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Marduk: Blood, fire and death in Bucharest on 22nd September

Marduk: Blood, fire and death in Bucharest on 22nd September
BANDS : Marduk

The phone rang just a few minutes after the agreed hour for the interview. The jovial voice of Morgan Håkansson at the other end of the line managed to somehow vanish my nervousness. I invite you to discover the fascination for the real man behind Dracula's myth, the love for music made from the heart and the visions of death in the latest Marduk album Rom 5:12. Last but not least, the band will perform in Bucharest on September 22nd. Don't be shy and go chat a little! Morgan will surely be pleased.


Marduk 2007


Hello! This is Morgan from Marduk!
Hello, hello.
How are you doing?
A little nervous, but now that you called I'm fine. Ok, so... since this is the first time we talk, can you please mention some of the most memorable moments in Marduk's history?
I don't know, there's a lot. I believe that everything is historically in a way, every album, every tour I would consider to be something unique in the career of building the band, you know. So I would believe there's so many that I don't know how to pick anything specific. Hard to say.

Why did you choose the Babylonian god Marduk to name your band?
Because we wanted a name that's very different, we wanted a god of light as a contradiction to what we really represent. Therefore we chose that name.

Yes, that's what I was thinking... that Marduk meant light and you're a black metal band.
Yeah, yeah, we wanted a contradiction for the name, instead of choosing something very typical.

I bet you were asked this question a lot of times before, but you have a track in Romanian language, that is "Dracul va domni din nou in Transilvania".

What is the story behind this track?
Actually it's not only that track, but that was the only track for which we chose a Romanian title, because we did this full concept about the story of Vlad Dracula, about his whole life from the, should I say from the right perspective, not the old shit, not the vampire theme. But I mean, about who he really was, the true reflection over his life.

And what were your sources of inspiration for this?
Actually I've got a lot of books written by, for example, Romanian historians... the most... I'll see if I have the book here. One of the best books written about that is... let me see if I have it here... well... I remember his name was Florescu, he's a Romanian historian that wrote a really good book about it, that I actually got from an exhibition about Romania, I got some books and some picture books and some other historical books as well. There are a lot of things to find if you wanna do about it. I've always been fascinated about the story behind his personality and everything, you know...


Marduk 2006


That's why I asked you this question, because most people when they think about Vlad, they only take the vampire part...
Yeah, exactly, but I think the real man was more fascinating than the fictional made-up. He's a fascinating personality that is interesting to read about. There is also a great Romanian movie made about it. Have you seen that one?

No, no, I haven't.
It was really an old one, it was made in the '60s or something actually.

Than I will look for it.
Unfortunately I can't tell you the title because I don't have it in my head right now, I can't remember it...

Don't worry. If you say it's from the '60s and it's Romanian, I can find it.
I think so, if I'm correctly they've made a movie about it. The Swedish did a documentary about his personality as well, about the lord of Wallachia.

Is that so?
Yeah. We were really fascinated so we did this concept about his real life, how he fought the Ottoman Empire and things like that.

Have you been here in Romania as a tourist?
If I remember correct, I don't think we were close to the border, we've never been in Romania actually. But finally we're actually going there in September.

Yes, I know. So is there something specific you'd like to see while here, or are you coming just for the show?
There's many things that I would like to see in Romania, I would actually like to take my time and travel through the whole Carpathians and everything. But this needs also finding time, you know... I've been planning to go there on vacation because in the Carpathians you have this beautiful wild life, you know, so that's why I'd like to take my time to do it, so many aspects in Romania that are really interesting.

So what expectations do you have about this show?
I don't know, I've never been in Romania, I don't know so much about it. For me it's an honor to finally be able to get there. I don't know what kind of musical scene you have, but I mean, for me it's great to always reach new areas. We play in so many parts of Europe all the time that you always play. And therefore that's what we're trying to do in September, we're gonna play more or less every country from Eastern Europe, so that's what I'm really looking forward to. Not only Romania, but to be in Serbia and in Bulgaria. It's gonna be great just to have been there, be there, talk to the followers there.

And what can we, as fans, expect to see from Marduk on stage?
As always: blood, fire, death.


Morgan @ Inferno Festival 2006


Ok.... In 2001 you released the album "La Grande Danse Macabre" and that meant the beginning of a new musical approach for you. That was quite different from any of your previous works. What determined the change?
I don't think it was such a dramatic change. I mean, as a musician and artist you just follow your desire to create and it turns out the way it does. We don't have any agenda that things should sound and be in a different way. I work on music and I work on lyrics and I work on them becoming one force, you know?

