Orator is undoubtedly one of the fiercest and most gruesome bands that South Asia has offered to the world metal scene. Currently signed with Pulverized Records, Singapore, the band is in process of recording and releasing their second full-length album. Here is a brief interview with the band.
Hail, Orator! I always wondered what the significance of your band name is. Why ‘Orator’?
Hail! Simply put Orator stands for an individual, a sort of mascot who orates what we want him to orate through our songs.
“Kapalgnosis” was a strong testament of Orator’s craftsmanship and abilities. What was the whole writing process of the album like?
We wrote some of the songs as early as the EP, like “Firstborn” or “Necrocosmic”. The process was simple, Vritra and I came up with riffs which we adjoined to conjure a skeletal form of the songs and play at the rehearsal. Most of the songs were done with Mephistopheles at the jamming pad. That’s the most important element while writing our songs, the rehearsal sessions!
It has already been a year and a half already since you released “Kapalgnosis”. I heard the two rehearsal tracks, “Reprobate Cosmocremator” and “Purveyors of Shunya Marg”, you shared in the band’s Facebook page, from the upcoming album. Please tell us something about what we can expect this time. Any new components in the album?
You can expect nothing but speedy and uncompromising riffing alongside old school death/thrash metal drumming and bass lines. Thrash and speed metal elements will be dominating the new songs. There will be some slow paced songs to change the mood here and there. But overall we hope to represent the style we have dubbed “thrashened death metal”.
As much as the fierceness of Orator’s music, your lyrical themes were also something that intrigued me when I first heard the band: ‘Quantum Nothingness, Aghori, Destruction (Qliphoth old)’, as Encyclopaedia Metallum states. Would you please describe these terminologies for those who aren’t very aware?
That would really be a long discussion but in brief these terms are from which I derive only what’s necessary for Orator without going too deep into them. It’s how we connect the terms to each other’s through either describing events, mostly related to the process of self becoming or the nullification of cosmic orders.
Aghoris are ascetic Shaivaite sadhus. Coming from a predominantly Islam community, what influenced you to incorporate these ideas?
We do not take Aghori as a saintly Hindu figure sitting and uttering mantra from scriptures. To us Aghorism is individualism. An Aghori is that individual, who is beyond the shackles of belief, societal norms and against religious oppressions. He is mad against the establishments and any form of material limitations. That Aghori is an Atheistic Avadhut.
Can we say that Orator itself is a manifestation of these tantric elements, or is there something beyond these?
We based our theme on Tantra to have access to the occult lexis and myths. Orator extracts the gnostic juices out of tantric philosophies and transmutes them into our own orations.
How much do you think personal experiences (apart from musical influences) shape one’s music?
Initially, I mean during the EP personal experiences were put into the lyrics very strongly. Ritualistic and theoretical occult experiences were used on the debut album as well.
In a very atavistic form of death-thrash metal like what you guys play, how difficult is to make the music sound innovative and original, yet sticking to the primitive roots?
It should not be difficult, not that much at least once the band members know what kind of sound they want, this does help differentiate from the influential band’s sounds.
Do you think that incorporating ethnic instruments and sounds to your music is, apart from adding a local flavor to the music, also helpful to add that originality?
Yes, I strongly agree to this. However, it is always better to avoid overusing such instruments.
Skullbearer, you were also formerly involved with Weapon with Vetis Monarch. I believe it was during the time the band was just starting out before he moved to Canada. What is your impression on Weapon really making it to the top (although it’s sad that they disbanded lately)? Any memories from your past band? Do you keep in touch with Vetis Monarch?
Nope I have lost contact with Vetis Monarch few years back. Lots of memories so to speak, some are great and some are okay. Feels great to have seen a band I once played made it to the top but saddens because of its untimely death.
Orator is a descendent of Barzak, a more black metallic forerunner. What changes led you to change the name as well as the style of the former project? Was there a change in the objective of the band?
Barzak had to be disbanded because none from the old lineup was ready to continue with music anymore in 2008. So once I met Vritra, we decided to change the band name to Orator. It was then we also wanted to have a death/thrash metal sound. I always wanted to have a purely thrash metal side project. So, I saw this as an opportunity to combine the death metal and thrash metal sounds in one band, Orator.
For you guys, what do pseudonyms mean? Is it like corpsepainting your names?
Name is a name, but they do represent someone’s influence and ideology.
Is imagery an essential component for a metal band?
I don’t think so, but then again it varies from band to band depending on the type of metal music they represent. I can only speak for Orator and for us it’s not necessary to have attires.
Apart from being a means of self-expression, music can be a form of rebellion, resistance, preaching, and so forth. In Orator’s case, what is the most apposite among these?
All of these you have mentioned, resistance or rebellion strongly connects to our lyrical themes in a metaphorical way. And we preach/orate that metaphor.
Can music be a form of entertainment? What is the case with Orator’s music?
Definitely music is a form of entertainment, and Orator is too, well for the right niche at least.
What is your definition of freedom?
Freedom is each of us; we are part of a greater simplicity of freedom shredded to chaos and asymmetric restlessness. So when we accumulate and rebel as freedom fighters, we achieve freedom.
What is the biggest threat to the world right now?
Media propaganda backed by politicians and organized religions. Then again who cares?
As an underground band, do you care about what your audiences want?
As long as the monitors are working well, we don’t care much. But the recent Singapore experience was epic with Calving from Pulverised Records and AhBoy from TNT Studio, Singapore on the sound. Best live output we ever had! Thanks to both of them!
Talking about the Bengali scene, I, for one, think that Bangladeshi metal bands as well as the bands in West Bengal, India (with the new wave of underground bands in Kolkata), are inclined more into the old-school verge of extreme metal, like Orator, Morbidity, Nafarmaan, etc. in Bangladesh, and Necrodeity, Mortar, Armament, etc. in Kolkata, unadulterated by modern forms of the genre. What do you say on this?
I can proudly say that all the bands you have mentioned from both the countries are doing great and more and more killer bands are coming up with great potentiality, Nuclear Winter, Enmachined, Thrash (BD), for instance. Our scene and that of Calcutta are very young but promising. We have metal musicians who are also good listeners with good influences. They are much more capable than the support and publicity they receive from the shitty metal scenes and labels out there.
Have you heard of any Nepalese bands or the scene here?
UgraKarma, we have played with them at Trend Slaughter Fest in Bangalore in February 2014, killer band, great guys. Dying our Flame is also a great band emerging from Nepal.
One band you’d like to share your stage with?
What does Orator like besides metal and the tantric invocations?
Beer and weed, lots of them, please!
Lastly, any quick ending words?
Trust in metal! Fuck the rest!