Conny Ochs‘ new LP Doom Folk arrives on 15 February via Exile on Mainstream on LP, CD, and digital formats. The album may be ordered in the U.S. now, as well as internationally. It proves a fine way for Exile on Mainstream to usher in its 20th anniversary and a fine example of Ochs‘ prowess as a writer and performer. In addition to writing the material, he performs all instruments on the record, including bass, drums, percussion, guitars, organs and, of course, singing.
Joining him in the video for “Dark Tower”, the first video from the LP are Johannes Doepping on drums and Hannes Scheffler on bass. That lineup will perform on the first leg of the Doom Spring 2019 European Tour. (Dates are listed below.) The video was filmed by Lutz Kretschmann of Kretsch Film at UT Connewitz in Leipzig, where Exile on Mainstream will hold one of their 20th-anniversary parties this year, and where Ochs will take part in the festivities.
Speaking about the song, Ochs recalled its origins, saying, “‘Dark Tower’ was the initial song that kind of sparked the whole feeling of Doom Folk… I wrote it on tour in Prague when I mourned the death of one of my greatest heroes. Prague is a spiritual place; it can be quiet, dark, but it always is powerful. I found myself meditating on loss wandering the obscure alleys of the city and by the shores of the Moldau, trying to find a way to share grief through putting it into words and shaping it into a song. I found since then when I played the first version during the following shows, people related to it. There was an unspoken union in the untold…. Something like that. It was clear to me that I wanted to release the song as a first breadcrumb leading into the album. Here I found how much sharing pain really is a part of healing. It reminded me again the meaning of a song. To share, to live.”
Through Ochs is beloved in the heavy rock community, “Dark Tower” transcends musical boundaries, with an appeal that recalls Soundgarden at its most tuneful and emotive. Ochs’ voice is front and center as he delivers the tune’s moving lyrics over a musical setting that is meditative and deeply impactful.
As for the video, he notes, “We filmed the video in one of my favorite venues ever, at the UT Connewitz in Leipzig. It’s a place full of spirit and history, run by good friends who let us hang out there for a late afternoon in winter. Just the right place to conjure a spirit of calm intensity. The sort of which you can feel in a place where you feel home.”
In addition to the albums Raw Love Songs (2011), Black Happy (2013), and Future Fables (2016), Ochs has also recorded two LPs with Scott “Wino” Weinrich (Heavy Kingdom in 2012 and Freedom Conspiracy in 2015), both of which were stripped-down affairs. There is a consistency across all of his albums, though Doom Folk carries with it a sense of renewal and finds the veteran musician marching down a path that is of the moment.
2/22/2019 Beer House Project – Pistoia, IT
2/23/2019 Gagarin – Busto Arsizio, IT
2/24/2019 The Concept Record Store – Lecco, IT
2/25/2019 Rock Café – Savona, IT
3/01/2019 La Serra – Recanati, IT
3/03/2019 Indie Record Store & Dump – Treviso, IT
3/22/2019 Foyer Stadthalle – Falkensee, DE w/ Eat A Peach
3/23/2019 Kasseturm – Weimar, DE
3/25/2019 Krone – Darmstadt, DE
3/26/2019 Dorett – Mainz, DE
3/27/2019 Stuck – Frankfurt-Oder, DE
3/28/2019 Odradek – Chemnitz, DE
3/29/2019 Das Grewen – Fredeburg, DE w/ Thomas Kleinhez
3/30/2019 Goldgrube Markuzwalach – Kassel, DE
3/31/2019 Skatehalle – Brilon, DE w/ Chris Snobout
4/01/2019 Peter-Weiss-Haus – Rostock, DE
4/03/2019 Ostpol – Dresden, DE
4/04/2019 Objekt 5 – Halle/Saale, DE
4/05/2019 Wohnzimmerkultur – Potsdam, DE
4/07/2019 UT Connewitz – Leipzig, DE @ 20 Years Exile On Mainstream [info]
4/08/2019 Kulturbar – Greifswald, DE
4/10/2019 Auster Club – Berlin, DE
4/13/2019 Roadburn Festival – Tilburg, NL @ 20 Years Exile On Mainstream [info]
5/19/2019 Splinter Club – Parma, IT