Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Ovaryrot Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?

Brady: Well, we're currently focused on getting the physical release of "Non-Flesh Scarring" promoted and spreading that release in general. I think that's the longest sum of time we've devoted to a project yet,  and we're just trying to get it to the ears that want to hear it. But we're also discussing and working on something new when we have the time to do so. Something that's coming a lot sooner than one would probably anticipate.

2.Recently you have released a new album, musically how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

Brady: We started as a straight forward Goregrind band and we've sort of grown to incorporate elements of death metal, grindcore, black metal, powerviolence, sludge, noise, ambient music, and the list is only going to expand. Ulf and I both enjoy seeing what we can do to further push the envelope, musically. I think "Non-Flesh Scarring" is a lot more focused and a lot more open to experimentation than we have been in the past. It's been a while since we as a band put out anything at all, and that was largely due to some rather shitty situations occurring in our personal lives. Jon left the band during that time and went on to do great things with Ulf with Miscarriage. But when it comes to Ovaryrot, Ulf and I felt like in many ways that this is a sort of "fresh start" or "clean slate" seeing to it that we had been sort of inactive for quite some time, and with that I think we really just allowed ourselves to do whatever the hell we wanted with this album, so long as it grinds.

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?

Brady: Overall, I think with the themes on this release we drew inspiration from this current chapter of our lives. Though I wrote the lyrics, they were inspired by many conversations Ulf and I have had in regards to how our lives have changed. How in time, our experiences leave these wounds in us that cut deeply and sort of splinter into other areas of our lives, but also with these scars, we have no choice but to continue to push forward, despite how difficult, confusing, and isolating that process may be and despite how the world around us changes. We touched on quite a bit, from narcissistic sexual and chemical indulgences, herd mentality and its affect on social morale and history in general, aging and watching social circles deteriorate, isolation and depression, living with a passionless forty hour a week job, this movement of further encouraging social divide by laying claim to a label, side, or team within political, economic, and social circles. Self reflection and that choice between allowing yourself to drown as you are or to attempt to reach the shore and alter your approach to life. That and a few more things that may have crept in there.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Ovaryrot'?

Brady: Ulf is the man to ask this question to. Ulf thought of it years before we ever knew each other. As a matter of fact I think I was about four years old at the time he told me he came up with the name. Initially I took it as a literal meaning, as in an ovary rotting. But these days I kind of like to look at it with a bit more symbolism. Ovaries being these organs that sort of symbolize the starting point of life, only subjected to rot. The decay of that which brings life.

Ulf: I believe I came up with the name when I was 16-18 years old. At the time I was heavily into brutal death metal (and I still am) that had lyrics and themes that focused on gore, violence etc. There was no other intention behind the name at that time other than the fact that it was something vile and disgusting along with the fact that it was a name that was easy to remember. The name wasn’t put to use until several years later when I got in touch with Brady via Myspace. When I look at the name roughly 20 years later I can actually see some sort of odd semi-deep symbolism in the name itself.

5.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?

Brady: We wanted to do something different and reflective of the music. Gore art is cool, but we just wanted to branch away from that. We both enjoy an odd collage, and I think that what you see is a nice compliment to the music. This explosion of confusing chaos that you're just in the middle of. I think if you dig a little deeper, you can draw some interesting conclusions from what we have shown, but ultimately, as far as my own personal contributions to the art itself, it's kind of a stream of consciousness piece based on the album itself.

Ulf: Being that our lyrics do not cover the same topics any longer, it felt like a natural step to go ahead and do something that was very different from our previous artworks. We sat down and went through the different topics that Brady covered on this album until we had everything lined up. After that we started to explore the different topics on a deeper level to see what we could conjure up visually. It ended being a collaborative effort in that we both contributed with our own personal takes on the topics which we cover on the full-length. I am very please with the final result and I feel that it goes together quite well with the music.

