THE ORDHER – Surviving in the scene is important
Fans av brutal death metal husker bandene Rebaelliun og Nephasth fra Brasil. Begge bandene er i dag historie, men folkene bak de to bandene har dannet et nytt band de kaller The Ordher og vår reporter Roy Kristensen (også Imhotep) kontaktet bandets gitarist Fabiano Penna og her kan du lese hva The Ordher handler om og andre små finurligheter.
Present yourself to the unprepared reader by shortly telling you who you are and perhaps add a little concerning Rebaelliun as well, while we have the readers' attention?
Well, I'm Fabiano Penna, guitar player of Brazilian act The Ordher together with Fabio Lentino (vox/bass) and Mauricio Weimar (drums/percussions), both ex-members of Nephasth. I was the former member and song writer of the extinct band Rebaelliun as well, some years after the end of that band we just met so started this new band called The Ordher.
In the beginning it is important to some to find the "correct" image, while others develop their style while they develop their music. How important is image to you and what kind of image do you think will fit to your style of music? Can we expect a continuation of your former creation, perhaps?
It's always a continuation in a way or another, although The Ordher has nothing to do with what Rebaelliun did in the past, I mean, this is a new band and we have another conception for the music now, not always fast and chaotic. It's still Death Metal, still fast, still extreme, but now with some different elements, heavier, with some groove, a complete different approach at all. This ‘image' you're talking about is surely important, but it's hard to describe it in words, really… The Ordher is Metal, is heavy, dirty, aggressive and extreme.
Your music will most likely be compared to other bands, since it's, if not a limit, at least hard to invent something totally unique. How do you view your music in comparison with the scene, and do you really think it is important to be completely original? Do you think you have any chance to survive in the overload of strange band names, copied music and lack of original ideas?
Yeah, that's an important point, surviving in the scene. There are too many bands indeed, and most of these bands playing exactly the same type of music. Sure it's hard to be original, probably even harder these days, but I think that a band should be able to develop a concept with at least a few elements that would differ them from the rest. In The Ordher I think that what differs us from most of the nowadays bands is some parts that sound more ‘rock', if you know what I mean. There are a lot of rock guitar leads in the album, with blue notes and a lot of wah wah too, even some riffs are based on rock in general, but in a low tune, with fast double bass behind, what makes it sounds extreme, and not rock. I can feel that we are trying to find this way that can make us differ from most of the bands, maybe in "Weaponize" it's not clear enough yet, but this is a direction, maybe we're right and have done the right thing, maybe not. Anyway the next album must have these elements even stronger and probably more ‘integrated' with the type of music we play, extreme death metal.
You did some live-things during December, right? What can we expect from The Ordher on stage? And being on the matter, what do you think about metal and playing live – is it a necessity, as in is metal meant to be played live first and foremost?
I think that Metal must be played live, and that's our intention. We just record the album because we wanna be on the road after that playing those songs for all those maniacs, that are the best thing about being in a Metal band, be on the stage playing your music, meeting people, drinking some beer with them and talking about music. The Ordher on stage is energy, and we care a lot about sounding the closest to how the album sounds.
One often draws inspiration from other bands, books, movies and fantasy. And lately I have seen that many metal bands think use life itself as an inspiration source. Where does your band look to find inspiration? And, being on the subject, how interesting is it to learn about the band's own thoughts and experiences, when the music is most important? Or is the music the most important factor?
The music is the most important thing, always and ever. But, music is art, and art depends on the real life to makes sense, you know? So anything in life can be inspiration source for a song or for some lyrics. In our case, a death metal band, of course inspiration comes from extreme things, aggressive things, just because we have interest on those topics and because it fits with how the band sounds. The source could be anything, something you have seen during the day (especially in Brazil, a violent country), a book you've read, a good Tarantino movie, and sometimes even your own experiences. I think that there are infinite sources for inspiration around, the point is how to make this sound interesting and creative.
Please brief us on the band's skills, in the sense of; how long have you played your instruments, what led you to pick up the instrument and finally get into bands, etc.! By the way, who are in the band?
I play all guitars and lead guitars, Mauricio Weimar is the drummer and Fabio Lentino plays the bass and sings. We've done this for about 12, 15 years more or less. I think that the strongest reason for any of us have decided to play was the influence of the bands we liked when we were kids, you start to listen to Metal, then you become a fan of some bands, you buy magazines, the albums, and suddenly you feel that you would like to live just like that guy on the magazine, you know? In my case the strongest influence was Sepultura, something like ‘fuck, these guys live in the same country as I live, so that's possible…
People are most likely interested in what you've done so far. So, here's your chance to promote the band with a MySpace site, website and what else people should look for. What will they expect when they search for your band?
The Ordher is a new band, less than 3 years that we've been together. However we've worked a lot, so people can find a lot about us on the Net. You can find us at Myspace (www.myspace.com/theorderextreme), with everything about the band which means a complete bio, nice pictures, live pictures, 4 songs from our album available, a cover song we recorded last year available too (we did AC/DC's "The Razor's Edge", available only at Myspace), our next gigs, etc. The same info you can find at our site too (www.theordher.com).
The Ordher is available as well at Last FM (www.lastfm.com.br/music/The+Ordher) where you can listen to "Weaponize", there are some videos of us at Youtube too, just go there and look for The Ordher, etc. We've done a lot in Internet, so anyone who wants to know more about the band can find a lot about us.
In connection with the former topic, MySpace is a great thing for newer bands.
A bit on the side, but how do you view the metal scene these days, and especially the threats/advantages with the internet?
