Band of the Day: Bofo Kwo

With one of the weirdest band names I’ve heard for a while, I’m as interested as I hope you are to hear more about Bofo Kwo…

Simple things first – where are you guys from?

Finland – Helsinki is the base, but one member is based in Haarlem (Netherlands) and one is based in Bodö, Norway while the last one is in Helsinki.

How did you meet?

We all (3 members – Ted Egger, Kimmo Lindholm & Janne Winther) met in Amsterdam. But Bofo Kwo, Bomari & Wamufo (the characters) all met on a remote Island.

How long have you been playing as a band?

Since June 2014 but we all played in different bands together since 2010.

Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?

It is based on a novel and characters made by Ted Egger called Bofo Kwo – Legend of a Cannibal King. The story is about a cannibal in a remote island who “adopts” two albino twins and hunts down the other tribes and kills, burns then eat their flesh to acquire the powers of their enemies. The story follows them as they transport to another planet and travel space on an adventure that continues over the next volumes. The first four chapters is also the first Bofo Kwo release, the songs all have lyrics from each chapter of the novel so they complete each other. The idea came to us after watching a documentary about cannibals in Papua New Guinea and to try to combine tribal with sci-fi.

What are your influences?

Behemoth, Satyricon, Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, The Covenant, Bitch Alert, Dimmu Borgir, Soilwork, Megadeth, Mayhem, Iron Maiden, Immortal, God Seed, Vivaldi, Bill Bailey, Beethoven, NASA, MK ULTRA, and Giorgio A. Tsoukalos.

Describe your music. What makes you unique?

We land in the mysterious dimension between grunge, metal, black metal and classical music. Our sound is very unique and has been noted in the media as something fresh and new compared to the established bands in the same genre, which are bands such as Satyricon and Behemoth. Our grunge influences, together with the full storytelling (by Ted) and the production made by Kimmo (Wamufo) has also got us noticed.

Jannes’ (Bomari) specialized vocals have also been something that sets us aside from the masses. The reviews we had from our first release have pointed out our originality and innovation. We don’t really sound like any of the bands we are influenced by or established bands. Our music is based on the emotion the story conveys.

Do you have any particular lyrical themes?

Yes, all the lyrics are picked off the chapters of our ongoing novel. The story is a mix between gruesome gore and space time fantasy.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?

Our live show is a well planned production with props, blood and soundscapes. The costumes are designed by Janne (Bomari) and so is the makeup with ideas from all of us.

When we started this project we were not sure we would play live. After the first single in 2014 we spent a lot of time on other projects, it was not until 2017 we decided to join Amnezia Music Management and released our first EP – Legend of a Cannibal King. In May 2018 we signed with Metal Coffee PR and a week later we signed with Sliptrick records for all our future releases. By then we realized we had to start playing live so the last part of 2018 and from now on we have been planning a very special live show including 2 different sets and costumes, props etc.

We intend to present this live show in relation to our next album which will contain 7 chapters continuing the story with a lot of tribal and cannibalistic inputs, and space themed stage props.

We have never played live with this line-up as from the start we were not intended to become a live band. We will do our first shows in 2019

What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?

Two stories from other bands we played together in and with:

Early when we all met in 2010 we played in different bands but we also helped each other’s bands, standing in on various instruments. So a late night in Amsterdam at rock club the Cave in May 2012 we had a 3 band lineup where Ted and Kimmo played with 2 different bands. When it was time for the headliner (which was Kimmo’s band), we were on with a singer/guitarist plus Kimmo on bass. Since they had no drummer I (Ted; Bofo Kwo) was standing in. After a series of mishaps and dropped bass guitars somehow the bouncer of the club took Kimmo outside for a “cigarette”, while I was left alone with the singer/guitarist to finish the headline set. This was two songs into the set! Despite that the performance went great and when were done Kimmo was back in the venue somehow. It was grungy and confusing times so I don’t recall everything, but we have been back to that venue rocking it again. Aram the Cavelord is a rock/metal patron of Amsterdam and loads of great bands pass by this venue.

Normally when Ted’s old grunge band booked shows we had a rumour of being a bit unpredictable and messy, especially with what we bring on stage and what I (Ted) say to the audience. So at one release party for our new EP we had to play a commercially viable venue (Patronaat, Haarlem), with a full production crew, etc. Already 3 weeks ahead the venue sent information to our former management about a bunch of rules and schedule. The SoapGirls were also on the bill so it was known to get messy on stage and the crowd usually goes berserk when they play. In any case I don’t like to conform, especially as I had such a nice live show planned with loads of delicious dishes such as pudding, carrots and chili con carne for the performance. Since I could not bring all my food I hid a Space Muffin (Special muffins they have here in Holland) in my pants, and once I completed the last note of the first song I took out the cake and started eating it while explaining that management had banned us to bring any food on stage and we would be punished severely. The muffin was super dry and crumbled all over stage, and when I tried to wash it down with these weird (think they are made for people who do sports) water bottles the venue has, I spilled water all over the stage floor, so the stage was covered in crumbles and wet stains. I also managed to get it all over my jeans so it literally looked like I peed myself. I never heard anything from the venue about us breaking the rules and they booked other bands of mine later so I suppose they let it slide. I managed to break a mirror during the girls’ set too, but that is another story. Plus Patronaat staff is amazing in general so we are going back with Bofo Kwo too, of course.

What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?

Wamufo – Cheapest knock offs and stuff that we find in trash.

Bomari – Tequila

Bofo Kwo – ENGL amp + the souls of my enemies

What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?

We are still very much promoting our first release: Legend of a Cannibal King.

What are your plans for 2019?

In February we complete the first single for our upcoming album. Then we start promoting the album with live shows and via press/media. Our goal this year is to grow our fanbase and establish as a very unique live act and to release our very first songs via Sliptrick records which has been a great help in us evolving and motivational wise. Ted wants his first Golden Gods award at the end of this year!

If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before! 

We would like to support Satyricon, Dimmu Borgir, Behemoth or Blood of Angels (Crazy good Metal Coffee PR band and also signed to Sliptrick Records).

In our other bands we love to play with different kind of genres, so for Bofo Kwo we would like to combine with any of our friends bands for the support act; Acid Pussy (Amsterdam), The SoapGirls (Cape Town), Flight of Fire (Boston), Suomen Pojat (Helsingborg Sweden), Ariel’s Attic (Canada), Dirty Chakras (Amsterdam), Infantry (Zandaam), Shice Squad (Hamburg), The Mis-Made (Australia), Nöyze (Montreal), Haunted Heart (Toronto) or Flying Vincents (Amsterdam).

Finally a pure 3 band Sliptrick Records bill where Blood of Angels headlines, Dirty Rats (Australian sensation) second band and opening is Bofo Kwo.

From previous Band of the Day, Ruben Hultman: What phase of the creation process do you find most difficult and how do you cope with that?

Definitely depends on the song. Luckily we can struggle on different things on different songs so it never gets boring. Record, listen, repeat works for me (Wamufo)

To convert the initial idea to a final product all three members can be proud of. I try to push the other band members to the point they get annoyed and produce, for myself it is hard to cope with because I want an idea to be ready directly but as my band members state, history takes time to make, “Helsinki was not built in one week” (Bofo Kwo)

From another BotD, Hollowstar: If you could add one extra member to your band, from all of the musicians in the world (dead or alive), who would it be?
And from Oceans: Why?

Dirk van Buren / Megadeth – live drummers that can play our songs are hard to come by, he also played for Soilwork which is amazing!

Bofo Kwo: facebook | bandcamp

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