OZ Interview

At the end of 70s a Finnish band hit the rock scene and after many change of line-up they are still rocking.
The last album “Transition State” has been released in 2017 and the consent from the audience has been great.
We had the opportunity to have a chat with the only founding member Pekka and talk about the past, present and future in the OZ world.

-Hey Pekka, how are you doing?

I’m just fine. Life is just wonderful.

-OZ is on the rock scene since late 70s, thought the time the line up undergone many changes, how did you manage to keep the band up until now?

People don’t know the fact that I started OZ 40 years ago with our first bass player Tani, R.I.P. He had his funeral on the same day as Lemmy, and now I’m the only founding member left.
I have always been the driving force in OZ, making the band move on. I also made my mind in early years that I will never play in any other band than OZ, so this was the reason I had to continue with OZ or stop playing drums for good.
I think it’s good that this background is coming public, so that people will know why I and the new line-up are doing this the way we are. And this was also the reason for the name of the new album “Transition State”; we are heading to the future with new songs and a new line-up.
Because of me and because my idea of OZ as a band was also accepted by the new line-up, we were able to find a new path for OZ and continue to do new music, which is the best thing that has happened for this band.
Well, when I was younger (even I have been that) Heavy Metal was more attitude for life and especially when I moved from Finland to Stockholm, Sweden in ‘83. I fell in love with Heavy Rock music style and nowadays it’s more about the music that is important for me. I’m still in love with Heavy Rock music and that’s the reason why I still carry on with OZ.

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-Why did you choose OZ as name for the band?

Well, when I started this band, it took a long time to find all members, and when I started to think a name for the band I taught it should be something cool and heavy, because we would be playing heavy rock.
One day my good friend said that he read somewhere that OZ is some old Greek god, probably also god of war or something like that. Back then there was no google or anything else to help you to find the real information about that, so as a young boy, I trusted my friend and started to call my band The OZ and after the first album we started to use just OZ.
So this is the story behind the band name, two young boys in Finland, in the middle of nowhere, no internet, no books, just this tiny information from nowhere and the name was set.

-Your last album “Transition State” has been released last year, what can you tell about its genesis and lyrics?

“Transition State” is the album where the lyrics are more stories from the dark side of life than before. And there are probably more lyrics that have more science fiction than reality on them.
“Transition State” is a Classical Heavy Rock album with up to date sound, but still has some spirit of old OZ on it.
When we were recording “Burning Leather” album (Released 2011) we were trying to get back to OZ sound and feel from 80’s, and somehow also update that 80’s sound to one we have now, and I think that we were quite successful with that. ”Transition State” is the next album after ”Burning Leather”and we have developed OZ sound even more up to date, but still having some spirit of old OZ on it.
I think that this momentum will continue in the next OZ album too.

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-Do you think modern music has influenced your last work?

Probably yes, you always get influences when you listen to some kind of music, but when I work with new OZ music and especially when recording OZ music I do not listen to other bands or music during that time.

-You have played at Porispere, how was to play again at this festival?

It was a good evening, a great audience and a good show so it was just fine.
It was really fun to play at our hometown the first time with the new line up and show to the home audience and also other people that OZ is back and Transition State is here to stay.
So playing again in Porispere was just a fun experience and hopefully we can come back one day.

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-What’s on plan for the future?

Future plans are the same plans as all rock bands have; create new music, make new videos and play on stage.
I think these are also our future plans, but more specifically, we are now working on new songs for the next OZ album and we are also heading 15th September to France and play at Pyrenean Warriors Open Air IV Festival.
And as I said earlier, there will also be some work on new OZ videos.

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-We are at the end of this interview, thank you for your time! Would you like to say something to our readers?

Thank You for the cool Interview! I’d just like to say here what I usually say at the end of interviews: I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our loyal fans out there and also welcome new fans into our fold.
For more info, please check out our website www.ozofficial.com and keep on rocking.

