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Doomsday Metal

Style is an important part of music. This is especially true when it comes to metal. It's not about profit or playing charades, it's about making music for the sake of music and being yourself. Fuck the posers, so to speak.Marduk is one of Sweden’s...
February 1, 2007, 12:00am

This T-shirt, with the slogan “Coming soon to a church near you,” was made in the nineties, inspired by the article where Varg confessed his guilt to the church burnings. Apparently Varg isn’t entirely happy about it. The owner wants to remain anonymous.

“We got these T-shirts from a buddy who has been running a metal magazine for 20 years. They’re very old, and there are very few around.” Fuck Me Jesus long sleeve T-shirt available from one of the greatest shops in the world, Neseblod in Oslo. Place a bid at neseblodrecords.com.

“I got this on the internet in 2003. Out of all the T-shirt I own, this one has been with me to the most binges.” Marduk, Those of the Unlight sleeveless T-shirt.

Danne, Nattramn

“This one I got in 2004 at Rockzone in Stockholm.” Marduk, Panzer Division T-shirt.
Danne

“And here’s a T-shirt I got from a buddy in 2005, the circumstances around the purchase are very dim.” Marduk, La Grande Danse Macabre T-shirt.

Danne

“I bought this Mayhem T-shirt a year ago, for about €20. If I was a bit younger I would have probably said that I found it on a grave at nightfall after a satanic rite, but I’m no longer in that spirit.”

Charles Johansson

tyle is an important part of music. This is especially true when it comes to metal. It’s not about profit or playing charades, it’s about making music for the sake of music and being yourself. Fuck the posers, so to speak.

Marduk is one of Sweden’s greatest black metal bands and they have a long history behind them: guitarist Morgan Håkansson has a morbid passion for war and singer Mortuus has been around since 1993 with his band Funeral Mist, and when I got asked to interview them about the new album, ROM 5:12, I was thrilled to meet them and see what they were like off stage too.

ROM 5:12 is 51 solid minutes of having your soul ground to pieces; the abhorrence in the music actually crawls into your mind and hates you from the inside. Old singer Emil’s last appearance before leaving the band is explosive, and new singer Mortuus makes you think that “Mean Man” by WASP was written just for him. Irish Primordial singer Alan contributes with some nasty, clean vocals on one track.

In person, Marduk confirmed that they’re creating elitist, raw black metal, but they’re also dead serious about what they’re doing. Mortuus was really honest about his thoughts and beliefs during the interview, and I can assure you that everything you hear on the album is what he is off stage too. It’s not a fake style.

Vice: You’re really into symbols, tell me about the imagery on the new album.

Mortuus: Just look at the cover art. There are some things that symbolise death, like that archer shooting arrows into the living.

You’ve gone straight from obscurity with Funeral Mist to celebrity with Marduk, what’s that like?

I don’t care really, the important thing is the music.

How do you manage to sing like that?

I don’t think about it too much. A great deal of singing is just getting into the right kind of mood.

Like on “Life’s Emblem” when man talks to death, those lines are brutal!

As I said, when I sing I don’t think about it, many times things just flow.

Marduk are killers live, do you practice your show beforehand?

On stage things just come naturally, it’s just the same as when I am in the studio. Now that I write my own lyrics and know them beforehand I’m more relaxed on stage and can express myself better. For the first shows I had to learn a bunch of Marduk songs thoroughly in about two weeks so I spent a lot of energy on just performing them correctly.

I can imagine. Do you have any crazy moments to share from your live performances?

Crazy things happen all the time when you play live, it’s hard to single out any specific moment.

Apart from the music, what hobbies do you have?

I practice a lot of martial arts, mostly kung fu. And it’s not the kind of crap you see in Hollywood movies, it’s real kung fu.

Do have special stage clothes, or is there a T-shirt you prefer?

No, not really. I don’t have any preferences.

What would be an unacceptable appearance if you’re into metal?

All appearances are unacceptable. Ears, nose, eyes… human appearance. It disgusts me.

If you would explain metal to someone who doesn’t like it or doesn’t understand it, what would you say?

First of all, if people don’t like it you shouldn’t try to explain it to them. You shouldn’t try to convince someone to listen to it. Secondly, black metal is not for everyone. I was inspired by my brothers, but my passion for aggressive music came naturally. I really feel that I can identify myself with the music that Marduk creates.

How old are you now?

A thousand years old.

How long have you been listening to black metal?

For a thousand years.

Ok, thank you Mortuus, those were all my questions!

Thank you for the interview.

TOBIAS POGGATS