Karnivool, AfrikaBurn and the Broadcast The Outcast with Set For The Sky in the Eastern Cape are just a few highlights of what is lined up for Cape Town’s instrumental geniuses ‘Ohgod’, as they continue to soar up the ranks of the Southern African alternative music scene. Roo of The Metalist za got in a few words with the guys as they prepare to support one of their favourite bands Karnivool, who will be performing their first show on their SA tour with them at The Mecury Live in Cape Town courtesy of Turning Tricks Entertainment.
Ok so firstly, KARNIVOOL! I would be as excited as George R. R. Martin writing the death of another beloved Game of Thrones character. How did you guys feel when you were told you’d be a supporting act?
Safe to say probably about as excited as Lord Tyrion when it comes to wine! There are many words in the English language that could be used to describe the feeling, but ecstatic and honored probably comes close. All of us being big Karnivool fans, without being a cliche it’s kind of a dream come true.
Karnivool has been considered a kind of a ‘gateway drug’ for many prog-ists or at least a massive influence. Would you guys agree? Do you have any artists that particularly served as a gateway into the type of music you play?
All of us went through a stage of mainly listening to instrumental bands like Cloudkicker, If These Trees Could Talk, God Is An Astronaut and Explosions In The Sky.
You guys were previously in other bands, in fact 3 of you are from Lane Evermore and one of you is from Mazaru. Was it a bizarre coincidence that you all left Joburg and smushed into one convenient super-God – I mean er – group in another province on the far side of South Africa? Or was there method in this prog-induced madness?
Yes, there was some planning involved, Lane Evermore simply had to make the move down to Cape Town, and sadly one of the members could not make the move at that time, while we were planning the relocation knowing we would need a new member, Danny contacted an old friend and study buddy (David) to suggest the idea, knowing David’s musical capability and sonic control from seeing Mazaru perform, there was really no other option, he had to be the one.
I use the word prog but if I read your bio correctly, you classify yourselves as Ghost Rock. Please, tell us more.
Its Post-Rock but not really, it’s heavy but not Metal, it’s progressive but not Djent. Ghost rock was the best fit for the feeling the music creates.
You released your debut EP last year March, Forest Feuds. What was the main inspiration behind it?
The 4 of us just really want to make music, we all want to make music we like, and for us, being best friends,creating music together in this beautiful city,Cape Town, is where the inspiration came from. Our collective love of playing instruments and the love we have for each other really gives light to our goals.
I know many of us are savouring every last drop of your EP. Take us briefly through your writing and recording process, do you sit and write songs together in a sort of ‘jam session’ or is there one main writer? Do you feel like the music evolved with the recording process or did you have those ethereal melodies pretty much crafted and set before you went in?
It’s Kind of mix, Stefan comes up with a lot of the main riffs and when we jam together, we work through them, mix and match and try and piece together the different parts in a sensical way. Some other tracks just come up in a jam, and we try record it as soon as possible so we don’t forget them (which happens ALOT)
Instrumental bands are a rare species in this country. Why did you decide not to include a vocalist in your music?
Initially we planned to find a vocalist, but as we started writing our music we just found more freedom without one. Things just evolved that way, none of us are actively anti vocalist as such, we just felt more comfortable with our music doing the talking and not words. Why tell someone to feel something when you can let the music do that.
Ohgod is setting foot outside the pile of awesome that is Cape Town to support Set for the Sky on their upcoming tour. Tell us a bit more about that.
We’ve ventured from the Cape Lands before, but this will be our first coastal adventure. Set For The Sky are embarking on their Broadcast The Outcast Tour in April / May presented by The Metalist & To The Stage. We were invited along, they’re a bunch of great guys doing something different. So it’s fantastic to have the opportunity to share it with them. It’s also a great opportunity to help spread some of Cape Towns scene around the country and jam some place we have not played yet.
So, ‘Ohgod!’… I feel like there’s a funny story behind the name, how’d you come up with it?
Well, at the height of climax one usually screams… uh oh no sorry, haha we were really frustrated trying to choose a band name, and went through about a 100 generic ones, nothing really stood out… Our track “In between Everywhere” was named Ohgod in a Pro Tools Session on Dave’s computer as a kind of joke.. and we just kind of decided hey, lets be ballsy and go with that! Its meant as a statement of elation, or bewilderment, which is kind of what we want people to experience!
You’ve now supported the likes of Protest the Hero, 36 Crazy Fists, Monuments and soon Karnivool. How hard did you and how hard are you going to fangirl? How does it feel to have names like that on your list of achievements?
Since Ohgod started we’ve been lucky enough to share stages with some amazing bands, international & national. It is always a great feeling, i mean some of these are bands we’ve grown up listening so there is a large element of fangirling. We get to do what we love with bands that we love. It’s also exciting that the South African scene is starting to become more visible to the rest of the world. Huge thanks to people like Turning Tricks entertainment for making it happen.
What are you most looking forward to about playing with Karnivool?
This feels like a trick question…EVERYTHING. What’s better than getting to hear the songs you’ve heard countless time off their albums live. Also, really excited to get to hang with the guys a bit backstage and get some valuable intel from the Pros!
What is the worst/funniest/most awkward thing you’ve experienced as a band?
A Couple of the usual stage mishaps, Mark seems to be making a habit of nearly bailing into the drums and/or anything else in range. Dave also once had the entire content of his snotty nose fly up mid headbang and land all over his face and arms mid song.
It’s the Zombie Apocalypse. Zombies have just bust in through the door and you can each choose between basic home cutlery (forks, spoons but sadly only butter knives) or your own personal musical instruments. What would each of you choose?
It’s hard to say we’re mostly peaceful guys. It’s largely Dependent upon the number of brain eaters there are, perhaps craft a multi tool butter knife bladed drum stick, or a tri forked guitar prodder. David would probably resort to sonic warfare, by making screaming feedback sounds with his pedals and Mark would probably pet them.
Interviewed by: Roo (more from Roo)
Shots fired by: Wilder (more from Wilder)
Date: 22 April 2016
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