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Interview with Håvard Ellefsen (MORTIIS)

Interview with Håvard Ellefsen (MORTIIS)
BANDS : Mortiis

Immediately after he left the Emperor, Mortiis (Håvard Ellefsen) has created its own stylistic niche, becoming a character for cult, mysterious aura is amplified so his rare interviews to the press, and the mask trol , which has long been the symbol of the musical project.
For nearly two decades Mortiis has seen many changes of style and image that he himself Håvard defined as "age" period of time depending on the direction characterized by the band approached the music at that time.
Today, Mortiis is on a punch to open new chapter in his career. He released an experimental disc last fall (Perfectly Broken), which is like a preamble to the future studio album, The Great Deceiver.
But the really good news is that Mortiis will perform for the first time in Romania on March 1, with Combichrist. Bucharest map was included in the tour "Monsters on Tour" and so I thought it a good time as Mortiis us answer some questions, as preface to what happens next Tuesday The Silver Church club scene.

Metalfan: Hello and welcome to I know you are in the middle of an European tour right now, could you please tell how was the tour so far? In which country/location did you receive the most enthusiastic reaction from the public?

Mortiis: Hey! Well hard to say. Moscow was pretty awesome. I really liked our show in Koeln, Germany as well. But most of the shows have been really good so far.


Metalfan: I've read that you had an incident at the first show, something involving Levi's rib and an adrenaline rush. Could you tell us what happened?
Mortiis: Ah, not much. I guess he slipped on stage or I threw him to the floor or something. I can´t really remember, but I remember when he was laying on the floor, I stomped his chest and I guess he broke a rib. It´s happened before. It´s not intentional, but I usually get an adrenaline rush on stage, and then shit just happens, haha.

Metalfan: On October 10th you have released a new studio album, called Perfectly Defect. You   made the album available for free downloading on your official website. Why did you choose such an option and not the usual selling procedure?
Mortiis: Because we had the power to do whatever we wanted, and I thought it would be a good thing on several levels: 1. Because I think the fans deserved something free, as a thank you from us for hanging around for so long. 2. It was a pretty good PR vehicle to get some extra attention. I don´t think a lot of bands at our level, would be willing or able to do this, and I certainly don´t think  many labels would be willing to give a whole album away for free. Perfectly Defect will be released as a regular LP/CD at a later date as well, I´d hate to only have it out digitally. As a collector of vinyl etc. myself, of course I also want it out in traditional formats.

Metalfan: Is this formula (the free download) only for Perfectly Defect or do you intend to apply it to your future releases also?
Mortiis: I don´t know. We don´t have specific plans to give away everything we do for free, but I am all for giving away certain things… Videos, singles, whatever. As long as it´s a cool promotional vehicle, I am all for it. Time will tell what we decide to do next time.

Metalfan: Speaking of your last album, how was the feedback from the fans and media concerning this disc until now?
Mortiis: Very good, in my oppinion. I was concerned for a little while, as it´s a very experimental sounding album. I wasn´t sure if people would understand it, but at the end of the day, I don´t really care. I started making music for myself and that is still the main reason I do it. If I like it, I´ll put it out, simple as that.

Metalfan: Listening to Perfectly Defect I've noticed a wide variety of musical styles, ranging from alternative rock to industrial and ambient. One might have the impression that you are not sure about which musical direction should Mortiis take. Does the same diversity apply to The Great Deceiver too?

Mortiis: I actually know exactly what I am doing at all times. I just prefer not to force music in any direction, I prefer to let whatever happens happen. If a piece has an ambient sound, I´m not going to try to force it in some other direction. I always let stuff take it´s natural course. I guess I could leave stuff off the record, which I do many times if it doesn´t work, but Perfectly Defect was always an experimental record and, as said before, if I like something, I´ll leave it on. It will be used. I don´t believe in pussyfooting around my own music. If it works, it´s on. Simple as that. The Great Deceiver turned out to be a more commercial sounding record. All tracks have vocals. It´s a through and through very dark and heavy sounding album.


Metalfan: Although you left Emperor many years ago you are still well-known (at least in the metal scene) as the former bassist of this legendary band.  Do you think that the association with Emperor helped your career as a musician? Are you still in touch with the Norwegian black metal scene?
Mortiis: Couldn´t care less about the black metal scene, to be honest. It was cool back in '93, but I haven´t really been interested in it for many, many years.

Metalfan: You will soon perform in front of the Romanian audience for the first time. In anticipation of this concert, could you give us a few details about the setlist and the show?

Mortiis: We´ll be doing our best. I prefer not to give the setlist away. I don´t see the point in putting that out there, but we`ll be playing some updated older stuff, music from Perfectly Defect and music from The Great Deceiver.

Metalfan: What kind of music do you listen to nowadays, metal or non-metal? Are there some albums that impressed you lately?
Mortiis: I don´t pay attention to current music. I never did and probably never will. I listen to anything that is good, but metal these days don´t interest me much. Metal-wise I prefer to listen to the stuff I grew up with, '70s and '80s stuff. The last stuff I listened to was the American Recordings albums by Johnny Cash.

Metalfan: What is, in your opinion, your biggest accomplishment as a musician and as a person?
Mortiis: To mentally and professionally survive our previous record label´s constant rape of this band, AND to independently record two albums and two videos after the contract was up. We have some really cool shit waiting to be released.

Metalfan: Thank you very much for your time. I am looking forward to see you live on 1st of March.

Mortiis: Thanks, can´t wait to visit Romania. My first ever girlfriend was Romanian. Haven´t seen her in 10 years, haha.

Autor: Dragos P.
Vezi galeriile trupelor: Mortiis

   February 25, 2011  | 0 Comments  | 10833 Views « BACK

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