Ronnie Ripper Olson
Hail brother Ronnie! You are very welcome to Archangel’s Lantern again! In the first instance I’d like to congratulate for the new Turbocharged album, called “Apocalyptic” and I must say, this release is one of my favourite in 2017. Would you be so kind to tell the readers the circumstances of the recording process and about your lyrics? (I know it would be hard for you, but try to say a few words about each track of the new album, please.)
- Hello again! Seem to become a habit to shoot the breeze here, don’t it? Thanks for the kind words about the album, we are pretty happy about the outcome but one never knows if anyone else will like it so it’s good to hear that you consider it worth the time!
The recording of the latest album was pretty much just a shoot-from-the-hip recording and we just didn’t think too much this time. We wanted to make a fucking brutal album in our own way and our only preferences was to keep up the speed and try to get the sound we had in our heads for the moment. Every recording is a process of its own and we always tend to do it slightly differently from time to time and this one was spontaneous and efficient and not too much planning went into the recipe. I have no idea how to address each song but let’s give it a try:
This one was an obvious opening track with its full speed ahead approach, one might call it a homage to an old Swedish band that released their debut album back in 1990 but which one is for anyone to guess, I won’t make it THAT easy on you! The lyrics are simply a mockery of the idea of an afterlife in heaven, like what if you arrive there totally handicapped and spend eternity drooling on yourself?
Siamese Sons of God:
This one has no deeper meaning than just the two faced morals of religion, the one face that promises eternal bliss if you dedicate your life to its teachings and the other face that craves you to die for it in order to get accepted in heaven. I always have a sarcastic and critical angle in my lyrics and this is a prime example. The music is also pretty much a textbook example of how we do things, there’s punk and there’s metal coming at you all the way through.
The world ends and we have our own theory of how it unfolds. Of course with an anti-religious twist with the priest trying to grasp the last pages of his torn up bible while he draws his last breath and they blow out of his hands. The music is a bit more “melodic” than our usual tracks even though I hate that expression, we pushed our boundaries a bit on this one.
Religious and Infected:
This one speaks for itself I guess and it’s d-beat in its purest form. You can smell Motörhead in this one and it’s because this time we didn’t try to get away from that. Where most bands have to strive to sound like them we have to try to NOT sound like them too much and in this little number we just went for the gold without trying anything at all. The lyrics are quite graphic in how you have to crawl for your masters and take a dicking and still won’t find the bliss. It’s quite funny actually.
The odd track of the album. This one has a touch of “We are the road crew” but with lyrics declaring that we are not cut out to live in the shadow of a false god. It has passages with harmonies and shit like that and it’s a good step outside the box at gigs as well as on the album I think. It’s also the first official video from this album that we released on December 24:th last year, fittingly enough.
Halo of Thorns:
The German thrash song of the album! We both speeded up this one and slowed it down before we found the golden middle pace for the album. There is one demo version in our vault that is fucking frenetic but we realized that it fell apart along the way, my arm almost fell off when we recorded it, ha ha! Now when we play it live it probably hold that speed anyway but for the album we wanted it to have more punch in the riffing than just to play it as fast as possible so we adjusted it accordingly. The lyrics are again about the mischief of practicing religion and the loss of character in the process. All our lyrics are about this so I am starting to sound boring already before reaching halfway through the songs, ha ha!
Relieve Thyself onto Me:
This is porn, plain and simple. Perversion is nothing new in the house of god and here we go through some scenarios of what is likely to go on behind their locked doors. The song itself goes from heavy to fast in 0,1 millisecond and it keeps you on edge I hope.
This one is probably the most death metallic song of the album, its bulldozing mid-paced tempo and its dragging riffing makes it pretty damn heavy and its an intentional revisit to the old days of Swedeath. I can only speak for myself but we have reached the point where everything I ever did along the way reflects in what I am doing today, this bears traces of the old Vomitory days and takes you back 25 years in time (hopefully). Again, we never force anything, this is just how it turned out in the recording and now we play it like this. The lyrics are about a hostile takeover to make Scandinavia free from organised religion again. Not the common Viking crap but just to clean it out of here. It’s a nice vision of something that will never come but one must keep the dreams alive, ey?
