Band: Melkor (Patrick)
1.Can you give us an update on what is going on with the musical project these days?
These days I’m looking forward to the official release of »Irrlicht« on december 12th. Promotion is going along well and I’m curious for the response the album will get. Apart from that, I’m also working on some new ideas for the next recording.
2.Recently you have released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on this recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
I consider »Irrlicht« an improvement to the debut album »Ferne«, in sound as well as in musical content. The style itself hasn’t changed significantly, but the focus on »Irrlicht« is clearly on mid-tempo to slow parts, while »Ferne« had a lot of different levels of aggression. »Irrlicht« could be considered more solemn, more contemplative, also more consistent in style. The sound differs because this time around I didn’t work with a sound engineer but did the mixing and mastering on my own. I think the result sounds more balanced and clear on this second album.
3.This is the first album to be released in the last 5 years, can you tell us a little about the 5 year gap?
In these years, a lot of things moved and changed around me and I wasn’t always sure where to go and how to react. I know this sounds a little cryptic, but some of this stuff has nothing to do with Melkor, but with job decisions and other everyday-life-things. I wrote a lot of material in this 5 year gap, far more than you can hear on »Irrlicht«, but with much of it I wasn’t satisfied. So this was not an inactive period for Melkor, rather one of mental composure. I know it was a long time, but sometimes that’s just the way it goes. I don’t think this kind of gap will come again, though.
4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you explore with the newer music?
Usually I’m not a fan of explaining my lyrics in non-lyrical terms. I think a lyrical text should stand for itself, because if the writer would want to explain, tell or preach anything, he might as well do that, instead of writing a poem or song lyrics and having to dissect them afterwards. So in a sense, every line means exactly what it says. In another sense, though, it is of course some kind of projection surface for the reader to generate meanings on his own. And of course I do have my own version of what the lyrics mean, since I’m a reader as well. So I’ll try to give you a hint of what that might be, without wanting to make this the »official« meaning of the lyrics.
The album title »Irrlicht« translates to »will-o’-the-wisp« or »ghost light«. Throughout the songs you find a lot of references to different forms of light that attract and tempt the one who sees them to follow – but they are strange lights that don’t lead home and that don’t guard or protect the one who comes after them. This central image is also used as a symbol for life and nature on the whole, that are regarded as sublime. There is a philosophical tradition that opposes the sublime to the beautiful as inspiring awe instead of joy – this is more or less the mood reflected in music and lyrics alike: the world is not a home to anyone, but it inspires, impresses, carries us away. The light chases the darkness away, and we follow it and we love it, even though we can never trust it. The lyrics don’t imply a fixed position, an »opinion« on this form of existence – they are caught right in the middle of it, as most humans are.
5.I know that the band name came out of the writings of Tolkien, how does this name fit in with your musical sound and also are you aware of the other bands that share the name?
I’m not a Tolkien fan and this band is not a Tolkien band in any way. To me, a name is just a word, a sound, it doesn’t have to imply a meaning. I was looking for a word that I like and that sounds good to me. Of course I also didn’t want it to be anything too close to everyday words and meanings, nothing that could immediately be recognized. So I chose this name, while being aware that it wasn’t »original« or fancy in any way. It just seemed to fit my vision of the music and the lyrics. As for the other bands, I’m aware of them and don’t particularly like this situation, but I guess I’ll just have to live with it.
6.Currently there is only 1 member in the band, are you open to working with other musicians or do you prefer to remain solo?
I prefer to remain solo. It’s not like I hadn’t tried – there were some attempts to turn Melkor into a live band. But I found it hard and very time-consuming to do this the way it should be done. Around here, it’s hard to find the right people with the right mindset and spirit, who also play the music as it was originally intended to be played. Which would make it a solo project with some hired musicians instead of a band, if you think about it – maybe not the best thing. So I prefer to put my energy into songwriting and recording.
7.Currently you are unsigned,are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
I received a couple of offers, none of which was really satisfying. Right now, I don’t mind being without a label, but we’ll see what the future will bring. I wouldn’t say no to a fair deal that really makes a difference to me. But it’s not like you HAVE to have a label, you know.
8.On a worldwide level has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?
There hasn’t been much foreign feedback so far, due to the fact that I didn’t really promote my music worldwide in the past. But this time around, the situation might be different and I have more promotion, so I’m hoping there will be more reactions.
9.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician in the future?
I hope to be able to release more Melkor albums and to continually improve in expression, content and sound, and to further shape and perfect the vision Melkor stands for.
10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
The early-to-mid-90s Black Metal might have had the biggest influence on my music, and I see my recordings still rooted somewhere in that time period, though not as a matter of principle, not because I wanted to be »oldschool« or anything. It’s just in my DNA, so to speak. Of more recent bands, Drudkh definitely left a lasting impression on me, as well as Throne of Katharsis (which, again, are very oldschool). I also listen to some Folk, Doom and Death stuff now and then. But actually, there can be weeks or even months when I hardly listen to any music at all. So I’m not the guy you should ask for the latest hot stuff...
11.What are some of your non musical interests?
I’m into literature, philosophy, movies, travelling and nature, broadly speaking.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thanks for the interview. I’m happy to have listeners in the US. I plan to make »Irrlicht« available on Amazon and Bigcartel for worldwide shipping – check for updates on www.facebook.com/thetruemelkor.