How did Black Orchid Empire materialize? For our readers that are not aware of you guys, could you give us a brief history of BOE?
We were previously all in a much more mainstream rock band called Cape Fear. When our guitarist left we started jamming as a three-piece and ended up writing new riffs and loving it. We decided to take the entire old project, throw it away and start again in a direction far more true to ourselves - that became Black Orchid Empire.
In this vast ocean of bands trying to let themselves be heard, what makes you guys stand out in the scene?
Our thing has always been melody. We love crushing riffs and progressive, complex parts but it's all in the context of a song that really sticks with you. We hope that our focus on that aspect of the writing helps our music really resonate with people.
Do you mind explaining the lyrical topics Black Orchid Empire tackles as a band and what is the message you carry on your sleeve?
We love experimenting with larger concepts that provide the lyrical foundation for our records. Semaphore is a sci-fi album full of storylines exploring life and the universe with the kind of freedom such a setting affords. We find that when you separate songwriting from direct experience and move into a fantasy narrative you actually end up discussing big topics in a much more poignant way. It also means all three of us can contribute directly to the lyrical process.
Crazy to think that ‘Semaphore’ recently turned two, how was this album received by the public and industry professionals? Did it live up to your expectations? Really sad that you guys could not tour this album as extensively as I’m sure you would have hoped for due to Covid.
It's been a really strange but actually incredibly productive time for us. Semaphore has been received really well, and many of the songs have definitely become permanent fixtures in our live set. Whilst we weren't able to tour the album, we still grew a much larger listener base through the DSPs that have stayed with us. We also started writing new material even before Semaphore was released that has now become the next album so it's worked out great.
How has it been since signing with Season of Mist?
So far it's been great! The most important thing was seeing that Michael actually understands the band and what we want to achieve - he's taking a chance with us and we're very grateful for that.
On that note, I saw you are also teasing new music for 2023. Anything that you would like to add that won’t give away too much. What can fans and new listeners expect from the new Black Orchid Empire?
We've finished recording and mixing easily our best work to date. It's gonna be really exciting for us to see how people react to the next album. We're incredibly happy with it!
We had a great time checking out your set at Tech-Fest – what did you guys think of this year’s edition of the festival?
Awesome! Our experience at Tech-Fest was incredible. Great crowd, super welcoming crew - it was an absolute pleasure and one of the best shows we've had for sure.
Anything that stands out from Tech-Fest compared to other festivals that you would like to highlight?
It's definitely one of the most well-organised and managed festivals we've witnessed. We loved the no-clash lineup and the stage layout with the merch area and bar in between. It was amazing! Also, Simon is a wonderful dude - he took time to talk to us and it really felt like he had the well-being and success of the bands and the enjoyment of the guests as his priorities. Awesome guy.
What is the best piece of advice you would give to up-and-coming bands?
We work full-time producing and mixing bands so we see a lot of talented people in all genres. The one thing that connects every single success story is that they never ever gave up. It's gonna take longer and be way harder than you think to get your music to connect with people, but if you're bullishly authentic and insanely hard-working, your relentless efforts will eventually pay off.
Is there anything that you guys would like to plug on here? Please go ahead.
Well, obviously we have new music on the way so we'd love everyone to follow us on Spotify to prepare for that! Also, we're extremely committed to working with amazing heavy bands on production so if you're looking for anything from a remote mix to a full album we would LOVE to hear from you. Our world-class studio is The Recording Studio London https://www.therecordingstudio.london