– Hi, thanks for your time. What are you currently up to? How is everything doing right now with OTARGOS?
Hi! All goes well!! Since the releasing of APEX TERROR, last september, we perform a lot of shows in france and UK and offered a new Video clip. we are in a kind of summer holidays… but not for long! Some shows and tours are scheduled for september, october, february…
– First off, why and how did you choose «Otargos» as the band’s name?
At the begining OTARGOS was my solo project, I was seaching for an uncommon name. At this time (2000) and still now, too many BM bands used the same kind of basic band’s name with words such as “ inferal, unholy, immortal, dark, forest, hell, blood, satanic….” well you know what I mean i’m sure!… I wanted something sounding just diferent. OTARGOS comes from an old greek word ” O τράγος “ meaning “the goat”. we changed it a bit to OTARGOS.
– Last September released your latest album, entitled «Apex Terror». What were your expectations on this new opus? And how is its feedback being thus far?
We want to present the new OTARGOS. we finished a decade.. we’re starting a new one. We are begining a new era. A new era of music, or lyrics, of visual. Feedback are really good! Some still attached to the oldies regreting the old visual with BM folklore (we droped all corpsepaint and BM stuff) … but we don’t care, for me all this shit is just the midle-age.. I let it to the underground BM scene. I want OTARGOS to be seen as a modern and mature band.
– Since your previous record, «No God, no Satan», came out, the band has been through some line-up changes. Why did the previous members leave? Anyway now you’ve got guitar player VOiD and the bass player Manu Pliszke. What have they brought to OTARGOS?
Yes, many changes since the last album. The previous guitarist ( Astaroth) left the band for family reasons, XXX the former bass player, cause of his job has to stop too. And also the drummer left OTARGOS too to focus his work only on his intrument. T.F. VOID brought a lot of things and inspirations, he’s a fuckin’ really good guitarist! Far better than me! haha! But I don’t care there’s no competion between us. I am more a composer than a technician. We worked a lot together for APEX TERROR , for sure we will continue like this. M. Pliszke joined us last July,we knew him for many times in fact as he’s playing in a death metal band called DEMENTED in our home twon.I can just say he is the perfect guy for us: he’s profesional, serious, good player and frontman on stage; exactly what we were searching for. We also welcomed John A as new drummer, this guys is a machine, he also plays in DEMENTED. This new line-up is a good thing for the new OTARGOS.
– You are also working with a new label, which is Listenable Records. How is everything going with them so far? Is it more comfortable to work with French companies or doesn’t really matter?
All goes well, we are really pleased to work with LISTENABLE. Yes it’s more confortable, but it wasn’t the principal reason for we with signed with. We simply choose them for they work well.
– On songwriting terms this new record feels to me like a more straight-forward one, with really catchy moments. Was the songwriting process different this time around?
Yes this is exactly what I wanted to give. Something more straight-forward and powerful. I was a bit fed up with all old BM riffs and suicidal ambiances, I wanted to go to something more modern. I played BM riffs for 10 years … it’s time to evolve and explore new horizons. As guitarist is more pleasant to play death/thrash/heavy stuff. But this change took us more time to write the album, we actually worked more than ever on APEX TERROR, I’m proud of the result. But, I can tell you the next album will be better !!
– The aforementioned catchy moments contrast with the really dark and tough lyrics on this effort. Was this contrast something you wanted to get?
Not really, I wrote the lyrics just like I felt, just the way the music inspired me. Most of the time I write lyrics after the music. Lyrics always been important in OTARGOS, they actually are a part of the whole concept. It took me almost as much time as music composition, even if I know a lot of people don’t care about it, unfortunately.
– Talking about such, would you mind to elaborate a bit on what do some of the lyrics on this release deal with? What’s the main concept behind the album?
I prefer don’t talk about this too much and let the listeners take care of them by themselves! But if you want some informations, the main concept is turning around the future and fall of humanity,the background is made of cataclysmic cosmologic visons, and inspirations from SF and W40K… As you can see… it’s far away from BM themes. All things about extraterrestrial incursions, cosmic mayhems, bestial galactic devastations … in our world or elsewhere in the multiverse … that’s what inspires me for a long time. Now I say fuck off to every one who could say “it’s not BM” … I don’t play BM anymore, I do just what I want! I’m working these days on the next album lyrics, prepare for something more cosmic!
– The cover artwork is quite outstanding but, what did you want to depict on it? Is it connected to the album’s concept?
It was designed by Dehn Sora. We order him an artwork giving him all lyrics and some “key words”. We let the artist express this art. So yes it’s connected to the album concept, but as I often say, the most important while you behold the cover is not what you can see, but what you could not imagine!…
– It also has a subtle more modern sound, giving a more powerful sound to the whole album. Could you say this had something to do with the production and mixing you had?
The same, we exactly wanted something more modern concerning the sound. We absolutely didn’t want a BM sounding, production and mixing. We contacted MOBO and the CONKRETE STUDIO, in France. We already worked with him in the past for the first two album “ Ten-Eyed Nemesis” & “ Kinetic Zero”. This guy don’t work with BM bands at all, but with death or modern fusion style formations. He knows how to make sounding loud and pounding an album!! we are really satisfied of his work on APEX TERROR!
– «Apex Terror» is, compared to your previous album, an improvement in all ways, you have perfected your own music. Do you hink you have, somehow, reached your compositive climax?
I hope no!! but the fact is APEX TERROR is the best album we spawned! I worked a lot to reach this result. I’m now working on the APEX TERROR successor ( I never stop working), I have about 5 songs ready to crush some ears and I can tell you it sounds really heavier and more death metal! so For sure the prod will follow the same way.
– All this about «Apex Terror» being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?
CAUTION TERROR – OTARGOS
– And finally; what are your near-future plans?
As I said, we have some shows booked for september, and a European tour is under booking for October. And, I am composing for the next album
– That’s all, thank you once more for answering our questions. If you want to add some final words; feel free to do it.
Thanks to you and Queen Of Steel! thanks to all who appreciate and support us! And for those who hate us ….well… we don’t care! It makes a long time we played in Spain! We had really great times in the past, I hope come back and crush some spanish stages soon !!
Ulrich Wegrich “DAGOTH” – vocals/guitars/composing