Ony Ratsimbaharison is a local musician, writer, and blogger and member of the band fk. mt. Jasper asked Ony to write a regular feature profiling local bands — getting at what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, and how it’s going. If you’d like to see your band profiled in What Jasper Said, send Ony a message at JasperProjectColumbia@gmail.com with the word ONY in the subject heading and she’ll, you know, take it under consideration.
Ony’s first few bands are a half dozen talented groups who will be working with the Jasper & Muddy Ford Press franchises over the next few weeks by playing at in-house sponsored events. Boo Hag, Los Perdidos, and Jackson Spells are all performing next Sunday at Tapp’s Arts Center (7 pm) for the launch party for Tommy Bishop’s new book, The Incredibly Strange ABCs. Here’s a look at Boo Hag, by Ony.
Boo Hag, which formed in June 2015, is a local hard rock band consisting of drummer Scotty Tempo and guitarist and songwriter Saul Seibert. Their latest self-titled album, which came out July 30 of this year, is a collection of macabre-influenced psychedelic songs, with song titles like “Monster,” “Hokus Pokus,” and “Crypt Keeper,” just to name a few.
Their interest in the macabre and horrific is evident in their name, which is derived from a Gullah legend. A Boo Hag is a mythical creature of the Gullah culture that, according to folklore, is masked in a person’s skin, which it sheds at night to ride living victims in their sleep, draining them of their energy. Their music aims to evoke the spirit of this myth through concepts like ritual and horror.
Seibert recently moved to Columbia and is from New Orleans, where, he says, a lot of his musical influence comes from. “Plain and simple we are kick-you-in –the-teeth, kerosene-driven, lightning-in-a-bottle rock and roll,” he states. Their writing process is somewhat unique and specific, which Seibert informs us of in the following excerpt from an interview.
Boo Hag will be performing alongside local psych-rockers Jackson Spells and surf rock band Los Perdidos on Sunday September 18 at Tapp’s Arts Center for the book launch of The Incredibly Strange ABCs by cartoonist Tommy Bishop.
Six Qs for Boo Hag
Can you describe what your music is like?
Boo Hag dabbles with the macabre and psychedelic aspects of rock n roll. We are loud, hard, dangerous, and serious. Boo Hag doesn’t really come with a lot of bells and whistles… We do what we know to do.
What are your songs typically about?
Some of the songs are simple and straight forward and not overly complicated… but most of the songs take on a narrative approach, and deal with a range of social issues and/or personal struggles.
What is your songwriting process like?
I usually hide. I engage in ritual. I get up at 3:30-4 am every day to meditate and then write music or do personal journaling for a few hours every day. I also smoke copious amount of marijuana and walk my dog in the woods. After I have completed a song, I record it and send it to Scotty to listen to. We play through it a few times during practice and then move on. We let songs breathe and rest, and then when they are ready to be played again, we work on them. Scotty gets me in a way a lot of players don’t and when you have that as a writer, you don’t really fuck with it too much. He plays an equal part in the music of Boo Hag and a powerhouse. He is also my friend.
Who/what are some of your main musical influences?
New Orleans jazz and Memphis Blues… What else really matters in the end?
What is your overall philosophy as a band, if you have one?
As a band, I believe our philosophy is to simply create and have fun doing what we love doing. We are a live act and that is where we thrive. In the end, we just want people to celebrate the music with us.
What is your vision for the band/the band’s future?
We will see what happens. We have no intention of slowing down, we’re both driven people.