Please introduce your band. When was the band formed?
I started BOG in 2014 as a solo-project. I needed a creative output to process several experiences with death in that time. I wrote and recorded the first EP Gustave in only three days. After that I started to work on the second EP Auguste and also on the first full-length album Unshriven imultaneously. While I was still working on Unshriven in mid 2014 I wanted to form a band around the solo-project to bring the music to life on stage. I found three awesome guys that joined BOG and we played our first gig in March 2015. Since then we had a couple of line-up changes.
What does the name BOG represent?
I chose the name BOG because it’s a short name, easy to remember. I really like words that have different meanings in different languages. In the Slavic languages BOG means “God”. In English it’s a word for “Swamp“. In Scandinavian it means “book”. From god to swamp… BOG means basically everything and nothing at the same time.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
I started BOG because I needed a creative output to process several experiences with death. That was the biggest inspiration for me to make music at all. Music helped me to fight all the hopelessness, loneliness and all the other mixed up emotions that I had and still have. I had two options – drown in sorrow or fight my way through it. Fighting against that negative sludge that surrounded me more and more was inspiring to me. You see totally new sides of yourself.
Can you tell us about your main influences?
Bands like ISIS, Neurosis and Pink Floyd are definitely a big influence for me. But I listen to all kinds of music. Life and death are the biggest influences to our sound.
How would you define your sound?
BOG provides a variety of dark, atmospheric melodies and monolithic, powerful riffs. Narrative arcs follow the woven dynamics of the sound: consonance and dissonance go hand in hand with deft changes between silence and harshness. Sonic leitmotifs, ambient layers and authentic songwriting create an unmistakably unique sound.
Your new album ‘’Unshriven’’ was released this June. How has the reception been so far?
The reception was very overwhelming for me so far. People from all continents ordered the album and sent me some really lovely words about Unshriven. I’m really honoured about that. We had a little tour in October and a few people at the shows told me that they drove four to five hours just to see us play. I was completely flattered!
Is there a concept behind this album you’d like to talk about?
Three years ago I was working at a hospital where I met Eva, a 17-year old girl who was diagnosed with leukaemia. We had a special connection and everyday I had the chance to get to know her a little bit better. We also had a very similar taste in music and I got to show her a lot of new music while she was fighting her battle against cancer. We talked about everything under the sun, about her way to cope with her disease and about her thoughts on death. After she found a donator for spinal cord [sic] the donator got sick and she had to wait only for another two weeks to receive the donation but suddenly her good mood changed to being cynical and she was kind of giving up. At that point her physical condition got worse and worse every day and I really had the urge to stay by her side through her process of dying because I know what that feels like since I had a near-death-experience myself. It was an indescribably intense time for both of us and I wished she was still around so I could show her what she inspired me to. I worked her process of dying into the songs and into the structure of the album. Unshriven is a station album: 11 Tracks shape 11 stations. 2 parallel levels tell the story (reality and metaphore) about two travellers. The first level is about Eva, her last weeks of life and how she handled the process of dying. The second level is the accompanying metaphore: it tells Sputnik’s journey through colours, emptiness and darkness, of its homesickness and its attempt to return home.
Any live shows planned in the months to come?
We just finished our October-tour where we shared the stage with great bands such as Au-Dessus, Emphasis, Impure Wilhelmina, Zatokrev, NYOS, Alderaan and the mighty Tides from Nebula. Meanwhile there are no new shows planned. But of course there will be more dates in 2018. At the moment we are working hard on a new stage show with lights, visuals and some surprises that I can’t talk about yet.
What are you listening to these days?
I’m still listening to the “old“ stuff most of the time but I always try to find new music, that sounds “fresh” and unique to me. I love bands that experiment with rarely used instruments or song structures and have their own sound. At the moment bands like Barst, Alderaan, Ulver, God Mother or The Black Heart Rebellion are on heavy rotation in my playlist.
What does the future hold for BOG?
As I said before, we’re working hard on a new live show and we want to be back on stage by spring 2018. I already wrote a lot of new material and I think the next album is not too far away. But at first we want to play as many gigs as possible. Thanks a lot for the interview!