Olaf Ohl, lead singer of Keltikon

Here is an interview with OLAF OHL, lead singer of Keltikon, Switzerland best Celtic Punk rock band.

Check out his music here

Where did you get the inspiration for starting a Swiss punk Celtic band?

We had a kind of blues rock band first, which didn’t work out, then I met a half Scottish half English guy Ian Duncan, so I founded the band with him. At first we only played acoustic guitar and pipes and so after some months Rino the bass player joined us, then we got our first fiddle player, drummer and …….

You haven’t been going to long, you’ve only been around since 2012 I think, so what’s the feedback so far?

Mostly good!

I see you have even been to the Czech Republic, you’re even doing touring outside of Switzerland?

Yes, yes, that was pretty nice. I love Czech Rep for many years and I go there regularly, twice or three times a year. I got a lot of friends there, I know a punk band there so we organise a little tour last year. We will go there again this year, also we can play at the festivals there

So what about 2015? Any different venues, perhaps London, or even Ireland, maybe!?

Maybe for March the 17th?

St Patrick ’s Day in Dublin?

Would be great!

What was the first Celtic punk album you listened to? Were you into the Pogues, the Dubliners, even Stiff Little Fingers or………..?

For me it was definitely The Pogues, in the 80’s

Why the Pogues?

I don’t know!

I mean you are living in Switzerland!

Because the Pogues are famous all around the world, and even an idiot like me realised this band exits!

What was the very first song you learnt for the band, what was the first number?

It was Lark in the Morning (Traditional Irish song)

Ian came in and it’s also a pipe tune so he came in with the pipe tune, and I found out that there is a real good version from the Johnsons (1960s Irish folk band) which I remember well, from the 60s so we picked this one.

Who is the creative person behind the band?

It’s actually me because I arranged and wrote most of the songs, and I’m doing the bookings for the band.

I have to ask about your last album, what was it called!

‘Agenbite of Inwit’

Yes, what the hell is that!

Inspired by a book of James Joyce, Ulysses, about a woman with a real hard feel for catholic guilt, and ‘Agenbite of Inwit’ means deep remorse or been very sorry for everything. And we wrote up this song because we dedicated it to Dominique Strauss Kahn, Silvio Berlusconi and Donald Trump


They don’t have any ‘Agenbite of Inwit’ in their life.

Yes I seen that in one of your concerts, Ian mentioned Berlusconi and Donald Trump in a concert and I didn’t get the connection!

Yeah, so that’s the reason why!

That album, there is quite a variety in that album, I mean you have your bang, bang guitar music, then some kind of melodies, it is quite an extensive album. I mean you have “Seven Sisters of Seven Seas”, and then you have a bit more rockier tunes, so what was that like making that album? All different kind of influences?

Well it’s more like the pop rock songs were more written by Ian. Actually I like this music too but I tried to get something else in, but I like punk music anyway, I was composing the faster and harder tunes.

It got very good feedback from all the punk websites, I’m sure you have seen. I think you were compared to Neil Young in one website!

To Neil Young!

Yes, did you not see that!

Yes I’ve heard that. Well actually it’s really true I am a huge fan of Neil Young but I would never have thought that anybody can hear that on our album!

Do you have any die-hard fans that follow you around all the time when you are travelling around Switzerland?

There is only one, Alex!

Ha, we already met him!

We have other fans coming regularly, but Alex is with us for nearly every concert.

Have you ever had any article of underwear thrown at you at a gig!? Not Alex’s!

Not yet, as far as I can remember!

(To Alex) Alex is the number one fan over here. Alex, what’s so special about this band, tell me?

Well they are a good band, they have some great music, there great guys, and well they are very friendly, they bring me to the concert and bring me back!

What about the lead singer? I heard he is a bit moody?

Sometimes, sometimes. If he is in a bad mood you shouldn’t talk to him.

He was compared to Neil Young, would you agree with that?

Well, Neil Young is not as good!

Well that’s why you’re the number one fan!

(back to Olaf) We are drinking beer all the time, so what’s the best beer in Switzerland?

Well there are a lot of interesting beers, at the moment I like CHOPFAB very much, it’s a beer brewed in Winterthur. It’s a nice smooth draught beer. It’s the translation of Headless

And what’s your favourite Irish beer?

Well, Smithwicks

So, what’s the best pub in the world?

I guess the best pub I was in was in Edinburgh, but I forgotten its name!

If you had to choose Scotland, Ireland or Switzerland what’s your choice?

Well I don’t know, Ireland

But unfortunately I’ve never been there

Shocking, that’s the headline!

I guess I will find a way there soon, with Alex!


An unedited audio version of the interview is here. The “knicker version”

Full article here



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