Blistering.com: But where do you see the black metal scene going today?Mortuus: The thing is, this question is almost impossible to answer, because a portion of the scene is going in one direction, while the other one is different. There is only one path for me, as far as Iím concerned.
Blistering.com: So what is black metal to you, then?
Mortuus: Black metal to me is as simple as it gets: itís metal music with a Satanic, destructive message, or a devil worshipping message. Thatís it, nothing else.
Blistering.com: And thatís what Funeral Mist has been from the beginningÖ
Mortuus: Of course!
Blistering.com: Is there a specific band that really made you decide to start your own thing? Some group that inspired you to channel your own vision?
Mortuus: To be honest, I canít think of one. I feel like Iíve always had it in me and I was aware of it. Whatever bands I would have listened to in the beginning, I would still be here today doing my own thing, or playing the same songs tonight.
Blistering.com: You learned to play guitar on your own?
Mortuus: Yes. However, I donít consider myself a guitaristÖ.
Blistering.com: But you wrote all this amazing music with Funeral Mist, and you recorded everything yourselfÖ
Mortuus: Yes Funeral Mist is all me. I played guitar for Triumphator, also I played guitar on some Marduk albums. But first and foremost I consider myself a vocalist. Thatís what I think my biggest strength is. When I write music for the guitar, I really write it for the vocals, if you know what I mean. Itís vocals that I think of first.
Blistering.com: So in other words Marduk really gives you the platform you need to spread this plague on a larger massÖ
Mortuus: Yes thatís why I joined this band in the first place, itís what Morgan and I talked about, especially when it comes to lyrics.
Blistering.com: Were you nervous the first time you went on stage with them?
Mortuus: I was not nervous but was actually not a very good show for me, I think. When I look back at it now, I realize that a lot of my energy went into trying to remember the lyrics. I wanted to be really well rehearsed so I could focus on my presence on stageÖbut instead of that I had to think of the what the following line was going to be. I think that affected the outcome, in my views, anyway.
Blistering.com: Recording Plague Angel had to be a very interesting experience. Did you have to adapt yourself to the albumís songs, did Morgan ask you to do anything different than you would have normally done it?
Mortuus: No, I didnít concern myself with what they might have expected from me. I went in and did it my own way. I look at it like this: This is what I want my black metal to be like, sound like and feel like. If the band has a problem with it they can obviously tell me and we could work it out, but since Iíve been with Marduk itís never been the case. Everyone seems happy so itís ok.
Blistering.com: ďMahanataĒ got a lot of mixed reviewsÖ
Mortuus: I know.
Blistering.com: Either it was taken as it was and got praised, or it was just seen less intense than Salvation and it got destroyed, there was no in between. I personally love it. Is it what you wanted it to be? Itís definitely different than its predecessorÖ
Mortuus: In a way, it is and it is not. I totally stand behind this album. First off all, I never ever recorded any music just for the sake of being different, for wanting to stand out. I donít believe in that. I stayed in the studio until I was 100% satisfied with the result like I always have; until my original vision was fulfilled. If it takes me ten years to record something, then so be it, thatís what it takes. Secondly, it was not my intention to record Salvation II. Iíve already recorded Salvation so I never had a plan to record a follow-up. For me itís not a step up or a step down, I donít see it in these terms. Itís more like a step on the side, if anything. This album is all I wanted it to be, so take it or leave it, thatís how I see it. I donít concern myself with what others do, I donít try to top anyone.
Blistering.com: Which is not what Marduk is doing eitherÖ
Mortuus: Absolutely. We create our own path.
Blistering.com: So today I got to listen to the new Marduk album, Wormwood, set for release in late SeptemberÖI was totally blown away, itís so crushing! Plague Angel is definitely my favorite after Panzer Division. Rom 5:12 had a lot of fresh ideas and it took me a while to get over the fact that it wasnít as straightforward.
Mortuus: Ok, if thatís how you see itÖ
Blistering.com: Wormwood just breathes of Funeral Mist, it feels soaked in its blood, I feel Mahanataís influence all over it. In my eyes itís obvious this is your imput, because Mardukís never really been so sophisticated, so varied and occult. How much of it is written by you?
Mortuus: Look, I wrote some of the music, I wrote some of the lyrics. The most important thing is that just like the last two albums, Wormwood is recorded by Marduk, as a whole unit. It doesnít matter who did what, who came with what idea. We are as one.
Blistering.com: Where do you see this band going in the future? We can already talk about a great pastÖ
Mortuus: Actually, we are not at a point right now where we can think so far ahead. Weíre just about to release this album, and weíre touring a lot in the near future. Weíre taking it day by day. Who knows what will happen years from now, weíre not worried about that.
Blistering.com: After listening to Wormwood today, this seems a different band almost. The music has become much more sophisticated, much darker and blasphemic. The band seems rejuvenated, it doesnít seem like these years slowed you down at all.
Mortuus: Actually weíre hungrier than weíve ever been. And you will see that on stage tonight.