Marduk (en)

Believe it or not, Marduk has been part of the black metal scene for more than 20 years now. This iconic band has just released their 12th album “Serpent Sermon” and they will be touring everywhere in 2012 and 2013. Take a look at the chat that SOM had with the guitar player Morgan Håkansson about the band’s tour, latest album, history, and much more.

interview MardukMarduk started a North American tour a couple of weeks ago. Did you start it in Baltimore?
We actually started out in Puerto Rico and then we flew to Baltimore. From there we did the East Coast up, Canada and a lot of other places. Now we are doing this coast [West Coast] down and then we will go off to Mexico.

Any highlights?
New York is always good; California is usually very good as well. Chicago is always good too.

In Canada we usually only play in Montreal and Toronto but this time we did five more dates (Vancouver, Winnipeg, etc.). That was a good experience as well. It reminds me a lot of home (Sweden) so, that was great. I mean, most of the shows that we ever do on tour, I think are great because wherever you are I think it is the same kind of people in the shows so it is a pleasure to be wherever.

I can tell you that we actually started the whole tour for the new album on the 11th of May, actually. We started out in Russia and did 3 shows in Siberia so, that was an interesting experience as well… to play in the border to Mongolia, kind of Far East.

Any problems this time with being “banned” or something like that?
Yes, in Belarus of course… always some problems. It’s good to have some “turbulence”. You need that as well, I believe in that. It is good for the creative process and to show that there are still people being offended, you know? So, that’s nice… I don’t mind.

So, about those five extra concerts in Canada: did you have a good turnout?
Yeah, most of the shows were good. One was not that good but still a great show. I mean, it was a great experience to play in even smaller cities in Canada where a lot of bands don’t really get to play at. So, it was great.

You have just released an album less than a month ago…
Yes, that’s correct. It came out in Europe around the 28th, 29th of May and here on the 5th of June or something [like that].

So, for all the fans that haven’t heard the album yet, could you say a few words about it?

I can say that it is a great reflection of this band, year 2012. I think it is a diabolical, strong and diverse album… everything a black metal album should be, in my eyes, you know? It is a hard hit thing, a strong message and the title reflects the spirit of the album, Serpent Sermon. So, that’s a good reflection of what it is all abou
interview Mardukt.

Are you also releasing the album in an LP version?
Yeah, the whole album is coming out on regular standard, a limited media book with a bonus song and also in vinyl and a special edition vinyl with a 7 inch so, some different versions of it.

It is limited? Should the fans hurry up and get the LP?
Yeah, the vinyls are limited because that’s the way it works these days. But I mean… vinyl will survive the CD, you know? We always try to do limited things because it is always interesting for the collectors.

You have also made a video clip for the song “Souls for Belial”. Why this song?
It’s hard to decide which song to choose because they are all so different and they are all so reflecting of what we are doing in their own way. In the end, we have to decide for one song and we decided to put that one because it is an exemplary song and a good strong song. They are all strong… what I mean is that we had an idea for the video that worked for that song and we just let the energy flow and it became the “Souls for Belial” video, which I also think it is a strong visual and it really makes the music come to life.

So, you already had some ideas and then you chose which song would fit better?
Yes.

Who came up with the ideas?
When it comes to ideas all music, lyrics and visuals, we all work within the band. It was me and the vocalist thinking about the whole concept for the video. We had a director with us called Hakan, from another Swedish band called Setherial. He is one of the few guys who know how to reflect what we are doing.

Was it fun shooting the video?
Fun, I don’t know. It was interesting creating a reflection of the music.

Talking about Marduk’s history now: you have just released your 12th album; you have been playing for more than 20 years now: what was Marduk’s most extreme moment so far?
I don’t know, it is hard to say what the most extreme moment was because there are extreme moments more or less every time. I mean, every tour has its extreme moments and every recording has its extreme moments. So, it’s hard to say. There have been extreme moments in all directions, you know?

Anything in specific that you carry within you? Anything you are the most proud of?
Everything I do I’m p
interview Mardukroud of, and everything is always within me. And I consider all the 12 albums we have done to be kind of the 12 pillars of which we stand upon, where the band is. It is the foundation of this band, you know? We put so much blood, sweat and energy into all our releases.

Even if I go back and see things that I might wanted to have done in a different way… I still admire our old albums because they reflect where we were at that time period.

About your fans: has your fan base changed a lot throughout these years? Or do you still see the people that were there in the beginning?
It has changed a lot. I still see a few faces that I have seen from the beginning. They disappeared during the years… some are still there, some come back after a few years of been gone, doing something different.

When you work so hard you never really see how fast time flies. So, sometimes I’m sitting, speaking with fans that support us, really loyal ones, and I discover that they were not even born when we started out or did our first album. It is like….”Shit… that is a little bit strange”. But, I mean, you see old and new people and they are all united in what we are doing…

What are Marduk’s plans until the end of the year?
We are going to Mexico and then we are going back to Sweden. Then we are going out for some selected European Festival appearances, a few big ones coming up. Then in August we are going down to Brazil and maybe Argentina, and possibly more dates in South America.

At the end of August we will start a headlining tour in Europe, which will be around 44 dates. I think it will be from late-August until mid-October. And then we haven’t decided: from November we might go out on a Scandinavian / Baltic European tour for some parts that we are not doing on that 44 dates tour. And we might be back in the United States again in December to cover those areas that we didn’t do on this tour.

Any chances you will be on a boat again this time [Barge to Hell]?
Oh… you never know. I don’t know yet but the thing is, we don’t do Texas and a lot of places on these tours. So, we are going to try to cover all the areas. And after that, in 2013, I think we will also be going for Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. We will have to see, we are still working on all those things. There are a lot of things coming up.

Any messages to SOM readers?
Yeah, send them a big regard to them all, you know? Stay strong!
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Interview done by Deesse_de_la_nuit

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