Otargos are an extreme band hailing from France. Their sound suffered a shift with their last album “Apex Terror” but the band are already working on its follow up and promise it will not disappoint the die hard fans… plus they are working on some surprises for their female fans… read the interview to find out more details about it all.
The word Otargos derives from old greek. How did you come across it and why have you opted for that name? Would you chose a name that wasn’t so connected to black metal’s symbolism if you were creating your band now?
Yes it comes from an old greek word meaning “ the goat”. When I searched for a band name I was interested in something sounding diferent cause I noticed that all BM bands had the same kind of names always using the same kind of words. Of course I opted for OTARGOS cause of its meaning... if I had to chose now …. yes it would be completely disconected to BM, and I'm sure you knew the answer!!
What’s the biggest problem when putting a band together?
It's to find active people and not just musicians. I often battled with OTARGOS members cause of their lack of investment. Being in a band is not just being present for rehearsals or gigs. I work for OTARGOS several hours a day, composing, managing, mailing, promoting, thinking about new stuff...
Does the band still have one member that composes all music? Isn’t it harder to work like that? Don’t the other members want to have some input on the material they release as well?
I still the main composer… this is the best way to work for OTARGOS.
I often tell the others members to not hesitate to compose and bring new stuff, I never forbade anyone of proposing new idea… but most of the time, rare times, it was bad. If someone brings a good arangement or solo or anything else and if it's good, well, of course I agree.
I am not pretencious, but I am OTARGOS.
The album “No God, No Satan” marked a shift in the band’s sound. What influences the band?
I was just fed up with all BM stuff. I felt myself suffocating and too chained within the BM soundscape and scene. As a musician I wasn't inspired anymore.
It was time to evolve. Musically and lyrically. I can now really express myself.
You once stated that “Otargos is a modern extreme metal band with no place for fairytales”. What do you mean by this?
I don't believe in religious bullshit; that's just fearytales... the only real thing is that we are made of stardust, made of particules created at the beginning of our universe, and, all this planet and its parasites to stardust shall return. Somewhere in this universe or else do exist forces beyond imagination. We are nothing, We know nothing.
Which bands introduced you to the more extreme sounds? Do you still listen to those bands?
When I was a kid I was a big big Guns n Roses Iron Maien and Scorpions fan.... AND I STILL AM! But the day that changed my life was when I put Slayer's “Decade of Aggression” CD on my stereo… Later I dicovered Immortal, Morbid Angel, Marduk, Bolt Thrower, Emperor, Mayhem and all this troup of (now) cult extreme bands....
to be honest, now, I don't listen to a lot of BM, but I do that sometimes cause I still appreciate old cult stuff such as “the somberlain” from Dissection; but I mainly listen to rock/hardrock/death/heavy/thrash oldies.
What kind of atmosphere do you need to have when you’re composing?
By night, alone, at home with some wine...!
Your latest album “Apex Terror” lasted a total of 44 minutes and 44 seconds. Was it on purpose? What’s the meaning behind these numbers, if there’s any at all?
Hahaha! Maybe there is a cosmic signification!... No, sorry there's no meaning at all, and I never noticed that! Thank you!
When is the next Otargos release scheduled for? What can the fans expect from it?
I am working on it. I already completed 7 tracks of pure fury!! How can I say?! It shall be the worthy successor of APEX TERROR. Expect more death metal influences, but also some old thrashy black metal ones. This release shall be really more dark and obscure than APEX and certainly more intense.
In fact I put a lot of ambiences, from cold sideral ones to total mayhem spitting gigantic xenomorphic alien incursions!I want for this one a kind of slimmy and dirty production, something less “clean” than the one of APEX.
If we are all ok, we plan to record it during spring 2015. It could be released after the summer but we don't know yet.
Otargos show the frailty of the human nature through chaos and cosmos. How weak do you think humans are?
I think I already answered… WE ARE NOTHING, WE KNOW NOTHING.
