Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Norway's Ondt Blod: One Foot In The Black, The Other Is Missing

Ondt Blod
Every so often, there comes a band that's, frankly a bit off the beaten path. 

You know the mash up thing that's been hot with the kids recently? Since ya know, like 2003?

Well, Norway's Ondt Blod have an idea. They're kind of like Sweden's answer to Ghost? More like, oh, you're singing an Abba song?

Hold my beer.

Glacially Musical : Honestly, after spinning and spinning, it's been hard for me to get a handle on your music. Tell me what it is you do?

Ond Blod: We´ve got the attitude and sound of a punkrock band, the riffs of an your highschool ADD metal head, and huge poppy choruses.  The beautiful lovechild of the two extremes of Scandinavian music; hardcore and metal on one hand, and clever pop music on the other. 

Abbath and Refused meets Abba and Max Martin. Satanic verses, godlike choruses.

GM: The difference between metal and poppy sounds is very stark. How do you reconcile that jump?

OB: We´ve always wanted to make hardcore music that people can dance and sing along to. Reconciling the gap between hardcore and the more melodic and poppy parts of punk and rock has always been our mission. On this record, we´ve chosen to take this mission as far as we can, which is a slippery slope to venture. Fortunately we´ve been able to steer clear of the awkward pop-metal mix of the 2000s by sticking to a punk rock attitude and drive.

GM: How do you decide where to be peppy and happy and where to scream your head off?

OB: Follow the producer. But kept simple, sing pretty in the pretty parts, give´em hell in the heavy parts. 

GM: Normally, I'd ask what the five most important albums of all time are, but I kind of get the impression that you could answer that question with just two.....give it a go?

OB: Thriller and the first Ramones record.

GM: Has anyone ever recorded a perfect album in your eyes?

OB: I guess that “the shape of punk to come” by the Refused is as close as you´ll get to a perfect hardcore album. Groovy, punishingly heavy, but yet at times catchy with a punk rock drive. 

GM: As your songs are all in Norwegian, can you translate a couple title and tell us a little bit about them?

OB: Unge Kniva (Young Knives):

Unge Kniva is a about being young, angry, and I crashing the Spellemann-party (the Norwegian Grammys party). Where the privileged let us in, we take what we want. Where they don’t, we build our own castles. Our time is now.

Store Ord (Big words (smoke and mirrors))

Store Ord (røyk og speil) is about moving from my home town, and how distance and time makes friendships fade. The song is about the plans of world domination that never were realised, and the un-said words told between the lines when old friends outgrow their friendship. It is a song about leaving a small town, about those who left, and the one left behind alone.

Giron (Snow Grouse)

The suicide rate among young Sami men is enormous compared to the rates of the general population. “Giron” paints the picture of church bells and empty chairs, paired with a very real fear of who is to be the next one to die. The song features a joik- ancient Sami singing tradition- duet with Aslak and Ella Marie Hætta Isaksen, Sami-pop star of the electro pop band ISÁK.
GM: It seems like this idea would be a bit of a hard sell if one person came up with the idea. How did it start?

OB: I never considered singing in English. Singing in our own language gives an immediate connection between the Norwegian listener and the message and sound of the music. The fact that the lyrics are in the listener’s first language makes it harder to get away with clichés, which challenges me to write better lyrics.

Obviously some of the immediate lyrical impact is lost in translation when exporting this bad boy abroad. Even still, we have gotten overwhelmingly positive feedback from both the UK and Germany. The nerve and the energy of the music is also such an important part of punk and hardcore, meaning that if you bring raw force to the table, foreign listeners might get a kick of the music, even if they don’t understand the words.
GM: What's a normal day like for you in Norway?

OB: In between touring and travelling, I try to get up at 07.30, drink a can of coffee and listen to slow talk radio. I try to get to my office, where I spend the day sending emails, before I leave work early, make excellent food and hang out with my cat.

GM: Beverage of choice?

OB: Fucking expensive French and Italian wine. Amarone, Bordeaux, let me drown in it.

GM: What didn't I ask?

OB: favourite food:
Reindeer roast,

Fruta di mare linguine

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