Lunatic's Serenade

Facebook Twitter Google

Mortiis: The Dark Deceiver
Part Two

Here is part 2 of our interview with Mortiis...

HMS: I have really found that with The Great Deceiver, going from beginning to end, It has quite the wave effect to it. You start off with "The Great Leap" and "The Ugly Truth", which are balls to the wall, heavy, loud and angry...but as you near the middle of the album, towards my personal favorite track "Bleed Like You" it gets much more melodic and almost depressive/self loathing feel, then you bring it right back up with "Too Little, Too Late". Were the songs selected and placed on the album in a certain fashion to help create that mood shift intentionally, or was that kind of like an unexpected side effect?

Mortiis: Yeah, admittedly I kind of come to the dynamics of sequencing songs like that. I am kind of a one trick pony like that, cause that's how I always do it, I don't really know of any other way to do it, when we go out to do the live shows and are on tour we try to arrange the songs in a way that works. We learned after a few tours that you arrange the songs in certain ways to keep the momentum going, keep the people interested for a longer period of time. You just don't want to wear them out by doing like 10 crazy ass songs in a row, cause it's kinda like a big sausage you know, sonicaly it's like BAM there's a fist in your face with so much going on that you don't know what it all is....and guess what, that's going to go on for like 50 minutes, so all the power you may be wanting to stack the end with, gets lost because there's no breathing room in the middle, so that's what I try to avoid. It's like a movie really, might start off with a lot of action and stuff then kinda mellows out with the plot, maybe a little bit of sadness or something and then the big uplifting part at the end...So that's what I do with the song ordering. Try to create that effect. You know, end on the high note.

HMS: Something I also noticed release wise, like if we go back to The Grudge, which was, I think 2004...

Mortiis: Oh yeah, that one, back in the 1800's, hahaha.

HMS: Hahaha, yeah that one, it also had a lot of anger and almost like a spiteful sting to it. Then you go to Perfectly Defect which was more avante garde/experimental, but has a much mellower overall feel, to The Great Deceiver which again like we've mentioned is very angry and emotionally driven...Did you have to mentally go somewhere to come up with some of it, like almost keep yourself in a angry pissed-off mindset to get this stuff out and then move off of? Or was it written reflectively... as in after experiencing it, cooling off, and then going back over it to bring it out of you?

Mortiis: Well, The Great Deceiver was a lot of material written over an extended period of time, so I didn't really have to go anywhere for inspiration, I got forced into a lot of directions I didn't necessarily want to go mentally. You know, different circumstances, the assholes that come with that, and the vermin...They really forced me into those directions, wasn't anywhere I wanted to have to go at all. See I always protest the kicking and screaming with things because it;s not a place where I like to be.

HMS: Dude, I don't blame you!

Mortiis: Exactly, and like I said before I am lucky to have this outlet to get these frustrations out and put them to good use. Everything is always in hindsight, like when I am pissed-off or stressed out, I am nowhere near being creative in any way or artistic, I'm just a human being out of my fucking mind at that point you know? I do sort of re-visit those feelings sometimes, so in a way I kind of re-live and go back to the feeling this way or that way, but I don't go back to thinking "Oh I remember 4 or 5 years ago, and fuck you.." and all that. It kind boils down to a sometimes yes, sometimes no.

HMS: I had mentioned before how my favorite song on the album was "Bleed Like You", cause I just felt almost like a connection with it, the melody and lyrics...Is there a song on the new one that you have a special place for, one that stays in the live set or that really sticks out to you personally?

Mortiis: Well, I'm not sure really, because we lived with this record and this music for so long, I almost have this feeling and relationship to the record that is really complicated, not so much artistically, but the idea of the album as a whole, it felt like for the longest time that the world really didn't want to know about it, know about the struggle we've gone through to get this record out there. We're proud as fuck of this whole record cause we worked on it so hard, it was so DIY, like some of the vocals were recorded in shower cabinets...there were no "big bucks" behind this record at all, no big ass producers, no "names" involved, I can;t name drop a lot of people here, cause they just weren't there. It's just us being DIY.

HMS: To be honest, it really worked and made an impact on it. As far as I am concerned this is my favorite album you've done since you switched formats with "The Smell of Rain" and "The Grudge" onward. It really came through!

Mortiis: Thanks Man!! That's Great! A lot of people like to name drop The Smell of Rain because it has all that melody, it's easy to sing along to and has all those catchy choruses and shit like that, and it's really not that hard to listen to. The Grudge for example was a star contrast for me to The Smell of Rain, it was harder to listen to and had all these noisy bits. This new one was almost like us finding that melodic side of Mortiis again, but still keeping it heavy and experimenting with layers and sound in general.

HMS: Speaking of sound, The availability of the new album, you have it pressed on a number of different colored vinyl and the CD's. With all the different vinyl pressings, is that something that will become a Mortiis standard? Going with all the different limited runs and whatnot? Is it for a collectability thing or just to offer the difference in sound quality between the two mediums?

Mortiis: I have ALWAYS been a vinyl guy, I was collecting vinyl before CD's fuckin got a grip on the underworld. I remember back in '92 or '93 when CD's started popping up over here and I was thinking "What is this fucking shit?" like it's just a piece of fuckin plastic, who gives a fuck about this? Well, everybody seemed to give a fuck about it except for me, heh. I guess because it was the practical format, you could have it in your pocket...With vinyl I always loved the size, you could be a lot more artistic and creative with it, with your picture discs and multiple gate folds. Like go check out any early 70's vinyl and the layout is always this elaborate piece of art, you got posters and shit like look at Alice Cooper, his stuff, "Schools Out" turns into a desk if you get the right edition of that vinyl.

