Metal & Mike: Two Decades of Doom Metal & Heavy Blues With ORANGE GOBLIN - Dread Central
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Metal & Mike: Two Decades of Doom Metal & Heavy Blues With ORANGE GOBLIN

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Twenty odd years after their debut record, the UK heavy metal rockers of Orange Goblin have recently released their ninth studio LP, The Wolf Bites Back (Candlelight). For band bassist Martyn Millard, the record is another addition in a history of great times and music. “Every new record or creation is special to us,” Millard says. “But The Wolf Bites Back feels a little different to the last record. It feels more mature …. if that’s the right word. We certainly put more into the writing process than before and I think that shows. We also used a new producer in Jaime Gomez Arellano, who brought some many new ideas in the way of sounds and tones. He pushed us hard as musicians and that really shows in the final results I think.

For long time fans and newcomers alike, The Wolf Bites Back brings all the best of what Orange Goblin has to offer. With a blues heavy rhythm and atmospheric doom tones, listener’s will find themselves in a blissful trance from track one. Millard says that the band’s sound comes from their many influences and how the band puts their own spin on those iconic styles. “I think that the four of us have such diverse and different tastes that the music we write together is quite unique. Of course we wear our influences on our sleeves and people can hear [Black] Sabbath and Motorhead etc. But all our diverse tastes go into a big melting pot and it breeds different sounding songs, which I’m quite proud of. Songs like ‘Suicide Division’ and ‘The Stranger’ sit side by side on the new album and they are completely different. That’s exciting to us to be able to do that, rather than all our songs sound the same.”

Millard also shares some insight into the album’s lyrical contributions. “Well, the lyrics are very personal to Ben [Ward, vocalist], so I’m not sure I can tell you more than the basics. But I know he likes to write lyrics that the listener can escape too. Whether it be influenced by Lovecraft, serial killers or cult movies, he likes to put his spin on them; and if I’m honest, I think he doesn’t get the credit he deserves. He has a very vivid imagination, but puts [the lyrics] together in a clever, but also a fascinating way.”

On top of this he adds where the bands instrumental inspiration comes from. “The music is a slightly different thing. We write the music first and don’t really set out with any plan or goal. If we like an idea, then we will just go with it and see where it takes us.”

For Millard there has been a lot to learn throughout Orange Goblin’s history. Among the gained wisdom and experiences, he muses on what his most important lesson may be. “That’s a tough question. I think one of them would be to not take ourselves too seriously. We take our music very seriously whilst writing and recording, but I see far too many bands ranting and raving about why they are the next big thing and telling people what they should like. Sometimes I think some bands don’t enjoy what they do. So we always bare that in mind and make sure it’s always fun. Once the fun stops then we will too. But fun is such a huge part of what we do.”

He continues, sharing the foundation in what allows Orange Goblin’s creativity to flourish. “Fun, as I mentioned, [and] friendship; we are lucky that the four of us are best mates, so we usually get on great. We know when someone needs space or is having a rough day. After 23 years we can pick up the signs, so we know what’s best for each other as ‘colleagues’. And we just love playing live. We love what we do and love playing these songs … some more than others, maybe [laughter].”

The passion to create and play continues to burn within Orange Goblin. The Wolf Bites Back offers a blend of doom metal laced in groovy blues, making for a great combination of rockin’ and smooth tunes. In regard to what’s next for the band, Millard says that while they work around their schedules, fans can expect to catch them live in the near future. “Well, we all have day jobs, so Orange Goblin is really just a hobby. But we intend to play live as much as we can, like we always do. We have a UK tour coming up with Corrosion of Conformity which should be fun. But we intend to just keep doing what we are doing and play and tour as much as our day jobs will allow. It’s all we know.”

You can order a copy of The Wolf Bites Back via the Candlelight Records website, and list to “Sons of Salem” below. And for the month of July, Metal & Mike will have a new article every Friday! So make sure to tune back in next week for another awesome band, and you can keep in touch with me via Twitter.

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