We continue our coverage of bands playing Bloodstock Festival this year (check out our interview with Behemoth HERE) with an in-depth interview with Ben Ward from stoner metal band Orange Goblin. The band headline the Last.fm/Sophie Lancaster stage on Saturday August 11th!
1. Black Sabbath
“First of all I’ll have to say Black Sabbath. They are my favourite band in the whole world and the be all and end all for me. I haven’t seen them recently, it’s a sore topic! I stayed on at Hellfest after we played and originally I was going to see them but it got canceled and it was Ozzy and friends in the end! They were the band that made me want to play the music that we do and they are the primary influence for Orange Goblin and everything that we’re about. I don’t think it’s exclusive to us – that’s just heavy metal in general. They started it all – the first album in 1970 was the blueprint for everything that came after. I still religiously listen to everything they did, even the Ronnie James Dio stuff is just as good as the Ozzy stuff in my eyes. The later stuff like the ‘Dehumanizer’ album are still absolute classics and I don’t think anyone would find a greater band than Black Sabbath.”
“Secondly I’d have to say Metallica. They were the band that turned me onto metal, as it were. I was a bit of a latecomer to metal. ‘…And Justice For All’ was the first album I really got into by Metallica and I kind of regressed and went backwards, working my way back to ‘Kill ‘Em All’. Now I don’t consider ‘…And Justice For All’ to be a seminal album really, the first three (‘Kill ‘Em All’, ‘Ride The Lightning’ and ‘Master of Puppets’) define modern metal for me. They took Black Sabbath’s blueprint and added that sound of Motorhead and Venom and inspired everything from thrash metal right through to modern day metal that Pantera and Lamb of God have kicked onto. They were the first band I went to see at a major festival as well so that probably helped shape my outlook on everything so yeah, Metallica are definitely up there.”
3. Iron Maiden
“The same kind of reasons as Metallica, I think what they have given to heavy metal cannot be overstated. It’s essential listening for anyone that considers themselves a metalhead! The first two albums with Paul Di’Anno were absolute classics but more in a snotty-nosed punk kid kind of way. Then they took on Bruce Dickinson for ‘Number Of The Beast’ and it changed their style and heavy metal as we know it. That is so important to me and everyone in Orange Goblin. We love Iron Maiden and try to incorporate as much of that as possible. Not a direct rip-off of Iron Maiden ‘cos that’s more of a New Wave Of British Heavy Metal sort of thing, whereas we’re more inspired by what inspired Iron Maiden. So you can hear the UFO, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin coming through in Iron Maiden and I think that’s something we’ve always tried to stick to as well.”
4. The Beatles
“What probably kickstarted my interest in music in the first place was The Beatles. My Dad was a massive fan and even though it’s not regarded metal in any way I think that anybody that has an appreciation of music probably likes The Beatles. They did everything! Even though John Lennon will tell you they were inspired by Elvis the fact that they weren’t afraid to try anything and they were so unique is what really done it for me. They wrote amazingly catchy songs and they changed the shape of music forever. For a kid like me growing up I was enthralled by sitting in the back of my Dad’s car and listening to ‘Please Please Me’ and ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ and later on as I got older I was equally enthralled and disturbed even, by songs like ‘A Day In The Life’ with that weird psychedelic thing they did in the late 1960′s. It had a lasting effect on me and that’s what instilled my interest in the darker side of music because The Beatles weren’t afraid to go there.”
“I’d probably go for Slade! They get considered to be this band that did that one Christmas hit but if you actually dig deeper into their history there’s so much more to them. They were such a fantastic band and for me are up there with The Beatles and Led Zeppelin as the most important bands in British music history. Absolutely fantastic songwriters. They had this amazing sense of fun as well in everything they did and had so much variation as well. There was this thing in the 1970′s where there was this competition as to who was the best between Black Sabbath and Slade and Status Quo as to who could be the heaviest or loudest live band. I liked the fact that Status Quo didn’t like Slade because Slade were louder than them! You know, I think in Orange Goblin we try and have a bit of that about us. We might not be as good as other bands but lets be louder and more brash and in your face! That’s lived with me and to me Slade are a British institution and something everyone in this country should be proud of. Go out there and buy the Slade albums because there’s more to them than just a couple of hits. I love them to pieces.”
You can find out more about Orange Goblin on their Last.fm profile.