Hey dudes, welcome and my congratulations for that awesome piece of creepy rottenness you've recently released. How are you doing? How have you received the comments about your first album? Any one that really hurt you?
We're doing just fine. So far it seems that people are really appreciating our work and the response has been great. Of course there's negativity, but opinions aren't hurtful.
Let's start speaking a bit about your history before focusing on that recording. Morbus Chron was created in 2007 and hit hard this new old-styled Death Metal scene that’s growing bigger and bigger. Aren't you a bit too young to play this old fart stuff instead of some cheesy Metalcore? Can you please let us know a bit how four teenagers from Stockholm ended up playing putrid Death Metal? Maybe somebody in the family helped?
Tired of hearing just crap, we wanted to try to do something better. We all shared the vision that the old was better and so it was that we formed the band. It's easy to get drawn into the dark abyss at that age. We were only fifteen after all and evil was, of course, exciting. But there was never a band talk to decide what music we wanted to play, it all came very naturally.
Your first creations were the “Morbus Chron” and “Splendour Of Disease” demos (which I haven't had the occasion to listen to) and the cool “Creepy Creeping Creep” 7”EP, released by Me Saco Un Ojo Records, appart of your contribution to the important “Resurrected In Festering Slime” compilation. You worked pretty hard since the very first moment, isn’t it? Did you have a pretty clear idea in your mind of what you wanted to unleash?
Correction, our first and only demo was Splendour of Disease. When we recorded the demo, the songs for the EP were already done. Most of the album was written as we did the EP. So there was never any dead time in between to write new material. Which is why maybe some people thought we worked really hard to get as much out as possible, as quick as possible. We just had a great flow of music all the time. An album a year shouldn't be a problem.
Ok, let's start speaking about “Sleepers In The Rift” now, and I think a cool way would be starting with its cover, which was drawn by a guy from Barcelona called Raúl González, which perfectly captured the essence of your music on that morbid, vicious and psychedelic cover. How did you find him? Did you know some of his previous works? Maybe some friends bands?
We just found him through google. One of his paintings really stood out and it became the cover. It was something out of the ordinary, colours long forgotten in this genre.
How did you work with him? Did you give him a starting idea or some kind of concept, or simply let him work through your music and lyrics? What did you want to represent with it?
Like I said, it wasn't done with us in mind. He had it for sale and we saved it to .jpeg and stole it. No, we bought it.
The three adjectives I mentioned on the previous question directly came to my mind since I first listened to this first Morbus Chron album. Your music sounds vicious and disgusting, like the old gory and brutal bands, with a morbid Swedish touch, and still with some details that make you travel on a psychedelic journey. So let's start from the beginning and speak about your influences, as I'm pretty sure that Autopsy, (first) Death, Obituary, Master and old Dismember must be among them, right? What did those bands give to you?
Autopsy, Death and Death Strike were always the big three for us. But lately, most influences but Autopsy has been lost. They're the band who's path we want to continue walking. Hopefully going places they never did.
Robba's voice is without any doubt a very strong point for Morbus Chron and “Sleepers In The Rift”, and one of the first things one pays attention to when first listening to the album. Taking obvious influences from John Tardy, Matti Karki, Christ Reifert, Chuck Schuldiner, he does an extremely well job transmitting the morbid and sickening ambience of your lyrics. Weren't those singers more brutal and disgusting that most of those gurgling froggy ones that doesn't spread any violence at all? Is Robba very technical with his register or does he simply push his vocal strings as much as he can?
Growling low and deep is harder and, in my opinion, boring as well. I will just scream nowadays. I bled from my throat while finishing up the last song on the album. I'm as technical as a rock. But at least it gives the songs something more exciting than monotonous grunts.
Your songs may result on a primitive and raw effect on the listener, but, even if we can't consider you as a strictly technical band, it's obvious you know how to handle your instruments. Ins't that something too many “old-school” sounding bands (be it Death Metal, Black Metal or any other style) forget a bit about? I mean, sometimes I've got the impression that they hide their lack of musicianship under that “attitude”.
