There is something to exploring your inner sense through music. OGEN’s black metal was just what the doctor ordered when I heard it the first time. An interview were to happen and here it is. Anders Ekdahl ©2012
I know next to nothing about you. Could you please introduce the band to us all?
-Ogen is basically a one-man band born with an interest in the black metal sound active from 2010. So far the band has relesed an Ep, ‘Black Metal Unbound’, via Italian label Kolony Records and it’s right now in the middle of the songwriting process of the next opus, wether it be a full-length album or another Ep (or just some single tracks to be made available only in digital format). The intent behind the band was to create some good black metal, both raw and leaning towards more ‘progressive’ features, what I tried to achieve mainly by means of an hopefully unpredictable guitar approach and rhythmic solutions.
I think that a bands name is a statement on intent. That is where it all starts when you see it in writing or in the record store. How tough was it to pick you band name?
-Actually it was quite easy since it just came by reading a XVIIth century book, where it was quoted as an older form of the ancient Greek word for ‘ocean’. I happened to like it very much, both the way it sounded and the meaning itself, which I thought could easily relate to the idea of something vast and unexplored, be it a physical landscape or something else.
We live in an age where digital downloading is increasing and the album as we know it is about to disappear. How important is the album format to you guys? Would Ogen’s music work if it was released track by track?
-That’s an interesting question. I’m still one of those people that really appreciate the album format as a more complete way of expressing someone’s musical leanings. By buying a Cd or a vinyl you get something where sound, image and lyrics unite, giving strength to the whole musical offering. On the other side, I’m not at all against the possibility of releasing music in a different way, like a single track now and then, which could enable an artist to share almost immediately his creations, skipping the whole pressing cycle. Should it happen that one day Ogen releases its work track by track, it could be for special tracks like, maybe, acoustic renditions of already released songs or for a tune that’s meant to stand out from previous work, or even to offer them for free digital download.
What would you say is the greatest gratification with having a new album out? What is it that you want to achieve with this new album?
-First and foremost I think that he who feels the urge to create a work of art reaches gratification just by satisfying his need to give birth, materially too, to his creations. Then, of course, if you get some recognition for your work it’s not bad at all! [laughs]
I’m a man of very little patience. How hard is the wait for the recorded sounds to finally appear on a physical record? What do you do during the wait?
-I think I’m quite a patient person, but it could get frustrating whenever problems in the production cycle arise, like in the mixing-mastering phase, and then you have to, maybe, postpone events related with the release of the album and which you’d put great efforts in.
How important would you say that the lyrics are to the songs? Do you have a specific theme you use?
-To me lyrics are very important; they kind of set the mood for an entire track, which very often gets born after a lyrical theme is sketched. Ogen’s lyrics mainly deal with mountains, forests and woods, legends and old tales (or even tales that are outlined by me), surrounding them. This particular environment is the perfect theatre to set haunting stories into.
Something I often wonder when I listen to metal is how you know what words go with what song?
-As I told, in the case of Ogen is often quite the contrary, it’s the music that tries to fit an already existing lyrical theme, which at the same time forces and leads the songwriting process. It’s like a challenge where the notes must fit the lyrical framework.
Is Ogen a gig playing band? What kind of stage show do you put on? Is it important to not just enter the stage in your plain everyday clothes?
-Ogen is mainly a studio project, but we are trying to get some exposure by playing selected gigs too. I think it’s important to focus more on the music itself and the way it differs in a live situation from recorded material than the theatrics, still I’d like to have some stage decorations that fit the lyrical themes of our music, which is mainly about mountain’s legends and tales.
Do you feel that Ogen is a part of a metal scene, locally as well as internationally? is it important to feel a part of something bigger?
-Well I don’t think that we are part of a scene as long as we have not been very much involved in live activities so far, playing only a few selected gigs, and we are pretty much an unknown band but, on the other hand, we can of course be easily related to a metal genre, which is black metal, even from the logo of the band, and that’s important because can help the listener have some clues about the kind of music to expect from Ogen.
What kind of future would you like to see for Ogen?
-A future made of composing and releasing good extreme metal tunes, in a constant musical evolution leading Ogen to something really interesting. It would be great to build a fan-base and make the name of the band synonym with good music. Thank you for showing interest in the band and giving Ogen the opportunity to spread its name!