1. Can you give us an update on what is going on with the project these days?
There is not much going with the project these days, as I did not yet start working on anything new. But this may change in a few days or a few months, we’ll have to see about this. I do not plan things. They just happen.
2. How would you describe the musical sound of the new material and how it differs from the previous recordings?
I spent more time into getting the sound that I wanted. I wanted to have something aggressive, more harsh, raw and crude but in the same time to allow for serene moments introduced by the wind instruments. I have also tried adding more variety in the rhythmic section and exploring non-conventional song structures.Furthermore, the whole album is faster paced than the previous recordings and definitely more aggressive. The overall production brought much more detail and besides the pipes, all instruments have a major contribution to the overall soundscape. As I am doing everything myself in terms of recording, mixing and production, I learned a lot since the beginnings of Marțolea and this has made it easier to get exactly what I wanted.
3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you explore with the music?
The album was thought as a "Night of the Beasts" concept, where demonic entities come in, appear and disappear in a remotely located area, in the middle of the mountains. Their actions are most times terrifying for the humans that they encounter. The lyrics deal with horror stories of these Beasts, with passages taken from traditional rituals and chants or from old stories that transpose the listener in the middle of this terrifying dark and haunted forest. Each song adds to this conceptual image, with the intention of luring the listener into the dark abyss from where there is no return. The third song of the rooster will vanish the demonical appearances and will mark the end of the evil supremacy. The exit is envisioned by the instrumental song ‘Zorii’(The dawn), which is a death allegory that brings peace and rest in a serene soundscape. The atmosphere turns dark again with the presence of the ravens, messengers of death.
4. I know that the project was named after a demon out of Romanian folklore, what was it that you interested about this particular deity in order to name the project after that?
Many of the demons in the Romanian folklore have impressed me but I like Marțolea because it is the image of the punisher that can take any form in order to deceive its victims. And the forms it takes are quite a few. Besides, the name is something totally unexpected for anything, thus confusing people, but in the same time captivating their interest. This is my intention exactly.
5. Currently there is only one member, have you thought of expanding the line-up or do you choose to remain solo?
I have thought about having guest musicians at one point, but nothing seriously. Who knows, maybe in the future, there may be room for experimenting with guest musicians…it’s hard to tell. I have not started working on anything new, so I am not sure if this will happen. But the musical project is personal and it will remain that way.
6. Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label and if so what kind of label do you feel that would be a perfect fit for the music?
I am not interested in this stuff. This is for the music industry that makes money (or not) out of bands or fans. I have received some offers from labels, but I would very much like to stay independent.
7. You have released music for free download, how do you feel that it gets the word out and do you plan on releasing an album in the future that people have to pay for?
My intention is not to make any money out of my music. Therefore everything is available for free download and I plan to have it in the same way in the future. Of course many people are interested in having a physical product so I have released my music as such, but I am trying to keep the costs to the bare minimum. So interested people can also buy the CD directly from me at a marginal cost. As I said, I do not make a profit out of this; therefore I wouldn’t care less if I sold more or less.
8. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black/pagan/folk metal?
I have to say the feedback was very good, definitely exceeding my expectations! I guess Marțolea brings something new and original to the black metal genre and I am glad people see it like this. Besides the people from Romania, who can relate and easier understand the concept, I had feedback from all over the world, ranging from Greenland to South America and Australia. I think it’s amazing to get the music so far out, without any label to promote you or any worldwide distribution. It’s just the word of mouth and people sharing music!
9. What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?
It’s hard to talk about the future right now and I am not sure how to describe at this point any future release. When the right time will come, there will be a new concept. The future is really dark right now…
10. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
I listen to a mix of different styles, mostly black metal, horror heavy metal or Viking/pagan but recently added more death metal in the pool. It all depends on the mood and I have periods when I just listen to neoclassic folk/ambient. Even though I try to keep up with the new releases, I am still digging up music from the nineties and give them a chance. I was listening to mostly Kampfar and Iron Maiden when I worked on the last album, but these days I am listening to some nineties classic death metal albums and some more progressive bands like Arcturus or Diablo Swing Orchestra. These days I was listening to some older Helheim albums and a band that I recently found named Ghost, which are great by the way!
11. How would you describe your views on Romanian Paganism and Folklore and do you have any interest in any other forms of Paganism Or Occultism?
Regarding Romanian Paganism it is very hard to draw a line, separating between christian influence and original, pre-christian heritage. Much of the pagan heritage has been corrupted or thinned in the last century by various influences. I am glad I was born in a region that is famous for it’s strong liaisons with the past, a region where tradition as well as old customs and ways of thinking have survived better than everywhere else. I am interested in my own heritage more than anything, without needing to put a label on it. There is a lot of wisdom in all these stories and folk tales. There is a special feeling when you can connect with your ancestors, and this is for me what I am mostly interested. With Marțolea I try to extract some of the dark feelings and emotions of this heritage and embrace them within dark music. I would not say I am interested in specific forms of Occultism although I was always fascinated and captivated by the dark side in all its aspects.
12. Outside of music, what are some of your interests?
Perhaps surprising, I am an engineer and I am currently working with robotics, electronics and software and I do research within these fields. I also like audio equipment and I am actively trying to improve my gear. I like cars, some sports and I also like traveling quite a lot. There are many other things I would like to do if I had more time. Other than that, I love nature and prefer to spend as much time as possible within my home mountains just contemplating over the spectacular views with a cold beer in my hands and some good friends by my side. If that is not always possible, the Danish fjords are fascinating as well.
13. Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?
Thanks a lot for introducing Marțolea to your readers and thanks a lot for your interest in my project! My best wishes to you and your readers!