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Blacktop Mojo Interview with Matt James

Blacktop Mojo is touring in support of their sophomore album ‘Burn The
Ships’ and current Top 40 radio single “Dream On” (Aerosmith Cover) so we had a little chat with vocalist Matt James. Don’t miss Blacktop Mojo live at Subterranean in

Chicago on August 8th!

The Offering: You’re currently headlining a North American tour how is it going on the road?

(Matt James) BTM: The tour is going great right now. We’re having a blast and making a lot of new fans and friends in every corner of the country.

TO: What can people expect from your live shows?

BTM: To be a part of a high energy, down and dirty, rock show. Also probably sore necks the next day from the headbanging. I know we get those.

TO: What do you like most about touring?

BTM: Meeting new people everyday and hearing their stories. There are some incredible folks out there.

TO: Last year you released the album “Burn The Ships”, what are your thoughts and feelings about this record now that some time has passed?

BTM: This record has been a huge blessing for us. It’s allowed us to travel the country and reach a lot of people that we might not have otherwise.

TO: When you started working on this album did you have a precise idea or concept in mind?

BTM: About 2 weeks before we went to record the album, we all quit our jobs and moved into a house together, so the theme of the album is kind of “no going back”. We “Burned our Ships” in our lives so to speak and the theme of the songs reflect what we went through when we were doing that.

TO: How would you describe the music style of this album?

BTM: A journalist we interviewed with called it “Texas Grunge”. Kinda heavy, kinda twangy, rock and roll.

TO: What made you decide to cover the Aerosmith classic “Dream On”?

BTM: We thought it would be fun.

TO: Are you interested in covering other songs in the future?

BTM: Yes

TO: Are you currently working on new music?

BTM: Yes.

TO: When can we expect a new album?

BTM: Spring of 2019

TO: What do you find most challenging about being a musician?

BTM: We love what we do, so anything that’s challenging is still fun.

TO: What are your expectations for the future of the band?

BTM: To be the first band to play on Mars.

 

Inkvisitor interview

The Finnish thrash metal band Inkvisitor is back with a new album and a new line-up.
Their second album “Dark Arts of Sanguine Rituals” has been released last April getting a lot of good reviews.
We had the chance to meet the band before their gig in Pori and talk about their music, the projects for the future and much more.

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Mortiiis Interview

Following the reissue of the 2010 album “Perfectly Defect”, we talked to Norwegian musical pioneer Mortiis!

The Offering: “Perfectly Defect” was originally released in 2010, what made you decide to reissue this album now?

Mortiis: Mainly the reason was, it was never released properly physically (it was actually only released as a free download for fans and people in general, as well as a limited edition CD that was strictly sold during the 2011 tours, and a few copies via mailorder), so I felt that it deserved a proper release at last. Also we only released 8-10 songs (depending on what download version you got) at the time. The complete recording sessions for Perfectly Defect, was actually 12 songs, and the CD version contains the complete version, for the first time.

TO: Do you still identify with the music style and concepts of “Perfectly Defect”?

Mortiis: Sure. I still think a lot of people are a waste of oxygen. I appreciate good people, and most people are pretty alright when it comes down to it, but there’s a certain amount of psychic vampires, religious bigots and hypocrites, and downright fraudulent bastards out there, so I’ll always find inspiration.

TO: This album is released via your own label Omnipresence Records, what made you decide to start a label?

Mortiis: It’s not so much a label as just an alternative to selling my soul to a record label and never seeing a dime, or ever getting my rights back. This is what most of them do. I’m not going to bore everyone with how I feel about record label practices. I´m sure there are some good ones out there, and I’d love to work with one of them some day… But so far, it’s mostly been one case after another of signing away every single right for your music, and never really getting anything back. If you luck out and start selling a lot of albums, you might get some money trickling in, but by and large they’ll find every conceivable excuse to recoup and recoup and recoup costs you aren’t even aware of. I was once charged thousands of dollars for a release party I didn’t even ask for. I paid for the bar, the place, everything, and I didn’t even ask for it. So fuck people like that. Cold Meat Industry back in the 90s treated me pretty well, I should mention that. In the future, maybe I’ll work with someone again for new releases, but it remains to be seen. I have had good experiences with licensing older stuff out to labels like Funeral industries and Foreign Sounds, for example, but those are very simple, underground type of deals where it’s more fan based than pure business…And I make more money doing shit like that, than selling 50 times as many records on a bigger label. It’s fucking absurd.

