Interview with Oranssi Pazuzu

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Having just released their latest dark creation Värähtelijä, enigmatic Progressive/Post-Black Metal band Oranssi Pazuzu’s bassist Ontto takes the time out from exploring the underworld to answer a few queries about this textured and atmospheric mysterious entity…

For those who are unfamiliar with your band – introduce yourself!

We are Oranssi Pazuzu from Finland. Five guys who have been exploring the outer regions of mind’s cosmos since 2007.

Oranssi Pazuzu2Give us a bit of background to Oranssi Pazuzu

We dive into unknown sonic landscapes. Our method for this is collective improvisation and fusion of different musical elements from psychedelic rock to second wave black metal. Our songs are noisy and sung in Finnish. We’ve recorded four albums, of which the newest, ‘Värähtelijä’, just came out.

What are your influences?

Circle, Darkthrone, Swans, Can, Scott Walker, Sleep, to name a few current favourites. We are into many different kinds of music.

What are you listening to at the moment that you would like to recommend?

Right now I get the biggest kicks out of Fleetwood Mac’s mid-seventies soft rock era. Currently my favourite FM albums are the ‘75 Fleetwood Mac and Future Games. Great songs and that rhythm section is just incredibly groovy!

How do you feel that you fir into the wider Metal scene?

Sometimes it feels a bit restricting to define ourselves as a metal band. I think we fit in any place where people respect our musical ideas and get strong feelings out of it, regardless of what colour t-shirts they are wearing. Having said that, we’ve also had great time playing at some amazing metal festivals, like Heavy Days Doomtown or Roadburn Festival, so I wouldn’t say we are outside the scene either.

Oranssi Pazuzu1Give us a bit of background to Värähtelijä – any particular concepts or ideas you want to discuss?

Värähtelijä is like a long trip that flips your mind inside out. Each song is like a vision on that trip, and together they form a unified experience that is greater than it’s individual fragments. There are concepts like sacrificing the ego, power of the society, and finally the extinction of the mind.

Tell us about the album artwork

On the front cover there is a photo by Andrea Petrovicova. It is an ominous dark tunnel, that has organic growth inside it. The tunnel leads to catharsis. When you open the vinyl gatefold, you will discover what’s at the other end of the tunnel, and inside you.

How do you go about writing your songs?

We get together and start jamming and playing with different ideas. We go for a strong atmosphere, not technical precision. We recorded many ideas while making this album, and many of those slowly evolved into songs as we played with them. Some songs were written more traditionally as riffs, but they too had a lot of collective band input in the end.

Oranssi Pazuzu3How did the recording process go?

It was exhausting and fun two weeks. We started with Julius Mauranen with the live takes and then added more instrumental parts and vocals with Tom Brooke. After that we recorded some additional guests by ourselves and the stuff was ready for mixing.

What’s your favourite song on the album and why?

I think the album is stronger than individual songs. But if I have to choose one, I’ll go for Vasemman käden hierarkia. It’s got the most ambitious arc we’ve done and many different levels to it, and I think it holds together nicely the whole 17 minutes.

What does the future hold for Oranssi Pazuzu?

We’re touring Europe this month and then we’re going to do some festivals, like Desert Fest in London and Roadburn in Tilburg. After those the future is unclear.

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