Fearsome black metal foursome Otargos have been driving nails into the coffin of humanity’s fear-induced reliance on religion for nearly a decade. The corpse-painted French horde has just released the latest phase of their quest, in the form of the brand-new full-length, ‘No God No Satan’ and are determined to spread their godless wings worldwide. Guitarist/vocalist, Dagoth, gave Forbidden Magazine a glimpse into the band’s vision, the clenched-fist wrath of the new record, and what the future holds.
First off, the new record is amazing work! For those not too familiar with Otargos, could you shed some light on the history of the band?
Otargos was born in 2001 in Bordeaux, the city of wine! It was previously my solo project. My best friend XXX joined me later in order to create a real band. We performed a lot of shows in France in the early days of the band. The name of Otargos started to be known with our first releases Conquerors, Conquerors,…Destroyers and Codex-666 between 2002 and 2004. In 2005, we spawned our first album called Ten-Eyed Nemesis. Since then, we’ve never stopped working, playing, promoting and evolving. We’ve imposed our personal style with Fuck God-Disease Process in 2009 and started to work with the Season Of Mist label.
Now we are in 2010, and the new album No God No Satan is about to infect the whole world!
How was the creative process for No God No Satan, in comparison to the band’s past efforts, such as 2009’s Fuck God – Disease Process?
The composing process was similar to Fuck God-Disease Process. Since FGDP, I’ve composed all alone at home. When a new track is ready, I record it and present it to the rest of the band. Later on, I send all the tabs and they work separately on their respective parts. We made some “preprods” before entering the studio. This way, everything is calculated.
What are the main musical influences present in the chaos that Otargos creates?
I can’t speak about “influences” because I deny listening to music when I am in a composing period, precisely not to be influenced. I want to be as honest as possible. Of course, I am probably unconsciously influenced by my favorite extreme metal bands. Anyway, I am more inspired by atmospheres than by bands. It’s hard to explain, like any composer I materialized my feelings and emotions, thanks to sounds.
What are your thoughts on the gradual change and current state of black metal as it is today?
I think it’s good. It’s not really interesting to listen or play the same thing all the time. It can become boring. I define black metal music more as an “atmosphere” than particular instruments used or voice or tempo or lyrics. So black metal is not changing but evolving! Some prefer the early days of the style and deny the new stuff…ok, no problem; but never forget that without evolution, thrash metal never could have spawned black metal. That’s the same for Otargos, each album is and has to be different. ’No God No Satan’ is the logical continuation of Fuck God-Disease Process.
The message of Otargos has a strong atheistic stance when it comes to the relationship humanity has with religion, while many black metal bands obviously have ties to Satanism. What are your thoughts on those bands, and the contrasting relationship Otargos has with them, being in the same genre, so to speak?
I respect all artists’ work, even if the message is different, all intelligent musicians have to act like this. So, if some bands believe in Satan till death that’s not my problem, I have my convictions and that’s the most important for me. I have to say that other bands are not so ‘tolerant’ with us, we don’t fucking care! We are true to our convictions, our music and our audience. I’m not searching war with other bands, but I don’t believe in fairy tales anymore! Our message is simply down to earth…simply true.
The band’s artwork and visuals, such as the cover art of No God No Satan and the video for “Cloning the Divine” definitely hold a unique and very artistic style that packs a punch. Speaking of the video, which seems like a short film, what is the story behind it?
We work a lot on all aspects and facets of Otargos: the music, the lyrics, the artwork and visuals, and also the stage. Everything has to be coherent and as professional as possible. We are a modern band, so visuals have to be the same. The story is about a mad priest/scientist who is convinced that he can clone a christ with some ‘divine’ genes found in a small part of a 2000-aged meteorite (the one who could be the ‘holy’ star of Bethlehem). Of course he creates only a born-dead bastard freak, but since he is “blind” and crazy, he’s sure he succeeded his work!
How did the video shoot go, is it something the band values as a companion to the music?
The original story comes from XXX and I. We contacted Federico Anastasi to realize the video. We worked together on the screenplay. After that, he planned all the shoots, found all the staff and cast all the actors. It was a really interesting experience. The result is just amazing, exactly what we wanted to do. I think a video impresses more than a simple music track. And it’s also a good way to promote a new album.
How do you believe Otargos has evolved since the band’s formation in the summer of 2001?
We grew up and evolved, so the band did too. It’s just a matter of time and work!
Can you describe the extreme music scene in France? How does it compare to other places you’ve been?
To be honest, I think France is the worst place to be for an extreme metal band! The French audience doesn’t support French bands at all. That’s why most of French bands are more famous abroad than in their own country.
Outside of musical inspirations, what are some aspects of existence that get the creative juices flowing for Otargos?
What would you say has been a definite career highlight for the band up to this point?
Currently! We are releasing our best album, we are working with Season Of Mist, and we will tour with Watain & Destroyer 666 soon. This is just the beginning of our journey to the top!
For those that haven’t had the chance to witness an Otargos performance, could you describe what they should expect when they get a chance to do so?
Otargos on stage is pure energy. Each performance is just war without any compromise! And for those that haven’t had the chance to see Otargos on stage, they are lucky, as I said, we will be on tour with Watain and Destroyer 666 across Europe from September 9th to October 31st!
If Otargos could erase any one blemish from the face of humanity, what would it be?
Cowardice! Humanity fears Death and the fact that there’s nothing after it, the fact we are useless an there is nothing “above us”. Humanity prefers dreaming of creators and divine forces and submit to them. Religion is nothing more than a hoax, only a social psychotic virus.
What experience inspired your interest in music, or black metal in general?
Metal music has always attracted me, as this is a style played with guts, not in a commercial goal, and most of the time, honest! I love metal music, not simply black metal.
What does the future hold for Otargos?
Many good things I hope! We will promote No God No Satan on stage, and work on a future album, of course. I’ve already started composing…
Anything you’d like to add?
Thanks to you! Thanks to all our fans! See you during the Reaping Death Tour! Religions of humanity are collective frenzies. As long as we share one of these frenzies we never recognize it thus. Think about it !
Photos by Anthony Dubois