6.The band members live in both Sweden and the United States, what kind of impact does this have on the musical style that you play?

Brady: I think it's got a lot of benefits to it, honestly. We're both on opposing sides of the globe, and although the internet has become an incredible source of exposure when it comes to seeking out new music, I think that Ulf and I both have our own unique histories and influences to share with each other and pull inspiration from. Literally, we have some days where we just sit for hours and share youtube links of bands neither of us have heard of. It's pretty amazing. I still don't understand how exactly we click so well when it comes to writing, but I guess that expression of music being a universal language really rings true in our case.
Ulf: I’ve been in a couple of bands in the past where I’ve been able to meet the people I’ve been playing with as well as perform live, but over the years I grew tired of it. Sure, playing in an ”online band” might come across as strange, challenging and not ”authentic enough”, but I think that we’ve managed to find a way to make it work considering that we’ve been around for over a decade. Back when we first started out I don’t think that there were that many bands that were ”online-based” and back then it was usually frowned upon. It does seem, however (especially if you’re looking at the brutal death metal and goregrind scene), as if it’s a bit more common these days.

7.The physical version of the album is coming out on 'Organic Divide Records'. can you tell us a little bit more about this label?

Brady: That's the label we started as a means of putting out our own music. Ulf and I both are major proponents of the DIY attitude when it comes to creating and life in general, and it just made sense. Saved us the countless emails sent to labels that go unnoticed or unread. Especially now that the internet has opened the door for bands to reach out to pressing plants and offered platforms for artists to pitch their own music to the world. There's no reason not to record an album, post it, and potentially find a way to release it. Especially with the advancements technology has given us by way of home recording. I mean you can record an album on a fucking smart phone, post it to bandcamp, youtube,  etc. and place an order for a tape release. It's nuts. Being an artist of any kind is no longer a pipe dream.

8.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of underground metal?

Brady: We're still a pretty underground and relatively unknown entity in the grind/death metal scene, but with this album we've had the privilege to be promoted by some great webzines and youtube channels, such as J. Morris The Review Guy, The Slaughterhouse, Goregrinder, Cadaver Garden, just to name a few that's turned some people onto us which is pretty surreal to me. In being an international band, we've also had the privilege of meeting and interacting with people from all over the globe within the scene. I mean we recently put the CDs for "Non-Flesh Scarring" up for order on our bandcamp page, and the very first order came in from a fellow in Belgium. I've never been to Belgium, and at this point in my life I don't foresee myself going there at any point, but that guy knows of and wants to support an album Ulf and I have created. It's quite surreal to say the least and I'm very thankful for everyone who's supported what Ulf and I do. I also think metal in general kind of lends itself to celebrating cultural diversity more so than other genres of music have for whatever reason. I mean when a band like Wormrot comes through and decides to tour the U.S., or At The Gates, Rotten Sound, or fucking Dir En Grey, it's a pretty big deal here and I get stoked. I guess perhaps aggression in music is an expression that runs very deep, and thankfully so.

Ulf: I’ll be honest and say that not many people have really paid all that much attention to us over the years. When we first started off as a goregrind oriented band we were still posting songs on Myspace. There was an Italian label called Human Discount (if you’re reading this, Marco: you’re the man), that took notice of us and we had a good thing going with that label as it resulted in them putting out a handful of releases for us. As Myspace started dying off, people started to migrate to Facebook and we were no different, but I do feel that that is when things started to go downhill in regards of our ability to reach out to people in general. Facebook (in my opinion) is and never will be as good as Myspace was back in then day when it comes for bands to connect with their listener. It might be me looking through nostalgic goggles, but things did felt more ”personal” on that platform. At the end of the day our music is quite experimental and people who do not venture outside of their comfort zone will more than likely not enjoy it. However, I am perfectly fine with that.

9.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?

