Melbournians NE OBLIVISCARIS are a progressive/extreme/melodic/violin-laden metal experience like no other and the band have just released the critically acclaimed album ‘ Urn’. They are set to take on a huge International Tour . We caught up with lead guitarist Benjamin Baret to chew the fat about gear, touring and what the bands name actually means.
NE OBLIVISCARIS is an interesting band name, what does it mean?
Ne Obliviscaris means Forget Not in Latin, it is the motto of the Scottish Campbell clan, Campbell is also the family name of our singer. It has a nice little ring to it and once people hear how to say it ounce then don’t forget it
Last year was a huge year for you touring Citadel, what was the highlight?
It definitely was a great year for the band, we did quite a lot of touring with Citadel m a personal highlight for me would have been playing in India which was an incredible trip , or supporting cradle of filth across North America and Europe which allowed us to play some great and legendary venues.
Tell us about your gear. For the guitar geeks, what do you use to achieve your sound?
I keep my rig simple as possible when it comes to touring you don t wanna have to worry about having too many things. We use the fractal Audio AX 8 which is plugged into our in ear monitoring system then sent to the front of house, no extra pedal and processing rack. I play a custom made ESP guitar and Matt plays PRS. With that basic yet efficient set up we can play anywhere in the world and we re guaranteed to have our sound every night.
Who do you think are the top five best prog rock bands everyone should check o
Pink Floyd of course, Emperor, which is hardly rock but is to me an incredible prog band ( Ihsahn solo project as well ) Marillion, The Mars Volta and Anathema, great songwriting and very inspiring music.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
Mine would be Death and Emperor for metal music, then Django Reinhardt for guitar playing and sense of melody, and then the great romantic piano composers like Chopin for the endless source of emotions and inspiration. These artists are on perpetual rotations in my playlist and are clearly my biggest musical influences.
They can expect a wide sonic landscape that will hopefully please their ear holes ! We re trying to have a set list that flows naturally so the 90 minutes of the show just feel like 10, with plenty of crowd moments and a fat sound !
Do you have any pre-gig superstitions? Any things that you do that prepare you for
the gig that you simply must do?
I like to warm up for as long as I can, if I can play for 3 hours before I’m on stage I will, I have terrible blood circulation and quite a few issues with my hands, some people can just warm up for 2 minutes and then go on stage, I could never do that. I also like to do some stretching and have a coffee if I know that it s gonna be a late night. I can t really say that I have any pre- gig superstition though, at the end of the end it s about going up on stage and killing it.
What is your favorite bar to drink at in your home town?
In Melbourne I hang at the Reverence Hotel in Footscray, great menu, pool table and nice backyard. In Bordeaux I drink at the MK2 shooter bar, happy hour just about all the time if you come regularly to the place.
If we came to your home town, what tourist spots would you take us to?
In Melbourne I d take you down to Philip Island for a day of leisure and surf at the beach, then we’d go to the Macedon Ranges see some weird geological rock formations and wild animals, maybe do some climbing in Halls Gap and then a night out in Fitzroy for some party times.
What is the most unusual experience you’ve ever had on stage?
Maybe in Guwahati, India, where the army was doing security and they shot massive fireworks during our show, insane memories and also the biggest crowd we have played in front of yet.
Some musicians are know for an interesting rider. What is your one must- have back stage at a gig?
God we are such a boring band… there is nothing special on the rider, bottles of water, hummus, chips and stage towels, other than that nothing really.