TO: Thinking about your latest album “The Great Deceiver” what are your thoughts and feelings about it now that some time passed by?

Mortiis: Still the best album I ever made. It represents everything I ever felt about a lot of things down the very fiber of my being. I don’t think that will ever change. The Smell of Rain was the most important album I ever made, because I helped me survive myself, and find a new purpose musically. The Great Deceiver, is basically my entire soul and being, manifested into music. I realize this sounds extremely pretentious and cliché, but it’s true.

TO: Are you currently working on new music?

Mortiis: Yes I have a variety of different stuff laying around. It’s more question of finding the time and focus to figure out which way to go. I’m just being really busy with a lot of shows at the moment, and all the traveling between them. I also work a regular job, obviously, since being a musician at this level, is not sustainable in the long run, so a steady income is vital. I wish it was different, but it’s not. Just real world shit, haha.

TO: When can we expect a new album?

Mortiis: I don’t have a date for that yet. I’m pretty sure something will happen next year.

TO: In terms of style how has your music evolved in all these years?

Mortiis: It’s just taken all kinds of twists and turns really. I just do whatever feels right. I don’t give a shit about genres, labeling and pigeonholing. I think that’s for pussies that are too fucking scared to just go out there and do whatever they wanna do. Beyond that, it’s a corporate idea in terms of telling people what they like. I used to call my music Dark Dungeon Music, because no one knew what to do with my records, they didn’t know where to put them..Metal, ambient, alternative…I just made that up as a thing that was unique for me… It´s changed a lot since then and I’ve mixed in various styles, to come up with something I like…metal, industrial, ambient, experimental and electronic…To create something I am happy with and can back up in the years to come.

TO: Thinking about the beginning of your career do you miss anything of those years?

Mortiis: I miss the sales numbers, haha! If that had remained, and everyone hadn’t started taking free music for granted (it costs thousands of dollars in equipment and studio time, and takes countless days and weeks and months to create, people seem to have forgotten that) then guys like me could have done this full time, and we’d be putting out a lot more music.

TO: What motivates to continue to write music?

Mortiis: Mainly the fact that I enjoy creating things, and music touches my soul I suppose you could say. It’s what appeals to me the most…It’s a passion. Unfortunately, this is the passion that record labels will prey on. They know most artists are a passionate breed and will basically kill themselves for the art, so the labels have this upper hand where they can wave this carrot (in reality, a shit deal) in front of artists that want nothing more than to get their music out there. I had to throw that in there, haha!

TO: At this point of your career how important is to have a particular image on stage?

Mortiis: I grew up on big image bands like Kiss, Twisted Sister, Alice Cooper and so on, so image and music has always walked hand in hand for me. I don’t think that will ever change, so yes, it is still very important. Music itself is always #1, but image comes in at a very close second, and I don’t see why I should separate the two anyway.

TO: Do you have touring plans?

Mortiis: I’ve currently got shows coming up across Europe, Australia and South America, so yes there are tours and individual shows happening. People can actually check my shows over at Bandsintown.com or Songkick.com

TO: Do you think you will tour in North America at some point?

Mortiis: I certainly hope so, and we are looking into a potential tour in the Spring of 2019 right now. Still very early stages so I can’t really elaborate right now.

TO: Thank you for the interview!

Mortiis: Thank you. Check out www.mortiiswebstore.com for vinyl, CD, shirts and other merch. Thanks.