Brady: This should shape up to be a pretty big year for us both. As I mentioned, Ovaryrot has a new thing in the works. Don't want to spoil anything just yet. We're also discussing future releases for our Doom/Sludge project, Killed In Public, as well as a post-punk project with a friend at some point later in the year. We also may dust off our spacey doom project, Voiderlust, if time permits. As for myself, I'm currently recording and working out songs for a lengthy solo project. Something along the lines of a singer/songwriter project. Some of these songs I've been sitting on for a while now. I'm just sort of piecing that together as I go. The same goes for this experimental electronic project I have, Isolated Pisces. I'd like to give rap, pop and R&B a go with that one. I think that's it for me. Creativity has been flowing lately.

Ulf: Apart from new stuff with Ovaryrot, Killed in public as well as Voiderlust, I’ve been working on new material for Miscarriage as well as some other projects that will have releases coming out this year. There is always something going on which is what I prefer. I believe that the both of us always have had an urge to express ourselves creatively.

10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

Brady: We've literally talked about infusing pop music with deathgrind at some point. But we've had some great conversations in regards to folk, industrial, and more ambient styles of music. But regardless, nothing is set in stone except for the fact that we WILL do something in time. I'm just as curious as anyone else, honestly.

11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

Brady: I tend to get inspired by whatever I'm listening to in some way. For more of the apparent metal bands that I've loved, I really dig Circle Of Dead Children, Full Of Hell, Blight Worms, Tomb Mold, Primitive Man, etc., but also I've been into stuff like Ariel Pink, Pensees Nocturnes, Slowdive. The Cure. Death Grips, Health, Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, too many to list really, but King Diamond seems to be played over my car stereo at least once a week. I've currently been in a listening phase that's pretty odd. I've been bouncing back and forth between this really raw, heavy, and dissonant music like Hissing and Gnaw Their Tomgues to more dreampop and shoegazing stuff like Ariel Pink or the German band Malory, or the demos of the band Pastel Blue. But I mean I'm all over the fucking place, musically.

Ulf: Difficult to say to be honest, but when we started out I drew inspiration from such bands as Cock and ball torture, Last days of humanity and old Napalm Death just to mention a few. Other than that I listen to a rather wide selection of different genres and it has more or less always been that way for me. Growing up I would listen to my older siblings mixtapes containing mostly 80’s synth, pop, rock and metal. Later on my interest in more extreme, musical expressions grew quite strong which would result in me joining a band called Stabwound back in 2001-2002. I’ve always had a huge interest in underground death metal, grindcore, goregrind, black metal etc. and that passion will remain until the day I die. It is in this rather dubious scene that I’ve gotten in touch with people that I would go as far as to call family still to this day.

12.What are some of your non musical interests?

Brady: The "non-musical" part is hard for me. It seems like I go to a few shows every month and always have a stack of records to listen to. But I write a lot of poetry and some short stories in my off time as they come to me. I try to hang out with friend when I can at house parties and shows. When I'm bored in work meetings I draw these really odd, stream-of-consciousness characters on small slips of paper. I try to make it out to visit my Dad and fish a bit with him and catch up with family. I'm trying to broaden my horizons in the kitchen. I've managed to make a few good meals thus far. That and trying to get in the gym more frequently. Essentially I'm just trying to fill my life more or less. Break away from an isolative mentality.

Ulf: Apart from working during the weeks I’ve read quite a bit. It’s mostly horror literature, but also psychology, history, mythology and religion. I’m not much of a ”city person” so I prefer spending my time on the countryside which is the kind of environment where I grew up. I’ve always preferred my own company to that of others so most of my interests are ones where you don’t necessarily have to have other people around to enjoy them.

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

Brady: Thanks for your interest in conducting this interview. It's really appreciated! Be kind to each other. Choose to do better. Don't give up. Stay away from the social media validation circuit. Don't stop expanding your perspective. Mean the shit you say and do. I'm done preaching. Peace!

Ulf: Thanks for this opportunity and keep supporting the underground. DIY for life.