How old were you when you first realised the human nature was sick and decided to write about it and fight against it?
Good question! It came when I really started to study cosmology. All became clear for me. We are fucking parasites on this planet, and we have the pretentions to be sons of “gods”?? The pretention to be “unique” ??
Hey fuck me!!! we are there just because of some cosmic elements landed on this sphere. The conditions were good for them to evolve during billions of years... and... rememberthat if Dinosaurs didn't encounter a cataclysmic event never the human race could have emerged from ancient mammals... it's just chance, luck, fate. Dinosaurs reigned on this planet for more than 150 millions of years... while the “modern” human has just been here for about 200 000 years... about 0,0013% of the age of our universe… and we pretend to be fantastic and evolved ???? Let me smile! We are nothing!
How do you plan a typical Otargos show? How do you select the songs to play? Do you use symbols and corpse paint onstage?
Like any band, we select our favourite songs and think about the best order to play them. We try to give some kind of mix of brutal and mid tempo songs. We used to use some corpsepaint for 10 years, but now it's over.
We started a new era with APEX TERROR, and this new era is far away from oldschool BM folkrore.
What’s the meaning of corpse paint to you? How do you feel about the bands that have stopped using it along the way?
I think most of the actual bands uses corpsepaint just to be a black metal band. Without having searched for a signification of it. It became a “black metal costume”… that's disappointing.
WE stopped using corpsepaint cause it had no connection anymore with our music and lyrics. I don't blame any bands who use or stop using it IF it’s justified and well done.
In order to praise your female fans you’ve created a tanga. Any more items for girls in the future?
Haha, we just noticed that most of the time, except for girly Tshirts, there's not a lot of items for girls in band merchandises... so we said “why not?!” and we created some! Even if many guys laught about it we sold all the stock !! Some new girly TS model will be available in September !
Have you ever considered doing a tanga contest in which fans send their photos using your tanga and the selected/best photo (or ass!) gets a free item from the band? That would be really cool!
Thanx for the idea!!! For sure we have to make it !
We were thinking about releasing a new tanga model… you convinced me to make it! Prepare your camera ! Haha!
How would you describe the French extreme metal scene? Do the bands get along? Being a big country affects the scene somehow? Is the underground centre still in Paris?
There are many good bands in France within the death, black, sludge scene but it seems that all French bands don't really support each other... especially in Paris... those guys too often consider them as the “elite”...
Do you think there is a country perfect for extreme black metal bands to live in?
Hum… Certainly not in France ! Trust me!
Have you ever played in any of the countries that are constantly going through religious wars. How was it? If you haven’t, what advice do you want to give to the metal bands in those countries?
No, we never did. An advice ? Leave the place before it's too late!
What disgusts you the most about today’s society? And what do you appreciate the most?
The lack of personality and the psychic weakness of our kind.
We are fighting each other for futile things... and in the name of inexistent divinities... I dream of the day when some gigantic extraterrestrials will come and decimate all! I’m a pessimist guy and selfish. I live for myself I don't care about the society. I spend my days looking within the stars.
Considering that death is the biggest and only certainty of all, have you ever thought about the way you’d like to die?
Yes of course, and to be honest it's something I’m waiting with a lot of fear, even if I consider Death as just and simply the END. Nothing more, just like a computer that you shut down. I’m afraid to become old and impotent... I want to die without being conscient of it...
What would the perfect world be like in your opinion?
Impossible to imagine… and for sure a perfect world would be really boring! Or …. maybe... a world full of ginger hot girls!!!
If you knew the world would end one month from now what would you do in the last days of your life?
Spend some time with my family of course but also kill a lot of people, fuck a lot of girls and finally stand outside on a hill or on the rooftop of a building to behold the last hours of this planet.
Many thanks for your time and attention. Please share a final message with Pest’s readers.
Thanx for your questions!! Thanx to all who support OTARGOS, keep following the band we have new dates and stuff coming soon !
Questions by Sónia Fonseca