BOG is a new entity on the European metal scene. With a heavy sound due to the post metal genre, BOG manages to capture you entirely trough the post-rock elements. There is so much artistic sense and professionalism you’ll feel from the very first chords as they step into your eardrums. But now let’s see what they have to say.
Hi! I’m not familiar with how many people have heard about you and your music. If you were to be promoted in a super-commercial but well made advertising, how would this sound like?
Tim Primbs: I guess, it would sound like: „BOG – from the void into your heart!“ (laugh)
I write music as an emotional outlet to cope with several experiences with death. I also had a near-death experience myself. That’s why I’m using the term “void” here. Maybe the advert would sound and look like the album trailer that I’ve done for our upcoming debut album “Unshriven”.
You have released two EP, namely “Gustave” in 2014 and “Auguste” in 2015, but then followed a kind of impasse. What went wrong this whole time?
I wouldn’t say that something went wrong in that time. I began working on our debut-album in late 2014, even before I released the EP “Auguste“. The whole album was a huge project compared to the EP’s. I wrote eleven songs for “Unshriven” with a total length of 72 minutes. It was a long process to finish this album because I did all the songwriting, recording (except for drums and vocals), organizing, public relations, album trailers and artwork myself. For me it was a new dimension, both financially and psychologically.
When I began writing the album, BOG was still a one-man project. While finishing the album I formed a band to bring BOG live on stage.
As far as I know you’re about to release a new album this year. Can you present as the idea that underlies it? Are there some collaborations?
Yes, the new album will be released on the 24th of June 2017, digital and CD.
On the album I tried to process the death of a young woman I’ve met when I worked at a hospital. Her name was Eva and I accompanied her for the last four weeks of her life. In that time we talked a lot about everything under the sun and we became friends. She had leukaemia and after some tragic events and complications regarding her treatment, she died at the age of 17.
“Unshriven” is a concept album, or, more precisely, a station album: 11 tracks shape 11 stations. Two parallel levels (reality and metaphor) tell the stories of two travellers. The first level reveals the story of the 17-year-old, seriously ill girl. The second level is the accompanying metaphor: it tells of Sputnik’s journey through colours, emptiness and darkness, of its homesickness and its attempt to return home.
As I said before, I dedicated the album to Eva. I tried to catch the feelings of the last weeks of her life. We talked about everything and anything and I think we had a special connection. I understood how she felt that whole time because I had a near-death experience myself in 2012 when I had six cardiac arrests after being hit by a lightning. We both experienced that so-called “void” – a place where you are only surrounded by yourself, where you are lost and nothing matters anymore. The only difference between us was that I had the chance to escape from the void. I tried to help her in that transition with my experiences and knowledge. A big inspiration while writing the record was Elisabeth Kuebler-Ross and her theory of “the five stages of grief”. Kuebler-Ross was a Swiss-American psychiatrist who did active research on the process of dying. Two songs of the album are accompanied by a voiceover of her. I’d like to share a quote of her that I like very much:
„People are like stained – glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.“ – Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
I had a few great collaborations in the process of recording the album. At first I wanted to release the album in the end of 2015 with programmed drums just like with both of the EP’s just for financial reasons. But then my friend Matthew from the Viennese band Lehnen got in touch with me and asked how it was going with the album. I told him the whole story about Eva and how much she love Lehnen. Then he offered me to record the drums at S.T.R.E.S.S. studios in Graz (Austria) together with a friend of his – Ronald Dangl – who did the recording and at that moment it all kind of exploded and got bigger than I had planned. I started overthinking everything and realized that I also wanted vocals and lyrics on this album to tell the story of Eva in a proper way. So I contacted my buddy Josh Wing from the American post-metal band Sól and he was in straightaway. He did vocals for 4 of the 11 songs. Joel Boyd (Lehnen) and Julia Schwarzer (CAYES, AT) also contributed vocals and Chris Pobaschnig (Mountain, AT) played keys on the song “Marrow”.
Will Benoit, known for his work with post-rock bands like Caspian, Junius, City of Ships and Lehnen, did the mixing and mastering. Everybody involved did an outstanding job. I’m very proud that I had the opportunity to work with all these amazing people – I’m really honored!
Many projects go into this impasse since their first steps in music. Do you think there are some problems regarding advertising? What do you think a new band can bring new rather than an old one?
