Orchid interview with Mark Thomas Baker: "The full length album will definitely have some hip-shaking boogie rhythms happening. You can dance the night away to it..."

06/09/2012 @ 14:47
Is it really that possible for a great singer along with a marvelous guitarist, not to draw the attention they seek through their music? When you have some worth of saying, eventually you shall be heard unless you are the exception that proves the rule and thankfully, Orchid is not that kind of an example. These doom rockers from California are the next big thing and their new EP called "Heretic" is by far non obligatory. Mr. Mark Thomas Baker has every right to speak now, because he keeps proving that Tony Iommi hasn’t played everything after all...

Hello there sir. It didn’t take you that long to gain profit from the success of your first album. Did you see it coming? What about the new record label?
We thought we made a good or maybe even great record. You just never know how it will be received or whether anyone will even care at all. I guess we probably weren’t shocked that people liked it, but you can’t really ever count on that happening, so it was still a little surprising. The new label has been great. It’s much more serious and professional and everything is planned out long in advance, so there is pressure and deadlines and things like that, but we’re doing well with all the changes.

Orchid"Capricorn" has so many things worth mentioning, but I am very impressed with Theo Mindell. Sabbath-ian feeling in music without Ozzy wannabe vocals like many others do. You feel like you have won the bet on that?
I’ve worked with Theo since the mid 90s and done many different musical projects with him. The reason that I agreed to get involved with Orchid was that I knew it would be a top notch project with a very high level of songwriting. He’s always been head and shoulders above other singer/songwriters that I’ve known. I knew he would have great material from the start.

My favorite song from that album is "He Who Walks Alone" and it’s nice to hear it once again on your upcoming EP. What’s the story of its lyrics?
Here is how Theo explains it... "in the Pacific Northwest, where we come from, there is a legend about a kind of giant man-ape creature called the "Bigfoot" who is very reclusive and shy...He lives out in the forests and generally hides from humans...a lonely soul. that's basically what I was trying to get across...the sound of a giant lumbering man-beast who is lost in this ever spreading world of men...the song is kind of a sorrowful journey about being the last of your kind and knowing that human beings are encroaching on every corner you try to hide in...I have pretty strong feelings about the Human relationship with nature. We seem to fuck everything up with no thought or care...in some way the character of the Bigfoot in the song is kind of a symbol of nature suffering for human greed and expansion."

OrchidWould you say that The Church Within was the ideal label to start, before making the big step forward?
Well, it’s hard to say 'ideal' without knowing what other outcomes may have happened, but yes, it was certainly a great start and we got to do a few really great European tours and meet a lot of great people.

When I heard your first EP ("Through the Devil's Doorway"), my instant and only line was 'Wow, this is Sabbath’s "Vol.5"' and it became more clear on "Capricorn" album. Is it your favorite era from Black Sabbath?
There is greatness all through the first six albums. And of course after that as well, but it’s much more scattered as you move through time...

You have a very interesting artwork to all of your works. Is it the same person behind it?
Yes, Theo has always done all the art for the band, as well as the concept and photography for the "Heretic" cover.

Mark Thomas Baker (Orchid)Have you been following the new doom/rock scene or you are stuck with the old ones?
I don’t think any of us really follow any scene whether it’s 'doom' or otherwise. I try to check out new bands that friends or acquaintances tell me about. Sometimes you meet people in other bands as well. I find that when I like someone a lot personally, it makes me care for their band a bit more and pull for them.

Is it the "Heretic" EP a kind of short intro for your new record? Any thoughts of releasing it soon?
It is planned for a January 2013 release. Hopefully we can stick to that date and meet all of our deadlines.

The only thing I miss listening to "Heretic", is the shake of the body, you know the dancy groove you had on "Capricorn". Do you intend to become more monolithic?
Heretic was not intended to show any change in direction or sound. It’s just a group of songs that were finished and could be released. The full length will definitely have some hip-shaking boogie rhythms happening. You can dance the night away to it...

Is there a chance for a new video from "Heretic" or you shall wait for the full length?
I believe that the video will have to wait for the full length. We’ve been talking about what song we might do it for, but nothing has really been set in stone just yet.

Mark Thomas Baker (Orchid)You have to know that here in Greece many people loved "Capricorn", therefore you should really consider of visiting us if you get the chance.
Absolutely! I’m sure all of us really look forward to that day as well. Hopefully 2013 can bring us there.

Really appreciate your time and all my wishes for a good luck and a better future because you really deserve it.
Thank you so much. We really appreciate all the support and kind words.