Cold Day in Paradise:
This one was a touch nut to crack! We were supposed to play it in mid-tempo with double bassdrums almost throughout the whole song but after messing around with it we just peeled off the fancy ideas and went blastbeats and punk on its ass! It’s quite different than our usual stuff since it has d-beat, fast 2-beat, blasts and almost some classic Dissection harmonies in the mix. The lyrics do what they always do and it’s simply a dark day for religious nuts in the context.
The “Hang the pope” of this album! This song was actually just under a minute at first but in the last moments we decided to rebuild it and make more of it and it came out almost 2 minutes! It’s fast and it’s not meant for radio, let’s put it like that. The lyrics state that everyone is an idiot for believing that the savior will emerge from his tomb and that if he did we would just nail that fucker up again like the myth says.
Come to think of it, I don’t know which song is the most classic Death metal on this album, if it’s this one or “Deathmarch”. This one could have been on any given demo of Nihilist back in the days (big words, I know, but you get the point). It’s d-beat in its prime and there’s a lot of vocals on this one, everything is twice the normal amount and the lyrics are about the fucked up story of their messiah being buried and the masses waiting for his return. It sounds boring as hell when I drag all the info like this but it’s a whole different thing when you are actually following the lyrics while listening to the album.
Coming in the wrong order, this could be called “Deathmarch part 1” and again it’s about cleaning out the filth from our northern corner of the world (meaning ALL religion) and taking back logic common sense to the streets. “There’s no fucking God here, there’s only darkness”, plain and simple! The riffing is a bit special in this one but since I wasn’t the one behind them I can’t say much about the ideas behind them, just that it’s a cool song to play and it has its moments for sure.
I like so much your rehearsal-track “Crosshating Punks” and Turbocharged made an excellent video for this one in 2016. Share some thoughts about that video and about the pre-production of “Religious and Infected” demo-clip as well, which you recorded in December last year. Do you have any plans to make a new video in the near future?
- Aaah, here we come to a dead giveaway that I was too damn slow to respond to this interview, we did actually release a video after you wrote this question… Well, our videos is more than just clips, it’s part of the progress in my urge to learn both production and edit, both camera and software, and I always bug the others to make another one and another one! The “Crosshating punks” clip was just done out of restlessness and old clips, it was bits and pieces that we didn’t use for the “Area 666” video actually so the clips were years old when I cut it together. I put on as much CGI as I could to hide the fact that nothing synced and the lyrics plastered over the images was to hide that my vocals didn’t add up to anything good visually! The “Religious and Infected” clip we did for me to try out my new camera and to make some sign of life and to show that we are not being lazy. It turned out way better than I hoped for and was a good practice run with the camera. There are at least three more videos planned from this album but only time can decide when we pull it off.
How passed off the Turbocharged tour with Serbian Infest this September? (Unfortunately I missed it, but hope to see you live very soon). When and where will be your next live performances?
- Touring with Infest is always a blast and this tour, our second one together, was not different. Being stuck in a fart-drenched van with some crazy Serbian bastards for two weeks is something everyone should experience before claiming to be alive, that’s for sure! Some things didn’t turn out as planned but that was out of our reach to fix so it was all good, we did our best/worst and delivered sonic terror upon whoever decided to come and it was fucking great. Meeting new friends and getting a stronger backbone on stage is what it’s all about and our mission was executed with maximum results.
I like a lot the awesome sound of your bass. Which bass-players influenced you back in the time? Do you have any favourite bass-players?
Ha ha, it’s pretty obvious, isn’t it: Lemmy, Tom Angelripper and Cronos all the way! Their three bands are what made me who I am today, there’s no way around that. I didn’t even know the difference between guitar and bass when I decided I would play bass, I was looking through a catalogue and didn’t know if I should choose “the 4-string or the 6-string bass”, ha ha! So stupid! I did however find my way and never looked back. I do have a guitar at home but I never once thought of playing it in a band, I am a bass-player to the core. And my influences has always been the same, I just happened to make something personal out of the mix of their styles and now I don’t think very much of what to play, I just blast off and hope for the best.