Since then you paid more attention to the songs with mid-tempo, down tuned guitars and death metal vocals, so do you think that "black metal" is still a label that suits the music you are doing?
Absolutely! For me black metal has always been… I wouldn't consider the vocals have changed from one way to another either, but of course we changed vocalists, but I mean, for me black metal is an ideology and it's not a reflection of how vocals sound or whatever. For me it's a life style and an ideology. And I still always consider us to be a black metal band.

Related to black metal, it's been linked to Satanism many times. So what does Satanism mean to you? I'm asking because most people tend to see it only as a terribilistic act.
For me it is a way of life, and you know I believe in the triumph of my philosophy and that's always been and will always be. It will always be a part of me.

In 2004 you decided to change the famous Abyss Studio for the Endarker Studio. Considering you recorded, I guess, 8 albums in the Abyss Studio…
Actually we recorded I think, let me see, we recorded I think 4 albums in the Abyss. The first four ones were recorded in the Unisound Studios and the next four ones we recorded in the Abyss Studio and then we changed studios.
Ok, I see. What determined you to change it? Were you not satisfied anymore?
Yes, I was always satisfied to work with Peter, but I mean sometimes you just need to do a change. I mean I still love the World Funeral album, but despite that I think the production turned out to be plastic, to be too digital. I wanted to work in a different way and get a different sound and I just believed in changing studios and doing something different and the bass player we got has his own studio so we decided to record in our home town and his studio.

You also recorded your new album there. Are you satisfied with the result?
Yep. Yes, I really am, because I prefer to work this way. When you travel away and work intensely for two weeks, it's hard to focus in that way that I'd like to. Therefore I can work in my home town, I can go down to the studio when I'm really in the mood for it and I believe that experience reflects in the music as well. You work in a more relaxed way and more dedicated. And that reflects in the music and production.


Rom 5:12


Since I arrived at this point, talking about the new album, can you please tell me how it was received by the media so far?
So far it's actually been overhand and we're getting really great feedback. I mean, that's great, that's great, we're getting good feedback. But we've never been a band that sits down and is really important to us what the media thinks. We do it for us and our loyal supporters and if the media loves it that's fine as well and this time we get really good reflection over it.

Than congratulations!
Yeah, that's nice, but I mean we're still doing it for us to satisfy ourselves. That's the most important thing. We've never done music just for people and media to like it. We work as we do, you know? We live in our own little world.

It's very important to be true to yourselves and to reflect this in the music.
Yeah, otherwise I wouldn't be able to do it. That's the only way to do it, I believe.

The title of the album comes from the Bible, that is Romans chapter 5 line 12. How did you choose this? What made you go for this one?
We actually had a lot of different working titles for the album during the working process and I was working on some lyrical lines inspired by that chapter and I mean… per peccataum mors,  through sin death. And it clicked in my head that it was the perfect title for this album, 'cause it's really a reflection of what the whole album deals with. It deals with a lot of biblical death views and things like that and how people looked upon death during the Baroque era and such things, when they were really religious. Therefore I believe the title in one way… people will think "what the hell does that mean" and they will all have to check it out for themselves and reading those lines they will really understand the reflection of the album.

So should I understand that there is some concept behind this album?
Not really a concept, but it's a theme I would say about death. It's about starring through the eyes of death and look upon death how they looked upon it at that time and how they viewed life and death, you know, and enter a different state of mind.


Morgan @ Party San 2006


You have some guest appearances on this album.
How did you get to work with them?
I mean for example our old vocalist Joakim Göthberg, he's living not very far from me and we thought it would be a pleasure to have him doing something for the tenth album to show the unity we have in blood, we've worked together so many years ago, it shows the connection between the old and the new. Alan from Primordial is also doing some vocal lines and he was also a friend of the band that we met on tour so we just invited him over to Sweden to put some lyrics for us and we flew him over. For me it was magic to see both vocalists work in the studio together.

You also have a new drummer, Lars B. Is he already a full member now?
He's a full member in the band, yeah. Prior to that he did some tryout shows with us in Mexico and he works brilliant, you know? He's dedicated to the course of our music, so it's a delight. He joined, he's right and now we're working very hard together and he's motivated into reaching new plateaus of music, so we're working really well together.

On your website it was said that you're gonna record a video for the song "Cold Mouth Prayer". Did you record it?
No, we actually just got home from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine so we didn't have time to do it. We hope to start to record it very soon and maybe get it done before we go out in Europe in May. Otherwise we do it when we come home. We still have a few options on who we're gonna work with so we're just gonna see. It's a bit stressful.

