1- Hello, thanks for answering to our questions. What are you guys currently up to?
WILL- We’re anxiously awaiting the release of our latest disc “The Last Neanderthal” on Minotauro Records, and rehearsing for our CD Release party that is happening on March 13th in our hometown of Portland, Maine. Hopefully, more shows will follow after that.
2- First off, could you make some history of the band?
WILL- Ross and I started playing together in the mid-90’s in a noisy, experimental rock band. When the other members used to break for cigarettes, he and I would fire up the SABBATH, DEEP PURPLE and KISS covers. So when that band fizzled out, we pretty much knew the direction we wanted to take. We put an ad in a local paper advertising for a singer, and Ed was the first and only reply we got. It was clear from our first rehearsal that we had some real chemistry together. We had a couple of DIY recordings that did well enough in the underground to get us on Japan’s Leafhound Records, which put out our “Seven Hells” and “Plague of the Planet” albums. We played all over the Northeast USA, and even eventually made it to Japan to tour! When Leafhoud folded, none of us at the time had the energy to start over completely, so we broke up for a few years. We got back together to play recently, and everything just fell into place. The chemistry was still there.
3- How could you describe your sound? And what are the band’s main musical influences?
WILL- I’ve said it before we wear our influences on our sleeves. You can clearly hear the influence of SABBATH, PURPLE, RUSH and other 70’s rock juggernauts, as well as some of the “grail” bands of that time period, like SIR LORD BALTIMORE, BUDGIE, TOAD, BUFFALO and a zillion others. Right before OGRE started out, Ross and his brother Phil (Dr. Phibes from the band the BLOOD FARMERS) turned me on to all the PENTAGRAM demos and rehearsal tapes that were circulating in the tape trading underground at the time, so they were a huge influence. True doom metal bands like SAINT VITUS, REVELATION, and others from the Maryland scene, played a big role, as well!
5- How is the feedback for your new album being?
WILL- We’re still waiting for a reaction as it hasn’t come out yet. But the label seems very happy with it. The new stuff we’ve done live has gone over very
6- And are your personally satisfied with the final outcome?
WILL- I love it. I’m proud of us. A lot of people consider our “Plague of the Planet” disc to be our high-water mark, but I think this equals that one, if not eclipses it. I was worried how it was going to go, given that we’ve been broken up for years, but it all came together perfectly.
7- How could you describe this opus in just 3 words?
WILL- Not for poseurs!
8- How has the production process for your new release been?
WILL- Great! We had our friend Marc Bartholomew on the board. Marc did our “Plague of the Planet” album, and mixed “Seven Hells.” We also cut some demos with him very early on, so he knows what we’re all about. He’s also worked with some other Portland ME groups that you might have heard of like OCEAN and CONIFER. We had a couple of hiccups in terms of some of the mixing, and mastering. We seem to haggle with each other about that stuff more than the actual performances, but everyone very pleased with the final outcome. Marc has since announced that he’s not going to be doing music anymore, so we were glad he was on board one last time!
9- And how do you use to work on the songwriting?
WILL- Ross usually comes in with a riff that we batter around the practice space, each adding our own ideas regarding arrangements, and tempos and that kind of stuff. Ed’s pretty protective about his lyrics and what he wants to sing, and that’s fine by us, as he has great ideas. He’s a natural born storyteller!
10- Finally, what are your near future plans?
WILL- We’re working on a bonus track that we are going to record for the vinyl edition of “The Last Neanderthal,” but it’s probably a little early to go into details about that. Once the record comes out, we’d love to make it to Europe! Any promoters who can help us make this happen can get in touch with us via our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/RockOgre
11- That’s all from our side, thanks again for taking your time to answer our questions. If you now want to add some final words; feel free to do it.
WILL- Thanks for helping us get the word out, and we hope everyone likes the record!