Orange Goblin are something of a British metal institution. Having recently celebrated their 20th anniversary together as a band, it was only right that back at the end of the Summer, Rock Sins caught up with their guitar Joe Hoare and bassist Martyn Millard on the final day of the 2015 Bloodstock Open Air Festival after their performance. Covering topics such as the band’s 20th anniversary, putting setlists together and what they might be up to in 2016, read on for the lowdown from Orange Goblin….
How do you think your set went?
Joe: I reckon it went alright, it went off a little bit ropey but that’s an Orange Goblin show!
Martyn: Yeah it was fun! If you can’t have fun in the sun with some beer and your friends watching then I’m not sure why we’d be doing it. It was good.
Joe: We base our whole live performance around not taking it too seriously, we’re a good fun band at the end of the day so as long as people are enjoying themselves it’s all we care about
I guess if stuffs going wrong it proves you’re not faking it!
Martyn: Ha! You can’t fake that!
What did go wrong?
Martyn: Errr… Our drummer started the wrong song, for some reason he didn’t read the setlist properly-
Joe: -and I got the blame for it! There’s a Spinal Tap/Bad News story in there somewhere…
Do you try and switch the setlist up between shows?
Martyn: It really depends on the show we’re playing.
Joe: There’s a couple of staple songs that we pretty much have to play.
Martyn: Maybe a third of the set is concrete and the rest we change around a little bit. It depends how many times you’ve seen us and the pot luck of that. I’d imagine some people have seen us heard the same songs every time but we do swap stuff around.
Joe: On the tour in december we’ll be able to bring out a few we haven’t played for awhile.
Martyn: I was saying in another interview we don;t like to change it around too much or it disrupts the tempo of the set but I like to do something different.
Joe: Come December we’ll have that chat.
How are you going to work out the 20th Anniversary Setlist?
Martyn: We’ll have a chat somewhere along the line.
Joe: We haven’t had much of a chance as we’ve been so busy with our personal lives
Martyn: When was the last time we rehearsed? Probably 2013? That’s not laziness we just play a lot live so you don’t need to rehearse if you’re playing a lot-
Joe: Hence fucking up the song… But I guess the plan is to make things more interesting for us, mix it up a bit and play some songs we don’t usually play y’know. It’s going to be our last tour for awhile.
Have you got any popular fan requests you’re going to take into account?
Martyn: We do occasionally. Quite often we have someone shout something out and we just look at each other and go “oh, okay then.” Sometimes we’ll have someone shout out something that we’ve literally never played and its like, “Okay… we’re gonna balls that up” but quite often we’ve gone “yeah, we can play that” especially if they give us some notice.
You’ve been a very established band for all the time Bloodstocks’ been going but this is only your third time? How come?
Martyn: Well we got banned. We played the first ever bloodstock in Derby assembly rooms and our dressing room got trashed. Not entirely by us but we left because we had to go back to London, leaving people in the dressing room and it got pretty trashed and it was so long ago that a carrier pigeon arrived, (it was before email) and it basically said “you’ve trashed the dressing room, there’s a bunch of damage. You’re never playing this festival again.
Joe: We were having a good time but it wasn’t that bad.
Martyn: But over time the festival gets bigger and you think actually we’d like to do that again. I think the organizers realized that we’re not those sort of people really. We’ve got respect 99% of the time and they got to know us, and got to know the band and in 2011 we got to play and headline the Sophie Lancaster Stage which was nice as it buried any bad feeling.
Martyn: Not that there was any bad feeling from us because we didn’t do it! People were just blaming us for stuff that we didn’t do.
Ben was here for Orange Goblin last year, does Bloodstock feel like a community and what makes it special?
Martyn: Well, Ben came back because he gets free beer!
Joe: It’s just any excuse for a party! But truly it’s because were here for the first one and although we missed a few years we’ve kinda watched it grow and a lot of the people who come here, from bands and all the loyal fans it feels like a big family this festival.
Martyn: This festival is kinda born from the underground and we’re from that, even if we’re not as extreme as some of the underground bands we’re out of that scene so this festival feels very much like home to us. It appealls to us, it appealls to our fans, even “stoner rock” it’s still underground music and this festival is borne out of that and the bands are mainly underground acts. This year’s got some more established, mainstream acts but there’s an edge to them that’s not totally arena sized. It’s remained special and it feels like we’re playing to a bunch of friends. Even though we don’t know hardly anyone just because of this scene. It’s been a scene we’ve been part of for twenty years!
Joe: Actually when we did the signing a lot of people came up and said “oh, we saw you ’98, in 2001.
Martyn: Fans of underground metal are very loyal, and that makes this kinda cool. Its a loyal festival, loyal people, and that’s what makes this cool.
I mean you’ve got UK metal bands like Hang the Bastard and the like playing the Sophie stage…
Martyn: Yeah, you’ve got younger, underground metal bands that are out there doing it, sleeping in vans, and that’s what makes this festival appeal to me over some of the bigger festivals when there are bands flying in from all over the world and are taking the slots that some of these bands probably should do.
What are your plans beyond the anniversary tour?
Martyn: We don’t know yet. There’s talk of us going and doing a few festivals, doing a few shows here and there but they won’t be a massive amount. I think we’re going to have maybe a year off. Probably sporadic shows in that year but they’ll have to be special. We’re so busy at home, we’ve all got really hectic home lives and we all have to work.
Joe: You know there’s still life in us,
Martyn: This is only, again, I don’t know how many bands on this bill that are full time but I bet we’re the only band on this stage that aren’t full time. We did it full time for a couple of years and it didn’t work out, so it’s a glorified hobby which is fine. We’ve had great fun this summer and done some brilliant festivals.
Joe: We’re enjoying it some more and it’s not so stressful. It was always fun but it just got a bit too much.
Martyn: Well if you’re on the road ten months of the year which is what you have to do to make a living, that’s heavy going. You’re not on a tour bus, you’re sleeping on people’s floors. A tour bus is the difference, you’ve got a shower, you can keep clean, but it became a bit heavy. Plus, y’know we’re going to lose our families being away ten months every year.
Orange Goblin’s newest album Back From The Abyss is out now on Candlelight Records. The band can be followed on Twitter at @OrangeGoblin1.