Congratulations on your new album! Still listening to it and admiring it!
Tobi: Thanks a lot. We're also still very satisfied with the result.
Seeb: Thank you.
How are people reacting on it so far?
Tobi: The reactions are very positive, and the feedback from the fans is awesome, too. It feels like that the record made a big impact and we've taken a few steps more on the ladder.
Seeb: What ladder?
Tobi: The ladder to hell!
Seeb: Oh, that's a long way down!
Tobi: Yes, but we've enough time for some more records!
Are you confident to say that you have progressed, compared to your previous album, 'Vale'?
Tobi: Definitely. In every case we made big steps forward. The sound, the songs and the performance.. everything got a lot better and the chemistry in the band also fits perfect. To have that record released by AFMrecords gave us an extra-push I think.
Seeb: Yes, and also our mental condition progressed negatively, haha.
Your album cover is quite eye catching. Could you tell me the concept behind it?
Seeb: The guy you see on the cover is called 'Alister Vale'. 'Easton Hope' is a concept record that tells the events that have taken place before 'Vale' (that was also a concept record). Alister Vale stands in front of the burning City called 'Easton Hope'. It's a long story and very metaphorical. It's mainly about what people are doing with the freedom that is given to them and what has more weight, the good of many or the good of a single person. You can download the concenpt story at www.ordenogan.de or on the official AFM website.
They say that Orden Ogan are the next contenders in the Melodic Power Metal scene of Germany, following behind bands such as Running Wild, Helloween,
Gamma Ray and Blind Guardian. Are you floored or offended? What are your views on this?
Tobi: Uuhm, we've payed them to say so, so they're right! Haha,no, just kidding... I think it's a honour. We're all influenced somehow by the bands you've mentioned. They're all legends. So we're proud that people think we're able to fill those big footsteps in the future.
Seeb: And to be honest, there is almost no new blood in the melodic metal scene in general, not even only in Germany. The last band that grew really big was Edguy, but who else? So maybe we can really stand our ground, hopefully, haha!
You had some guest musicians and you worked with former Running Wild guitarist, Majk Moti, on the song, 'We are Pirates'. How was it like working with him?
Tobi: For Seeb and me it was like a dream came true. We both dig the Death or Glory (and nearly every other Running Wild) album a lot. To work with him was a lot of fun and perhaps in the future we will do it again.
Seeb: The best thing about it were all that old stories about Running Wild, Rock 'n' Rolf and Metallica and so on, Priceless! But Majk really is a great guy and he also did a very good job on the record with his solo.
You can hear every layer of instrument so clearly on this album! (Best production I've heard in a while) Was it your intention to do this and was there any struggle in achieving your sound in the process?
Tobi: First of all, thanks for your kind words. We wanted the record to sound like a monster! The songs are really strong, so production had to blow you away.
Seeb: Thanks a lot! I did the whole production myself this time. From Engineering to Editing to Mixing because of this very reason. On our last record 'Vale' there were a lot of details that got lost in the mixing process (that's also the reason why we will be remixing and re-releasing it by the way). I wanted 'Easton Hope' to sound perfect. It was a lot of work but with all that details in the sound I couldn't imagine anyone else to have it mixed. Since I know the songs best I always knew what I had to focus on. But it all was worth it and I think I will do the next one, too.
You did the singing, guitars, producing, mixing and of course song writing on the album . What was your process of song writing and who did most of the composing?
Seeb: I'm recording ideas and writing songs constantly. Most of the Songs are written by me and arranged by the whole band while we are rehearsing or even recording the stuff. It's a big advantage that I've got my own studio together with Lars Dietrich who is FOH sound engineer for bands like Caliban, Heaven Shall Burn or Samael. So we're always able to record our ideas directly and so you can get a impression of how it will turn out when it's done and wheter it works or not. Of course the other guys are also contributing ideas. Most of the other guys ideas that have been used on Easton Hope came from our keyboard player Nils this time. But that can change on the next record.
