I've been a fan of this fantasy themed Michigan doom band for a few years, so I'm super excited I got to interview them! If you love both doom and are a fantasy/TTRPG fan, make sure you check these guys out!
Q: Tell the readers who you are and what you do.
A: I am Harlen Linke, drummer/ backup vocalist/ synth player/ producer/ mixer/ social media nerd/ dungeon master for the doom/ stoner/ sludge metal band Bog Wizard. I wear a lot of hats.
Q: What is your favorite tour snack?
A: I think our #1 go-to road fuel is snagging a Pot Belly toasted sandwich. We don't have any around where we live so it's a nice fast mildly healthier meal while we're on the road. It's always exciting when we can find a new location on our trips.
Q: If you were a salad, what kind of dressing would it have? A: Ranch. Ranch goes with everything.
Q: Tell a story about a song that had a big impact on you when you were growing up.
A: Oddly enough, I think Head Like A Hole by Nine Inch Nails was an early heavier song that stood out to me as a kid and got me onto the metal path. I can't say it was a huge impact, but it was definitely one of the earliest "oh shit, that sounds really cool" songs that I can remember and likely was an early taste of a heavier sound that laid the foundation for me.
Q: How did you develop your sound?
A: With our band, our guitarist/ vocalist Ben and I actually learned our instruments together from basically scratch, starting in college and casually improv jamming over about a decade before we decided to actually turn the project into something. We were drawn to the slower heavier doom sound and, lacking a bassist, Ben picked up an 8-string guitar to dip into that range to fill out our sound. He's a bit of a tone chaser and is definitely the biggest influence on our sound with a dual amp setup. We did this setup for our initial demo EP Campaign, but shortly after we brought our bassist Colby into the mix. We honestly had a hard time finding space for him at first because of Ben's huge full sound, especially in recorded mixes, but once we carved out space for him and he added his own feel to the tracks, it added a ton of depth.
Q: Who is your dream collab?
A: I'm not sure we have a dream collab. Obviously there's the big names in doom that would be fun to do something with, but I almost feel like our dream collab was already our split with the UK band Froglord. We put together a collaborative concept split album that wove a story through the entire thing, writing songs about each others' concepts. It came together super smoothly and we had a ton of fun putting it all together. We're super proud of that release. Q: If you couldn’t do what you do, what would you do?
A: If I couldn't do what I do, I would find something else that fills the needed creative outlets in my life. I have no issue finding new creative outlets to dive headfirst into, usually the problem is having the time to indulge them all. Q: What motivates you?
A: Music-wise, my motivation is to live a fulfilling life filled with great experiences, love, and getting to meet new cool people and hear great music. The band lets me travel around and get all of that, spreading our word of nerd doom and positivity, oddly enough.
Q: Have you had any weird fan experiences?
A: I think our typical weird fan interactions are just geeking out everything but the music. With our musical themes, start talking about it and end up tangenting off onto gaming subjects. We've found a ton of people who are super amused with our in-your-face massive nerd approach to our band, with a lot of other bands going "why didn't we think of this before?" We've had a few bands adopt the Nerd Doom approach after playing shows with them.
Q: Talk about the craziest tabletop gaming session you've been at.
A: Probably one of the craziest tabletop gaming sessions I participated in was our first game of Mork Borg. I was playing as the dumb but strong tank sort of character that the other weaker players were relying on to get them through the dungeon, as well as GMing the game. This allowed me to run things but also help fill out the party, which was sorely lacking any kind up-close survivability. But, in the first actual fight we encountered, my character was swallowed whole by a giant worm, dooming the rest of the party for the remainder of the dungeon. It was a great introduction to the brutality of Mork Borg. Q: Where can people follow you?
A: We can be followed in all of the usual places, bandcamp, facebook, instagram, all of which can be found here: https://linktr.ee/bogwizard Q: What would you like to say to your fans?
A: We'd like our fans to know how much we appreciate their support and giving our weird experiment their precious time. How great is it that we all get to exist at the same time together?