Orange Goblin are described as stoner rock, doom metal, heavy metal and have been making loud noises for over twenty years. Black Orchid Empire offer melody, power, beauty and ferocity and are set to be a force for the future, will perhaps Black be the new Orange? Ben Ward, the Orange Goblin frontman and Paul Visser, vocalist from Black Orchid Empire talk to us about the Camden Rocks Music Festival and what it means to them. Strangely, Kate Moss’s pyromaniac tendencies, poor teenage fashion choices and the mass of genre spanning music choices all get a mention.
When did your relationship with Camden start?
(OG) For me it started as soon as I moved to London as a 16 year old in 1991. Camden was always the place to go for seeing bands and buying music so I was instantly drawn to it. At first I found it a very daunting and almost intimidating place-completely different from the quiet town I’m from in Kent.
(BOE) I remember my dad taking me round Camden Market when I was a kid – back before the fire when it was still the way it had been for decades. It was literally the coolest place imaginable. It seemed genuinely exotic – the punks hanging out on the canal bridge, the tunnels full of shops selling vintage clothes, full of unfamiliar and amazing smells and sights. It was awesome. Me and my brother used to try and find original Star Wars figures to spend our pocket money on, or buy terrible ill-fitting army surplus jackets we thought were the absolute shit.
Have you played in Camden before?
(BOE) We’re based in London and Camden has been the heart of the music scene there for years – in this and previous bands we’ve played at the Barfly, Dublin Castle, Proud, Purple Turtle, Underworld, loads of them. Sadly a lot of those venues have closed or totally changed now.
(OG) Orange Goblin consider Camden as our spiritual home and we must have played there hundreds of times. We have slowly worked our way through almost every venue Camden has, starting in the smaller places such as The Dublin Castle, The Monarch and The Falcon, moving up to the Underworld which we must’ve played 30 or 40 times and more recently the bigger venues such as Koko, The Roundhouse and The Electric Ballroom.
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What was your reaction when you knew you would be playing there this year?
(OG) We were delighted. I’ve been good friends with the organiser Chris for the best part of 20 years and we played then festival for him a few years ago. It’s great to see so many fans of different genres of music converge on Camden for one day and it’s always like a celebration. We’re really looking forward to being part of that again.
(BOE) We’re really stoked to play! It’s a great festival, and we’ve worked with the organisers on other shows. It’s awesome to be up there alongside all those quality bands.
From the initial announcement of bands who are you looking forward to seeing?
(BOE) Our mates Stereo Juggernaut are playing which will be awesome. Orange Goblin are incredible, seeing them will be great. Ben (Ward, Orange Goblin frontman ) is a bit of a hero on the rock scene really!
(OG) I am a huge fan of The Damned so I really hope I get a chance to see some of their set. Other than that I’m afraid I don’t really know who else is playing. A lot of the time at these events is spent doing press anyway.
Have you been to Camden Market, what did you buy?
(OG) Far too many times to mention. I’ve bought various different things there, from T Shirts, jewelry and music through to studded belts, jackets, shoes and drugs, haha!
(BOE) Yeah loads of times! I used to live nearby. Probably food – they have everything imaginable there, used to love going for lunch and having a browse.
Which Camden venue is the best to play at?
(BOE) Our favourite was always Barfly, although I haven’t been there since it became the Assembly.
(OG) Having played so many it’s really hard to choose just one as they all have a certain charm and all hold memories for us as a band.
Do you know any Camden trivia?
(BOE) No but I reckon we should start a rumour. Wasn’t the Camden fire started by Kate Moss throwing one of Amy Winehouse’s fags into a bin?
(OG) The Black Heart is now what I call my local, so maybe that’s trivia (On the contrary, that’s headline news – GIGsoup!)
Why should I as a gig goer make an effort to see you guys at Camden Rocks this year?
(BOE) Because we’re really fucking great. And we’ll buy you a beer. Seriously, we can’t wait to play – we live for shows like this and always throw everything into them. If you want to see a three-piece make a gigantic, glorious, riff-filled racket that has you singing along to every word then come check us out.
(OG) Because you are guaranteed a great time at an Orange Goblin show, no matter what kind of music you’re into come along, have a few beers and get into the party spirit!
Camden Rocks Music Festival is on June 3rd 2017