header_menu_off_01Here at Ave Noctum we have the pleasure to swim in very creative waters. Quite a few of the artist’s we feature see and manage the visuals and music as a whole but not many quite like The Osiris Club. These prog-y rockers absorb their influences beautifully, musical, visual and written, stepping through the doors opened by them and allowing the influences to push and pull them where they will and transform them in the process into something remarkable and uncontrived. From the beautiful, intricate cover to the strange compelling music and the curious, weird promo shots, Blazing World is an album that grows quietly on you and offers you places to go. So we were particularly pleased to catch up with drummer Andy Prestidge for a little Q&A and came away with even more doors to peek inside. Van Der Graaf Generator and Rudimentary Peni to Alan Moore and Iain Sinclair. Enter here.

Hello to The Osiris Club! Thank you for the chance to fire a few questions in your direction and congratulations on your finer debut album The Blazing World. It certainly stands out in a crowd, you must be pleased.

AP: Thanks for the kind words about our album. I have been writing songs and music during the years, I’ve been drumming for other groups, either in bands or projects. In my formative years my influences as a guitarist were groups from the late eighties such as Space Men 3 and Loop, loads of guitar effects and playing two chords ad infinitum. My drumming influences would be the more frenetic with the playfulness side of bands such as, Rush, Cardiacs, King Crimson, early Genesis and Gong/Hillage. The bands other writer Chris Fullard does sound for atmospheric avant rock bands, (Ulver and SUNN)))O), which obviously informs his musical tastes, but we both meet in the middle ground with bands such as Killing Joke and Voivod. There is literally so many influences on this album, every part/section in the work-in-progress stage, we would say “This our Voivod bit” or “This is our King Crimson bit”., and so on.

AN: With current and ex members of Angel Witch, Electric Wizard, Winters and Zoltan making up your esoteric club, I guess you’ve been swimming in the same broad musical soup but how did the Osiris Club come about? From visuals to music there is such a strong sense of concept here, but also one that feels genuine and natural rather than being hatched in a marketing suite.

AP: The artwork and concepts which I created are very much informed by 80’s monochrome Anarcho/Punk art, (G. Vaucher, Nick Blinko and 2000 AD artists such as Kevin O’Neal, Bryan Talbot, Brian Bolland and Ian Gibson). I think it’s great to have a self-contained package, where I utilise my influences of comic book, film and music. It’s just about making the perfect record/band that I’d like to hear in my head, if that makes sense.

AN: Musically you also carve out a place as unusual as the visuals: We get prog, 80s film music styles, a pinch of space rock, a touch of an other worldlyness akin to Ulver at their most enigmatic or Katatonia at their narrative best and yet this is all beautifully blended into the unique atmosphere of The Osiris Club. People might also have expected a much harder, heavier edge with your backgrounds. Again was this deliberate starting point or what was conjured in the writing process?

Osiris Header

AP: For me personally, as I have already touched on above, I have always written music in this style, I was always into the late 70’s/early 80’s punk/post-punk/new wave sounds, more so than metal. Bands such as Rudimentary Peni and Crass, influenced me with their aesthetics as much as the music. By the early 90’s I had lost interest in playing extreme heavy music and around this time I had discovered Rush, Zappa and Cardiacs, which sent me on a different path. With the Osiris Club, both Chris and myself wanted to create a band that sounded like Goblin meets Voivod, or something like that! The other guys in the band are from non-metal, avant- rock and doom backgrounds. It was not a conscious decision to play this way, but I wanted to do something that pretty much was influenced by all the things I love and hopefully the album comes across as honest and not contrived in anyway.

AN: I take it that amongst other things you have an appreciation of King Crimson and John Carpenter, maybe Goblin too: How would you help convince younger fans to go back and consider these artists?

AP: My musical influences end around 1979/81, so I’m pretty much off the radar musically, I think bands like Goblin, King Crimson and the sound track work of John Carpenter, have informed and influenced many younger bands around today. I also think that people that are into music now are more open-minded and there are not so many divisions these days, perhaps.

AN: It’s also notable that your songs niftily avoid half hour self indulgences but the sound remains intricate and atmospheric. Was keeping things concise deliberate concept?

AP: Well we do try to write longer songs but they all seem to come out around the five to six minute mark, unfortunately Blazing World part 1 will have to go on the next LP, HaHa!. I tend to prefer Prog without all the widdley showmanship, more, V.D.G.G than E.L.P., a perfect example being the Cardiacs, a band we don’t sound like, but a big influence all the same.


AN: While we’re on the subject of concept, tell us about the robes and the plague masks: They are visually arresting and very in keeping with the music but what made you think they were the way to go? What do they mean to you? Were you concerned that cynics might scream “Gimmick!” (funny how people never say that about corpse paint…). Who made the masks?
As an aside: I am probably way off here but do any of you read comics/graphic novels? Just The Osiris Club cropped up in the Hellboy comics and Hellboy/BPRD artist Guy Davis did his own series The Marquis which utilised a similar look and feel with plague masks a central theme and I just wondered if there were tendrils of influence?

