– Thank you so much for answering our interview. How is the band currently doing?

Keith: Hello Paco! It’s my pleasure to speak with you a bit here. The band seems to be doing great and growing a bit everyday.

– You have just released your new album, entitled «The Mouths of Madness». Tell us a bit what does this album deal with, from its cover to the title and if there’s any kind of concept behind the songs.

Keith: Yes, we are very excited for the release of our newest full length effort. We have put a lot of our blood, sweat and tears into it and hope it will show to the people who listen. This album is indeed a journey with a thematic story line as was our first full length album «Capricorn». Theo, our great leader has once again brought an artistic vision to life with «The Mouths of Madness». For me it is a story that deals with the experience of life. The good and bad, light and dark, beauty and horror, love and war. Much of the album has a dreamy, surreal quality to it that brings forth psychedelic imagery. This is just my personal experience when I sit and listen to the album as a whole.


– The album is, without any doubt, a tribute to the SABBATH and derivatives sound. How did these influences born in you when it comes to create an album on this era?

Keith: This is an unavoidable comparison that we appreciate. Black Sabbath are one of the greatest Rock and Roll bands of all times in my opinion. If you play bluesy, heavy rock you can not help but be influenced by them. For me Geezer Butler is one of the best bass players and song writers in the game and I will always have his imprint on my playing. When I was a kid he was really the first bass player that fascinated me enough to actually study his style. We all have a variety of influences as musicians that vary in vast styles and genres including Classical, Folk, Jazz, Pop, Punk, Metal, etc… However the vision of the band has always been sort of dreaming of long lost Sabbath recordings from the early years.


– Listening to the opus, it sounds simply superb; you haven’t just taken really good the old sound to the present days, but you have also brought a lot of feeling to the production. Are you satisfied with the final outcome? Has it ended up as you expected?

Keith: Well thank you very much for the kind words. It is definitely a labor of love and we put ourselves into the music with pure heart and soul. It is our hope and desire that people will hear and feel this when they listen. I was worried for most of the making of the record that it would be difficult to match the quality of «Capricorn» and we might suffer from having such a challenge. Once I sat with the completed recordings and the packaging, listened all the way through while reading the lyric I was eased of this concern. Though I wouldn’t argue that it is better, I would say it is of equal standing. I do think we have grown as band unit and our musicianship together has solidified and hopefully that growth shines through.


– This is your sophomore release, though you also published an EP a few time ago. What do you think are the differences between the first ORCHID to the band on this new CD?

Keith: After completing this second full-length album I was asking myself this same sort of question… So I loaded all our records into my car, took a long drive and listened through our entire collection from «Through The Devils Doorway», «Capricorn», «Heretic», «Wizard of War» and finally «The Mouths of Madness». I expected to hear a significant difference from one to the next but actually found it all to be pretty consistent. I think our sound comes more from the way we play then anything else personally and production techniques and studios become pretty transparent to my ear when a group plays together. I was happy to find this experience. For me it a good sign that we are doing what we are suppose to be doing and is honest music, coming from our hearts.


– Something also that caught my attention were the tracks and their length, almost all of them lasting over 6 minutes, as it also happened with your debut album. I’m one of those who think this music style is made for tunes with this kind of length or even lengthier. Do they just come up like this when developing the songs or are they planned like this?

Keith: Yeah, our songs tend to be a bit longer then the average «pop» song all though we do have a few 3-4 minute songs here and there. It’s just the way they come out. We are never working on making a song a specific length. With that said, we have had a few that went quite a bit longer before some of the editing process takes place. Maybe we will share some un-edited recordings someday! ; )


– Coming back to the record, beside the SABBATH’s influence, it attracts me a lot the vocals, they sound really Hard and Heavy which, next to the music, gives a really special flavour not seen in other bands of the SABBATH’s family.

Keith: Theo is a great singer with a very strong presence. His ability to lift the melodies out of the heavy rock trio – musical ensemble is definitely reminiscent of the late 60’s-70’s era. Power trio with a strong melodic vocal cutting through is for me one of the best orchestrations there is in music. Bass, Drums, Guitar, Voice… This has been the formula for so many great rock bands. We just do our best to honor the tradition.


– You are hailing from the USA. How did ORCHID born and where do you influences come from?

Keith: Yes we are all located in the San Francisco bay area. Orchid was the brain-child of our fearless leader, Theo Mindel. He had a vision, collaborated with Mark Baker on the idea and started seeking a bass player and drummer who could fill the gaps. I was the third to come and we found Carter shortly after. It’s a great group of guys and we all get along pretty well, so I feel pretty lucky in that respect. It’s not easy having four guys get along well in a rock band. We’ve all been through our share of them in the past. Orchid is a unique blend that produces a whole being greater then the individual parts. To me this has always been the key ingredient I’ve sought after playing in bands. We succeed in this synergy. It’s a true blessing for all of us.


– You have been active since 2007 more or less; how has all this time been, since your first album until now?

Keith: Wow, six years together with the same lineup! We must be doing something right. Bands come and go, and members often change around… It’s a curse of the game. These six years with this group have been some of the best times of my life. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’m looking forward to talking about the next six years once we’ve put them behind us as well. : D


– There’s no doubt the reviews and people I know are really happy with this effort. During the last years have came out true masterpieces into the genre, as last year the albums by SAINT VITUS or CANDLEMASS, and this 2013 Victor Griffin’s IN-GRAVED, from PENTAGRAM, and your new album. Is there a «sabbatical» revival?

Keith: It’s great to part of something people are enjoying. I hope we can continue to deliver great songs to our audience and continue to grow as a group as well. If it’s a revival then why not Sabbath!


– It seems some people want to hear again this kind of songs. A lot of times you just find out classical bands that are recording with a modern production and everything sounds so mechanized, but in exchange a lot of the current productions into this style they don’t just sound so modern, but they are also primitive. Is this a style that, doesn’t matter in which period you are playing it, it simple always remains loyal to is playing style?

Keith: I personally always believe it is in the way bands play and write songs. Production doesn’t matter in my world. Not that I don’t appreciate great production, but to me great recording technique is that which captures the essence of a band on to a recording. It’s called a «record» because that’s what it is… a historical record of the band at that moment captured in time. Our co-producer and engineer, Will Storkson really understands this well in my opinion. He is always encouraging us to just “get the take”, everything else will work out if you have a great performance captured.


– And about the touring situation; how does this year look like for you?

Keith: So far we only have a spring tour scheduled for 2013. We will be supporting the great Swedish band Witchcraft. We are all very excited about this tour. It will be the biggest one for us so far. Perhaps some other appearances will develop but for now it’s just this tour.


– It seems you will be playing in Spain. Tell us how these shows are going to be like and what are we going to find.

Keith: I’m personally very excited for our dates in Spain. We will be playing in Madrid, Barcelona and San Sebastian… One of my best friends and old band mates was from Madrid and has always told me I should go there and other cities in Spain. I really can’t wait. We will be playing songs from our entire collection of recordings focusing on «The Mouths of Madness» album… I think you will find us at our usual high energy, rockin’ and rollin’. We are only one day in each city so the tour will be fast paced and we will be matching that energy most likely.


– So that’s all from our side, our best wishes and hope you will keep on releasing such fantastic albums as «The Mouths of Madness».

Keith: Thank you so much for your time and consideration. It’s been a pleasure sharing some of my personal thoughts and experiences as the bass player of Orchid with you and your readers. Best wishes to you all as well. : )


Paco Gómez


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