Tell us about Hangöver! (How did you got in touch with its members? Which tracks did you write for them?) (Sorin, Romania)
- Hey Sorin! Oooooh, I’m not sure I even remember how I got in touch with them… I met Hellbastard at a Gehennah gig in 2003 for the first time and he told me he had a band which was “heavily influenced” by us and from there on we stayed in touch. I actually never wrote a song for them, they just got the “Pornwatcher” lyrics from me since I reckoned I would never use them myself. They made a brilliant tune for them and it was probably the first time I was part of something outside my own bands when it comes to writing anything. I think they drank more than they actually were a band so I can’t tell much about them!
I'm a faithful follower of the underground scene (Scandinavian, specially), since the early 90's. Currently, several bands are inside the scene, but... how do you see now the underground scene in general? Any band that you like especially? (Paco, Spain)
- Well Paco, the underground is far different now than it was back in those days but I don’t see it as a good or bad thing, times change and so do we. My problem with the scene is that there was a huge thing with people dropping out because “it got too commercial” back in the early 90-es and now all of a sudden a lot of those bands are back. I can’t see how you can “live for this” and still have no problem leaving for 20 years and then return like nothing happened. I might sound bitter and all but let’s face it: Some of us has been doing this every day since then and consider this scene to be a part of our DNA and we never backed down. Now these old bands come back and even if they deserve all our respect for what they once were and did, they didn’t move a muscle for 20 odd years and now they are touring the world again while others have spent every waken moment trying to get a break. Fame is of course not everything and the money aspect is just pure comedy but a struggling band deserves at least to break even in the end and that is really rare these days. We don’t have a problem paying out of our own pockets to get out there but since we are not rich it keeps us back and for every tour we have to cut down on something else (and there are families with kids involved here). There never was gold at the end of the underground rainbow of course but this retro wave is stealing the spotlight from the bands that struggle here and now. As for the quality of the music, it’s as good as ever if you only know where to look for good bands. Most of them don’t even know how good they are and they are playing local gigs in lack of global acknowledgment, still striving on pure passion. A band is supposed to be able to focus on that and it’s up to us supporters to find them and to spread the word. With today’s technology it’s easy to record and put some tracks up on Bandcamp or YouTube and most bands do, but the downside is that the constant stream of bands drown itself in white noise, kinda. I think I am losing my point here now, I don’t know where I am going anymore, ha ha! The bottom-line is that the scene is alive and kicking and you just have to look for the good stuff, it IS out there! Young bands and old bands deserve the same attention, or else we are pulling the plug on ourselves and risk sinking with the ship whether we like it or not. The bands I like are the same as anyone else from the old scene and newer bands always make an impact as they come along. To mention a few you should check out if you didn’t already: Violentor (Italy), Infest (Serbia), Axecutor (Bulgaria), Pyre (Russia), Chainsaw (Greece), Dreadful Fate (Sweden), etc, etc, etc… Too many to mention but if you start digging in these names you will find more good shit for sure! So yes, the scene is alive and glorious as long as we are, folks!
This past September was out the latest album of your band Turbocharged, but you also have another project Ronnie Ripper's Private War. Do you have some new material written for RRPW? Could you tell us something? (Paco, Spain)
- This is a tough one since there were a shitload of stuff written almost ten years ago that still haven’t seen the light of day but there are no real plans for making it official either. I played a few gigs with some cool Danish people under this name and they have been talking about making an album out of it just for fun with both real recordings of old songs as well as never released stuff but we are all busy with other things so I don’t know if this will ever become a reality. One should also remember that the recordings were done in my living room just for my own amusement and were intended for the band back then and it kinda took on a life of its own. The CD was released purely because the guy wrote to me one evening when I was mixing some stuff and I sent him a sample. He decided that it was worth releasing and the rest is a very obscure history. This is one of those mysteries that will answer itself as time goes by, there are no plans for anymore gigs either so your guess is as good as mine what will happen to RRPW. Turbocharged is my only priority and I could never keep up two bands/projects at the same time, I simply don’t have two 100%’s to give. Sorry that I don’t have a proper answer for you, Paco!
