OBGM-BRINGING AN ORGY OF PUNK

With origins, initially in the world of underground Canadian rap, OBGM have trodden a slightly different path into the world of raucous, thumping, post punk rock.

Influenced by bands like Bad Brains and Trash Talk, the quartet of Densil McFarlane (the founder), Colanthony Humphrey, Joe Brosnan and Jemuel Roberts have been pushing their inimitable style and energy forged on the festival circuits of Canada since 07.

With a debut eponymous album due for release in September fans finally get a full collection of work to get their punking rocking gnashing teeth into after an eight-year gap since their last release. Due for release on the 08 09 17 it’s quintessentially OBGM but as Joe states, more ‘intensified’ than their ep Interchorus back in 09.

Released on the Black Box label and mixed by Dave Schiffman who has worked with names like The Bronx, the album is a banging project-it’s low fi, it’s grating guitar riffs it’s anarchic anti-establishment noise.

#itchysilk got some time to talk to three quarters of OBGM about their sound, love-making and orgies.

 

As one of the founders of OBGM, Dens can you chart how a young Canadian black boy came to love rock?

Dens– I remember the exact moment. There was a hip-hop show that was on television where artists would come in and reel off their top 10 tracks. So, Redman and Method Man were on the show and their number 1 video and track was Smells Like Teen Spirit (1991) by Nirvana and I was like ‘what is this?’-from then on, I was a bit more public about my love for rock.

Was it difficult being black and loving rock?

Cola-To be honest when Dens came to me and said he wants to start a rock band I was against it. Back in the day you would get beaten up in my neighbourhood if you were caught listening to rock music. I did listen to an eclectic range of music when I was growing up but initially I was into hip-hop. Rock music was not something I was looking at-I found rock music through Dens.

You were leading the way towards becoming rock gods?

Dens-I was not fully out there but then I looked up the history of rock and found Jimi and Chuck Berry it really had an impact on me. It was amazing at that time to find black people involved in a music that I was not fully public about. They all played instruments they all controlled people’s emotions with their instruments and that just amazed me.

You sound like you were totally fascinated with rock?

Dens-I was really fascinated with the genre like Alanis Morrissette would pop up on the screen and I would know the lyrics to loads of her songs. At that time, I was not about to be singing it down the street but I was aware of what was going on. But as I said having artists who looked like me performing this music helped me validate my thoughts about the music.

And that moment you decided to form OBGM?

Dens-The realisation that I wanted to make a band happened when I saw the film Purple Rain (1984) and I saw Prince driving in on that motorcycle he looked real cool and I wanted to be that guy. So, I realised that I needed to learn the guitar to be that guy!

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The moment you realised you were helping things change?

I remember when we saw our video on the TV for the first time. I knew then that we were literally the only black people on tv doing this type of music and that meant something to me.

It’s interesting how things have changed. It is still relatively unusual to see black people playing rock but you and acts like H09909 are changing things.

For sure. Got to say absolutely love Ho9909 they are so hard. Like we are all wearing their T-shirts right now. We saw them a few months ago in Toronto. Now we pride ourselves on our live shows but damn what an experience, they are off the chain. Before the music started people were moshing but when the music started playing my man theOGM did a front flip into the crowd-it just went off.

It must me liberating to know and find your sound in rock music?

Dens-We took a long time just trying to find our sound and I think that is the most important thing to do. At first you want to make things that people like. As we have matured we don’t look at that and we make what the fuck we want. We unapologetically do not care. We might put out a hip-hop album, we might put out a metal album, a country album we do whatever we want and that is what ‘punks’ do.

Cola-The thing is we never sit down and think about the music we want to create like we did not start out and go we want to create rock l music. Ultimately, we just wanted to make a loud band and rock music fitted that. For the most part, we just play our instruments and see what happens.

We saw this statement on your site about guitar rock dying…is it true?

Joe-When you are looking at popular music now, you hardly ever hear rock music. If you do hear it, it’s usually something that resembles rock but is not the genre in its true form. In the mainstream charts like it’s virtually impossible to see rock. But art is cyclical and we will be able to find new forms of rock n roll through the ashes of dance music maybe. It was just like when disco died out and then grunge surfaced.

Before talking about the album just a quick tangent to talk about Afropunk who you performed for at the festival in the UK. AP have been great supporters of OBGM.

Cola– Yes Afropunk have been important to us and they have been supporting us for a while. Back in 2009 when they were still ‘new’ they had a show and invited us to perform in Brooklyn-that was a dope experience. That was the beginning stages of not just as but cool acts like Janelle Monae and The Bots. Seeing them start out and seeing where all these acts are today having got the support from Afropunk is amazing.

To the debut album give the readers a brief idea of what to expect.

Joe-We have just intensified things; bpms are faster and for the most part the album continues in that progression. There are tracks which are groovier and resemble funkiness in a way but you still have the screaming vocals and soaring electric guitar riffs. Funnily however the album does finish with some softer guitar tunes with classic piano to ease you into bed. It’s like the climax of a good love making session.

Letting the cat out of the bag-love the image can you take it up some levels?

Joe-Or maybe it’s like one of the most rambunctious and outrageous orgies possible. Then at the end (if you can imagine) you end up grabbing one of the ladies from that orgy session, holding her hand and leading her off as you listen to that final song.

Lastly what new visuals can we look forward to?

Joe-We just shot a music video for Ijuswannaluvuallthetime track 3 on the album-it’s a favorite of mine-it’s like this jambalaya of sound which is highly addictive.

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