I think it depends on the reason why you make music or art in general. In these times almost everybody can create music at home on a laptop, which I think is great because not everybody is blessed with a big financial income to buy some great equipment and studio-time. On the other side, there are so many bands out there and it is really hard to find the right place for hearing it. Regarding advertising: I think the market is saturated and it’s hard to get attention. I think that all you need is perseverance, patience and ambition. It takes some time until you get heard. I know many bands who disbanded after a few years because they didn’t get the attention that they wanted to have or because they had the ambition to make money out of it (and thought they can make money with their music). It’s important to just write and release music, play live etc. You just have to do it, you love it and you burn for it. At least that’s why I’m doing it.
„What can a new band bring new rather than an old one?“ – that’s a tough one. It depends on the bands of course, but in general I would say that new bands or artists are courageous more often to do something “new” (if that is even possible, haha). When I think of some bands that I like…they have their fanbase, the fans love them because of what they do and how they sound. I think some bands are afraid to lose some of their fans instead of trying something new.
If someone wants to listen to your music with what moment of the day would fit perfectly? For example, I listen to music on my days off or in the morning while drinking my coffee…
I really think that BOG is not “background music”. If I would listen to my own music I’d listen to it drinking a cup of earl grey tea at night. Because that’s also how I wrote the album. I’m unable to write music at day. I need that melancholic feeling that I have when I get tired and the city sleeps. But everyone has their own way to listen to music, of course. I think everything is possible!
How do you explain post-rock, post-metal, post-black and post-everything has become so fashionable lately? It seems like yesterday everybody was listening to Sabbath, Zeppelin, Maiden or Slayer. And how come though post is a trend, there isn’t a Woodstock of this music?
I wouldn’t say that it’s so fashionable lately. I had always the feeling that the “scene“ is still more an underground thing that maybe gets a little bit more attention now. Music and art evolves all the time. Everything in life does that kind of evolution. I’m not a fan of genres but they help me and other people to find new stuff that they like. People listen to the music that they like – I think that’s that easy. I don’t see a trend there. It is still a niche-genre compared to the rock/metal-stuff like Slayer, Sabbath, Led Zeppelin etc. (which I think are great bands!)
I think there definetely are some “Woodstocks“ for bands like that. Of course no festivals with 100.000 visitors but festivals like Roadburn or the Dunk!festival and of course several smaller festivals made from fans for fans of that kind of music. And these festivals definitely give me the “Woodstock”-kind-of-feeling because people who all have the same taste in music gather around, enjoy great bands and live-shows, make new friends and just feel at home there.
Humanity evolves and technology becomes and increasingly important factor and we tend to simplify everything about our lives in general. Art and music are also caught in this simplification game. Where do you think all of these will lead?
You can see that from two sides. Things in life are getting easier, you don’t have to drive four weeks from Europe to America with the ship. Everything goes really fast and you almost don’t have to wait for anything anymore. Instant here – instant there. On the other side, is it so bad to slow things down a bit? The more we increase our dependency to the technology that serves us that simplicity the more things become simpler. We maybe lose our instincts or the feeling for certain things and we maybe lose that “The route becomes the destination“-feeling which I really enjoy. I prefer to travel with the train instead of flying.
I hope that all this simplifying of things will someday produce a sort of desire for adventures and that it comes to an outbreak of creativity – a contramotion of what’s happening now concerning simplification.
Is there sincerity in art? And this sincerity, if exists, can bring profit?
There is sincerity in (some) art, at least I hope so. I think that this sincerity fades when it comes to financial profit. But profit can be anything. Speaking for myself, I don’t make music for the financial profit. It would be cool if there is – someday – a black zero on my bill but I don’t want make a living from my art. I would hate being financially dependent from my art because it would not be sincere anymore because then I’d have to do it to survive. I want to do whatever I want to do without having an existential breakdown. Music is like water to me, I need it. But I don’t want to drown. It’s a great compensation to the “ordinary“ life.
And because we’re Romanians, tell us the unusual reason you’d visit Romania for?
Since I love trains I would travel by train to Romania and spend a night at the Bran Castle and I’d write a drone album with Dracula while drinking black tea. But to be honest, I would love to see Romania someday and maybe play some gigs there.
Thank you for the interview! Take care!