Gothenburg's Suicide Records is a host to loads of criminally unsung bands, one of which is the short-lived Orochen. The band released their gorgeously cinematic debut full-length Anthroposcenic in 2022, and is unfortunately streaming their final two songs "Moths Behind Pillars Of Light" and "Wastelands" – both a part of the Wastelands EP – today. They're great songs, it just sucks we're losing a band this good.
We caught up with frontman Jonas Mattsson and guitarist Emil Gustavsson to discuss their end, the songs, and plans for the future.
This is the end of Orochen, it seems. What was the way you want people to remember the band?
Orochen: This is a really hard question to answer, but we have tried to refine ourselves with every release we have done. Both when it comes to the songwriting and production, but also with the concept and aesthetics of our expression. We have really given this everything we have (sometimes more), and hope people will hear that when listening to Orochen in present and future. Hopefully the music will live on, and make it's own life.
Emil: Personally this is "the lifework" of my musical journey (and the first "real" band I've been in). It's been really cool working with such talented musicians as Jonas, Hampus and Rasmus, and it's been an honor to be able to release music with Suicide Records.
Tell us a little about the final two songs. How do they kind of put an epitaph on the band?
Jonas: The Wastelands EP mainly follows the same theme as our previous releases and portrays a world steeped in capitalism and consumerism, where the two songs explore the disillusioned gap between nature and humans. We reached out to Christian Bonnesen (Ex-LLNN) on this one and asked if he would be interested in a collaboration because we really love his voice. To our great surprise he said yes and we think he did an amazing job!
Emil: As Jonas already stated the songs are parts of the same world as Anthroposcenic, showing the relationship between humans and nature. To express this, and to tie them closer to the bleak world of Anthroposcenic we used the same photographers as before. The songs originally were intended to be a part of Anthroposcenic, but we didn't have the time to finish them. I think they somehow are a hallmark of our creativity both in songwriting and production, giving us a worthy end. I think the lyrics on Wastelands says it all: "Growing sickness, money fails."
Is there a story behind Anthroposcenic, your full-length album? It felt very cinematic, with songs like "Iron Gates."
Emil: Well, there sort of is – and isn't. Anthroposcenic is a conceptual expression, where all the songs are connected on the same theme that builds up to tell a story about a world plunging further and further down into the void. A void drenched in consumerism, individualization and disconnection to the nature. And all of the songs adds to that picture, telling it's very own story of the world we as humans have created.
Do your members have any plans for the future?
Jonas: I think everyone in the band will continue playing music and making music in some form. For me, I'm in the early stages of starting a new project where the music bare some traces of the stuff we did in Orochen. Right now, I'm in the process of puzzling things together and producing ruff demos…
Emil: We are all very creative people, and I think the "hiatus" of Orochen" only is the beginning for something new and for something different, for all of us. Somehow. Me, personally, have been writing quite a wide variety of songs lately, that spans all the way from country to post-punk and post-metal.
This has landed in a new project called The Citizend, where me and a producer and close friend is working with the material trying to create something unique together, doing it in a completely new way for me. We will release the first single (a dark interpretation of the Creedence song "Bad Moon Rising") quite soon (on Suicide Records), and have started recording what will be our debut album (or EP). It will hopefully be released by the end of this year.