Panzer Black Metal
(This interview is provided by Thomas Bonnicel )
Well, as you might have noticed, MARDUK are my favourite Black Metal band, and for me, only SLAYER is above MARDUK! So, you can imagine how happy I was to get the opportunity to make an interview with them! And on this great day (18th of May, 1999), I talked for about 30 minutes with Morgan himself! He was very nice, very cool and interesting, and I hope that you will have as much pleasure reading this interview as I had when I made it...I did not make any change of this interview, didn't cut anything...everything is here. MARDUK rules!! Panzer Division crushes everything!! Hail MARDUK, and thanks again to Morgan!!
You are going to release your new album very soon, can you tell us more about it, please?
Yeah, I can tell about it. The album, we're going to release it on the 6th or 7th of June (Note: it will be released on the 7th), it consists of 8 tracks of the most extreme Metal of today, and I don't know what to say more about it. It's the most extreme and agressive album we have done so far. It's kind of an unleashment of firepower!!
What about the concept of this album?
It's a bit different compared to what we have done before. We have taken the form of a Panzer Division, we think of us as a resemblance to a Panzer Division. What better inspiration can you have as a Panzer rolling across the battlefield?? That was quite different, and as the album is so relentless, uncompromising and brutal, I wanted a different concept for the cover thing, so when we saw that photo, we decided we had it for the cover. It suits good to the music!
And you are still very satanic, with songs like 'Christraping Black Metal' or 'Fistfucking God's planet'...
Yes, of course! It's important, it's our ground concept and what we stand for, and will always stand for. It's our principle!
You won't deny your principles...
No!! Never!! (laughs)
In MARDUK, everything seems to be planned in advance. We knew that the album would be called 'Panzer Division Marduk' for at least two years...
Even more, it's already on the 'Heaven shall burn' album. We knew we wanted to do this album for a long time, we wanted to do something special, regarding to power and agression, and do something the full way out, with absolutely Heavy parts! Do something nobody has done before!!
And do you already have some stuff for the next album?
Yes, we're already working on new ideas for sure. I can not tell you exactly what it is, because it would loose our plans, but we're always working on new things and we will start to rehearse the new material as soon as possible.
You seem to be working very hard?
Yes, that's the way we like it!
You also reedited the Mini CD 'Fuck me Jesus'. Why?
It was released in 1995, and it was kind of the pressing was sold-out, and they no longer had it in stock, so we reedited it with bonus tracks on it. So, that's nothing more than that, just a rerelease. Because it was sold-out.
Maybe also for the fans?
Yeah, something like that.
Shadow Records also reedited some of your old tracks, a demo...
Not a demo tape, that was actually recorded in December 1991 and supposed to be released on vinyl, but they kind of felt through, and the label that was supposed to release it weren't really that good. So, we decided to make a full-length album instead, and we forgot about that recording, until a friend of us started a label, and he was wondering about that old release, and he asked us if he could release it for his new underground label, and we said "Yeah, if you want to do it, it's OK, we support you'.
But that makes something like 4 different versions of 'Here is no peace'. Isn't it a problem?
No, I don't think it's a problem. We have different versions...but 'Here is no peace' is something we didn't plan to release. He wondered if he could release it, and we were "Yeah, OK if you wanna do it".
So, in a way, that was more to help a friend?
Yeah, absolutely! And it was very underground, it's not really available in the records stores, it's a very underground thing, very underground distributed, and so, we thought it was cool! Instead of releasing it on Osmose, we wanted it to be an underground thing.
Well, it's not that hard to find, and it's quite cheap...
No! I guess it has become quite expensive!! It depends of how much the store take on it.
You are one of the few Black Metal bands who always get more violent. Is it something planned, or does it just come this way?
It's kind of a natural progression, I guess. We like violent music, and during the years, we all have become better musicians. That was pushing us, that's really good! It's kind of a natural progression, but I don't know if the next album will be more intense as this one, it will be a more mixed-up thing I think. This album was something we felt doing for a long time, so...total unleashment of power!!
And what do you think of bands that lose their brutality, like, say, EMPEROR or GODKILLER?
I haven't heard their new releases, but a lot of bands really lose their power, and do a bit too experimental stuff in my eyes. I prefer the more straight forward violent stuff, but I also like heavy music. You can combinate it in a good way, but many bands are losing their brutality, that's a fact!
The fact that you're so violent is maybe due to the stability of your line-up. You can put all your agressivity in the music instead of fighting each other...
Yeah, absolutely! At the beginning, we had a lot of problems with the line-up all the time, so that was irritating a lot! But now, as we have a stable line-up and we're working good together, we put a lot of time and energy, and we sacrifice ourselves to be able to do it, perform, and work on the music a lot!
You're going to tour for the 7th time in Europe. Do you like that?
I like the performances themselves, but I'm not so well about the whole touring thing. It can be annoying to make a really long tour, but of course, it has its ups and downs, but it's worthy for the time you are on stage. We really enjoy to play live, but it is sometimes annoying to be on a long tour.
And what did you think of the other tours?
All tours have been both good and bad, there's always good happenings and bad happenings on a tour, so they all have been very good in that aspect.
But what happened the last time in Slovenia?
We couldn't get in due to some problems with the customs and the boarder police, there was something wrong with the papers we had, I really don't know! It was up to the tour manager, and there was something wrong with the papers. We stood on the boarder for 5 or 6 hours, and it was too late to get to the show, so we had to to turn back of it. That was a sad happening, but we hope to take Slovenia in the next tour for sure!!