You have a number of long songs on this album. Do you intend to keep the habit of making the songs long on your next album?
Seeb: We're not making long songs because we think we have to. Songwriting is a very emotional process. You have to feel if the song works out or not. A song like 'Goodbye' is not even 4 minutes long, a real radio hit, haha. If everything is said and done the song is finished. But to my opinion there's no part in 'Easton Hope' for example that is too much. It's the opposite: if we had left out some parts in this song it wouldn't have worked.
Could you let us in on what is to come?
Tobi: Pure Techno! We'll call it Intergalactic-Hollywood-ass-kicking-porno-techno-metal! Haha! Just to open up a new drawer.
Seeb: I think with 'Easton Hope' we really found our sound and I hope that we can release some more records that will have the same quality song wise. But there are already a lot of ideas we're working on and I think the next record will be a blast. But first we'll concentrate on playing live, some tours, and of course the Wacken Open Air.
People might find it surprising that you're not actually a fan of the Power Metal genre. In fact you're more into Death Metal...
Seeb: Yeah. Most people are really narrow-minded. The can't believe that someone who's doing melodic metal can listen to death metal. I think that's quite strange because also most of the fans don't like just one genre. There are a lot of Blind Guardian Fans that also listen to Amon Amarth or Dimmu Borgir for sure. I personally listen to everything that I like in some way. That can be filmmusic, death metal or even pop music. At the moment I'm very into Meshuggah because I can really free my mind by listening to them!
Do you also have a Death Metal voice? If so, any chance of including it on any future albums of the band?
Tobi: He also has a 'Thomas Anders' voice... hahaha! (Thomas Anders - Modern Talking)
Seeb: Haha, what a question. Yes, I think I could do some growls, but I would never do them on a Orden Ogan record. I think that are two different worlds.
How hard was it for you to incorporate or contribute your part without having to sound too far off of your genre?
Seeb: Making music for us isn't hard at all. We don't care about what is our genre or what people expect us to do. I think that we define our genre ourselves and the constant comparisons with bands like Blind Guardian that also say that these comparisons aren't working fine seem to say the same. So don't misunderstand me! I (of course) love the music I compose and we play because it is the music we all want to play. And I would of course listen to a band that sounds like Orden Ogan, but I also think that there is no band that sounds this way. Comparing Rhapsody with Orden Ogan is like comparing EBM with techno!
Orden Ogan has this complex sound (I can't quite pin point it) that sets you apart from most Power Metal bands. What is 'that sound' that makes Orden Ogan, exactly?
Tobi: I think it's mostly Seeb and his style of making music. Its pretty unique and he defines the Orden Ogan-sound.
Seeb: Yes, I think Tobi is right. It's not that everything we do is 'new'. It's just the style of HOW we use specific elements and how we bring them together. For example most of our riffs are very modern. I think the riffs of Nobody Leaves for example would also fit into a song of Bullet for my Valentine. There are also a lot of Metalcore elements we use. And the melodies we use are, compared to Bands like Gamma Ray, Helloween or Rhapsody, serious or sad and not that the-chewinggum-dragon-slides-on-the-rainbow-whistle-melodies if you know what I mean, haha.
You have been in a lot of big festivals all over Europe and this year you will be at Wacken Open Air, the biggest Heavy Metal festival in the world! What does this mean to Orden Ogan?
Tobi: It will be our definitehighlight this year. We're really looking forward to it and kick some serious ass.
Seeb: Yes, Wacken will be a very big party. And you all can look forward to some specials. Don't expect a 'normal' show, haha..
I understand you're also plotting a US invasion this year. What's the status of that at this point, if you don't mind?
Seeb: We're still planning and negotiating. But I think in a few weeks we all should know more.
Any message you would like to give to your supporters and readers of PowerOfMetal.dk?
Tobi: Support Metal, support Orden Ogan. Buy records and merch. Metal bands need your support or they will all die.
Seeb: Thanks a lot fort he interview and I hope we'll see you and your readers on tour or in Wacken - first row!
Interviewed by Haydee G.