I’m just trying to have the songs sound like I think they sound best, haha.

Metalfan: How is Vale different from your first album, Testimonium AD, what is the biggest change that occurred in between?
Ghnu: Compared to Testimonium Vale is a bit heavier I think. As well we put much more time and lifeblood in Vale.
Nils: On the other hand, the softer songs are much softer!
Seeb: Vale is definitely heavier and darker as Testimonium. The medieval and folk influences are less and what you hear is much more metal as everything we’ve done before. The production is crystal clear and we’ve played till our hands were bleeding. So I think the result is very tight, whereas Testimonium had some passages that were not played as good as they could have been.

Metalfan: Your debut album was self produced, how about this second one, Vale? How did Yonah Records support you during the recording process? Could you elaborate a bit about the recordings?
Ghnu: Except the end mix and mastering Vale is self produced, too. Above all we have had quite a clear picture of how the album had to sound, so we tried to do as much as possible by ourselves.
Seeb: Yes. Yonah Records didn’t support us at all, because they didn’t know that they would sign us afterwards, haha. We’ve got our own small studio called the Green Man Studio, where we recorded everything except the guitars and bass (they were recorded in a studio 20 minutes away). I also produce bands myself, so we could have made the final mix ourselves, but it’s better to have someone doing this who didn’t hear the stuff before. And I think Lia (Singer of Mystic Prophecy) did a great job. I really like his mix.

 

 

Metalfan: I've seen some footage from the studio, it seems you guys have a lot of fun while recording, that video of Tobi showing how to record solos is just crazy, are there any other funny moments you would like to share with our readers?
Ghnu: We could write a book with funny moments from our recording time,
cause funny things …let me say SILLY things, always happen when we are together in one room. But I can’t remember a special moment right now.
Nils: One of the funniest moments was the recording process of our Hip Hop Track “Who’s the green man”.
Seeb: Yeah… but at least half of the press didn’t understand that THIS was a joke. ;-) I mean – we’re laughing and laughing and laughing at the end of the track and some journalists STILL think we would be serious. Of course this is not serious. Are you serious?

Metalfan: What is the thing you like the most about Vale? The thing you wish everybody would notice and appreciate?
Ghnu: The most I like about Vale…mhhh… everything!
Seeb: I LOVE the artwork of Andreas Marschall. It’s just breathtaking. I think it’s one of his best works ever. The only cover artworks that are as good as “vale” are maybe “Imaginations from the other side” (Blind Guardian) and “Black Hand Inn” (Running Wild).
But as I said before I’m very lucky with Lias Mix. I think it’s a very good record… But wait until you hear “Easton Hope”!

Metalfan: Do you think it has any flaws?
Ghnu: I think every musician who listens to a CD he recorded often says, that part I should have made in some other way,  but a really big flaw? No. I couldn’t find one till now.
Seeb: As I said before. We played until our hands were bleeding. I sang until I couldn’t speak anymore… The luxury of our own studio gives us the opportunity to say “It’s done when it’s done”. And unfortunately I’m a perfectionist, haha. So, no. I think we reached 99% of what was possible with this material. But anyway – Easton Hope will blow you away!!

Metalfan: There's a video available for the song Lord of the Flies, why did you choose this particular song? Do you know that  your co-nationals Rage recently released a video with the same name? Quite a popular concept, isn't it?
Seeb: When we wrote “The Lords of the flies”, Rage didn’t even think of a new record. haha! Do you remember our protagonist Alister Vale, the guy with the curse? He destroyed the circle, the rulers of the so called “Empire”. And this circle was called “the lords of the flies” by the people living in that empire. It’s a song about authorities, leadership and the question what people do with the freedom that is given to them.

 

 

Metalfan: Besides your website and Youtube, where else is this video shown? How important do you think is the image for a band these days?
Ghnu: You can watch it also on our myspace site and it also appears on the Rock Guerilla DVD of the German Rock Hard magazine.
Seeb: I think Music Clips are cool for fans of the band and that ones that still have to become fans of the band, haha. But as there is no possibility to have it shown in German TV (because there is no format playing metal these days) you shouldn’t spent too much money on it.

Metalfan: Orden Ogan's ex bass player was called Sebastian Severin, was he of Romanian descent? Because his names sounds like he was... Actually, we had a minister named Severin...
Ghnu: No, he is not of Romanian descent, he is Sauerlaender (strange tribe in the middle of Germany) with heart and soul.
Seeb: Haha! A very famous German manufacturer of white goods is called Severin, too… Minister Severin. I’ve got to tell him… haha… Maybe a second life that he hides from us?!

