Orden Ogan interview – London, May 2017

I spoke to Seeb and Dirk from Orden Ogan recently in London to discuss their new album, Gunmen.

You’ve released the single “Gunman” from the new album “Gunmen”.  That’s going to confuse people trying to remember which is the album title and which is the single title.

Seeb: Yes it’s very confusing and the team at AFM told me that, but I was so busy that I didn’t listen and now we have the problem but it will work out.  If you type Gunmen on Youtube you’ll find the Gunman clip anyway.

The video is pretty spectacular (check it out at the end of this interview).  Was it filmed in Monument Valley?

Seeb: Yes. It was like a week to get there and back, and we spent two days there filming it.

Did you get to decide where to film the video?

Seeb: AFM records are very very open to considering artistic choices. It was my idea to go there – we’d been on the 70,000 tons of metal cruise anyway so as we were in the State anyway it was logical to go there at that time.

It was very cold in the mornings.  At 10 o’clock you didn’t want to take your coat off, at 12 o’clock you feel like you’re burning to death, and as soon as the sun sets at 5 or 6 in the afternoon it’s ice cold again immediately.  So it was a tough shoot.

Where did you record the new album?

Dirk: The drum recordings we did in an adventure park in the saloon (you can see the saloon in the Gunman video). This room has a very good sound for the drums.
Seeb: It’s a very large room.  We were looking for this 80s snare sound.
Dirk: The rest of the album was recorded in Seeb’s studio, The Green man studio.

I think that’s something that most non-musicians wouldn’t even think about – that you might want to record certain instruments such as the drums in a different place to get a particular sound.

Seeb: I’ve been working as a producer myself now for five years and practicing a lot and taking it very seriously. My aim from the beginning was to get like the real top level of production, so I was working really hard on that, and the more you do that, you realise more thinks that would work better if you do things differently, and one of those things was that the space in which you record really affects the sound in a huge way. That was why we were looking for a really big room.  We could have gone to a big studio but they are so rare these days, there are not many studios of that size.  The saloon where we recorded the drums has space for like 600 people, ten metre high ceilings, stuff like that, so you won’t find many recording studios that have that kind of room.
The rest we recorded in my studio apart from the acoustic guitars which were recorded in a castle because of the acoustics also.

What is the writing process?

Dirk:  At first we meet at the studio and everyone puts ideas on the table, and then we check out if it fits to our sound.

Seeb: It used to be different.  For the “To the end” album in 2012, I did everything myself, and now since we’ve had a stable lineup for several years and everyone seems to understand how this band should sound, it works a lot better to do it together.
I did a big piece of the record together with Dirk and also for example, the title track I wrote with Tobi the guitar player.

At the start do you have an idea of a theme for the album or do you write songs and see what happens?

Dirk: It came with the songwriting.  After the first two songs we recognised that the songs had a Western feeling, then we decided to do this.
Seeb: The idea of doing a dark wild west fantasy album has been around for quite a while really but this time we started songwriting and there were some chord progressions and melodies that somehow sounded Western, like Ennio Morricone soundtracks from movies.  We said ok, it seems like it is time to do it.

Are there any more videos planned for songs on the album?

Seeb: We have two lyric videos planned for “Fields of sorrow” and “Come with me to the other side” and there are also two more videos planned but it’s not set yet.

Which festivals are you playing this summer?

Dirk:We play RockHarz festival in Germany, also the Bang your head festival.  The rock fest in Barcelona and Metalfest in Czech republic.
Seeb: Those are the big festivals.  We didn’t want to do too much this summer. It was a deliberate decision because we also have the release shows in July and a headlining tour coming up in October, so we didn’t want to play too many festivals.

Are there any UK shows planned?

Seeb: The headlining tour is a European tour with special guest Rhapsody of fire.  It was planned but it is not set yet. The rest of the tour is fully planned, so at the moment we are trying to figure out how we can do it because it didn’t fit into the routing.
Dirk: We want to play the UK.

You’ve only played a couple of UK shows so far.

Seeb: We’ve been here with Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody and with Powerwolf, and Gravedigger maybe.  Our record sales in the UK are actually pretty good, but for some reason we’re not getting in the magazines or the big press too much.  Also we don’t play the big festivals here and don’t play many shows here. I don’t know, it’s tricky – I don’t know why bands like Hammerfall don’t play the UK much.  I know from our booking agent it’s difficult because of the high costs – we have to come by ferry and stuff like that, and also the UK bookers are very careful so we’re high risk that it doesn’t work out.  I’m very confident that it would work out very well in the UK, looking at our sales. It would be packed if not sold out.

We have to work on it.

Thanks for your time.


About Ant May

I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.