AP: What do the masks mean to me, well, we had this convoluted idea that they slightly tied in with the time frame of the novel, Blazing World- 1625, and the great plague-1656, mixing the psycho-geography, mapped out by Ian Sinclair, that in turn informed Alan Moore’s work, League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Voice of the Fire and his live audio works. Yes, the Osiris Club name is a nod to Mike Mignola, again just a huge fan of his work.
Funny you should mention the Marquis, as I also love Guy Davis’s artwork, perhaps a sub-conscious influence with the masks, but not a direct one. The Blazing World features heavily in Moore’s L.O.E.G. books. Which leads me into your next question.

AN: Continuing concepts: The theme of the album is based, I gather, on the writings of Margaret Cavendish, 17th Century Duchess of Newcastle . I was shamefully totally ignorant of the lady and even from the briefest of research she seems like a truly astounding woman far ahead of her time but an unlikely concept for a 21st century rock band to seize upon. Is she a long standing fascination? What does she mean to you and what does she bring to the twenty first century?

AP: I have to be honest, it’s through reading Moore’s works and it’s great if you read interviews with the man as he encourages his readers to dig a little deeper and discover novels by obscure and forgotten authors, books such as Voyage to Arcturus, Zanoni and the Third Policeman.
Like yourself, I was also ignorant to the writings of Margaret Cavendish, what an imagination! and forward thinking approach. To write a Utopian/Fantasy novel about travelling through portals to a world inhabited by half-man, half-animal hybrids is pretty mind-blowing for 1625.
As fitting in with the twenty-first century, we live in a world constantly at war, I think I would like to live amongst peaceful half-men, animal creatures in an inner-world far away from this one

Front Cover The Osiris Club - Blazing World

AN: Can you tell us about the lyrical journey the album takes us on through The Blazing World?

AP: Well, we spent so much time working on the music that we tried to evoke the images and atmosphere of the book through the music to begin with. Some of the lyrical themes are built around the Blazing World concept, such as the title track Blazing World, the ship sailing to reach the poles, etc. tracks such as ‘The Bells’, is a search for a better way of living, ‘Solid Glass’ with its description of lay-lines and dinosaurs, a window into another world, ‘That’s not Like You’, is about what goes on in the minds of others, plans within plans, which is a small reference to ‘Dune’. The lyrics were mostly written by Paul Fyffe (Winters), Simon Oakes (Suns of the Tundra) and Brad (M.M.O.B., The Accused) sang on the record.

AN: The Blazing World is a subtle and beguiling album, actually a rather gentle one which almost creeps up on you until you realise that you have kind of fallen in love with it. In a world of 140 character philosophy and apps that just shout “Yo! ” at you, do feel you’re a place of refuge? A hark back to more considerate times, perhaps, or indeed a club where people are given the space to think and to breathe?

AP: We feel comfortable playing the type of music we do, to me, it’s not contrived in any way and it’s heartfelt, at this point I don’t think I could make an extreme or heavy record, as it does not interest me in any way to do that. I certainly feel at home playing this style, taking refuge in world gone by.

AN: Although with a wide varieties of sounds, I seem to be seeing and hearing a few more bands coming up with a more esoteric feel to them rather than the bludgeon label of simple ‘occult’. From the epic metal of Atlantean Kodex through the weird (A Gentleman’s Club of) A Forest Of Stars to yourselves do you think more ostensibly heavy musicians are looking a little deeper and being more willing to grapple with philosophy as well as the cool trappings at the moment?

AP: There is so much out there now, that you can take influences from any point over the last 50 to 60 years, whether that being art, film or music. I think it’s great that bands can incorporate art and philosophy and a myriad of other influences into their music, as there should be no rules as to what you can do.


AN: Have you played live much? How has the crowd reacted to the visual aspect and does the album and its subtleties need much adjustment in the live setting?

AP: We played a few low key shows last year under a different name just to see how it would work, and interestingly people liked the visual aspect, but you were correct in one of your earlier observations, the outfit mask thing can rub some people up the wrong way. Of course there are some problems that need to be ironed out, as the outfits can be problematic playing the material live, needs some slight adjustments. I hope we can replicate the record as closely as possible live.

AN: Are you going to be gigging to coincide with the release? What else can we expect from you this year?

AP: Yes, there will be more shows of course, I would like to play as much as possible if we get good offers, then we will begin to work on the next album.

AN: Is there a message you would like The Osiris Club to be able to leave with those who experience the music and the shows?

AP: We hope that the people that come along will enjoy it, we just want to put on a great show with a bit of theatricality, its as simple as that.

There you have it. Quietly breaking moulds and leaving doors open for you to see where they come from and to take a little journey yourself. Every artist mentioned above; musician, writer, artist, has a landscape to explore for any one of us. And The Osiris Club? Walk in, take a drink, take a seat and let yourself be swept up in a Blazing World.

My thanks to Andy for a truly informative and fascinating interview.

Interview by Gizmo



Ave Noctum are proud to be sponsoring the Osiris Club show at The Black Heart London on September 26th