Simple Yet Unique - an Impossible Combination?
Catchy and memorable refrains, rather simple song structures, a drum machine… How does that sound like just another chart-hungry disco pop band, at first? Fortunately this is not the case, and I have not wimped out, because these three elements can also be found, in a more effective way, in MORGAIN's music as well. And this is certainly not stuff for disco lovers, though the grimmest of black metallers would most likely describe their music with terms like "soft", "untrue" or simply "shit". Well, I don't, and that's what matters, nothing else. Thus I contacted this band from Slovakia via their record label (thank you Martin for help!) Erebos Production, and finally reached Richard, the song writer, guitarist and vocalist of MORGAIN, who kindly wanted to share some opinions in late October 666.1… Invert the inverted inversion, or whatever. This interview was done on the basis of their great debut album Frostbitten Nakedness mostly, if someone cares.
First, let's dwell into the deep sea of confusing logos and obscure art… The band logo and the cover art on your debut cd reminds more of black metal than catchy gothic metal. Is this an old logo or why do you use such thing?
-So, I think you are asking about the sword in our logo. A lot of people think that it is an inverted cross, but its only a sword. And of course its an old logo and I am very satisfied with it…
You use a drum-machine, and that is actually the only thing that irritates me in your music (not so much, but little anyway). Weren't you able to find a real drummer or do you think this is what Morgain should/must sound like?
-At the beginning we had have an human drummer, but he left after our first record. I was searching for another one for a three months, but I didn't find anyone. Nobody was interested to play doom music. So the only choice to continue in playing was to buy a drum machine. Moreover nowadays I'm absolutely satisfied with the drum machine in the music of MORGAIN.
'Well, drum machine never skips the rehearsals, arrives late or in a state of serious hangover', as one certain Martin Schulman of the true-deathsters Centinex from Sweden once said. What kind of reactions did your unique style in Frostbitten Nakedness receive in the underground scene? How many copies of that album were sold?
-Globally I can say that the reactions were good, we also received good responses from some exotic countries as Malaysia or Columbia. But how many copies were sold I really don't know, it would be better if you ask Martin from Erebos.
What is the funniest or strangest category your music has been labeled in? How would you yourself describe the creations of Morgain? Is categorisation necessary anyway?
-Hmmm. Yes, I remember one it was Doom-pop. My categorisation for our music is Hypno-doom, I guess it perfectly fits to the music that MORGAIN is creating. For me it is very important to create songs with captivating melodies or refrains, because it is easy to remember them for the fans.
'Jesus hangs on the wall / In his eyes lie rest / Hypocrisy hand in hand / With the priests the truth is dead'... Do you refer with this to some special religion, like christianity, or all of them? What is the religious situation in your country, do the metal bands have problems with church authorities because of accusations about 'satan worshipping'?
-Really good shot. Yes, you are right. Especially I hate Christianity, because I think it is the most dangerous pest on the world. During the centuries of Inquisition, thousands of innocent were killed, a lot of knowledge was forbidden by the priests of god, so there is no reason to love the bleeding symbol on the cross and the shit around him. In our country, there is no problem with Satanism until now.
The song "Poisoned" talks about ending of life and the short moment we actually exist in this world, as far as I have understood correctly. Have you ever thought about your own death and what would be after that, if anything? Would you like to reveal the secret of death?
-I spend a long time in thinking about death, and what will come after it. I'm convinced that our existence will continue in some other form of life, but what kind will it be, I don't know. We will discover it when we die.
The lyrics of "Nightmare" weren't printed on the layout sleeve. Any particular reason for leaving one song's lyrics out? Do you think that (most of the) lyrics should always be printed on the albums' sleeves to help the listeners to get deeper into the songs? How important are the lyrics compared to the music?
-It is our mark leaving the lyrics of one song out. We had done it also on our previous stuff the name of the song was Tired. I guess the lyrics are very important and need to correspond with the music. I really like songs with very good lyrics and worthy music together, where the simple lyrics can be very good and interesting. I noticed that nowadays its not too popular to take care of the lyrics. But its only my own feeling.
The only thing related to the lyrics would be a somewhat better concentration on the pronounciation, 'though English naturally isn't Richard's mother tongue. In some parts the words just sound unintentionally hilarious. Anyway, maybe that's also the reason I like them so much. Exotic fascination?
Still talking about lyrics, what kind of lyrics do you enjoy to read? Or, on the other hand, what kind of literature? What inspires you to write lyrics in the first place? Do you write lyrics only for the songs or just write everything that comes to your mind and 'storage' them for a possible use in the future?
-The best inspiration for me is the life itself. So many things happen to us every day. But I also like to read fantasy and occult literature. Now back to the lyrics, I write them just for the songs, I don't take any for storage, but its great idea from you to do so. Maybe in the future it will be helpful.
DEJÁ VU DELIRIUM
The melody in the very beginning of The Room sounds VERY MUCH like some kind of traditional song. Is it taken from such song? Confess! Heh heh...
-No, no it isn't so, its my own creation. But if you are talking about traditional songs, one is there its called " ! ". Its a very good and sad song, sung only by male vocals in original.
Why the name Morgain? What does it represent to you and how does it reflect the band's overall image? Or is it "just a name that sounds good"?
-The name MORGAIN is a female name taken from a very good book. You are right that it also sounds good, but the main reason why I have chosen this name is the fact that MORGAIN is not a regular English word. You know, I don't like the situation when some bands are using the same name.
Has Morgain played live? If yes, what kind of gigs have you played, with whom (bands) and how's the response been to your performance?
-Yes, now we are a live band. We have some gigs but not too often. The responses are good and the fans usually enjoy our stuffs, but we haven't played with any famous band yet. In Slovakia the gig life is right now a little bit asleep, because the economical situation in the country is not very good. People don't have money for this kind of happiness, they are rather siting in pubs and drinking alcohol.
Yeah, that's what Martin (the boss of Erebos) also told me when his band played here in Turku during their Grind Over Finland -minitour in September. I mean this drinking thing… Us Finns and Slovaks/Czechs are true brothers of alcohol consumption. Cheers! If Morgain was a country, what kind of polity would it have?
-Sorry my friend, but I'm never thinking about politics. I'm not a politician.
To end this interview, advertise the Morgain merchandise, send greetings, reveal some news or whatever you want to say. Speak, my friend, louder than hell!
-Thanx for the place in your zine, greeting to all our fans in your country. I wish you good luck for the future and stay metal. Maybe in December, our second CD will be released by Erebos productions. See you in hell.
I try, at least, to get there in time!