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Ochre: Accept Control Freaks.

26 August 2002 | 12:00 am | Craig Butcher
Originally Appeared In

The Dark Crystal Method.

Ochre launch Horizon at the Waterloo Hotel on Saturday.

Ochre’s new EP starts strong with the slick riffs of Accept Control, and finishes stronger via the monstrous percussive drive of the disc’s title track, Horizon. Guitarist and vocalist Kim Benzie says that track took nearly a month to write and arrange piece by piece, but it’s paid off. With the addition of a keyboardist since the last recording and a brand new drummer, it sounds like a creative time.

“When [new drummer] Tony joined the band the whole writing structure changed,” he says. “It was about that time everyone started exploding with ideas. It’s a bit of a race for everyone to get their ideas in, everyone’s setting the standard for where everyone else has gotta be, it keeps getting pushed forward and forward, we push each other.”

This new disc seems like a fuller, more even sound than the last EP Awakenings - less reliant on vocals and riffs.

“Yeah we dropped them back on this one because we thought they were a bit too prominent on Awakenings. Because the music’s so strong on Horizon… we want the whole thing to be like five layers, all on one level, rather than one prominent. We didn’t wanna push the bass too far back in the mix either because Stewy’s doing some amazing stuff. It’s right on the edge.”

Aiming for something a little more than disposable three-minute pop songs?

“Well ya think about all the languages within music, if you take away the words there’s still emotions there, it’s still an expression. You can take away that vocal layer but there’s still all the other people expressing themselves.”

So there are lots of emotions being expressed in the rehearsal room eh?

“Yeah, in our music you can hear the guitar and the bass sort of warring against each other, that’s what it’s like, me and Stewy as people as well. We love each other and hate each other at the same time. I think I like Stewy more than he likes me,” he laughs.

And all ya needed were Tony on drums and Anna on keyboards to complete the picture. Is that Tony on the bongos in Horizon?

“Yeah, that was a five-minute thing. After we finished the vocals we just thought we’d do something, we weren’t really sure what it was. Then while he was doing the bongos I went to get a big 16-inch tom for the big ‘domm’ sound. We threw that in too and it worked.”

Must be hard to follow that track in a set.

“It has to be the finishing point. For the Brisbane shows we’ll probably do Witness and Klone as well, because people always request them. I was pretty keen to leave Klone behind, it’s pretty juvenile but people really like it. It feels good to play, there’s just something about when you yell through a microphone, everyone gets into it.”

Anything special for this upcoming launch at the Waterloo?

“We’re gonna have some visuals at this one, to go with the music. We did a gig at a festival where we had some big screens behind us. We just went out and got the Dark Crystal and played it and for some reason our music really matches the Dark Crystal. We found that if we play it from the start, where the credits stop, the timing was amazing. The first scene just sweeps across all these landscapes then as we walked on stage the Skeksis were gathering around the crystal and they loomed up on four big screens, it was fuckin’ like we planned it! You could hear people in the crowd goin’ ‘whoaaaa’. It was a pretty magical moment.”