Marduk Interview w/ Morgan
26th February 2015
Interview by Jarod Lawley
Marduk guitarist Morgan is renowned for his fast riffs, but who knew he spoke at such a pace too! We were delighted to have the chance to chat to him before he went on stage and demolished The Underworld in London, UK.
You’ve been touring with Belphegor for about a week and a half, how’s it been going?
So far so good. I mean we started out in Holland, Belgium and then up to the UK, it’s great to be back on the road marching with a band that we also appreciate so it’s a good combination.
You’ve been playing with some really good supports this tour with Belphegor, Bliss Of Flesh and now Ethereal, do you think it’s important to have good quality support bands for people who come and see you?
I don’t know, but it’s always a better option if there’s interesting bands because sometimes we end up with a lot of crappy bands aswell, you never know, sometimes the booking agents put together strange packages. It’s a great package here, there’s something there for everybody.
You’re back at The Underworld again, do you like this venue then?
I like it one way and in one way not. I mean it’s a very cool place to play in the aspect that it’s always very boiling and like a cauldron, very sweaty, but it’s not the best venue, not the best equipment, but whatever, I don’t mind.
Have you had any stand out shows so far?
I think all shows are standing out in their own way if you look upon it from different aspects. They’re all unique in their own way.
Is there any where you’ve played where you haven’t played before?
We played in Plymouth, we’ve never played there before.
How was that?
It was ok. I don’t know so much about the area regarding extreme metal but it was ok. It’s always great to play other areas because most of the time you play London and maybe one more show so it’s great to do different places once in a while. We also did a few years ago play Bristol, Leicester, Cardiff and those places a few years ago, but it’s just great to play new areas.
Your new album Frontschwein, this has been out for about a month, how have you felt it’s been received?
The reviews and so seem to be good and it’s charting higher than ever and it’s charting higher than ever, but I don’t know what that means. I feel proud of the album and that’s the most important thing for me. It’s great to be out marching, playing those songs live.
What chapter do you think this represents for Marduk?
It represents the thirteenth chapter. I don’t know, I don’t really sit down and reflect things inthose ways. For me it’s another album, it’s our thirteenth album and all the albums to me represent something special and are the pillars on which we stand as a band. So I’m proud of it and it’s great to have it out and we’re looking forward to new stuff.
Now you’re on album thirteen do you find it’s getting harder to write new material or it’s getting easier?
In one way I’d say it’s easier because we have more ideas and more inspiration, but it’s hard to focus on what to put on the album because we have so many ideas that it’s complicated to get them in order. For example, with this album we knew what concept we were gonna have for the album and had probably five or six lyrics that didn’t make it onto the album and a few songs because we put a lot of energy into making the music and lyrics to become one unit, where one gets reflected by the other in the perfect way, so it’s good.
You are carrying on with your interest in World War Two, personally where does your interest in this come from?
I don’t know. I was one of these kids who built models being young and then watching movies when you were young and starting to read history, and now just when it comes to World War TwoI think I have probably around 550 books related to it; but I read a lot of other history as well it’s just that World War Two works very well to write soundtracks to those happenings. It works very well for us.
Now that you’re on album thirteen, where do you look to go ahead in the future?
It’s not like we sit down and plan it just comes naturally. When we’re at the end of one session for an album we always have a gut feeling of where to go and the basic themes for the next album which we also do this time. So we’re gonna march across as many territories as possible and after that get back to work on the next but we’re probably gonna take some time. But we have a lot of touring coming up, we have a lot of visions and ideas.
Looking back over your history, you’ve had several vocalists come and go, has this helped keep things fresh for Marduk? Or has it been more of a problem?
I don’ t think it has been a problem, I think it’s a challenge in one way to change vocalists, but if you work with people throughout the years sometimes you grow apart and people wanna do different things and give different visions in life so sometimes you need to have a change. I don’t think it’s necessary but sometimes it will happen within bands. Some bands can have the same line-up for thirty years and some work very hard together and for just a few years together. I don’t think it’s been a problem.
This one has been together for quite a long time now, so this is working well?
Yes, I would say so. It bought the new a aspect to the band and new dimensions. The way Mortuus uses his voice is like an instrument rather than a vocalist who just sings, and he’s bought a lot of visionary ideas so it’s been a great combination for him to work with us.
Do you think he works well on stage as well compared to the others?
Absoloutely! I agree.
Looking back again over your history you’ve changed quite a bit from the death metal days of Dark Endless. Now you have more of a black metal sound don’t you.
I don’t know how you define black metal, for me it’s about the vision and the idea and the belief, it’s nothing about the musical side. For me black metal isn’t to have screamy vocals and be a retard, it’s about a vision and the idea behind it. We always had a lot of inspiration from death metal, everything from Possessed, Morbid Angel, Immolation, those kinds of bands were a huge inspiration and I still think you can hear that in our sound aswell.
So you’re more of an old school death metal fan?
I don’t know how you define old school. I like death metal if it’s good or bad, I’m tired of all these “old school” things; for me it’s death metal or not death metal, black metal or not black metal.
So how do you consider yourselves now in your current state?
I think we have been black metal all the time when it comes to our philosophy and our vision behind the band, but we have been inspired by both black and death metal bands. I think there’s a very thin line between what you call black and death metal. For example; Bathory- you can call that death metal or you can call it black metal. For me the early Morbid Angel days would go into the label of being black metal, even Celtic Frost.
Do you wish we could go back 25 years where there was no distinction between the two?
In a way because some things are getting ridiculous and people have so many different views about calling things this and that. What matters is, is it genuine? And is it good or bad? Whatever music you are talking about.
Finally, you are playing tonight at The Underworld, what are you going to give the fans?
I think we are gonna deliver a good selection of songs from the new album and try to do some songs from the older albums as well, try and do a good combination. I believe in playing a lot off the current album because that is what we’re promoting right now, and also try and get some glimpses of the past as well; some songs from not all albums, we couldn’t do it, but we try to do something from every album more or less, maybe one or two not coming in there, but we’ll see.
Thanks very much Morgan