15 Mar
Interview with OLDE BARD


We had a conversation with Johnny Ugly (Guitar/Vocals). Enjoy!

Welcome to the FILTHY DOGS OF METAL Webzine.

Tell us a few things about OLDE BARD (Members, Starting Year etc).
OB began as a four piece after vaccinations became widespread in the summer of 2021. Since then we have pared down the sound to a solid power trio of J. on drums, Gandhi on bass, and Johnny Ugly on guitar/vox.

You have recently released your EP ''Blood of the Horde''. What is the feedback from your audience as well as from the press?
The first EP sold out its limited cassette run on GRIME STONE RECORDS, and we likewise sold out of our live show copies in one night, so that’s a positive start! Since playing our first ever live show this past January more feedback from audience members has kept us moving into ever heavier realms of metal dissemination! Fans seem to enjoy the mix of metal styles and the engaging energy we cultivate on each spell.

Label or DIY and why?
Our label, GSR, is a very DIY affair, so we occupy a cool niche in between. We have the freedom and agency to play and write authentically in accordance with our visions, which match those of the esteemed ABYSMAL SPECTER, GSR’s founder.

Is there any funny or weird story from the recordings or from your live shows that you would like to share with us?
The single day drum session recordings took place on the hottest day of the year in August of 2022. J.had to sweat through take after take with no air conditioning since the mics would have picked up the hum. The recordings for our upcoming EP were less hellish, but no less devilish.

Do you prefer Vinyl, Tape, CD or Digital Format and why is that?
Physical formats are always more fun to own and explore. The artwork, packaging, and presentation establish sensory immersion within the listener, which is key to successful spellwork! That being said, the convenience of digital for headphones and travel does wonders for us all.

Which are your main influences (Favorite Artists / Bands etc.)
The list could of course go on forever, but top influences for OB so far are the later Darkthrone albums, Unleashed, Dissection, Cirith Ungol, Mork Gryning, Death, and Negative Plane.

Which things do you think a band should sacrifice in order to succeed? Have you ever sacrificed anything in your life for a better future for your band?
Sacrifice is a strong, dramatic word, but certainly time and effort matter to make any band work. We all schedule ourselves to be able to play, create chemistry with new songs, record, and perform live when asked. We have families and careers, so music plays a central role in our lives to explore the joys and sorrows of humanity outside of those environs.

Describe your ideal live show as a performance band. Have you already experienced that?
When rhythms, words, and melodies synthesize into a relationship among the band and the fans alike, true magick results. On stage we move to that beat, and we shift our tone in accordance with the swirling souls of the entranced masses. Thus we are one…

What attributes do you think that a new Metal Band should have in order to gain identity and be unique?
The sound of many instruments and the production norms make recording easier and higher quality than ever, but some of the spontaneity and ethereal vibrations of metal become lost when quantized and viewed on a DAW. We record DAW-less on a TASCAM 12 and have a producer take care of mixing and mastering. The live OB and recorded OB have a very similar energy that cannot be replicated so easily since we pay much more attention to capturing the natural evocations of our live chemistry rather than producing a predetermined sound template.

Do you believe that Digital Platforms help the new Metal Bands? Which, do you think, is the ideal way for a band to promote its work?
Spotify is a wonderful way for us to find the music we know we want, but a very poor source for browsing and discovering new bands since so much of the algorithms are based around sponsored content and generic programming. Bancamp offers more navigable search options and a better chance for artists to control their releases, communicate with fans, and organize the band’s image accordingly.

Do you see any differences between the US Metal Market & the EU Metal Market (Labels, Bands, Fans etc)?
US labels and fans, even with the spread of so much metal culture into the mainstream, still have an outsider status that confuses the norms among us. Part of that contributes to the absolute dedication, loyalty, and mania US fans display at shows and on metal platforms. EU fans can take it easier since they know metal has some kind of mainstream basis in their culture, but they still live and breathe metal.

Tell us a few things about the New Underground Metal Scene in Massachusetts (Bands, Fanzines, Webzines, Metal Clubs etc.)
We are just digging into the scene itself. A cool cooperative movement called THCC hosts heavy music events and cultural experiences in the western part of the state. Some great venues such as Ralph’s and The Palladium offer seriously solid shows, while near Boston the Middle East holds down the fort. GSR’s FROSK hails from MA, as well as a great BM group called WEIRD ANGEL. 

Do you know anything about the Hellenic Metal Scene?

The last 4 years, worldwide, we have faced many dark, strange & new situations in our everyday life (covid, lock-down etc.) Did all of this affect you positively or negatively?
Towards the middle of COVID, Johnny started playing guitar and writing metal songs again after a long hiatus. The vaccines also had us all wanting to manifest fresh outlets for socialization and creativity. Much of the social and cultural toll of these times are lamented throughout OB lyrics, especially in terms of how the Evangelical movement oppresses sentient beings and suppresses the sorcery of truth for the sake of propping up outdated beliefs. 

What are your future plans?
Our next EP, JEWELS OF THE SPIDERCROWN is being mixed and mastered as of this writing, so it should be out digitally on GSR in April/May of 2024. Both releases will end up on Spotify sooner or later as well. We are already two songs deep into the writing of the third release, and for the locals, we will be playing throughout MA and New England every 6-8 weeks in 2024.

Thank you very much for your time & keep up the good work! The closure is yours.

By Steve the Filthy Dog.




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