Behind The Noise

MUSIC FEATURE: Behind The Noise – Black Orchid Empire

Rock trio Black Orchid Empire have really honed their craft on their upcoming full-length Semaphore. Juxtaposing hard-hitting riffs with stunning melodies, the sci-fi concept album features thirteen songs each with a different narrative theme. One of the band’s recent singles, Natural Selection, was released alongside a video, telling the story of an alien sent down to a failing earth in an attempt to solve their problems. Keen to find out more, we caught up with vocalist/guitarist Paul Visser to discuss the song and video themes, the writing process and why Natural Selection is a standout track on their new release. 

Can you give us your quick elevator pitch on this track? Why does this one standout for you as a band?

Natural Selection is a huge tune from our new album Semaphore – it’s a complex blend of heavy and melodic with a big fat singalong chorus.

How did you tackle the writing process for the song? Was there anything unique about this track compared to your usual/previous approach?

The writing for all the new songs was a different process than on our previous albums. One of us would bring a starting idea – maybe a riff, drum pattern or melody – and we all sat together in the studio control room fleshing it out into a finished song. The whole album came about really organically that way, we all pitched in on everything. It pushed us harder than ever before to work on the parts.

Can you tell us how the song’s theme came about?

Semaphore is a sci-fi concept album where each song has a different narrative theme. Natural Selection is about an alien being sent to a failing earth to try and correct the problems. Over time they become so enamoured with the beauty of humanity, despite its flaws, that they decide to stay. They go down with the ship.

Tell us about the video, do the themes of the single transfer to the video?

Our amazing friend Alina Gordienko and her team in Odessa in the Ukraine did an incredible job of interpreting the song’s story into a visual that’s so striking it left our jaws on the floor. They created an alien design, which took eight hours of work with movie-grade makeup and prosthetics to create. It’s truly stunning!

Do you have any behind the scenes stories from the video shoot?

We weren’t there! Apparently it all went smoothly – even the freezing Ukrainian weather made way for the shoot – the sun came out for the first time in weeks exactly when they needed it.

Anything else you’d like to add for our readers?

Go and check out Semaphore! It’s out on 12th June 2020 and you can pre-order it now HERE

A 20-something year old journalist and freelance PR often found at a gig, a festival or holding a dictophone to a band and asking them all kinds of questions. I'm a sucker for whiskey and vinyl.