GRTR! recently caught up with Orden Ogan’s Dirk and Seeb ahead of the band’s upcoming album, ‘Gunmen’ which is released on AFM Records on July 7.
The ‘Gunman’ video is very good indeed and will the storyline be carried onto the next video? Who came up with the idea for the video and band’s look?
DIRK: thank you very much….There are two lyric Videos planned for “Come with me to the other side” and “Fields of sorrow”. And we are likely to shoot two more music videos but its not fixed yet. The idea for the Video and the look came from Seeb (singer, guitar and producer) and Rainer Fraenzen, who is ORDEN OGAN’S long time partner the video making.
SEEB: we wanted to do this “dark-fantasy-afterlife-wild-west”-kind of style for a long time now. When we started songwriting the first two tracks had these melodies and harmonies that somehow reminded us of the glorious wild west scores of Ennio Morricone. So we though – yeah, maybe now is the time, haha…
One song on the new album ‘Finis Coronat Opus’ is a bit of a departure as it is almost pomp rock with grandiose arrangements, massed vocals etc. What was the idea behind this song and who came up with the musical ideas?
SEEB: people who are more familiar with ORDEN OGAN’s discography will think that this fits perfectly into our history. “Finis Coronat Opus” is a track that could have been on “Easton Hope” (2010), that was a record with a lot of long and very progressive songs. Just a lot of stuff going on in the songs. The subsequent records tended to have a more straight forward kind of songwriting approach, but in this case “Finis Coronat Opus” was asking for a more complex arrangement. It’s mostly written by me. “Finis Coronat Opus” means “the end crowns the work”, so it was clear that this track had to be the last on the record and a long and majestic one. Lyrically it’s a romanticisation of the act of dying, giving the way you day as much severity as the way you live…
In the light of the tragic events in Manchester how does this affect a band likes yourselves as regards touring? Does it make you more determined to go on playing live or maybe like Kansas, who cancelled their European dates (admittedly before the events) to stay closer to family?
DIRK: the tragic events in Manchester of course were shocking for us and our thoughts are are with the people who died or lost someone there….
But we will not cancel our upcoming tour in October 2017 or any shows in the future… That is what these people want! They want everyone to fall in panic and give up our way of living. But there is no way they are going to achieve that.
Were the band pleased with the reception given to the ‘Ravenhead’ album? Did you see an upswing in interest in the band following on from your dates with Power Wolf?
DIRK: we think that the Hammerfall and the Powerwolf tours were very good and important for us… ORDEN OGAN was popular before, but on these tours we realized how many metal-heads actually are there that are familiar with ORDEN OGAN.
Still we were able to gain new fans on both tours. It was a great year for us.
SEEB: And after that in 2016 we did our first headlining tour through Europe that was a huge success as well...
You put a lot into your music packages, for instance ‘The Book of Ogan’ last years was not just a best of but had a live DVD etc. How important is it to the band to have control over the product that gets released to fans? How important has it been being signed to AFM Records, who have a good track record of high quality product?
SEEB: The main feature of the Book of Ogan actually is the documentary that is very interesting for all people that are somehow related to the music industry. You don’t have to be an ORDEN OGAN fan to find this interesting, not even a metal fan. It’s just a very good documentary that shows the way of a band from nothing to an internationally established music act.
In our case we have complete control and double check everything. I think its very important because artwork, pictures, layout – all these things make a great product, not only the music.
Liv Kristine guests on one song on the new album. How did she become involved and any chance she may join you on stage to sing this at some stage?
DIRK: when the intro of this Song was composed it was obvious straight away that we need a beautyful fragile female voice for this song… Liv was the first one who came into our minds and she has the perfect voice for that! Seeb and Niels (bass) know Liv for a longer time. They met in Wacken by accident, Seeb asked her and she said yes straight away. So that’s a pretty lame story I guess, haha… But we are all very happy with the result… She did an awesome job!
Maybe it is possible to perform the Song with her live someday…would be great!
Message for your fans…
DIRK: We want to say “Thank you” to all our fans who come to our concerts and actually buy CDs and Merchandise, because without you we wouldn’t be able to do what we are doing… You keep the Metal alive!
Interview by Jason Ritchie
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