[LOCAL INTERVIEW] Catching up with OHGOD

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The Metalist za caught up with David Houston (guitar) of Cape Town based progressive rock legends Ohgod upon their return from their recent European tour supporting the mighty Jinjer. See what he had to say about their experience.

It’s not every day that a South African band gets to tour or go overseas. How did your tour to Germany come about?


It’s a simple case of don’t ask don’t get ! Our manager, Calvin, actually approached dunk festival with a simple email and things developed from there. Once that was locked down we got our homies from Turning Tricks to jump on board and they got us on the Jinjer tour!



It’s not easy getting an entire band to go overseas and it must have been difficult to get everything in order while still trying to pay attention to your music. I’m sure many musicians are interested to know, what did it take in terms of organisation, help and resources to make it a reality?


Musicians on tour are like a bunch of ADD kids – it’s hard to even remember to tie our shoelaces and brush our teeth.This kind of thing is impossible without a manager ! Luckily we have the best one in the world in the form of Calvin de Swardt who really took the whole thing on.


You went to India not so long ago and the experience must have been completely different to your experience in Germany. How do they compare to each other in terms of venues, atmosphere and crowd?


It was completely different! Infrastructure wise India is chaos with billions of people while Europe is super organized – so it’s a lot less stressful to tour in Europe – but they both epic experiences each with their own pros and cons

Fan and venue wise they quite similar in a sense – India has some great venues and both sets of fans share a similar passion and commitment to the music



You posted images about some Ohgod graffiti that was made for you in Berlin. Tell us a bit more about that.


Berlin is a graffiti heaven so when we were there Danny got this idea that he wanted to go tag a wall. We found out about this park where people go to practice graffiti and we met a guy who was jut about to start a blank piece … we told him about our tour and our band and asked him if he would do a tag of our name – he was keen, so we bought him some paint and beer and he got started. The whole thing took about 4 hours and Calv got an epic time lapse – which you can see on our Facebook page!


How do you feel the crowd responded to your music?


Amazingly ! So humbling. Especially the metal crowd from the shows with Jinjer. I was a bit nervous to how they hardcore German metal fans would respond to our softer touch but they really seemed to dig it.


You supported Jinjer and played alongside the Dali Thundering Concept. What was that like? Any other bands that caught your attention that you feel like the folks here should be listening to?


They were both amazing bands – next level technical ability and raw talent. Some of the bands from dunk and pelagic blew my mind – check out Telepathy, Ef, pg.lost and Tides of man. Also The Ocean! One of the best sets I have ever seen.


You played some sold-out shows, what was that like?


It was mad – packed to capacity every time !

one thing with every show we played including dunk is that the entire crowd is there for every band even they don’t know who they are. They are there for the music not to hang at the bar and drink.

Touring must be very taxing in several ways. Was there a specific thing/set of things that you did to stay sane? What was the first thing you did when you got back?


It’s pretty exhausting. Personally, its important for me to take time away from the group to just relax or meditate, clear all the internal noise that you pick up along the way, and also to try eat healthy as often as possible and get enough rest – not always possible, but something to strive for! First thing i did when I got back was Eat a massive tasty meal


How did you decide on a set list for the tour?


We generally craft a set list with a specific intent – we want to be able to keep the right kind of flow as well as the right kind of energy – we had 2 different sets for Europe – One longer and more ambient/pretty sounding set for Dunk and Pelagic and one shorter (30min) set with all our intenser tracks crammed in for the Metal shows with Jinjer.


What was one of your favourite things about the tour?


Just hanging out in Berlin on our off days, wandering around and taking it in. Such a vibey place with so much interesting history.


Were there any stand-out moments for you guys? Any interesting stories?


The Stand out moment for me and I think i can speak for everyone was Dunk Fest. It was our first show so we were all fresh and bright eyed, and to see a festival with such a beautiful venue, amazing bands (seriously every band was mind blowing), awesome passionate people from all over the world and of course to perform to a packed out tent with the most insane lighting rig ever. Was really special!


Even though you’ve played in some very cool places, what is your performance bucket list?


Super keen to go to Asia! Japan would be one of the tops! Playing Dunk again would also be a bucket list 😛


What were some your expectations when heading over? Had any of you been to Germany before?


Nope we were all Deutschland virgins. We expected it to be super clean, efficient and full of interesting places and our expectations were met (and exceeded!)


Being away from home in an unfamiliar country must have had its challenges. What difficulties did you face along the way?


Europe is pretty easy going generally, but some of the main difficulties were sensitive budgets and Rand Euro Conversions (eeek!), getting sick, keeping energy up and dealing with General grumpiness and irritability among the group.


How is it adjusting to normal life after coming back from something like that?


I only arrived last night so I’m not sure yet – but from travel missions before i know it takes a few days. I feel quite energized though and i think we all feel a lot of inspiration and keen to get things moving even higher.


What lessons do you feel South Africa can learn from their music scene?


Taking yourself seriously and being super professional even when you don’t think you are, never going on stage unless you got your shit together – In such a competitive market there is no place for “Rock and Roll, lets get fucked Whatever”!

Lastly taking sound and lights as the most important aspects of the show, punctuality and being super quick to be on and off stage.

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Interviewed by:

Roushan Van Niekerk