OPHIS (Eng.)

– Hi, thanks for your time. What are you currently up to? How is everything doing right now with OPHIS?

Hi Tania, and thanks for contacting us. We are pretty busy at the moment, with the upcoming tour and release and writing, but that’s a good thing. It shows that the band is functional. It is much worse if a band has not much to do, haha.

– Before getting into your new compilation album, I would like to start a bit with the band’s beginnings. How did you guys get together? Would you mind giving a run down on your activity during these years? As with just two full-length albums you are now one of the most solid current references into Doom/Death.

Thanks, that’s great to hear! Ophis exists for almost 12 years now, and we had quite a chaotic beginning, so I try to make this very short: the band was founded by me in 2001, but we only lasted for a couple of months and then broke up again. I continued OPHIS as a solo project and released a demo in 2002, which did quite well. So in 2003 I decided to give it another shot as a full band, this time with mainly different musicians. We’ve been going ever since, having released 2 EPs, 2 albums and having toured Europe twice.

 

– You have just released a compilation album, «Effigies of Desolation», featuring your debut album, your first MCD and five bonus tracks so, first off, how did everything arise?

Cyclone Empire Records originally wanted to do a re-release of the “Stream of Misery” album with some bonus tracks. We kinda liked the idea, because the album was both sold out and out of print. But then we thought instead of making this a simple re-release, why not doing a compilation of our first two records? The “Nostrae Mortis Signaculum” was sold out as well and the label which originally released it doesn’t even exist any more. So we decided to make it a compilation of the early days of OPHIS, with some extra material from the archives. This is also the reason we chose to give the release an own name and artwork.

 

– It specially caught my attention the fact you have included the whole «Stream of Misery» album. Was it somehow a way of giving it a second chance? Do you think it will now reach more people?

Well, both the original versions of “Stream of Misery” and the EP sold quite well. It didn’t need a second chance so to speak. But they are out of print now, and there is still a demand from people who got to know OPHIS through “Withered Shades” which was our most successful record so far. So here they are.

 

– The five bonus tracks are live songs, and also tunes from demos and rehearsals. Was it easy to select which ones you wanted to include?

It was not very difficult, because most rehearsal recordings we have in our archives are from the post “Stream” era, and we did not want to include the newer stuff, as this is some sort of retrospective.

 

– And what would you like to get with this release? I guess it’s an interesting piece for «collectors», but also a good way to make all those who aren’t familiar with you yet, get to know a bit more about OPHIS.

Well, as you said, this is an opportunity for fans who didn’t know us since the beginning to get the old stuff. We did a high quality digipack package, so people don’t have to rely on boring MP3 downloads. We think this is also better than simply re-print the original albums. This way, people can get something special.

 

– Something that surprised me a lot was the fact on the live songs you actually manage to keep or even enhance the strong atmospheres your compositions have and you are even known for. Due to this I would like to know how easy is for you to transport all those feelings and atmospheres to the live scenario, or if it rather comes out naturally.

We try not to think about this issue too much, so that the transgression on stage remains naturally and authentic. I know exactly what you mean, it is quite some task to keep the atmosphere of the songs when you perform on stage. That’s why I try to focus on the meaning of the songs when we play live, to re-enact their atmosphere. This is a lot easier when you have a nice monitor sound, as you don’t have to concentrate on hearing yourself all the time. It is quite some challenge, but it got a bit easier over the years by gaining stage-experience.

 

– This about «Effigies of Desolation» being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?

Death Doom Metal!

 

– You are hailing from Germany, where it doesen’t seem to be a huge Doom/Death quarry, so at least from the outside it seems you are somehow isolated into this subgenre. Does this make things easier, as I guess it would be easier for you to stand out among other bands, or rather the opposite, as maybe isn’t a really popular style over there?

Both, actually. The good thing is, as you said, that there is not much competition, so fans of Doom/Death are very likely to know OPHIS. The downside is, that it is not that easy to secure gigs as the genre is not very popular and many promoters are afraid of small audiences. This also means that we have to deal with low budgets all the time. This is often difficult. Luckily we were able to reach a little popularity by playing live as much as possible.

 

– After releasing this compilation double album; what’s next for you? Do you already have ideas for a next album?

Yes we do. We are currently deep into songwriting and we will focus on that even more after the next tour. We can not say yet when the new album will be out, but it will not be before 2014. We always take the time we need, as we want to make the best record possible. And we all have day-jobs and stuff, so we can not work on material as often as we’d like to. So far, we have some songs finished and a lot of ideas recorded, but we will take our time to sort them out and bring them into a proper shape.

 

– And on the live scenario, do you have any plans? Summer festivals maybe?

No summer festivals this year, but we just played at DOOM SHALL RISE festival last weekend. We will also play KILLTOWN DEATHFEST in Denmark in september. This summer, we will also do another short European tour in june, together with EVADNE from Spain (you probably know them) and our friends from EVOKEN. Unfortunately, this tour will not come to Spain. We hope to return to Spain when the new album is out. Depends on the interes of your promoters, haha.

 

– In fact in 2011 you played for first time in Spain, at the Madrid is the Dark Fest.What are your memories from that show?

That show was a real blast. We had a rather bad position in the running order, but people were still there and the audience was very, very open minded towards our music and gave us a very warm welcome. We met a lot of great people and the overall atmosphere was awesome. I remember this festival as one of the best we ever played. Thanks again, Madrid! I also remember our bass-player Olly being extremely drunk after PRIMORDIAL and ISOLE took him to some obscure bar, haha.

 

– That has been everything from my side, thanks once more for taking part of your time. If you now want to add some final words; last lines are all yours.

Thanks to your readers for the interest in OPHIS, and thanks to you for the interview. Stay heavy, and stay non-commercial! Cheers from OPHIS! Keep rotting!

 

Tania Giménez

tania@queensofsteel.com

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