Ben Ward and Orange Goblin have stayed pretty much intact since forming in 1995 — a rarity today. Last year they put out the The Wolf Bites Back album, their ninth in total and a more than respectable follow up to 2014’s Back From the Abyss. The band has always had solid Black Sabbath and Motorhead roots, though they’ve dabbled in punk and psychedelic sounds over the years. But whatever they do, they sound like Orange Goblin. They play the Regent this week, so we chatted.
L.A. WEEKLY: A bit of background for the newbie — when did Orange Goblin form, and why?
BEN WARD: We formed in 1995, so next year is our 25th anniversary. It was a group of friends who had a shared love of Sabbath and Motorhead. We played shows around London, then got signed and did five albums with Rise Above Records. In 2002, we came to the U.S.A. for the first time. We now have nine studio albums, and have dabbled in Southern rock, punk and the blues.
How has the sound evolved over the years?
We’ve become better as songwriters and musicians — we’ve honed our craft. We’ve played with keys and vocal effects. But we started with Sabbath, the Doors and early Pink Floyd. With the The Big Black album, we want cosmic doom. The next one was more Motorhead. With A Eulogy for the Damned in 2012, we found the unique Orange Goblin sound. That’s when we gave up our day jobs. In 2013/14, we toured the world. But the band became too much of a job. In 2014, we did the Back From the Abyss album and went back to our day jobs. The band took a back seat for a while, until it was time to write a new one. There’s a bit of everything on the new album. It’s a bit more focused and well-produced.
You’ve had the same lineup since you started in 1995 and that’s rare — how do you do it?
We’re a band of blood brothers. We learned to know when somebody needs time for themselves.
Back in 2016 when the publishing company responsible for Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog magazines collapsed in the UK, you stepped in and helped raise money for the staff, which was amazing. What prompted that?
Actually, that was my wife Sandie’s idea. We knew the staff, and had become friends hanging at bars in London like the Crobar. It happened three or four days before Christmas and they were getting zero pay. So we set up the fund and it went crazy. We raised over 90,000 pounds. There was this outpouring of love, showing that there still a necessity for printed media.
What can we expect from this set?
A bit of everything. We have 25 years together as a band, so we respect that there are different generations there. There might be kids at their first concert.
Orange Goblin plays with Black Cobra, Earthless, High Tone Son of a Bitch and Ape Machine at 8 p.m. on Monday, September 2 at the Regent Theater.