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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Ogdru Jahad Interview

 1. Can you tell us a little bit about the band for those that have never heard of you before?

Hails. First, we are called Ogdru Jahad, not Jihad, hahaha, a lot of other people get that wrong too, I guess the origin of the name is not that well known after all and it would seem a common mistake to think we would have a name dealing with holy war! Anyway, we were formed in 2011 or so, the idea had been there much longer, but we started rehearsing with this line-up in 2011. All band members have been part of the Danish underground for many years, playing in various other bands and such.

2. How would you describe your musical sound?

We aim to play some old school black metal of death, based more on evil and primitive memorable riffs than on a wall of ambience and noise. The sound is still raw and to the point, but I think it is no problem to hear all intruments, riffs and solos etc. We keep most of the songs pretty short and fast, but at the same time we are not afraid to include slow and heavy parts from time to time. Now get me right, it is not blast beats from start to end, so compared to many super fast bands in the black metal or death metal genre, then we are probably a bit more midpaced at most of the time.

3. The song lyrics cover a lot of blasphemous themes, can you tell us a little bit more about your hatred towards christianity and the white light?

Yeah, well speaking for myself personally, to be honest I don't care too much about Christianity as it exist in Denmark right now. Aside from a few hypocrite who like to speak out in social medias and tv, when possible, I don't really get any problems here. The state and church is well seperated and I was never baptized because most of my family don't care about Christianity at all.
What I do have against Christianity (and other religions) is when it comes down to the extremeties and it begins to force rules upon you or work against progress of life and science. I find it concerning when people begin to take the words of the bible as the truth and not just one possible truth, but the only one and ask no questions.
Actually I do like the myth and mysticism concerning many religions and while our lyrics on the first album don't deal too much with the occult origins of Christianity, that is one subject I hope we will go further into in the future and have some lyrics which will deal more with subjects which could relate to lot of the symbolism we had incorporated in our cover and less common blasphemy, hehehe...

4.The bands name comes from the power and evil dieties of the Hellboy comics, which in turn was inspired by the writings of H.P Lovecraft, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in the comics and the writings of Lovecraft?

Yes, that was also something I was writing more about in Sadogoat/Sadomator. I have been very fond of Lovecraft since I was very young and back when I founded Sadogoat (1998 or so) it felt natural to include lyrics with Cthulhu mythos themes in them. As it turned out Sadogoat/mator ended up having a lot of different lyrical subject, which was no problem for me at all, but with Ogdru Jahad we aim to keep a bit more general theme in the lyrics. So I doubt there will be any lyrics about Hellboy universe or completely inspired by Lovecraft. But fear not, since Lovecraft too was inspired by reality (or took his truth from the truth) we might very well be writing stuff with hints to the Cthulhu mythos with themes from Babylonian and Sumerian origins of some of the darker sides of early Christianity and the different proto Christian sects and such.
And about comic books and such, I have no idea if any of the other band members have any interest in such stuff. Well Sod Corpse is a HUGE fan of Prince Valiant and I know he likes Beetle Bailey too and Undiety had some Prince Valiant comics lying around too, but besides that I don't know. Me, I have grown up with a dad who collected comics and his collection was larger than our local library's, so I have been reading and buying comics since I was a kid. For me it has always come second to collecting music and probably also after a few other bad habits, so I don't have a huge collection, but it is growing. Mostly I borrow comics from my dad or loan at the library and such though.

5. I have read that the band was originally supposed to only be a temporary project, what was the decision behind going full time?