I don't really care about someones skill on an instruments. If you can't write a good song, it doesn't matter how technical you are. I believe that is the main problem today. But anyway, lack of skill shouldn't have to result in a lack of creativity. When you hear our new stuff, you'll see what I mean. We're far from being technical, but I promise it won't be stiff and boring.
There's that slight psychedelic feeling in your music, which we still haven't spoken about, and which makes me think if you wouldn't be into some old bands from the seventies. Are you into Prog/Psych Rock and similar stuff? Do you think there's place for that in Death Metal?
Of course! Any good idea comes from combining two already existing things. Bringing psych into Death Metal it something wonderful, but it's nothing we're doing intentionally. I can't really hear it in the music at all, but some people say we sound like Entombed, so I guess it's possible for people to hear whatever influences they want to hear.
What about the lyrics of “Red Hook Horror”. It speaks about a murder un Brooklyn. Where did you take the idea from? Are you into horror or gore movies, or is it that just the usual topic among Death Metal bands? Do you find more influences in sci-fi or in our weird world?
Edde wrote than one! The title and the lyrics are from "The Horror at Red Hook", a short story by H.P. Lovecraft. You can't really find a more horrific story teller. He's been a part of Death Metal since the beginning. The music should act as a bridge to another existence, channeling a feeling of something outerwordly, and that is just what Lovecraft did so well.
“Sleepers In The Rift” was released on CD by Pulverised Records, a label which is helping a lot of swedish bands, but will soon have its vinyl edition, again on Me Saco Un Ojo. What do you think about the work of Jesús, as well as what other labels like Detest Records, Dark Descent Records and others are doing for this old-school Death Metal revival? I'm my opinion they are doing this the right way, with a very DIY mentality and firm roots in the underground, something that got lost by the labels which raised the classical bands from the style. Do you think this time all will take a different departure? Why?
As long as money is a part of something, it can't be entirely free from selfish intentions. Nontheless, what they're doing is fantastic and so far we've had nothing but pleasant experiences. We've been waiting for the vinyl a while now though..
I haven't heard about many Morbus Chron live shows, apart of your contribution to past year's Live Evil Fest in London. Don't you receive many offers to do it or is it maybe that you're very picky with those opportunities? Don't you think the Killtown Deathfest in Denmark would be an excellent place for your music, as much as it's a great initiative, don't you think?
We get offers here and there and we agree to some. Right now we're scheduled to play Hell's Pleasure and, to your delight, Killtown Deathfest.
As I've said many times, I was quite skeptical with all that old-school revival, but I must admit some really cool bands have come out from all around the globe. Focusing on your lands, I'd like you to let me know your opinion about these death fanatics:
- Miasmal: They're alright!
- Swallowed: EP was great, looking forward to the LP.
- Maim: They just steal our riffs.
- Tribulation: Excellent!
- Bastard Priest: The demo I've listened to the most.
- Bombs Of Hades: Barely listened to.
- Vanhelgd: One of the best albums 2011.
- Invidious: Good stuff.
- Mordbrand: Never heard.
- Necrowretch: Actually cool french people.
What's your opinion about all this revival effect by the way? Too much copycats, still good ideas, or you simply don't care at all because you only listen to “Severed Survival” and “Master” all the day? Any cool outfits you'd like to recommend us? Horrendous did a very cool job on their new record I think.
I've said this before but it deserves to be said again. The revival is fantastic and something that was needed . But people shouldn't stop now. It is time for the revival to evolve into a platform on which to build upon. A continuation of everything that was once great, to eventually create something even better. Big words, yes, but what's the point otherwise?
Before closing this interview, please let us know a bit about what will happen on Morbus Chron's camp in the coming future. Maybe some new EP's or some split with some of your friends? Any chance to see you live around Europe sometime?
Next stop is a new EP. The songs are done and we're in the middle of rehearsing them. Recording late february/march hopefully.
Thanks a lot for your time guys, and keep on rotting in the free world. Add anything you forgot and close the casket before leaving.
Gia Thanatos is a webzine dedicated to music for the apocalyptic times. No matter the scene or genre it comes from, and mainly chosen according to its author's taste.