sobota 10. dubna 2021

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Interview - MARDUK - You can expect nothing less than an inferno.

Interview with legendary black metal band MARDUK from Sweden.

Answered drummer Simon, thank you!

Translated Duzl, thank you!

Questions prepared Jakub Asphyx.

Ave MARDUK! Hi Simon, hello to Sweden or Germany? I don't know where you are at the moment, but I hope everything is fine with you. Sometimes I feel like an apocalypse has begun last year. Everything is closed, there are no concerts, nothing really works, people are frustrated. And it's "just" the flu. How did the epidemic affect the functioning of MARDUK and what did you have to change as a drummer? Can you rehearse or record new stuff?

- Hello Jakub, greetings from Germany. We played our last Festival in February 2020 in Sweden, House of Metal Festival and 4 Shows in Poland in September 2020. A total of 5 Shows for the 30th Years Anniversary Tour. Not really satisfying if you ask me. There was a lot planned for this special Tour but we needed to postpone all shows into 2021. And it looks like that we have to postpone them again. I have my rehearsal studio 2 minutes away from my home where I can practice and record pre-productions for new ideas and songs.

You have been drumming at MARDUK since 2019. But you have a lot of work to do in other bands as well. Among others, BELPHEGOR, AT THE GRAVE and many others. For some you are a "living" drummer, for others you are a permanent member. Does that mean the drums feed you? All the bands you play in are extreme metal, but still, each band play differently, at a different tempo, etc. How do you handle with this? Is MARDUK different from others somehow?

- I am a permanent member of Marduk since middle of 2019 and I am not playing with any other live band anymore. Other than that I am doing some session-recordings from time to time. And yes, playing music is my only occupation. I always practiced with a musical approach, means I put some CDs on and play along to all kind of different Metal and Hard Rock songs. This prepared me for a lot incoming musical situations. A Marduk setlist offers not only fast blasting songs you also have old school mid-tempo parts which keep me challenged.

In the Czech Republic, it is said that there is no good metal without a good drummer. MARDUK is a professional band, a legend who wrote history. How did you get together? Did you have to go through any admission procedure? Or did you go just to a pub and the previous job spoke for you? I don't know how it works in similar bands?

- I got an email from Morgan saying that they were searching for a new drummer. Fredrik (the previous drummer) recommended me since we knew each other for a long time. And of course it didn’t take me long to make a decision. After that we went on our first tour together without even practicing once haha. But everything went well.

But MARDUK, like all real black metal bands, is not just music, but they also have a clear image, they look dark, cold, aloof. For me personally, they are the embodiment of what I like about black metal. Did the band have any special requirements for you? Every time I saw MARDUK live, there was an incredible fog that I never seen the drummer. And in the promo photos, everyone always has war paints.

- The chemistry and of course the playing abilities were important. Thats the most important thing for me when it comes to a successful working Band.

Black metal has always been about darkness, satanism and blasphemy. But also about the horrors that unfortunately still bring us wars. It's one of the things that sets this style apart from others. How do you actually set it up with faith? I know it's a very personal question, but it's part of your music. Are you a materialist? Here the answer to this question is: "I am a materialist, thank God!" Is it important for you to identify with the lyrics of the band you play in?

- I am a satanist myself and of course it is important for me to play in a band with the same ideologies.

How did you actually start playing the drums? And who was your idol? I went to YouTube bands in which you played and you play and your register is really varied. Do you have a music education? And have you ever played another style?

- I started playing drums at the age of 10. But before I was playing on pillows and any other household items haha. My idols back then were drummers like Vinnie Paul, Dave Lombardo or Jeff Porcaro and Ian Paice. I still call them my biggest inspirations. Of course the list got expended with drummers like Derrek Roddy, Simon Phillips etc. My first band was the school band in highschool. We were playing songs like Smoke on the Water and Enter Sandman. I never took any drum lesson. I am self-taught.

Every time I go to a concert, I ask myself, how can drummers endure that commitment? Somehow I can't imagine a 50-year-old drummer playing extreme metal (honour exceptions). It must be very physically demanding, right? Do you have to practice? Go jogging, work out?

- To make sure I give my body a compensation from all the drumming I do lift weights and stretch. That's vitally important for a physical demanding job like drumming in an extreme Metal band.

Do you also play other instruments? Can you play the guitar, for example? Drummers are an important driving force for bands, but it also seems to me that they have the least photos from concerts and a lot of people don't even "know" about them? Have you ever been tempted to play something else?

- I never cared about anything other than drums. I cant imagine myself with a guitar or any other instrument. Regarding the live pictures I don’t really care since I am used to it. But in my opinion it's not important at all. At least the band and I know I was there haha.

I read somewhere that in addition to drums, you also write lyrics? Is it true? What are they about and where do you get inspiration for them?

- Those lyrics were exceptions. I only concentrate on drumming nowadays.

Lets talk about MARDUK ... You haven't been the only new member in the band since the last album ("Viktoria" 2018). There was also a change in the post of bass player (Lindholm). Are you already considering a new album? Can we look forward to another inferno? Can you tell us something about how the new material for MARDUK is created?

- You can expect nothing less than an inferno. I can’t tell much about it at this point but all I can say is that we are all putting a lot of work into it. We all are recording demo tracks at home and send the ideas to the other members, talk about those ideas and improve certain parts.

I have lived in the Czech Republic since I was a child and I remember that metal band concerts were banned in our country under socialism. I'm a little scared that it's starting to come back. Every other day I read about some black metal band banning a concert somewhere in the world. Subconsciously, I do not want the time, in which our fathers lived, to return. Why do you think that to this day some people who don't know black metal are still shocked ? Is it ignorance, stupidity? Or the ugly dirty policy again?

- Black Metal was and still is a ,,shock" to normal people. They neither understand the music nor the image behind it. And of course they dont even try to since its out of their imagination. It will always be difficult for the masses to understand what they cant comprehend. We live in times where so called ,,Influencer,, tell sheeps what to like and what not. What do you expect from those people?

What does black metal mean to you and how would you define it? I'm interested in your opinion as a musician and a person.

- Black Metal can be either the tank that crashes into your living room while listening or the soundtrack that carries you into another dimension. As a drummer I see Black Metal as exciting and varied as it can get.

Simon, if you want to say something to MARDUK fans, there's your space. I hope to see you live soon! What do MARDUK plan in the coming months? Can you at least play in Sweden?

- It's difficult to predict the coming months and with the current restrictions in Germany it's tough to travel to Sweden and back. But we hope to start touring as soon as possible and be able to bring our 30th Year Anniversary Shows to the masses and see the crowd reacting to our live performance.

Thank you very much for the interview, I appreciate it. For me, as an old loyal fan of the band, this is a „dream come true“. I wish you only the best, lots of sold media and wild concerts. Also all the best to your private lives.

- I appreciate the interest and wish you all the best as well! See you on the road.

Recenze/review - MARDUK - Victoria (2018)

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