Passing the Bong
CoC interviews Orange Goblin
by: Adrian Bromley
If there is any band out there nowadays that deserves to be labelled "stoner rock", it has to be England's Orange Goblin. So thick are the grooves and the feedback, that smoking a bong of marijuana and kicking back and enjoying the jam session unfolding seems like the only proper thing to do. Anyone who has heard the band's latest disc _Time Travelling Blues_ (TMC / Rise Above Records) will certainly smile with a huge grin, uttering the words "Yeah man! I'm down with it."

Orange Goblin singer Ben Ward seems to be down with it as well. "I'm just glad to be able to do this and make great music", he says over the phone from England, as a delay within the phone conversation gives us slight feedback. "It's great to be able to create music and be happy with it. I think we definitely did that with this record and it feels even better that people who have heard this record really like it. And people also seem to like the fact that we don't stay with one sound or style within what we do. This record is different from the first disc [1997's _Frequencies From Planet Ten_]. I think this record has a definite Lynard Skynard feel to it, while the new material we are working on is going back a bit to the days of Sleep and St. Vitus. It shows that we are not afraid to mix it up."

"There has a been a definite natural progression for the band [comprised of guitarists Joe Hoare and Pete O' Malley, drummer Chris Turner and bassist Martyn Millard] over the years. The four musicians in the band have gone far with their playing, not only showing growth and depth but successfully playing as a unit and sounding great. This record has such a great heavy groove to it. The sound of this record was captured very well, I think. See... no matter where we go with our music, the heaviness and the groove always stays intact. Those two elements have always played a key role in our songwriting."

Orange Goblin are definite slaves of their work. They live and breathe music. Their love for what they do shines like there is no tomorrow throughout _TTB_. "We work on a lot of material for each record. To be able to pick out what tracks work is quite easy, I'd say," notes Ward; "When you are in the studio working on a record, you just get this buzz from certain songs. You'll play a riff and it'll sound just right. We'll start with a riff, then Chris will add drums, Martyn will touch it up with bass and then a few vocals and it's done. Songs come together quite easily for us, as long as we get a good vibe from the ideas. It also helps that the songs go over well live. There's nothing like a good crowd reaction."

About younger bands coming into the scene and the music industry in general, Ward comments: "I don't know how people should react to it. We really don't. We just walked right into the music scene wanting to play our music and I guess we've just had to deal with things as they came along. We have other people to deal with the business side of the music industry. We're here to enjoy ourselves and nothing else. We plug in and play. That's it."

"We've had a good time doing this," explains Ward. "This business has been good to us so far. There have been a lot of milestones. Our first tour of the U.K. with Cathedral, releasing our first 7"... It all adds up to a good time for Orange Goblin. We love the way all of this has turned out, 'cause we were the last to ever expect to be on a record label and putting our material out and touring. It feels really good to go into a record store and see your music on the shelves. It really gives you a great feeling and that feeling is why we do what we do. There have been some great milestones so far and I hope there will be many more."

Seeing that it has been a long haul to get where the band is, has Ward grown tired of doing the "music thing" yet? "No. I don't get tired of doing this. We have a lot planned and I can't give up now. We are doing a seven week tour of Europe with Cathedral and hopefully some other tours, maybe in the United States or Japan. We just want to play to as many people as possible. We are writing material too, but most likely won't record anything this year. It would be too soon."

"I'm not tired of doing this," he finishes, "I got tired of working my crappy job driving a forklift at a warehouse working nine to five. But how can you get tired of doing this? I don't see how anyone could get sick of making music. It's such a great experience."

(article submitted 14/3/1999)


ALBUMS
9/26/2007 J Ulrey 7 Orange Goblin - Healing Through Fire
3/14/1999 A Bromley 8 Orange Goblin - Time Travelling Blues
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