Seeb Levermann Q&A
Power metal and Germany go hand in hand, and bands like Orden Ogan are the blood that keep it pumping. This month the group released its fourth album of epic metal, and third on a label. The band has been hailed as the rightful successor to power metal gods, Blind Guardian, and the new record, “To The End”, does nothing to dissuade that thinking. Metalholic called it a “near perfect” album, giving it a 9.8/10 rating.
This week, I sat down with Orden Ogan mastermind, producer, guitarist and vocalist Seeb Levermann to discuss the new record and much more. “To the End” finds Orden Ogan in a more melodic vein, with less of its progressive roots. The record seems more personal, even aggressive, and I asked Seeb if that was intentional.
“I had a really crappy time in my personal life the last two years and basically everything that could go wrong really went wrong. We also lost three members, one of them was our keyboard player Nils who was responsible for a bigger part of the songwriting on the ‘Easton Hope’ record. When I was starting songwriting for this record, the other guys had a lot of good ideas, but I just needed it for therapy. So I wanted to do a really in your face, really straightforward, hard and on the spot heavy metal record. So it was really intentional to do it like this.”
Having made the recent line-up changes, and settling into its groove as a band, I asked Seeb if he felt “To The End” would be representative of the band moving forward or simply the next step in the Orden Ogan evolution.
“I think this is the direction we will continue. Somewhere in the future one of our dreams has been to record with a real orchestra. If you do that and play live concerts with a real orchestra, then obviously you have to bring in more orchestral elements into the songwriting again, but this is the plan for the next few years. I think we really defined ourselves with this record.”
As the year is coming to an end I could not help but ask Seeb what album he feels is the best of 2012. “My year was dominated by writing and working on the new Orden Ogan album, so it would sound strange if I said this one, but for me it is (laughs).”
His five picks for best German metal bands?
1. Running Wild: But just because of the ‘Death or Glory’ record that they did. I think it is by far the best heavy metal record that has ever been made.
2. Blind Guardian: Though I don’t listen to that band anymore. I just somehow lost track after ’Nightfall in Middle Earth’.
3. Suidakra: I have been on an American tour with them as a spare guitar player. I don’t think their latest record, ‘Book of Dowth’ is the best thing they made, but the one before, ‘Crógacht’ is an awesome record. I really love that one.
4. Van Canto: A really interesting band. They are all friends of us and the funny thing is, when I was still studying at the university I was living together in an apartment with one of their singers, Ross.
5. Gamma Ray: Because of the ‘Land of the Free’ record.
“It’s a funny thing. I don’t listen to melodic or power metal at all. I’m a lot more into the harder stuff like, I love Chimaira. I really like Behemoth, Cannibal Corpse, and a lot of bands like that. Since I’m a producer myself, I listen to a lot of bands because of production.”