OAR- The Blood You Crave
Mark (Drums) ‘’The band was formed around 2015 between myself and our ex-guitarist Tom. Our vision was to create sad, fast songs that were as filthy as possible. For the first year or so it was just us jamming in my apartment with an electronic drum kit and a tiny but dirty practise amp. If my brother was home we had to find somewhere else to jam. I think the strangest jam location was in the multi-level carpark under Tom’s apartment. We had to stop playing everytime someone parked their car nearby. I still can’t believe we did that.
‘’Some have interpreted the band name to mean oar as in paddle or a metaphor for oar as a tool. Some say it sounds like a guttural scream. Regardless, the name of my previous band had four words in it and I was quite traumatised by that experience so for this band I wanted the shortest name possible!
Paving the way?
‘’Yes exactly. One of the first tools ever used by humans to cross oceans or boundaries which I think reflects how we want to write music.
Your Debut LP The Blood You Crave. Is such a well thought , purposeful release
‘’Thank you. We have always had the same direction for our music which is to convey misery and sadness in the heaviest way possible. Our style of writing is difficult because we write linear songs. A lot of care is taken into making sure each movement flows naturally into the next. I wish we knew how to write verse, chorus verse songs because then we would only need about 10% of the riffs we use.
‘’I think the actual writing took around 2 years but there were long breaks in that period where we did nothing. We suffered lots of line-up changes in those 2 years and long periods where key members were not living in Sydney. Thankfully we now all live within 45 minutes drive of each other.
‘’I think the heaviness comes from the desire to write miserable music which is as abrasive as possible. We all listen to every type of metal and we all have different favourite bands so we are drawing on 30 years each of loving metal. After listening to metal for that long you realise there are no boundaries, only those which close minded people wish to impose.
‘’Actually, the music inspires the lyrics. If a musical part feels particularly violent, then the lyrics must deliver violence. If the music is cathartic, then the lyrics must give that release, and so on.
Post Black Metal ?
“Post” anything just means there no rules. For example a rock song is strictly verse, chorus, verse. A post-rock song follows no structure and will meander in many different directions. The same goes for post-black metal. It means the music will not follow the traditional sounds of Norwegian Black Metal from the 90s. I’m sure for some people what we do is a disgrace to old school black metal haha.
Mans nature rather than his actions?
‘’I think nature and actions can cause each other to occur. The title track of our album ‘The Blood You Crave’ is about a person who feels or is actually subjugated by organised religion. They are made to feel guilty for what they want and self-loathsome. They seek revenge and torture their oppressor before burying them alive. In the end they become so fixated with vengeance that they lose respect for themselves. You can cover a lot of ground in a 10 minute song haha.
Is it personal experience or the world around you?
I’’ think both. We don’t deny that we live in a lucky country that is free from war. That doesn’t mean we are not sensitive to how others are treated around the world or that we don’t feel rage at abuses of power. Anger is not a young man’s game. We are all mid-30s to 40s and I think the older you get the more you realise how fucked people are. I think this realisation is what attracts people to metal in the first place. There is an awakening to the true nature of the world and then it’s reinforced when you hear metal.
The nature of man to destroy itself? Is it inherent?
‘’It certainly seems to be inherent. I think for the entire history of humans there were maybe 9 years from 1992 to 2001 where the world wasn’t completely fucked.
The Connection To Extreme Music
‘’I think I had already developed a hatred for my fellow man before I first heard metal. Metal served to justify those feelings. Also it just sounds so fucking cool. You can have your head blown off by putting a pair of earphones on. It’s so diverse you can feel pretty much any way and there is a type of metal that is sitting there waiting to reflect your mood back at you. In that way it has always been something like a psychologist for me. I should probably see a real one.
‘’I also strongly recommend Boxing or Muay Thai as an outlet. Or some responsible drinking with good friends always helps too.
‘’I feel sorry for people who don’t listen to metal. They will never know the thrill, the release. There was a news story recently about a group of mothers who were angry and fed up with covid lockdowns so they decided to go into the middle of a football field at night every week and just scream at the sky. What the fuck do you think millions of metal fans are doing every single day. Most people are metal fans and they don’t even know it.
What is the the soundtrack to devastation?
‘’It might be physical if you come to one of our shows and stand at the front.
‘’Yes it’s an escape from the world and your own body but the main reason we play live is because we are servants to these songs and we must share them with other people. Whether you are in the audience or on stage it’s the same purpose which is to share the love of the music.
The Sydney and Australian Scene?
‘’I have never been this excited about the Australian metal scene and I’ve been involved for a very long time. The quality of songwriting and boundary pushing coming out of every city is really insane. The crushing heaviness coming from the live performances is world class. When international bands start touring Australia again soon they are going to be blown away by what we’ve been cooking up here.
Plans for the future?
‘’We have lots of live shows coming up this year and we would like to finish writing some more new material by the end of 2022.
Perhaps a European tour in 2023 if we can turn that dream into a reality.
Tops 6 albums of all time?
Massive Attack – Mezzanine
Encircling Sea – Écru
Dragged into Sunlight – Hatred for Mankind
True Widow – Circumambulation
2814 – Birth of a New Day
Burial Pit – Subhuman Scum