Previously I was busy with Sadomator and the other members were busy with Ligfaerd and Blodfest. But since I had recorded the "Scourging the Son of God" EP with Sadogoat back in the days I had many times thought about re-recording the songs, since I was not completely satisfied with how it turned out back then and I also had been working on a couple of similar songs, which never had been recorded. It seemed like Sadomator had taken a path were these old songs would not really fit in anymore, so I was thinking of just re-recording the old songs and record a few new songs in the same style, do an underground tape release, play a few gigs and then carry on with Sadomator. But as things turned out Sadomator was becoming more and more stagnant and I decided to take a break for a while and it seemed like the right time to start up Ogdru Jahad, at the same time Blodfest went on hold and Ligfaerd seems to be in a less active period too. In the end we decided to make more songs and record a full album and see where it would take us. Right now we concentrate on promoting the album, play some gigs and I guess in the near future we will start composing some new tracks for upcoming releases. I don't really think Ogdru Jahad is the main band of any of the members, but at the same time I don't really feel that it has a status of side project, at least not for me.

6. What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance?

So far we have only played two gigs, the first was supporting Vulcano and Blodfest in Copenhagen, it was pretty good, but we only had few songs and they had not really all been fully developed yet. We had the gig recorded on tape and was spreading 200-300 tapes in the underground previous to our the LP release. Our second gig was at last years Metal Magic Festival (Denmark), the gig was good and the audience seemed to love it, but we had some problems with the sound and we didn't really feel that the sound technician was listening to the same music as us or listening to what we said. I think he was really tired, but it was still too bad that it should have negative influence on our sound and all. Our next gig is Kill Town Death Fest (Denmark) here on friday 30th August, I really think this will be our best gig so far, since we are much better prepared, we have more tracks finished and the album have been out some time, so hopefully some of the audience will know our songs by now. If you want I can write you back about it afterwards?
About stage performance, we don't have any great image, costumes, probs or such, so our performance is mostly just the band playing the songs, banging our heads and hoping the audience enjoy it as much as we do. We might wear some spikes, reversed crucifix's, bulletbelts, leather, corpse paint, hoods or whatever we feel like on the day, there is not really any continuing theme in our looks and performance. We try to keep everything dark and obscure when we take band photos and such, but on the stage it is a bit different, since the music comes first when we perform.

7. Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?

Not besides Kill Town, which I just told about. We would like to play more gigs, but life is in the way for any major touring. We are mainly interested to play in and around Denmark. Hopefully we will have some gigs in Germany at the end of the year or in 2014. There is many things which is becoming problematic about travelling too far or for many days, some have jobs and family which is hard to work with a touring life and I deal with some mental problems which is making me less and less happy to leave home and be around people for longer periods. Also there is always the money issue, we have all been in music for a long time and non of us really want to play for nothing and get half assed treatment anymore. Not that we are looking for big money or anything, buy paid transport, food and a real bed would do it, but lot of times that is not an option, especially for smaller bands like us.

8.Recently both Ancient Darkness and Iron Bonehead released your recording, how would you describe the support both labels have given you so far?

Great support. Both labels have been supporting our music for years. Iron Bonehead have been releasing Sadomator, Sadogoat, Blodfest, Wolfslair and such stuff which Ogdru Jahad members have been involved in. Ancient Darkness have always supported Sadogoat, Ligfaerd, Wolfslair and Blodfest. So it has been pretty easy to work with both labels.
When we decided to do a full album it felt natural to ask Iron Bonehead to do the vinyl and Ancient Darkness to do the CD version and without hesitation both labels agreed, since then it has been going pretty smooth and we have had all wishes for cover art, merchandise and such fullfilled. So I can only say we are pretty pleased by the support from both labels and if they want to work with us in the future we don't feel no need to search for other labels.

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black/death metal?
I think the feedback from fans of the genre have been great! Many people have contacted us and told us how much they like it and more than one has been so bold to call it album of the year (so far), which has surprised me a bit! So I think we must have done something right. Although the album is not selling as fast as expected, but it seems like the sales have not stagnated yet, so I believe the music is spreading more and more day by day.
We have had a lot of not so good raning to terrible reviews too, but that has mainly been by people who are not into this genre in the beginning, so we don't really care about that. After all, already before we released the album, we knew it would not be considered a general masterpiece in the history of metal and the album was always mainly aimed for the true lovers of black/death underground! People like ourselves and the other bands and fans we have been in contact with for years through our underground activities.

