When you think about music from Louisiana, perhaps a brass band, some jazz or southern rock is conjured. But metal fans know the genre’s vibrant scene down by the bayou, as well. Ole English, a new four-piece band from Lafayette, Louisiana, could make its way quickly to the front of the pack with a self-titled debut, independently released Aug. 23, 2019.
With five songs clocking in at nearly 25 minutes, Ole English takes listeners for a ride through the murky waters and ominous terrain of the Creole State into what they have dubbed as “warlock rock,” which is like stoner rock and metal’s gruffer brother. The influence of early Black Sabbath’s tone and vibe is embraced because it is simply unavoidable. But the lyrics and vocal melodies seem to take a cue from blues wailers, bringing uniqueness to Ole English’s brand of fuzzy, whiskey-soaked loudness.
Modestly equipped with two guitarists who double as singers, bass and drum players, Ole English’s vintage rock sound is characterized by thumping, 70s-era hard rock riffs, supporting dominant, Jim Morrison-ish belted vocal lines. This is epitomized in the songs “Old Man” and “Holy Roller” and would blend well in playlists featuring Graveyard, Corrosion of Conformity and Blue Cheer. Ole English is Nick Harvey – vocals, guitar; Lynden Segura – vocals, guitar; Magnolia June – bass; and Austin Wood – drums.
An Interview with Ole English’s Lynden Segura
Musicinterviewmagazine.com spoke with the guitarist and singer about how coming from the heart of Cajun country influences Ole English, how the group co-exists with contemporaries and what the future holds.
Musicinterviewmagazine.com: How does being from and recording in Louisiana have an impact on Ole English’s “warlock rock” sound?
Lynden Segura: Being from the south, we’re raised with storytelling. Whether it’s about a recipe or an area of town, everything’s got some sort of lore. And if you dig deep enough, the south has a pretty dark lore, which kind of coincides with the subliminal imagery Black Sabbath tends to trigger. Sabbath to us, like most others in our ecosystem, is the Holy Grail. Their composition and progressiveness are almost overshadowed by their sense of theatrics and imagery without using lyrics most times. So with our sound, we try and integrate our heritage of spooky ominous themes with the sonic authority that Sabbath demanded.
How does that storytelling transfer into the songwriting process? For example, does it start with a lyrical theme and then you jam on it?
In a way, very much so. It’s turning into a very oracle-esque style of writing. A riff or phrase will evoke a scene or imagery in reference to the music. From there, it’s just filling the rest of the narrative with lyrics and complementary elements of sensory stimulation. Some songs come out naturally, almost finished, but others are pushed by influences and a bit of an attitude.
Some of the EP’s [Ole English] charm comes from an ability to replicate an analog sound of the great bands that pioneered the stoner metal sound of the 1970s. Are you recording with analog equipment or are you toning your instruments a certain way?
For the most part, we all love the sounds of the 70s and for this record, we really aimed to try and sound like those records we grew up on. We like to play tug of war in the tone zone between vintage and modern tones, with our drummer and rhythm guitarist leaning more towards modern and our bassist and lead guitarist staying in a vintage region. So we like to think it’s what hits all the empty spaces, tonally. But our producer, Jack Morrison, is the man actually behind making us sound as close to analog as possible. He does that by using different methods for mic placement and different gear.
Ole English has been together for a year and you have some heat with the EP. What are the challenges or advantages when considering the great, established competition in the genre?
I think the challenge is to stay relevant and keep people interested, or even on edge. There’s such a library of music available that people are pretty ready to turn off a song at the second verse because of what the song isn’t, in comparison to stuff in their rotation, like Black Sabbath, The Sword and Sleep, for example.
But an advantage we’ve seen and been involved in is the camaraderie of this genre. Because it’s smaller than other genres and a little underground, but rapidly growing, you see how much more important it is to work together and share singles and reviews and promote your friends’ shows and buy their merch. It’s amazing how often you see it happen all over the world and social media. The feeling of realizing you are in some small way part of a movement that never gets old. Also, the local scene here in Louisiana is growing and it’s very inspiring. You can see a welcoming energy toward new art of all kinds over the past decade or so.
What plans are there for a full-length album?
The EP was a great way for us to get together and get out our individuality and really become a band. Our full-length album will be the product of that evolution.
Ole English track listing:
- Old Man
- Visions of Ghana
- Holy Roller
*Find Ole English on:
Justin Smulison is a professional content writer and producer whose first love is music. Justin is thrilled to be writing about metal, rock and jazz on musicinterviewmagazine.com. Smulison’s digital and print copywriting experience spans music, law, true crime, advertising and real estate, among other subjects. You can often find JS in Long Beach, New York, either running on the boardwalk or in the sand with his family.