Lately, it seems like I interview bands that don't need any introductions in our metal world... What could I possibly write about Marduk that wasn't already said? They rule! Nothing more, nothing less. So, maybe without wasting your time, I can give you a short background on the history of their latest album and the rest you can find down below and believe me there are a lot of interested things there. Please, don't send thank you letters when you're done.
So, the trilogy is completed... After "Nightwing" (Blood) and "Panzer Division Marduk" (Fire) the time for (Death) "La Grande Danse Macabre", which means "The Dead's Dance" has come and ends this destructive period in Marduk's career. What's next, you ask? Let's give voice to Legion...
So far you couldn't complain about your tour life but this years appears to be extremely busy...
Totally, we didn't really intend it to be so from the beginning but everything just started adding up and that was awesome. For example we didn't really know what to expect from the US tour because we've never been there before but we really had a great time and when we were done the booking agency just asked us "Hey look, do you want to come back in like 6 months and do a headlining tour for your album?" and we were like "Fuck yeah. That's awesome." This same thing happened in Europe. We were supposed to only do the Christmas Festivals this winter which will be like 12 shows with Cannibal Corpse and Kreator, then when we returned home from the States we went down to Belgium to play together with Motorhead and Judas Priest, the first guy, from the festival site we run into which owns our booking agency, said "Yeah, have you seen your reviews from your US tour? Everything has been going great, you had such a good average, blah, blah, blah... I want you to do a full headlining tour in Europe before jumping on Christmas Fest". Sure. Because of that we had to cancel our South American tour that we originally planned.
It seems like you really enjoyed being here in States.
Yeah, we really had a great time. Bunch of shows were really over the top, people were going ballistic and just thrashing out like hell. Touring States is a really nice way of touring if you compare it to the Europe. It's different, It's more kicked back because in Europe everything is so diehard organized it's pretty much do interviews, get up on stage and then at best you have the time to hang out with people and have a couple beers, get on the bus, next town... but in US you just get your bus or whatever and then it's up to you, it's like "Look, here it's your itinerary, you go do what you want just be on time for shows", which is really cool. Touring US is also so convenient, everything is available all the time it's nothing you'll see in Europe. In Germany you'll be glad if you could get a hotdog without a bread at 3AM but in States everything is so convenient. And people over there are really cool also because... it's like in Europe metal is bigger, we have a bigger draw over here, people are more diehard, old school and it's more like a fashion to be a metalhead, it's this same like being a biker in States. You can do so much which is connected to the subculture so you can live 24/7 being a metalhead no big deal but on the other hand in the US it's like all kinds of people are showing up to the shows which is fucking awesome because that does not happen in Europe. If you are not wearing your bullet belts, biker jacket or this and that pretty much you are not welcome. People are like "Who the fuck are you?" but in the States everyone that just loves music comes to the show and has a great time. It's like so much more solidarity in American scene from that point of view. It was really cool, we really enjoyed it so much. From now on we hope to tour the States as much as we tour Europe.
When you left Osmose Records you had tons of offers from record companies from all over the world but you started you own label, why did you turn them all down and decide to go on your own?
It's awesome to be in control of your own business because you're not playing anybody else's game. You play your own game and you can rewrite the rulebook whenever you want to and that is what we wanted to do. We've been through this for so many years now and we knew that in Europe we had an experience, connections and muscle to pull it off so, why not go for it? We've never been that kind of band that are like total slackers, just like sit around and "Oh let's go to a strip bar and sit there all day long and take it easy". We really want to work for our vision and we only feel alive when we are in the center of the storm. So, when we had a chance to form our own label and just take care of business we took it. We are really satisfied with everything from that point and everything is rolling really well. Today we have a better distribution than Osmose has...
It looks like you already have more connections here than Osmose too. They tried to get Marduk here for the last nine years or so; you did this in your first independent year.
Yeah, they failed so hard all the time. They were really unwilling to make any license deals and stuff like this and I know that because some people at Century Media tried to do that while being in on Metal Blade, trying to get Merduk, Immortal and Enslaved as a license on Metal Blade and Osmose fucked things up so bad... they wanted to keep all the money. So, we thought that the label that we've heard the most nice stuff about that was the most sincere, trustworthy and hardworking was Century Media and we made a license deal with those guys. The deal is that they're taking care of distribution and promotion and we supply them with all the material. They've been doing an awesome job because the States opened up immediately and our albums can be found in almost every music store.
"La Grand Dance Macabre" is a closing part in blood-fire-death trilogy; can we call it a concept album?
Totally. It was just an idea that we toyed around with before doing "Nightwing" that we should do a trilogy based on what we feel is the essence of the metal scene, blood-fire-death. So, "Nightwing" with this like vampire theme and medieval battle it's going to be the blood album. Then we wrote the fire album "Panzer Division Marduk" all that hellfire inferno that we are describing in more up to date battle stuff that was bound to be the fire album and then we wanted to do this death album so we wrote "La Grand Dance Macabre". For the music we wanted like more somber approach and a bit darker to get kind of funeral mood. All the lyrics are based on the topic of death in one-way or another of course but it's very loosely based. It's not a concept album like any King Diamond releases but all lyrics have a link to death. For instance 'Funeral Bitch' deals with a girl who get off when she attends funerals or 'Obedience Unto Death' which is about being so convinced that what you are doing is right that actually you don't give a fuck about if you die as long as what you believe in can remain. Or like 'Azrael' which is about archangel of death or 'Bonds of Unholy Matrimony' about death of the saints...