10.What is going on with the other musical projects these days?

I mainly concentrate on Ogdru Jahad right now and my tape label Silver Key Records. Sadomator is still active, but it is very slowly coming along and I think I have made 1 or 2 useable riffs since our last album in 2009. Sod is planning upcoming releases with Ligfaerd and hopefully there will be an album and EP in 2014. Undeity and Necronuntius is busy with Phlegm Productions and have been recording a great demo with their new band Deiquisitor, which is still unreleased, but might be out later this year if things go as it should.

11.What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?

Mainly the same direction as we are going right now, but maybe not 100%, since I made most of the stuff on the first album, lot of it was old and already made before the band formed. So hopefully the other band members will be more active in the song making process. Don't get me wrong, all band members have been active in making our debut album what it is, but most of the basic work was laid out by me and the other members added a bit, edited some, changed this and that and in the end I feel like the final product is a combined band effort. Also we will not aim to make another album which will be a copy of this one, we will try to improve things, go new ways and since the recording process often is a mess it really is hard to know what the final product, of an upcoming album will be, before it is finished.

12. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

I think it would be pretty hard to deny that the main influence to begin with have been stuff like Profanatica, but over the years and along the way I think al lot of different stuff has been picked up and become a part of our musical bagage. I think it would be hard for me to mention everything that has sent me on the path to were I am now musically and since all the members really have been going in lot of different directions and even though we share lot of our musical taste, there is also lot of differences. So it would be impossible to be 100% certain to pick out everything and say it is influenced and inspired by this or that. In the end I really think I had these old songs lying around and when I started composing I was actually listening more to the old songs and as such getting insired by myself and the combining it with my musical evolution over the last many years and so it maybe became different while still being the same. The stuff I listened to mostly while writing the old tracks have not been the same stuff as I mainly listen to now.
People like to compare us to stuff like Beherit, Blasphemy and Black Witchery and I won't deny that it is some of my all time favourites of the genre, but I was honestly not thinking much about these bands when I composed for Ogdru Jahad, for me they are much different then what I was aiming for, but maybe I have had it blasted into my skull for too long and this stuff just shines through. I don't know.
When we mixed the album we aimed to have a more old American underground death/black metal sound, there was always some parts of the American black/death metal scene that seemed to never really reach to Europe and lot of the old underground stuff was really great and interesting in a whole different way than the Norwegian black metal scene or the Swedish death metal scene which was most prevalent in Europe back then, or at least Scandinavia. Not that there wasn't good music in Europe, there have been tons of great bands and there is still loads of brilliant stuff from the 90s and such, which never really got out there.
Ehm, this ended up becoming a longer tale I guess, but to end this question, we tried to fill out a whole in Europe, which we think not so many other bands have been venturing near in these parts. Time will tell if we will be forgotten or remember in 10 years.

13.How would you describe your views on Satanism and Occultism?
It is very interesting subjects and I have been studying the themes for many years, sometimes more active than others. I personally don't call myself satanist, since I don't believe in God or a personified Satan and as such I think Satanism is a product of Christianity. But I do share lot of the believes and such which is generally associated with Satanists and I would say my everyday life is lived according to that. I put myself, my family and friends in the center of importance and don't give a fuck about most of the rest of the world, but generally don't make any trouble as I know it will end up becoming trouble for me. So I don't have any active religion or occult view which I live after and my views on my personal beliefs of religion and society constantly change as I learn and evolve throughout life. I am always interested to learn more hidden secrets and I find them in surprising places.

14.Outside of music what are some of your interests?

Cats, easter and christmas related chocolate, brewing perfect coffee, clogs, collecting Hamtaro figurines, watching Prince Valiant movies, tv series and cartoons, Dick Turpin, making sauce so think that it can stand on its own, researching the history of Næstved Havn, and playing tabble tennis.

15.Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?

Thanks for the support. Cthulhu Fthagn!

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