Overdrive spoke to vocalist/guitarist Jørn Kaarstad about the bands sound, how they got together and what we can expect from them going forward. So, sit back and discover the mighty BOKASSA!
OD – Give us a brief background on the band and the particular sub-genre that best describes who you are?
JØRN – Bokassa is a power-trio who plays stoner-punk, and started in Trondheim, Norway about four years ago. We have released two EPs and one album. We call ourselves stoner-punk because we fuse hardcore punk with stoner rock-riffs, but there is also a lot of metal in there.
OD – With reference to a discography, what exists already, and do you have anything coming out in the near future?
JØRN – We have our debut EP “War On Everything” which came out in 2015, “Make Music Great Again” which came out in 2016 and our debut album “Divide & Conquer” which we released in March 2017. The second album is written and ready, so we just have to find the time to record it. We are hoping for a 2018 release. Sometime after the summer break.
JØRN – For me personally I´ve always been a huge NOFX-fan and the same with Fu Manchu, so when I started playing in bands early on my main influence were Bad Religion, Propagandhi and those sort of bands. But I´ve always loved riffs, so when I discovered Fu Manchu and Entombed those were a big influence as well as the punk bands.
OD – How supportive has the local underground scene been for you and has it helped the band in any way?
JØRN – Since we are neither punk, hardcore or stoner rock the underground scene in Norway has been a bit reserved towards us, but slowly they understood what we were doing and now a lot of people are jumping on the Bokassa bandwagon.
OD – With the dramatic change in the way the music industry has evolved, how are you experiencing the current climate with being a band starting out and what would you like to see change in the future?
JØRN – For us being in the band is something we can´t live off. We do it because we love it and we are fueled by our mutual love affair with everything rock. It would be nice to sometime in the future to get to live off on it, but I don’t expect that anytime soon.
OD – With regards to the process of writing material, is there a particular method that works, and if so, please let us know?
JØRN – I write the songs, and I usually come up with a riff and then build upon that, start with an intro riff, build a verse, get a chorus, maybe a breakdown/bridge, and then the melodies, and last the lyrics.
OD – If there was one band that you could tour with, who would it be and why?
JØRN – The Bronx! I think they would be a perfect fit for us. We are maybe more metal and stoner, but they dabble in it like on songs like “History´s Stranglers” and I´ve seen them live a bunch of times and they seem like really cool dudes that we would get along with nicely.
OD– Tell us your favourite album and why it’s so important to you?
JØRN – NOFX ‘So Long And Thanks For All The Shoes‘. It’s just a perfect album for me. I love everything about it. The speed, the hooks, the sound, the lyrics. It’s the best NOFX album there is, except for “The Decline”, but that´s a song though, so yeah, there you go.
OD – What are the plans for the remainder of this year?
JØRN– We are going to release a single, record the album when we have time, and some touring in Norway, as well as some big Norwegian festivals. Hopefully some dates abroad too! That would be awesome.
OD – Where can we discover more about the band?
Jørn Kaarstad: Vocals/Guitars
Bård Linga: Bass
Olav Dowkes: Drums
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