What historic event is hidden behind 'Pompa Funebris 1660'?
It's the biggest state funeral ever in Sweden. It was at the time when Sweden was a big power and we were one of the mightiest countries in Europe. At that time when the King called the X (tenth) died they wanted to show the outside world, hey we're Sweden, we're badass, look how much we will do to celebrate our king. So they had this funeral procession, which was totally insane. All through Stockholm the entire Swedish army rode through the city. All the horses were having specially designed armor and knights were wearing specially designed golden armor just for that funeral. That is the historic anecdote behind that one.
You again didn't leave dry skin on the church in 'Death Sex Ejaculation' and 'Jesus Christ...Sodomized'?
Yes, 'Death Sex Ejaculation' is about a girl that's fucking a demon and she's dying at this same time as she's coming. I thought that was pretty brutal... [laughs] 'Jesus Christ...Sodomized' is pretty much one of those 'fuck off' songs that we love to write. It's in this same vein as, for instance, 'Fistfucking God`s Planet' or 'Christraping Black Metal' that we've done on previous album. It's really nasty lyric about everything that we think is wrong with Christianity.
What do you do during those 'two weeks' when you are not on the road? Do you have time for your hobbies?
No, not really. I go out and do so much stuff that sometimes I barely go to sleep. [laughs] Rehearsing, working with the label or pumping iron, building up my body so it could last during the tours [laughs] is pretty much what I've been doing so far.
I know that Marduk is your life but can you see a reason for giving it up? What would you do then, would you start a new band, get a regular job?
Ohhhh... I can only see one reason of not going on with Marduk and that would be the death of Morgan because I know he would never quit. But if he died, since he's the only original member and this is his band from the beginning, I wouldn't want to do it without him because that wouldn't be a Marduk for me. I know the other guys think that way too. If that happened, I mean knock on wood; it's the last thing I would want to happen, I'd say 'fuck it.' I would always be around, this is what I want to do and I'd always be around in one shape or another but in that day of sorrow I would have to figure out where to go from there. Apart from that there's no stopping us.
Marduk achieved quite a lot as a band but do you still have any unfulfilled dreams?
Yeah, more of everything, I guess. We're still hungry. We have achieved so many of our goals like going here or going there, doing this or that but nothing will ever be so good that it can't be better. Making our career more successful is the challenge as I see it.
What's your point of view on bands like Cradle of Filth, Dimmu Borgir that are gaining some popularity outside of black metal circles? Do you think those bands misrepresent black metal or help it grow?
I don't have anything against that at all because why would you release records if you didn't want to get on with your band? Why would you even release demo tapes for people to buy why not hand it over for free to your friends? The underground is a perfect growing ground for young bands and back when Marduk and others started out there was nothing else but an underground because black metal was not getting signed except for two underground labels. I wouldn't mind being as big as fucking Madonna or whatever but only as long as I do what I do and as long as we are Marduk. That is why we work; we want everything to be better. Most people for up here who just scream about that, stuff should be true or fake or trendy or whatever they got into this when it was already a major trend. So, who are they to judge bands like us or Immortal from being bigger than them? That screaming is pretty much jealousy I think. As long as you're true to yourself and you do what you want to do I don't see a problem in a band being big. It's like one thing when you become so gay as, for instance Celtic Frost, from being this awesome band and all of a sudden they turn into fucking Poison or something. That was such a fucking gay thing to do! Just because they thought they would get bigger by total sell out and that I think sucks really bad. But if you just keep on working and do such a great job in what you do then people will actually appreciate you so much that you'll become "big".
I know you are working on new album; do you have any new songs written already if so what can we expect?
Yes, we are currently writing material for our next album and it's going to be a natural continuation of where "La Grand Dance Macabre" finished off. It's going to have some like early brutal, hysterical tracks on it and some songs that are going to be very diverse. They are going to have like both heavy and mid paced and fast parts in them. And also we are working on this long, epic song, which is going to conclude the album. It's going to be like 10 minutes long or something like that. We're working on that right now and we'll see what we'll come up with but some of the riffs that we have so far I think are really top-notch quality. Anybody who likes Marduk won't be disappointed. Plus not only that, I can also reveal that next year we're going to record a second "Panzer" album which is going to be released like 4 months after next full-length. So, it's going to be mini CD with most likely 4 songs and it's going to be so fucking brutal, it will blow people away.
I've also heard that you're planning on doing a special box set...
The plans are to have a booklet with all old lyrics that were never released before, biography, discography, all the lineups and a lot of unreleased photos from our personal collections. There're going to be two CDs packed with material like unreleased tracks, songs we wrote for other people that turned into something or that didn't turn into something, some pre-production stuff like studio rehearsals of songs we never released, a ton of shit. Also VHS video with like TV shows we've been on, live shows... a lot of stuff... That's is going to be out in November and we're going to press 10000 copies which are going to be numbered and after that it's gone.
One box is going to be mine...
Entered: 10/15/2001 5:24:41 PM