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Olaf Olafsonn and the Big Bad Trip | A psychedelic dark folk tale from Prague

About Olaf.

 Hi my name is Olaf and I’m not an alcoholic yet. But I’m an ethnomusicologist, PhD candidate and the founder and engine of the dark psychedelic band Olaf Olafsonn and the Big Bad Trip.

About the band and how it came together.

It comes back to turn of the year 2014 and 2015. I was getting tired of playing in garage punk bands and wanted to get back to where I came from and that was psychedelic rock music. The first idea was to have some sort of psychedelic jam band with various members, to lay down some tracks and not to push it very hard, just a simple happy-go-lucky band to ease the stress. I asked some of my friends from the Prague’s underground scene with various backgrounds – the bass player was from a blues rock band, guitarist from the black metal scene and the drummer from a teen-punk band – if they want to do it with me. We got together to rehearse in the beginning of 2015 and suddenly the energy and the feeling of unity in all of us told me that this won’t be just any jam band. Then things started to go very quickly – we recorded our first EP Chakra Meditations in March 2015 and in April we had our first live show in Prague with our friends from London Flies are Spies from Hell. Then the bass player The Mathematician left the band in late 2018 and after a very short time of searching for new bass player my friend and guitarist from that garage punk band just took the bass and fit in like he was playing with us from the very beginning, even though his first live show was on Candlemas 2019. Maybe that’s why we call him The Ancient One…

The world through Olaf’s eyes.

 I see the world as very picturesque and fun place to be…

As an anthropologist, I know that there is nothing really “weird” or despicable in the human society and everyone has some motives for their actions. But I also strongly believe in things we can’t describe and experience only with our reason and that’s where the world starts to be… A little bit weird…

How his perspective led him to create this album and video.

The whole Selenopolis album is based on our jam from the Candlemas Celebration during covid era in 2021. As mentioned before, we are holding this particular date dearly in our hearts and minds and we are trying to celebrate it every year. Those two covid years when we suffered harshly from the government restrictions in Czech Republic – our tour for album Temple of Serenity was cancelled, all the musical venues went silent and there was basically nothing to do. But we had a plan from the past to do some acoustic recording as an homage to British psychedelic folk bands such as Spirogyra or Comus. And the covid nothingness was perfect time to do it. We did this Candlemas session again, this time in my living room as a stream and that was the very fundament of Selenopolis, which we rehearsed in six days during the summer last year and released on Winter Solstice MMXXI. There is a story that connects all of the tracks of the album – about a pilgrim who wants to find the Temple and its wisdom in the long-forgotten city in the swamps. The Swamp Rite is first of the videos mapping his steps on his journey and it depicts the moment when the pilgrim is led to a strange congregation in the swamps and joins the rite of passage before he can proceed to the ramparts of Selenopolis itself.

About the video.

I think the most interesting and also funny thing about the video is that it was shot in the garden of my house in a small village in central Bohemia. The neighbours were present and just couldn’t believe what we were doing there in the masks with all the skulls and all. And also next to the garden is an elementary school, so it was kind of funny to imagine what would the parents think about the bloody ritual right next to the school. Good thing it was Saturday… But the great thing about the whole set was that it was done in an immensely friendly atmosphere with people we love and it’s a beautiful memory of one sunny day in the autumn spent outside with friends.

About the rituals.

 Well, we need to distinguish between routine and ritual. Most of the people would say that their ritual is to, I don’t know, spit three times when they brush their teeth, but if it’s not happening with some magical or ritual intention, it’s not a ritual, it’s just a routine. But there are plenty of rituals we are holding and don’t know about them in our daily lives. It might sound odd but personally, I’m not a very ritualistic person in the everyday kind of way. But either I myself or the band as a whole, we are trying to do the annual rituals and stick to it, like doing special shows on the Winter Solstice – every year we do a live show or during the corona plague we did a stream on YouTube, last year we released our last album Selenopolis – or we do something similar each year on the Candlemas. I think it’s good to stick to the tradition of some ritual action on the same date every year so the Myth of the Eternal Return is kept alive and we are restoring the very essential things such as the friendship between ourselves and also some kind of kinship between us and our fans, whom we take as a part of the Ritual itself.

Is there a message here?

 Personally, I’m very skeptical about all the bands who want to convey some “messages” through their music. In most cases they are just posers trying to impress who knows whom. And people are used to getting their music on the silver platter with all the lyrics that tell you what to think about the song.  The main issue with instrumental music is that it doesn’t give you the stories on this silver platter. You need to create your own which is   much more demanding for the audience, as they need to think for themselves about the music they are hearing. But that’s also the biggest amenity of this music – I’ve grown tired of telling people what the song is all about. And when you remove the lyrics only music remains and you can finally leave towards the outer spheres with it. The only message we are trying to send with all of our music and also other artistic stuff closely connected to it is that there is still some mystery and magic in this world and it’s very worth it to listen and let your soul be abducted by the very sound itself.

https://bigbadtrip.bandcamp.com/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCa6q0V9WH9AkXI2pEWe6RUQ

https://www.facebook.com/olafolafsonnandthebigbadtrip/

https://www.instagram.com/oo_and_the_big_bad_trip

https://itunes.apple.com/ie/artist/olaf-olafsonn-and-the-big-bad-trip/id1449029636

Come on in!

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