OLAV DOWKES (BOKASSA): “This Was The First Time We Didn’t Stress For Ten Days Straight Making An Album”

Bokassa band photo
Photo: Troll Toftenes

Norwegian Heavy Rock band Bokassa recently released their fourth album entitled All Out Of Dreams on February 16th. The band’s drummer Olav Dowkes took the time to talk with Metal Express Radio about their latest album, working with Lou Keller of Sick Of It All on their single entitled “Garden Of Heathen”, touring with Metal Legends such as Metallica and Judas Priest, and more. Check out the chat below!

Metal Express Radio: Your band, Bokassa released their fourth album entitled All Out Of Dreams on February 16th, what can you tell fans about your band’s latest release?

Dowkes: For me it’s our best album yet, because it encompasses, in my opinion, our best chops within the punk, rock and metal genre.

MER: What was the writing and recording process like, being your fourth album with your band?

Dowkes: The writing is mostly done by our singer and guitarist Jørn, and usually he sends Bård and me mockups that are pretty much finished, and then we work on translating those GarageBand projects onto our instruments and making it sound like us. The recording was done in rural Denmark, which for those that are unfamiliar is the most laidback and beautiful place one could make a heavy album like this one. This was the first time we didn’t stress for ten days straight making an album, and due to the studio’s owner and engineer Tue Madsen being the chill Dane that he is, I can say that the whole experience was bliss!

MER: How was it working with Lou Koller from Sick Of It All on the single entitled “Garden of Heathen?”

Dowkes: Again this came together with the help of Tue Madsen, who has worked with Sick Of It All on several albums. So he texted Lou about singing on a song and he agreed, and that was that! Another SOIA fun fact about this album is that we actually use the same snare that they did on one of their albums.

MER: You’ve released two other songs from your new album, what kind of feedback have you received?

Dowkes: All the singles have received great feedback from our fans, and as long as they’re happy, we’re happy!

MER: You have a handful of open air festivals scheduled for this year, which ones are you mostly looking forward to playing and why?

Dowkes: Wacken will be awesome to return to, and I’m really looking forward to Resurrection Fest in Spain as well. Also Summer Breeze in Germany is one we’ve always wanted to do, so that one too will be fun I reckon.

MER: Aside from your festival schedule, what do you see as plans for you and the rest of your band?

Dowkes: We’re starting our Norwegian tour at the end of February, and will be doing Norwegian dates until late April, before the festival season kicks off this summer. We’re working on doing club shows in Europe and the UK in the fall, so hopefully that will fall into place soon so we can announce some dates!

MER: Who do you hope to tour with that you haven’t and why?

Dowkes: Clutch is a band we’ve always dreamed about playing with, they’re the coolest rock outfit out there and, in my opinion, no drummer alive can match JP Gaster’s grooves and pocket.

MER: In just a few short years, you’ve been hand picked by Lars Ulrich himself to tour with Metallica, have toured with Judas Priest, and have had a Norwegian Grammy nomination to name a few, how does it feel to accomplish so much in a short period of time as a band?

Dowkes: When you look back at our accomplishments like that it is certainly surreal, to have done all that from our humble beginnings, and without a team behind us making it all happen, makes it feel a little more special as well. It feels surreal and weird but yet not undeserved, as it’s the songs and live performances that have gotten us there, so I am at least proud as well as humbled by it all.

MER: How is it playing open air festivals as opposed to playing club shows? Is there any you prefer?

Dowkes: Depends on the club, audience and festival really, it’s hard to say that one is better than the other, because it’s more or less the same thing in the end, you have to give the audience the best possible show imaginable, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a huge festival or a tiny club. But then again, catering is usually better at festivals, so let’s pick festivals haha!

MER: Out of your band’s four albums, what is one you would suggest to a new fan and why?

Dowkes: Our debut, Divide and Conquer is probably the best one to start with, it’s in your face and straight to the point, and has a lot of shorter songs as well. After that, probably our latest album, All Out of Dreams, then Molotov Rocktail and then our sophomore album Crimson Riders. That would be my recommended sequence, if someone wanted to check out our entire album catalog.


  • Matt Zaniboni

    Matthew is an interviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He started his passion for music journalism back in his college radio days serving as the Heavy Metal Director at WKKL out of Hyannis Massachusetts. During Matt’s tenure in radio, he has had time working for commercial stations in Boston Massachusetts such as WAAF, WZLX AND 98.5 The Sports Hub before landing with Metal Express Radio. Anytime you want to talk heavy Metal, hockey, Guiness, and dad life, Matt is your guy m/

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