OvO: In-depth Interview
By Kate Wilcox
April 16th 2011, Hawaiian Ocean View, Hawaii: Read this detailed interview as Kate discusses with OvO everything you'd want to know about the band.
Kate: How did OvO come about?
OvO: We started in 2000 as a total improv band, with an open line-up. We used to run a squat in Italy, where there were many bands coming to play from all over the world, and many of them liked us and had a good time. They often told us to make up a band and tour together. We finally decided to do it, in order to tour with Cock ESP, a really extreme noise band from Minneapolis. Stefania and I were a couple at the times, and we both had bands and played music, so it was natural to start something together. That's how OvO started.
Kate: What is the inspiration behind OvO?
OvO: We want to be challenging, and play something that's completely honest and real for us. We don't aim to be involved in a specific scene or to sound like some specific band; we listen to a lot of different music and take inspiration from all of it. Also, whatever we try to sound like, it will always just sound like OvO, because of the nature of our approach; Stefania singing no lyrics and playing a detuned guitar, and me playing a mini drum set: floor tom, snare, ride.
Kate: People call your music doom, sludge, ambient, avant-garde. How would you describe your music?
OvO: Definitely not avant-garde, but for the rest, I really don't know. All these names can fit, but someone who would expect us to sound exactly like one of them may be very disappointed. Is it too arrogant to say that we sound like nothing else?
Kate: How would you describe your latest album "Cor Cordium"?
OvO: It's our most hi-fi album, and definitely the most songs-oriented. At the same time, the experimental parts are more extreme than ever in our discography. From the previous album "Crocevia" we started a new approach to the studio works, trying to record more properly and to have albums that sound good even for people who have never seen us live. This approach went on with the collaboration album with Nadja (The Life and Death of a Wasp) and now with Cor Cordium.
Kate: How does it compare to previous albums?
OvO: The first 2 albums (Assassine and Vae Victis) were total improv and very lo-fi. Then the following ones (Cicatrici and Miastenia) were recorded a bit better, and they were the first ones as a duo. We tried to bring our live energy to the studio recording, which turned out to be impossible. So we started to record hi-fi, spending more money, and composing our albums in studio, so that our live acts had to adapt to the new songs, and not the other way around. This is what we did with Crocevia and Cor Cordium.
Kate: What are some of your goals with your music?
OvO: Playing as many shows as possible, travelling, always playing what we like no matter what press or people or labels say, andÉ yeah, buying a big art deco house in Miami Beach.
Kate: Stefania's vocals are so raw and they open your mind to a completely different genre of music, is that part of the point of OvO?
OvO: Definitely. It's a big goal, especially for Stefania, since her first band (Allun, a really extreme female improv band), and now with ?Alos, her anarcho-queer-pagan-doom act.
Kate: Are there any challenges as a duo? Either playing live or in general?
OvO: It's easier to travel, it's easier to be available, it's easier to have a magic musical feeling. We often change some parts while we play, during the concert. The other immediately understands and follows. It wouldn't be possible even just as a trio. On the other side, what we can do is just what two persons can do. If we play after a 4 piece band with 6 amplifiers and a full drum set, we'll probably sound lower, less powerful.
Kate: What can people expect from seeing OvO in concert?
OvO: A little masked girl singing like the scariest growling beef in her made up language, torturing a detuned guitar. A big masked guy playing a little drum set without a kick, just using his arms, and sounding like a double-kick heavy metal drummer.
Kate: Do you both have any side projects? Or are you mainly focused on this band?
OvO: We both have other projects. I mentioned Stefania's Allun and ?Alos. I play drums in an Italian duo called Bachi Da Pietra, doing pretty good in Italy, and guitar in an instrumental band called Ronin, something between soundtracks and post rock. I also run a small label called Bar La Muerte.
Kate: What music did you listen to growing up? What do you listen to now?
OvO: I met Stefania at a Sepultura show, in 1996. We both grew up with punk, metal and hardcore. We still listen to them, but we're open to every kind of music. Stefania at the moment is into classical music in general, doom, black, blues. I'm more into early music, 20's jazz, African and extreme electronics.
Kate: What are some future plans for OvO?
OvO: We're touring Europe now and we'll tour the US in October. We'd like to record a collaboration with our label mates Morkobot. We have a 7" coming out on the Detroit based label Sleeping Giant Glossolalia.
Kate: Any words for your fans?
OvO: Don't go to a show looking for something you already know. Look for the unexpected, for something you DON'T know. It's much more exciting. And Stefania has a little dream: MORE MASKED PEOPLE in the audience! Come masked!
Check out the band's first official music video, for the song "Marie":
Ovo - Marie from Rockit on Vimeo.