Internet has good and bad points. Good thing is that you can promote your music very well around the world; you just sit in front of the pc and work on that, it can be done quickly, and it's for free. Bad thing is that there are too many bands with Myspage pages, sites, etc, I mean, in the past only a few bands were able to be in a magazine, in a radio show, that would differ these big acts from the beginners. Nowadays I can create a band name, start a Myspace page, add hundreds of people and say I'm famous. It's not a big problem at all, but sometimes this big number of ‘artists' make the scene even more competitive. Anyway, I believe that playing live will set apart the real bands from the beginners and losers, just like in the past.
I think it is important to ask about the lyrical aspect of the band. It is a known fact that most (hopefully to be) fans care most about the music, while the lyrics are for those who're especially interested. What kind of topics can we expect your lyrics to deal with? And which language(s), reasoned by what suits your music, I suppose!
We talk about war and violence in general. Sometimes it includes religious issues, sometimes politic issues too, but it's about the violent side of human nature. What language? Well, you can only talk about violence with an aggressive language, which fits with the aggressive music.
One thing that is noticeable is the production, which is clear and present, and the rapid parts (more or less the whole album if you will, hah) are easy to differentiate. How did you work with the production in order to make it justify your brutality?
I work as a producer here in Brazil, not only with Metal, but have worked with several Rock artists as well, so I ended learning how each instrument should sound to be clear on a recording and to not affect the other instruments, that would be a technical explanation (a boring one, I should say…). But I believe that this has a lot to do with the way you play the instrument too, in the beginning most of musicians are too ‘dirty' playing, lots of distortion, etc. After a few years, you change your sound; things start to become more and clearer, just the way you play. Of course then you start to search for equipment that will help you out on this task, so in my viewpoint it's just the natural way. Besides, we tried to make a very heavy album; our music is not only based on speed, so we worked with heavy elements more than ever this time.
The vocals are very brutal. Some artists do strange things to bring for the feeling of death and destruction. But, I wonder, how does the vocal performance in The Ordher come through? I mean, it cannot be easy to do such vocals and avoid a sore throat?
We've seen guys like David Vincent, Glen Benton, they've done this for almost 20 years now, and they keep great. I think that a good death metal vocalist knows how to find a brutal sound and not hurt his throat…
As said, the music is brutal and there's almost no sign of compromise. However, there are breaks making the songs more dynamic than just a regular brutal assault. And a track such as "Won't stand Behind the Line" is a tad slower, and "Father" is almost a ballad (haha). The brutality makes me wonder, what is it that you want to tell us with your music? Why not write more happy music?
Man, you can write about happy things or about bad things, it's just a matter of choice. You know, in the world there are happy things and unhappy things, if everybody writes music only about the happy ones, maybe people will forget that we have so many bad things as well around. We talk about all the shit and write brutal music just because we're more inclined to do that than other people, you know? It does not mean that we wanna see the world going to another world war or something like that, but we have to be honest to ourselves and agree that there are so many bad things around that someone has to deal with it, in art or not. It's the same for a movie, you know? People that do movies about war or violence, it doesn't mean that they are violent people or want wars and more violence in the world; it's just a way to express your view of the world or the mankind… Anyone can choose to be in an army for example or in circus acting like a clown, always matter of choice.
When you write one track, and are set and done; how do you work to make the next track differ from the former, yet still fit into the concept?
That's hard to explain, man… It just happen, you know? It's not really planned; writing music has more to do with inspiration really. Of course you try to set a few ‘rules' to write an album. For instance, not all tracks fast, or blast beats mixed with some more ‘thrash' parts, you know? But you can't plan the whole album; it would sound too mechanical in the end I think. And if you play the style for some years and kinda master the instrument you play, it makes the song writing easier. If you need a more intense part in a song, you know which elements you should use to have this effect, like the correct beat, speed of the picking, a good tone for this or for that, right chords, etc.
"Blessed Be All Wars" makes me think that you aren't too happy about religion and that from your observation point war is here to stay. So, can this be interpreted as a salutation to war, or is it more that good and evil, or chaos and order, will be fighting forever? It's a part of the human nature…?
Yeah, it's just part of the human nature. Since mankind exists, war exists, so it's natural that this will always exist. We don't salute war on this song "Blessed Be All Wars" as a choice of us, we just show with the lyrics that sometimes war is needed, and we don't talk only about a military war between two countries, you can see this as a general idea, a war between two persons, between ideas, whatever.
From the little I know Brazil is a Catholic country, coming to religion. And judging by the track "Father" there's nothing good about religion. Personally I don't think there's anything good about religion, but are we perhaps a bit close-minded? How have you developed your vision upon religion as such, and do you by chance see anything good in Christianity?
I think it's always a matter of choice. Christianity has several bad points, but so does Satanism. I'm a fan of a few bands where some are Satanists… I'm not Satanist but will not dislike that band or that musician just because he is. The same for Christianity… I hate white Metal, that's a big bullshit, but we have the example of Tom Araya, who's a Christian now. Fuck, that's bad from my point of view, but I'm still a big fan of Slayer and of him, and will always be. It's always a matter of choice; it does not work for me (Christianity), but maybe does for others, so it's not my problem at all.
It's not always easy to write lyrics that shall dress the music, or vice versa. How do you actually write the songs? I guess violence is an inspirational source, judging from the sheer brutality of The Ordher, but what else is there that adds to the weaponizing?
As I said before, violence is the main theme. And sometimes we focus on religious issues to show the violence, sometimes politic issues, that's creating the ‘variation' of the same topic, you know? You can write a whole album or maybe all your albums about violence, but there are infinite creative ways to talk about the same stuff.
Finally, but probably most important, what is your aim(s) with your band? Where are your stars that you want to reach?
The main aim is to be able to create good music within the genre, all the rest is consequence (record labels, tours, fans, etc.).
(Dette intervjuet har tidligere vært publisert på www.imhotep.no)