Metalfan: Your line up on the Testimonium AD featured a flute player, why isn't she with you anymore?
Ghnu: Verena has moved to another town and did not find any time besides her studies. That is the reason why she decided with a bleeding heart to leave Orden Ogan.
Seeb: She also always stepped on my guitar cable. It´s better for her to be away. Otherwise I would have killed her some day…hahaha

Metalfan: A question for Seeb: what are the advantages and disadvantages of being both a vocalist and a guitar player?
Seeb: I hate it. Haha… I’m still concerning to sell my guitar and concentrate on singing. Or maybe I should sell my voice and concentrate on guitar playing… It’s a vicious circle. I can’t book somebody else playing my guitar parts …and nobody wants to hear Orden Ogan with another vocalist so… I have to do both jobs at one time… haha…

 

 

Metalfan: The performances you display on the album recommend you as accomplished musicians, do you practice and jam a lot together? What is your musical background?
Ghnu: Actually we don’t rehearse very much cause we all live in different towns, but we try to meet once a month (!) to jam a bit and practice our songs. At home I try to practice as much as possible and since one year I take lessons to enlarge my bag of tricks.

Metalfan: Is it difficult to keep the band going? Since you are not a very well known band yet, I assume you are not making your living off the band, am I right? How do you guys manage to keep both of the employments: job and band?
Ghnu: the fact that we don’t rehearse very often makes it possible for us to manage both job and band.
Interviews and stuff like that we all do at home in our leisure time, that actually takes a lot of our free time.
Seeb: Of course we’re all working. Or studying. Maybe this will change in the future, who knows?!

Metalfan: There's a lot of nice live videos of Orden Ogan posted on Youtube, they show you are a good live band, do you guys play lots of concerts? What were your best shows so far?
Seeb: Thanks.
Ghnu: We love playing live, but at the moment we’ve to handle our situation with job and band. In the last few months we did quite a lot of gigs.
Seeb: This years it’s around 30 shows.
Ghnu: Yeah. One of our best gigs, to my opinion was the Hoehlenrock (“Caverock”) Festival in a real cave with around 2500 people. Other bands were Subway to sally, Blaze Bailey and Doro. It was quite a great atmosphere playing in a cave.

Metalfan: What is your motivation? What do you wish to achieve through playing music with this band?
Ghnu: My main motivation is the fun I have playing with the other pussies in the band.
Seeb: Self-realization.

Metalfan: Last question: what are the band's nearest goals, for the next future?
Ghnu: First of all we play quite a lot of shows to promote our new Album Vale and then we will see what comes after.
Nils: We hope we can start with the recordings of our next album soon. A few songs are already finished.
Seeb: …so at the moment we’re in the songwriting process. I hope we can release Easton Hope in 2009.

 

 

Metalfan: Thanks alot for your time, best of luck in the future, here's a quick quiz for you:

Best CD of 2007?
Ghnu: I’m not really sure, but I think Symphony X – Paradise Lost
Seeb: Kip Winger

Best live band on the planet?
Ghnu: Orden Ogan… Haha! No sorry, I have seen Phil Collins at his Farewell Tour
and his live band was really great.
Seeb: Mmmh. Difficult question… Nine Inch Nails.
Nils: Deep Purple

Humanity's worse fault?
Ghnu: Oh man I can’t say which fault is the worst.
Nils: Hitler.
Seeb: Greed.

Best gift of nature?
Ghnu: Maybe water?
Seeb: Ozone.

What's the thing that should not be?
Ghnu: It is in my cellar but I can’t say what it is.
Nils: St. Anger.
Seeb: Nils.

Do you believe in love?
Ghnu: Of course!
Nils: YES!
Seeb: Difficult question. Does love believe in me?

Best book ever written?
Ghnu: The Lord of the Rings from J.R.R Tolkien
Nils: I don’t read any books.
Seeb: Stephen King’s “It”

Where is Osama bin Laden?
Ghnu: Maybe he is still sitting in an earth hole like Saddam did, and waits for someone to help him out of there. I don’t know!
Nils: In my attic!
Seeb: Yeah, I think I’ve seen him there.

Your favorite quote?
Ghnu: I don’t have one.
Nils: Machst du letzte Preis!
Seeb: Fate shuffles the cards, we play. (Arthur Schopenhauer)

Autor: Klawz
Vezi galeriile trupelor: Orden Ogan

   May 22, 2008  | 2 Comments  | 7900 Views « BACK

Comment on: ORDEN OGAN: the rebirth of melodic metal? Quite possibly, yes!

  • ce plete frumoase au dracii hehehee

    1. Posted by Pleata of the Soullll | 24 Mai 2008 19:08
  • asa e,piesele sunt rock adevarat,serios si inimos,asa cum ar trebui sa sune mere;)

    2. Posted by dreammster | 28 Mai 2008 08:52
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