Interview with Ophis

Doom/Death Metal from Hamburg, Germany

Hello guys ! It’s a pleasure for me to talk with you! I also want to say thank you for a such a great show at Doom over Bucharest II ! It was the first time here in Romania, tell me a bit about this experience.
Hi there, the pleasure is all on our side. It was a very special show for us, not only the first time in Romania, but also the very first show with our new guitarist Simon and the final show with our long time drummer Nils. Also, my first show without hair, haha. So, it was a night of things to remember. We’ve never been to Romania before, so we did not really know what to expect. It was interesting to see Bucharest, it is very different from German cities. But we liked it a lot. Great people, great food, great venue, scary taxi drivers and horrible coffee, haha.

Tell me about the meaning of the name. Most of doom(metal) bands choose a name based on despair, sorrow; why Ophis?
Well, you already said it yourself: most other bands have names like that, and that’s cool, but do we need just another one? Not really, huh? Especially in the early days of Ophis there was a strong emphasis on anti-christian and anti-religious attitude in this band, so we wanted to reflect that in the name. It was derived from the cult of the Ophites, who were worshipping the snake as a symbol for gnosis and the emancipation from God. That seemed appropriate to us. Also, the snake is a formidable animal to symbolize Doom Metal. Plus, the name is short and catchy. Enough reasons to choose it, right?
It’s been almost 3 years (soon) since you’ve released a material. The last one was “Abhorrence in Opulence”. Tell me a bit about it. Source of inspiration, lyrics, what does it mean for you, your favourite track from it. How would you describe your older material compared to the later recordings to those who might not be familiar with Ophis yet?
“Abhorrence in Opulence” was released in late 2014, so it is closer to 2 years than to 3 since then, but you are right, it’s a good time to reflect that record. Now, 2 years later I am still very happy with that album and I think it is my personal fave so far. I know that most fans still consider “Withered Shades” as our best album, and that’s fine for me. It is a great album. But I think “Abhorrence” is just a little better for me. The only thing I am not happy with any more is the guitar sound, which should be more crushing. We recorded with 3 amps simultaneously for each guitar to get a real heavy sound, but in the mix we ended up with too many options. This resulted in a compromised guitar sound. It is very clear and aggressive, but not as heavy as we wanted it to be. On the upcoming album we will go for a different approach, with less options but those will be maxed out. I’d have problems to choose my fave song of that album, but I guess I’d go for “Resurrectum”.
Our older material is simpler, more to the point. I think “Abhorrence In Opulence” is very complex for a death-doom record, without any conventional song-structures, and almost no unisono guitar riffs. Both guitars and the bass play different stuff almost constantly. There is happening a lot in the songs. I think, we went as far as we could with that album. The next album will be a bit less complex. It worked well on “Abhorrence”, but we felt that we could not go further than that in terms of complexity, as that would have been too much for a band like Ophis. The new album won’t be as simple as f.e. “Stream of Misery” was, but also not as complex as “Abhorrence”.

Which show did you remember most and why? With which bands have you shared and which band left you a wow impression?
Oh shit, there have been so many shows over the years, and quite a few have been memorable in both good and bad terms, it is hard to choose. You know, we never played 30 shows a year, but for a Doom band we play more shows than average. One very great show I remember is of course Party:San Open Air, it was the biggest show we ever played with almost 3000 people. We only performed 2 songs, but it was still a great experience. Another great show was our first time in Spain, playing Madrid. We were opening a festival and did not expect any reaction, but the crowd was so awesome, it was a little overwhelming.
A very bad show I remember was in Luneburg, a small town in northern Germany, where everything was fucked up. The support band sucked ass, the promoter was a total beginner, the food was shit, there was no real stage, it was all chaos and the microphone was getting too much electricity, so every time I sung a line, I was getting a power-shock into my mouth. We only played 3 songs, then ended the show, it was just too shitty.
Regarding other bands, we had the privilege to play or even tour with almost every Doom band I always loved. We toured with Skepticism, which was a great honour. I still remember their show in Prague, it was just mind-blowing. One of the best gigs I have ever seen. We also toured with Evoken, which was always one of my favourite bands. This year, we played on a festival AFTER My Dying Bride, which was a very weird experience.

What we should expect from Ophis in the near future?
A new album. We will enter studio in February and record the next full-length. I have no release date yet, but I expect it to come out in the middle of 2017. It will contain 6 songs, and you can expect that we will not change our style in any way, although the overall feeling of the songs will definitely differ from “Abhorrence”.
Thank you for your time! Was great to see you perform in Bucharest and hope to see you again soon ! Cheers from Romania

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