HMS: See, that's the thing I like about vinyls too, cause no matter what, you can have a copy of Welcome to my Nightmare, then go to a used vinyl store, buy a second copy, and when you listen to each one, they both have different nicks, different pops, one could be slightly warped or pressed with a different grade vinyl and they almost have their own story to tell underneath the music.

Mortiis: You could say that, Yeah, for some of the differences you might need to have the world's most expensive Hi-Fi, cause really, my equipment has always been kinda crappy...I have always been a fan of the format, but strangely I have never been that guy who claims to need golden cables in order to hear the record in the proper way, like some people are crazy like that.

“The Great Deceiver was a lot of material written over an extended period of time, so I didn't really have to go anywhere for inspiration...”

HMS: I know what you mean dude, some people have these huge systems and shit with their turntables hooked up to it, me, I have a little Crosley thing that looks like a briefcase, that's what I play my vinyl on.

Mortiis: (laughs) Like an old gravophone, you know, the ones with the wheel you have to turn around just to get a sound out of! Like you wanna play a punk record or something, you think it's gonna sound great coming out of a million dollar Hi-Fi system or something, I mean, a punk single is a punk single, it's gonna sound like shit no matter what.

HMS: I know what ya mean, like GG Allin's stuff, Napalm Death's "Scum", the overall quality can just be hard to listen to at times, no matter what yer playing it on.

Mortiis: Oh yeah, actually "Scum" is probably one of my favorite records. I actually used to put that on when I went to relax!

HMS: Really?!

Mortiis: (laughs) See Scum holds a special place for me cause I love what Broadrick does, Godflesh is just un-fucking real!

HMS: Oh they're fucking great! I think they're back together again and doing something now, I remember I bought "Streetcleaner" around the time it came out and I wasn't ready for that kind of noise when it came out back in those days, cause I was like 15 years old and I was just getting into what I thought was the hardest music around, which was Napalm Death and Carcass, all the Earache stuff back in those days, you know, when the label used to be good. I would collect all the Earache stuff and then backtrack and collect all the older stuff like O.L.D., Filthy Christians, The Accused, Heresy, all the old school hardcore stuff, which is what they released originally...and then of course Godflesh came out with Streetcleaner, and I'm like "Holy FUCK...", it was heavy, but the musical style was just so alien to me because back then I wasn't very well versed in industrial music. Streetcleaner was some of the craziest shit I ever heard and it took me a couple years to really get into it, but when I did...fuck!

HMS: When you were writing The Great Deceiver, or even The Grudge, is there a part of your songwriting process that causes you to write it so that it can be played live? Or do you just write everything, put it all together and then tackle bringing it to the stage when the time comes.

Mortiis: Pretty much the latter there really, there's times where I have found myself saying and thinking "Ok, how am I going to do this live...", but I really don't take that into consideration while writing. I don't really make any changes, like if there's something crazy going on and I'm thinking "I don't know how the fuck we're supposed to do this live", I just ignore that. Whatever is best for the record is what we're going to do. Whatever problems we have later on, that's just something we will have to deal with then. Having that said, there's like a gazillion fucking samples and loops and shit like that going on in our music so naturally, in our style, a lot of it gets done with triggers. We have our laptops live, I've never really sat down and thought "How are we going to solve this problem live...". Like if there's a weird-ass synth that's been chopped up and moved around and mutilated and shit, it's really still just a loop, it's really nothing you could play with human hands anyway, so it's gotta be done by a laptop or some trigger unit. It usually comes down to the drummer really, hehe, that's usually the guy that's left with figuring out how to play on top of something without losing himself. We have had it though, like with "Scalding the Burnt", it gets fast, and then goes all off with the syncopated wierdness, he got it in the end so there was nothing to worry about but it just comes down to practice really...and he nailed it!

HMS: Dude, thank you so much for taking the time to sit down with us today and fill us all in on the new album and the fight it's been to get here. I'll wrap this up by asking what's next for "Mortiis", you've got the new album out, couple videos for it, what's in the forseeable future?

Mortiis: We have the UK tour coming up in May, we're talking about what we're going to do in the fall, we have a couple shows lined up in Europe, no tour or anything yet unfortunately, It's hard these days man, shit has really changed with touring and budgets and making it all work out. Right now we've been gone so long it's all about re-building and re-structuring everything. We have some material that is related to The Great Deceiver, not re-mixes or anything but still related, like alternate versions of the original songs, and some other stuff, so there might be a companion piece that we might release, if you can call them that. There's a couple mini-films that we have licensed our music to, there's a Norwegian horror director that's making these mini-films, well, he calls them mini-films, to me they just look like music videos. There's going to be two or three of those, but they're going to be spread out across the rest of the year or something like that. I think in the next few weeks we're going to start nailing a date for the first one, the "Demons are Back" video dropped a couple weeks ago so we figured we would let that roast for a bit and let the fans get a feel for it, and then in a month or so we'll announce the first one of those.

HMS: Well, a lot of us are horror fans here so combining the two is definitely something everyone will be able to sink their teeth into!

Mortiis: It's like a Horror/Gory kind of thing, it just gets increasingly more violent as it goes. It's like a trilogy, the third one is in pre-production now I think and they're just finalizing a few things. It's about this guy that gets increasingly abused, and it's fucked, I honestly don't know how someone could survive this, it's just fucked, it's all about the violence.

HMS: Once again thank you for taking the time to sit down with us, it's been a blast, come back anytime!

Mortiis: Likewise man, it's been my pleasure!

Don Pettit, HMS

Lunatic's Serenade Menu