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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Murdryck Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?

Murdryck is a semi-melodic old school style Black Metal band. We have a lot of riffs, a few solos here and there, and some proper nasty vocals you can sing along to. We have released a demo, an EP called As The Moon Bleeds… and finally, in 2016, our debut album, Antologi MMXV.

2.Recently you have released a new album,how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

I think our sound takes the best elements of the music I grew up with. There's nothing super original  but I genuinely believe that Murdryck are not emulating any other band in terms of a specifically defined sound or format. You won't confuse us for another band and we have a lot of elements done well enough to float us above the sea of bland and generic Black Metal bands that pollute the scene.

3.From 1999 to 2014 there was no new material being released, can you tell us a little bit more about the 15 year gap?

I don't see it so much as a gap but a reboot. I was really into a lot of dark movie soundtrack albums in the 90s and some of the stuff on Burzum's Hvis Lyset Tar Oss had a big effect on me when the album was released in the early mid 90s. Recording music on a computer was becoming far more accessible. I bought a Roland D50 synth from a friend and started using it compose the music.
Life basically got in the way of my aspirations to make music. I was very disillusioned with the music scene after 2000. I realized trying to make a career in music was not going to be for me. The world was awash with a plethora of labels signing any band with the tag "blackened death metal" and music was more expensive to make then. I was playing as a session bassist for a melodic doom/death band in 2001 and we had just released an album that had received a lot of good reviews. I began writing new material for a follow-up but it never materialized. I worked on demos at home in the hope of getting a new band together but I couldn't find the people. Around 2007 or so I started developing acute tendinitis in my arms from weight training. Over the years, on and off, I've had golfers elbow in both arms, tennis elbow in both arms, a problem with my right bicep, calcification of the tendon in my right shoulder and as I write this, tennis elbow in my left arm has been bothering me for about 5 months now. I stopped playing guitar between 2008-2013.

4.Originally the band started out as blackened dark ambient project, what was the decision behind going into more of a heavier guitar orientated direction?

I had been to Inferno Festival in Norway for the 2nd year running in 2013. I was pretty inspired to get back into music after seeing some cool bands play the smaller stage and I was just determined to put the problems with tendinitis behind me. When I got back I started looking for a band to join. I found some guys looking for a guitar player in my area and decided to apply. I had barely played guitar or bass for a few years so I was rusty. I bought new some equipment and wrote the song Metamorphosis. It came really easily and out of nowhere and we started playing it in the new band. Almost at exactly the same time another band in my area had put out an advert for a bass player. The band went out anonymously but I was seduced by the fact they said they had gigs lined up and were on a record label. I figured it was probably a band called Death Tyrant as they were the only band I could think of that had those kind of prospects. It wasn't a surprise when Thomas Backelin got in touch, but it was a big surprise when he sent me a folder full of Lord Belial music to learn for an audition. I didn't have a bass at the time either (all my music stuff had gotten stolen in a break-in a few years earlier) but I saw this as my chance to really get my arse in gear. I was upfront about the fact I hadn't played for a while and that I had no bass and I thought it was a long shot they would choose me or if I would be up for the task. I borrowed a bass from a work colleague and just sat for hours working out a few of their easier songs and had the audition two days later. I got the job on a temporary basis to cover for their existing bass player for 6 months. The other black metal band I was playing guitar in lasted barely a few months. It was totally useless. When my time in Lord Belial came to an end I was determined to do my own band. I realized I really needed to step up my game on the guitar though after playing in a band with two high quality guitar players. I figured I could write the music on guitar and maybe continue as bassist in my own band but would worry about that once I found additional members. I couldn't think of any cool new names for my band so I decided to take Murdryck form my existing dark ambient project. I always thought the name had a cool mystique about it and it would fit perfectly for a Black Metal band!

5.Your lyrics cover Biblical, War, philosophical and metaphysical themes, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in these topics?

That's actually not really true and is just something that's written on Metal Archives. From the very beginning, I had decided if I couldn't find any members to play with I would just look for a vocalist to perform on the album. That would require me to write lyrics and is not something I am entirely comfortable with. It is true that I was trying to find themes I knew could write about from my other interests. The original concept was to write about quantum mechanics somehow. I've no idea how I was gonna pull that off though, haha! Eventually, after a long search and asking many different vocalists who had all turned me down, I found Gast and he has a much more visual and twisted imagination than I do. He gave me a text he wrote called As the Moon Bleeds... and I really liked it. It was short and very abstract but intriguingly poetic. I immediately put him in charge of all the lyrics. The only lyric I contributed to the album is The Ascension. I would say the lyrics are now focused with metaphorical meaning and cover a range of aesthetics with importance on keeping them dark. Gast actively avoids the usual clichés in his writing.

