Breaking the Rules and Lost Souls with MORK.

Following on mercilessly from 2020’s aptly titled ‘Pesta’ EP, Norwegian act Mork resumes its ascension through the ranks of the Scandinavian black metal scene with the fifth chapter, Katedralen, venturing ever further from the more primal early Darkthrone-based foundations, while still fundamentally keeping the grim flame of the old school in its DNA.

I had a chat with Thomas about breaking the rules and lost souls.

Welcome to MHF magazine.

I’m gonna dive straight to the point. Commenting on the new album you said: “No rules, other than to respond to what comes out of my mind and soul while creating”. To me, that’s the epitome of good metal. It’s what I call “The rock n roll element” which sadly most of the metal bands have lost nowadays. They either become too technical or too focused on becoming famous instead of playing music for the sake of playing music. I would like to hear your thoughts on that, in the hopes of inspiring the entire metal community to get back to enjoying creating music as you did.

Answer: I am about to release my fifth album, which has to be somewhere around my tenth physical release. I am still not rich and nor do I have my ass full of endorsements that provide free stuff. And I am to head into my 37th year of life, this year. The reason why I mention these things is to prove the point that I would not be doing this if it wasn’t my passion. I have actually chosen to focus on my music instead of building a family, which also says alot. Some people do it, others live it. 

 ‘Katedralen’ is a conceptual vision you had of a vast desolate cold and dead land and a gigantic cathedral where lost souls are kept for all eternity. Sounds crowded. I would definitely get claustrophobic if my soul ended up there. But at the same time I detect a sense of togetherness. Instead of wondering alone in all eternity, those spirits end up together. I couldn’t help but make the connection: The entire metal scene harboured misfits and outcasts and nurtured them under its wings. Are those perhaps the lost souls you envisioned? 

A: Honestly, I have not thought of that. I like your take on it, though. To me this is basically a subconscious vision  of a place that I may have dreamt of at some point. I can clearly envision the bluish tint on the darkened walls by the ice cold moonlight.  

The album notably includes guest appearances from Nocturno Culto (Darkthrone), Dolk (Kampfar), & Eero Pöyry of funeral doom masters Skepticism. What was the creative process of the collaboration like? Did you allow creative control equally to all and what was the most challenging part you had to face? 

A: As I am a control freak with a total vision of my compositions, it is somewhat hard for me to involve anyone in the creative realm. However, rarely when I am open to suggestions and such, I can of course be positively surprised. I was a bit strict with Eero regarding majors and minors and such, but what he delivered, in the end, was fantastic. Nocturno Culto basically sang my pre-written parts but added a few words to spice up apart. Dolk actually sat down and wrote his own words that would respond to my original lyrics as well as make up his own melody lines. That was a great experience, as he totally ended up elevating the track to a better lever.  

Advice to newly formed bands: How important is the role of PR/Booking agencies and managers for a new band to establish a place on the metal map?

 A: What I have experienced is that you can basically do all of it by yourself. But you got to have the personality, guts, and determination for it. Professional people should be involved when you are at a point where you can’t get to the next level by yourself. You must always ask yourself if this is something you could manage on your own before involving others. 

 Is there a part of your job as a professional musician that you find boring and you just want to get over with? For instance, some people hate photoshoots, other hate interviews and so on… and how do you deal with that? 

A: It’s all good as long as I can manage to spread out the workloads. Luckily I am quite sorted when it comes to schedules and appointments, so I manage to handle that stuff without chaos. The most grueling task has to be counting and marking merch when it comes in.  

What’s the most stereotypically Norwegian quality you have?

 A: To be social distancing even without a pandemic.  

If you had unlimited resources and time how would you craft the next five years for MORK? 

A: I would bring Mork to all the corners of the world and keep spreading our plague. —

Untul we meet again,

Chelf.

Follow MORK:

https://www.facebook.com/MORKOFFICIAL

https://www.instagram.com/mork.official

https://twitter.com/morkhalden

https://www.morkisebakke.no

http://peaceville.com/bands/mork

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