Games, Brrraaains & A Head-Banging Life are very pleased to bring you an interview with bassist Kristoffer Joel Høe from Norwegian hardcore/punk unit, Ondt Blod. You can read our review of their new album, Natur right here.
1.Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did Ondt Blod get started?
We are a northern Norwegian hardcore outfit with Sami roots. All our band members started out in different bands in – and near – our hometown of Kirkenes. After a while, we all moved to Tromsø. We all knew each other pretty well – except our bass player who we met in Tromsø. We were keen on starting a band together, so we did! Then we recorded our first EP ‘Kuler til kvelds’ which was the start of everything for us.
2. How would you describe your sound?
It is hardcore infused with Sami rage and pop sensibility. We started out in 2013 not really having a plan as to what type of sound we would want for our band. We experimented a lot on the first two EPs, trying to find our strengths and weaknesses. As a result of that our first full length ‘Finnmark’ really (in our opinion) manifested our sound.
3. What can we expect from your upcoming album, Natur?
On ‘Natur’ we really tried to raise the bar to 11. We spent a lot of time in the studio nailing this one. We’ve introduced new ideas, more than we’ve done before. It’s harder, it’s softer – we’ve stretched the line between them. We were constantly uncomfortable – playing and grinding out every bit – to meet our end goal: make the best record Ondt Blod possibly could make. We couldn’t be happier with the result, and can´t wait to play it in front of people.
You can expect a celebration of human nature, where champagne meets cyanide, machine-gun riffage meet the catchiest choruses out of Scandinavia since ABBA. It´s an indigenous blend of hardcore, grim metal and catchy punk rock: the polar bear meets Pet Sounds.
4. What influenced the themes behind the album, if any?
We started to record our album 100 years after the first indigenous political organising in Norway. Natur is a Sami call to arms against the still on-going colonization and oppression of the Sami people. This has influenced our record a lot, and is the main theme throughout the album really. Our lead singer, Aslak is Sami, so it’s a personal narrative to it all.
(You can learn more about the Sami way of life here).
5. Do you think streaming services and the rise of YouTube has helped or hindered you as a band?
Good question, I guess both, some way or another. Musically it has definitely helped in terms of visibility, and the easy access to listen to our music, that’s great. Each song matters – and the focus on the actual songs instead of other distracting information – is much welcomed and something the industry needed.
As for the type of music we play though – the fans mean everything. A lot of our fans use these streaming services, so it’s a great way for us to reach out and make our music accessible. And a large chunk of our fans still like to buy our records in the store, or at a show, which is great, because that is essential for our survival really.
We don’t see a lot of revenue from streaming services compared to physically sold albums and singles. We are not superfans of the economical algorithm used on these services, as they don’t reflect what each listener actually listens to. As fans ourselves, we want to support our idols and bands we look up to, not Rihanna and KYGO. It would be cool if we could see a change to that sometime in the future.
6. If you could ask rock & metal fans one thing to help the band, what would it be?
Buy our records and come to our shows, we promise proper good times!
7. Games, Brrraaains (horror) & Head-Banging…what do you enjoy the most?
8. Any plans for the UK in regards to touring?
Absolutely, we are planning of doing a stretch in the UK during the fall of 2018, which we are really looking forward to.
We’d like to thank Ondt Blod for taking the time to speak with us. You can order the album now over on Bandcamp as well as here where you can also pick up merchandise. Stream the first single on Spotify & via Apple Music. Find out more about Ondt Blod here, via their website & on Facebook here. You can also check out some of their videos over on YouTube.