6.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Murdryck'?

There is no meaning behind the name. The meaning it has to me is my expression of how I write music. The inspiration came from fantasy novels, I guess. Since those kind of books have made up languages and place names I wanted to emulate that kind of feeling in my own band name. It was probably to distinguish the band from 10,000 other bands that have the words dark, black, blah blah in their band names. I could be safe that my band name was 100% unique and no one else could accidentally come up with the same name or a variation of it.

7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?

Murdryck has not yet played any shows. We are officially a two-piece band as I handle the recording, music and guitar/bass duties. Gast handles the lyrics and vocals. We have a live band that is rehearsing for live shows plus inclusion on future recorded material. From my own performances with different bands, I can promise that we will deliver something energetic.

8.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?

We have a show at Backstage Rockbar in Trollhättan, Sweden on 1st April 2016. We will not be a touring band but we are open to playing shows when the opportunity arises.

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?

The feedback has been really good. Our EP, which was released March 2015, gained little attention and passed through the underworld unnoticed by many. The album, on the other hand, has received more attention and feedback in two weeks than the EP did in 11 months. Most people appreciate the small intricacies in the music - the fact it's very old school in nature but with a modern twist and that we have a good sound on the album. A modern sound but not too sterile or clean. A mix between the old and the new! It's fun to hear people draw comparisons with bands I've never heard of and bands I don't think we sound like but the important thing is that it's being talked about.

10.Are any of the band members also involved with any other bands or musical projects these days?

Our drummer plays in a folk/death band called Falkhan. The guitarist , Peste usually has some raw and atmospheric side projects on the go but I have no idea under what names or if anything is released. Musically, Gast and I focus on Murdryck.

11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

You can expect a shift in sound between each release we make. The EP is basically a cut version of the album and was just put out to start promoting the band before the album was released. I was hoping to use the EP to find a label but that didn't work.
The album was supposed to be entirely redone with a complete lineup but that didn't work out in time so it was finalized in December 2015 and released as is. Our next project is going to be a concept album entitled  Vålnadens Psalmer..most of the texts will actually be in Swedish this time. It would be more thought out and we will spend longer on making it great. We haven't decided 100% on if it will exclusively contain Swedish lyrics or not. The sound will be a darker, a little rawer than Antologi MMXV but it will contain the trademark Murdryck sound that has been established with our debut. Our intention is to change up things each release. We will not release album after album of identical songs. But it's important not to drift too far from the original concept. You won't find us doing 80s synth pop or dumbing down the sound down in a few years to reach a wider audience. We will do as we please though.

12.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?

I think I am more influenced by certain albums than bands these days. There are few bands around where I am hooked on their entire discography. Some bands I like have very immature catalogs in the beginning of their careers and other bands have the opposite - a couple of great albums then total shit. My earliest influences come from Iron Maiden, Megadeath, Metallica, Slayer, Bathory. Later influences come from Marduk, Mayhem and Emperor. After that, bands I like come on a "per album" basis. Nowadays, I shy away from the big names that labels like Nuclear Blast took from the underground and turned into career sensations and made totally accessible to the regular rock lover. These bands have become template metal and tour endlessly. All mystique has been removed and they offer little to me that is worthwhile. I search out stuff on Bandcamp now and put my money into the smaller acts that really need a boost. I get a similar feeling hunting on Bandcamp that I did from trading in the early 90s or reading about band demos in Terrorizer magazine. I hope people will do the same for us, instead of spending their cash on different colour vinyls of the same album they have 10 different editions of. This materialistic aspect of music really disappoints me.

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?   

Yeah, I could go on ranting and blabbing for another 50 pages but I think i have written enough ; Thanks for the interview and I just want to remind people that our album is available digitally and physically on Black Lion Productions and from the bands own Bandcamp page for anyone who dares to drop a few bucks on new music instead of the plethora of different color splatter vinyls for the latest release of whatever band from the 90s is still going.

Regards, Skärseld.


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