I am listening quite a lot to your cover songs from Venom: “Witching Hour”, Sodom: “Ausgebombt” and Motörhead: “Killed by Death”, etc. because in my humble opinion they sound amazing. Are there any plans for a new cover or covers in the future?
- We don’t really put time and effort into covers these days since we have more than enough own songs to fill an hour on stage but we did play “Witching Hour” the last couple of gigs. It was a step outside the current frame but we had fun doing it. We do have some tribute stuff ahead of us, a line of EP’s in the style of bands but there will be no covers, just our own take on the special styles of the bands in question. Covers are a good way to “taste the poison”, to feel how the old classics were written and executed and they usually leave small traces in your muscle memory for your own stuff but being a cover band is not the way to go.
(Turbocharged live in Graz, 21.IX.2017, photo by Niki Bacher)
I’m so thankful for the retrospective interview with you about old Swedish days. I’ve forgotten to ask you, what is/are your favourite release(s) out of the Swedish productions of the 90's by the golden hand of Master Tomas Skogsberg?
- Thanks yourself for sending great questions, it was fun to take that trip down memory lane for sure! It’s hard to just pick a few classics from his portfolio but I must make it easy and go with the four first albums I heard from there: Entombed: “Left Hand Path”, Dismember: “Like An Ever Flowing Stream”, Grave: “Into the Grave” and Tiamat: “Sumerian Cry”. Those were the albums that set the sound of a whole scene and which are still the how-to-do-it manuals for Death metal.
I’ve seen a Swedish comedy film “The Adventures of Picasso” (“Picassos äventyr”) a couple days ago and as for me it’s just a brilliant sarcastic one. What is your opinion about that old movie? Do you have any favourite Swedish actors and movies?
- Ha ha, this was unexpected! I don’t know if I ever saw that movie though, I can’t recall any scenes from it… Swedish movie history has some golden gems for sure, all the way from comedy to criminal mysteries, but I doubt that most of it ever reached the world. The BECK-series are an awesome line of criminal drama/tension that might have become international. “Sällskapsresan” is another franchise that started out great and turned into shitty sludge along the way but I think the jokes in those are a bit too Swedish for anyone to like them outside our strip of land. One old fave movie of mine which is pretty obscure and not too well made is “The ninja mission”, I think I was the only one who liked it back in the days actually, ha ha! “Bron”(The bridge) is another quite new series that I liked a lot and it’s half Danish which is not negative in my book! I suck at giving tips about Swedish movies, I usually stick to slasher movies and the likes there of and we didn’t have many of those made here.
Tack så mycket/Thank you very much, Bror Ronnie! It was an honour to talk with you again. At the end of this interview, please send some thoughts from the Scandinavian Darkness.
- Thanks yourself, once again! Also thanks to Paco and Sorin for giving me the time of day, I hope you guys found something interesting in my attempts to answer! What else can I say than: See you in our next mutual part of Archangel’s Lantern, we know there will be more, don’t we brother? Keep your eyes open for more shit to come out of the Turbocharged camp, there are things brewing under the surface, itching to go public! Forever metal!
Go Fuck Yourself Productions: facebook.com/GFYProd/?fref=ts
Ronnie Ripper's Private War:
Ronnie Ripper's YouTube: youtube.com/user/RonnieRipper
Go Fuck Yourself Productions: facebook.com/GFYProd/?fref=ts
Ronnie Ripper's Private War:
Ronnie Ripper's YouTube: youtube.com/user/RonnieRipper
(Questions compiled by Georgius,
Paco (Spain) and Sorin (Romania, Sadistik Witchfukk 'zine)