 

 

Ingested Interview with Sean Hynes

Following the release of the new album “The Level Above Human” UK’s slam kings Ingested are performing on the Devastation on the Nation tour alongside Aborted, Psycroptic, Disentomb, Venom Prison, Vale of Pnath (5/25 – 6/8), and Signs of the Swarm (6/8 – 6/23). Check out our interview with guitarist Sean Hynes and catch Ingested live across North America!

The Offering:  You’re currently touring across North America on the Level Above Human Tour, how is this experience so far?

Sean Hynes: Considering we’ve been hitting new places like Mexico and this is our first time headlining over in this part of the world it’s been overwhelming how good the shows have been. We’ve had excellent turn outs for the majority of this run and it makes us all excited for what we can achieve in the future.

TO: What can people expect from your live shows?

SH: Just a punishing, heavy performance. We take pride in the reputation we have for how heavy we are live.

TO: In April you released the album “The Level Above Human”, how would you describe it in terms of music style?

SH: It’s an all out Death Metal album that takes various influences from different styles of metal. You’re gonna hear blast beats, grooves, slams, breakdowns, melodic motifs, dark sections etc…there’s something for everyone whilst staying cohesive.

TO: Regarding songwriting & recording did you do anything different compared to the previous albums?

SH: We really honed in on the composition side of things on this album. Compared to previous efforts we really concentrated on riff count and structure. Before we had a very chaotic feel to our songs, which suited what we were doing at the time but on this one we really wanted to perfect how we constructed songs. This new album is definitely the most catchy material we have ever written and we really wanted these songs to translate well in a live situation.

TO: Is there a particular concept that inspired the lyrics?

SH: Sam and Jason usually write very metaphorically, occasionally there is a particular theme that can sometimes can be very personal but they write in a way that’s very ambiguous. You can read our lyrics and perceive them one way or find something that relates to you. Take them as you will.

TO: Do you have a favorite song from “The Level Above Human” to perform live?

SH: Currently we are performing three tracks; “Purveyors of Truth”, “Better off Dead” and “Invidious”. I think for all of us prefer to play “Better off Dead” the most out of all the new ones, just for how catchy it is. We will be incorporating some others into the set soon so that could all change.

TO: What do you find most challenging about being a musician in the current metal scene?

SH: Probably trying to stay current. Luckily for us we’ve tethered the line as far as genre goes which has enabled us to play on an array of different shows, with all different styles of bands. We can go out and play a Death Metal show with bands like Obituary or play a more hardcore tinged crowd and play with bands like Despised Icon. The style of music we write has helped keep up with metal trends, not that we’ve pandered to a specific audience but we’ve been lucky in that we can be on fairly eclectic line ups.

TO: What do you enjoy most about creating music?

SH: Hearing the end product. The process to get there is a tough one, but as soon as you have that CD in your hand and the years long process and hard work has come to an end, there’s nothing more satisfying. Of course live shows and playing are what we do it for but creating music you want to hear is the most enjoyable.

TO: Would you consider collaborating with other musicians in the future?

SH: We’ve collaborated with vocalists to have features on our albums from the likes of Alex Erian from Despised Icon, Frank Mullen from Suffocation and Jason Keyser from Origin but we’ve never had someone from outside the band collaborate on writing music for us. It’s not something I find we need to do but I wouldn’t disapprove of the idea in the future.

TO: What are your plans after this tour?

SH: As soon as we wrap up our headline tour we go straight onto The Devastation on the Nation tour supporting Aborted and Psycroptic. After that we have a bunch of shows and tours coming up like the festival run we have in Europe and supporting Crowbar in the UK.

Svartby interview

Svartby is a folk metal, or Svartcore as they like to define their music, band from Russia.
With powerful songs sung in Swedish and English and great attitude on live show Svartby is one of the best metal acts in their country.
We had the opportunity to meet the guys and have a chat to find out more about the band and their music.

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