Now I wanted to ask you a little something about your label, Blooddawn Productions. Are you still using it to produce your own records?
Yes, we still have the label. We're actually gonna try to sign some bands to it in the future as well.

That was one of my other questions.
Yeah, yeah, we just need some time because now we have to focus on touring, but after that I'm working on a few bands that I might want to have signed to the label. We just have to wait to see a bit.

Why did you choose to work this way? Isn't this harder than signing a contract with a well established label?
In a way, because we still have a contract with a label, I mean we have our own etiquette Blooddawn, while Regain takes care of the distribution and printing and such things. But when we left Osmose in 1999 I didn't want to become a slave to any new label so I got this offer from Regain to have my own label with full control and they would take care of the distribution. We own and control the things and they take care of the pressing. It's a great opportunity in a way to work.


Marduk - almost current line-up (except Emil)


Are you working on something else right now, or just focusing on music?
Right now I'm just focusing on that because right now we're gonna start rehearsing next week for the upcoming European tour in May, then we're booking some festivals for the summer and in August we go to Australia and then in September we do this full Eastern European tour.

And the U.S. not?
We started to work on that as well, and also a South American tour. I'm just starting to work on that right now and I'm doing it myself because I don't have any management and things like that. I believe in taking care of my own business.

I was asking about the U.S. because I know you had some problems there with the visa.
Yeah, and probably we're still gonna have, but I think it's gonna work out. It just takes some time to sort it out, but it will work out and we will be there as well. We'll gonna tour all around the world with this album.

Do you consider yourself a spiritual person in anyway? Do you believe in something?
Yep. I put the spirit before the flesh.

And how would you define freedom… of speech, of belief, of anything? Do you see yourself as a free person?
I believe to be a free person because of my beliefs I make myself free in any way that I would live. I would always be a free person. That's the ultimate way of my philosophy. And freedom… what does it mean?… To be able to do everything I want to do and that I would do though I would live in any regime and all because I believe my philosophy stands over everything else.

What do you think about the actual black metal scene?
Both good and bad. I mean in a good way that it exploded and a lot of bands got the opportunity and recognition they deserve while a lot of crap bands ride the winds of other people's work.

Are there any bands you respect for the music they make?
I respect a lot of bands in both black and death metal. Those bands that I feel are dedicated and do it because of their own will and believe it and triumph in it, you know.

And what is the band you respect the most? Not necessarily a black metal one.
I don't know which band I respect the most. I mean it's equal between the bands I respect. I respect them all equally.


Morgan @ Wacken 2005


What do you think it's humanity's most important accomplishment?
I don't know. Warfare maybe.

And it's worst failure?
In a way, humanity. [n.a. Hearing my laughter:] In a way, yeah... I still believe in the law of the nature. That's what I believe in. Be the wolf among sheep. The survival of the strong. That's the ultimate way for mankind to live.

If you would have absolute power for one day, what would you do?
It's hard to decide what I would do with that. It depends on the situation. Hard to say actually.

The last question would be about your future plans.
The immediate future plans are about touring, that would keep us busy until the end of the year, I believe. Right now we're working on this touring, we're focused on getting out and it will take some time to get all the touring done, and after that I already have a strong wish for the next album.

Ok, so that was it. Thanks for doing this interview.
Thank you! Great to get in done. I know there were some problems to get hold of you, I tried to call earlier and it didn't work to call to Romania. I don't know why.
Me neither…
Yeah, yeah. Where do you live in Romania, by the way?
In Bucharest. So I will definitely be seeing you in September.
I'm looking forward to seeing you there, than.
Ok. Thank you very much for your time and… enjoy the rest of the day.
Thank you! You too!

Autor: Sake, Nebelhexa
Vezi galeriile trupelor: Marduk

   April 29, 2007  | 43 Comments  | 73664 Views « BACK

Comment on: Marduk: Blood, fire and death in Bucharest on 22nd September

  • Oh, goodie..... can't wait....cate zile mai sunt? :)

    1. Posted by SERGHEI | 01 Mai 2007 22:11
  • Un articol f. bun, inteligent si plin de lucruri interesante.
    La mai multe de acelasi fel!

    2. Posted by razvan berkowitz | 02 Mai 2007 00:11
  • Foarte bun interviul! felicitari Nebel & Sake!

    3. Posted by 13 | 02 Mai 2007 13:44
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