Blackk !!! How are things in Iowa ?
Greetings! Things are going well thanks . Just trying to keep the scene going here.
2. Can you give us a brief history of Mortuay Oath.
Well basically I had the idea for my own solo project a few years before I actually started it. In Angelkill we were going through a chance in members and this was in '96 and so we were'nt rehearsing as much so I had some spare time to work with my own personal material that just did'nt seem to be quite of the Angelkill style so I put all these songs together and rercorded everything myself and brought in Angelkill guitarist, Jeff Olson to add some leads and before the album was even completely finished I had a label deal with majestic union records from Germany. And so them was released the debut "Once Upon a Dreary..." it was more successful than I originally thought it would so I just kept doing Mortuary Oath.
3. What bands have been influential in your music ?
Countless actually. King Diamond, Mercyful Fate, Candlemass, old Alice Cooper, lots of classical music of all kinds, and many many more.
4. What are your thoughts on "Whispers from her Grave" ? What do you feel it has done for your band ?
I'm very happy with this second release. The production as well as the song writing is more well defined to the direction I want Mortuary Oath to be going. Certainly worth checking out if youre into old dark metal in vein of Mercyful Fate.
5. How are the divulgation and reception of your CD ?
Very great response. Quite a few labels have shown interest in pressing this one and many have given it great reviews so far so that's cool. I really apreciate the support!
6. Are you satisfied with the final result (production and mix) of "Whispers from her Grave" ? And with the studio recordings ?
Well I really spent quite a bit of time with this one... Probably over a year. My problem is that I'm my own worst critic. When I listen to it, it is never good enought. I will never get the mix exactly perfect. At times the mixing process drives me nearly insane until I reach the point to where I have to let go and say enough is enough and call it finished. I am always striving to do better so I guess that's the good thing that comes out of my madness.
elements are going to be different for this release as compared to the previous
I think it's just more tighter and with the all digital production it really shows. And like I said, now that I know how I want the musical style to be with Mortuary Oath the song structures and melodies are much stronger.
8. Tell us about some of the lyrics of "Whispers from her Grave" and what some of the topics you deal with are.
Well the song "Whispers..." is about a guy who's wife dies and he is so in love with her he just won't accept that she's forever gone so he sells his soul to bring her back and start hearing whispers from her grave and gos mad and digs her up etc etc... I was inspired though a death of a loved one of mine and I found myself nearly becoming this character. Some of the other songs are of other hauntings/ ghosts sightings and such.
are the lyrical themes in particular, are they different fom those covered on
previous albums ?
Well somewhat the same but what's interesting is that I'll grab "Scenes" or phrases from old Angelkill songs and throw them in there as if there was some connection to an Angelkill song. Usually no one would know unless they were a die hard Angelkill fan.
10. What inspires you musically and lyically ? What about in you life ?
Everything can inspire me... Other music I hear, walking through the town cemetery, looking at art or just driving in my car... Maybe an old Vincent Price horror movie. Who knows where some of those twisted ideas come from ?
do you want to express or pass in you songs ?
did interest you first, metal or occultism ?
Metal of course! I'm interested in occultism but really don't have time for it I guess because I have always formed my own ideas and theories and have my own religion which never really fit much with any other so of course I would put the music before everything.
14. About tour stuff, have you planned some tour to support "Whispers from her Grave" ?
No... it would be great to actually have Mortuary Oath as a working band but so far it is my solo band being just me. Purhaps someday I will fom it into a band but I want to just do it myself for now.
15. To someone who had never heard Mortuary Oath, how would you describe the music ?
Dak metal with melodies with a variety of vocal styles... usually I just describe it as being in the vein of Mercyful Fate... has that older metal style I guess.
16. Could you tell us a person of the past whom you personally respect, and why ?
King Diamond and or maybe even Motorhead. These people have always done their own thing regardless to changes to the music industry. They always remained true to what they have always done. I really respect that.
17. Talking about sales, how was "Once Upon a Dreary" done to you ?
Released by Majestic Union Recods which is really a small label with little money but it was important for me that who ever releases my work completely believes in it and is going to do everything for it and that's what they did. They really got the CD out there.
18. What do you think about the humanity middle ages and the humanity of today ?
Weel back then you didn't live long with all the disease. I think we've become more civalized through technology and laws and government but when you think about it really close... no... we're still as barbaric as we ever were... nothing has changed.. only the weapons... ah but would'nt it be interesting to go back to that time ?!
19. I'll tell you words/names and you'll give me your thoughts about it... ok?
misanthropy - ...society hates more and more... nothing can stop it.
Vietnan War - ...what a waste ! Shows how incredibly foolish our government is to stick it's nose wherre it does'nt belong !!
Dante Alighieri - sorry... don't know who this is.
Arthur Schopenhauer - I don't who who he is either.
life after death (?) - well I believe we don't die. What we call death is the next stage of life like a catapiller is then becomes a butterfly.
Ludwig van Beethoven - he was a genius ! Can you imagine being a deaf musician back then and still having the drive and passion to still compose !?
world TV - I don't watch.
Unabomber - reminds people that there are a lot of fucked up people out there !
mythologies - I use to be really interested in them but not much any more.
20. What's your thoughts about capitalism in black/death metal scene?
Well, to each their own I guess but I've always been more interrested in the music and care little about their beliefs or what religion they are into. That part of it means nothing to me as it does'nt affect my ideas beliefs.
21. Is there a philosophy behind Mortuary Oath ?
No, actually the name came to me in a dream... years ago I had this dream that I got a job at a funeral parlor/ mortuary as a janator. Well my first night at this job in my dream... the funeral director told me... "Now before you can start, you know exactly waht that is... keep your hands oof the deceased !" Meaning don't mollest the dead.
22. Explain the differences and similarities between Mortuary Oath and your other band, Angelkill.
Angelkill is much heavier... Mortuary Oath has more melodies. Both lyrically I would say a very similare through.
23. Can you tell us some of your best books and authors ?
Actually I don't get much time to read fiction. I read a lot of studio recording text books and articles on recording gear as I own a studio (remasters) and try to be as educated as possible.
24. What merchandise do you have available ?
I have a distro list, "The Blackk List" which contains all of the Angelkill and Mortuary Oath releases as well as several other underground metal releases. Write or mail me and I'll send you a copy of the list.
25. Those were my questions; is there anything you would like to add, perhaps a final message of Mortuary Oath ?
Many thanks for the killer interview and support ! I hope all of your readers will get in touch !!