Well, I hope for them!!
Yeah, it was really irritating, we stood there for 5 or 6 hours...having problems with papers to enter Slovenia!!!
And how was it, both musically and humanly, with MYSTIC CIRCLE?
It was an “OK” tour. We get along with bands we tour with, there has never been a problem.
But did you like their music?
Well, it's...they're OK musicians. It's not my favourite music, I prefer the more agressive, speed and faster stuff, but they did an OK job!
What do you think of bootlegs? You can't get money through that...
Of course we don't get money, but in a way, it's flattering! But it has a terrible sound!! I heard one of the bootlegs, that was called 'Curse of the undead', and it has a absolutely worthless sound!! It's tragic to have such a poor sound! In a way, I don't mind. Bootlegs, if they should have been limited or whatever, but I don't know how much they sell it...It's flattering that people spend time doing it, but of course, it sucks when the sound is worthless, so...
You played in Bischofswerda with MAYHEM, and you're gonna play Wacken with them. How do you feel about it?
Yeah, it's gonna be a good experience! I know these people very well, since a long time. It's gonna be great!! (laughs)
Did you know that Maniac tried to commit suicide last month?
I don't know! I've got no idea, I got a letter from him, and he didn't write anything about that.
Next week, you're gonna play Strasbourg...
Yeah, Dynamo too, headlining the Black Metal stage.
But you'll play during the daytime!
Yeah, that's a bit annoying, yes.
Is that really a problem?
I don't know, we've never played before during daytime, so it will be an experience, and we shall see about it. I really don't know, I have no idea!!
What do you think of the fact that there are a lot of different styles in these festivals?
I really don't mind! As long as we can do our performance, I really don't care! We played with so many bands!! I really don't care anymore, as long as we're able to do what we want!!
You'll play just before MANOWAR, that's gonna be something!!
It's not something I really think about!
But still, it's gonna be fun!
They proclaim to be the fastest and loudest band in the world (laughs), this will be an event!!
About Hellhammer, what do you think of him playing in ARCTURUS and COVENANT?
I really haven't heard all of these, he can play what he wants, that's not my problem!
So, that's not a problem for you?
No, absolutely not!! (laughs) Why? Should it be??
No, but it's a problem for quite a lot of Black Metal fans, they think it's not agressive enough.
I guess he's free as a musician to do what he wants, I maybe don't like all those bands that much, you know. It's not my favourite knid of music, I prefer the old MAYHEM stuff!!
You are very attracted by the 2nd World War, and I know that Necrobutcher collects weapons from that area. Have you seen his collection??
No, I haven't seen his collection, but I have been collecting medals myself for a few years.
So, maybe you can trade with him?
Yeah, but I don't wanna trade my stuff! (laughs) I don't have such a large collection, because some medals are really expensive. But I usually go to Stockholm, once a year...no, twice a year, there's a militarian meeting, where people sell stuff from all kind of war, they trade, do that kind of stuff. I use to go to this kind of stuff, but they're really expensive stuff.
Maybe you can find interesting stuff when you're on tour?
Yeah, sometimes, I've actually done it. I'm really fascinated by militarian medals, that's a big interest I have!!
MARDUK has been influenced a lot by classical music. Do you thonk you'll make another track like 'Glorification of the black God'?
Maybe we'll do that for the next album, yes. Yeah, we're working on different composers that we really enjoy, like Wagner or Prokofiev. But we don't exactly know what we will use...We are thinking about it, we haven't really started to do much for the next album, but we will for sure incorporate some classical parts again.
And what about your solo project, RAUGZ AUGA?
That actually was put on ice, because I had so much to do with MARDUK! I was planning it two years ago, but I've been really busy with MARDUK, I take care of the management of the band, of everything regarding the band. I do all the music, I do, not most of the lyrics, but some of that too, so I'm pretty busy for the time...But I might do it later, you know!
And are you gonna do something with WAR?
No, I won't do anything, I don't really know where that came from, that thing, because I haven't had to do anything with that band. They asked me if I wanted to play guitar on their full-length album, and it was kind of misunderstanding, so their label, Necropolis, thought that I was playing in the band, and they wrote it in some papers, but I had nothing to do with the band!!
With the title and the artwork, don't you think you could get censored?
No, I don't think so! The title is the same in Swedish, it's a Panzer Division, and we're the Panzer Division Marduk. The cover is a Swedish tank, so I don't see where there could be a problem!
But as 'Fuck me Jesus' and 'Live in Germania' were censored in some countries...
Yeah, we had problems with everything, and I don't care about it anymore! (laughs) They can try to do whatever they want, we will do what we want!! We are artists, and I hate censorship. It's the same with paintings! You can't censore a painting! I think music should be a form to release some things that should have been censored, but I won't let anybody step on us! We'll always do what we want, we will never compromise, we had always problems with titles and songs, we are used to it, and I don't care about it anymore!! It's important for us to do what we want instead of licking the medias ass (laughs) and releasing things that suit them. We have to do this to satisfy ourselves!
But some people are pissed off...
(laughs) Yeah, I know...
So, maybe you could sell more...
Yeah, in a way, but we have to do this to satisfy ourselves.
And that's the most important!
Yeah, absolutely! And also, of course it's important to satisfy those people who support us, but first of all, you've got to do it for yourself!
You're often asked questions about fascism, and whatever you answer, journalist always say that maybe you didn't say everything, and so on...What do you think of this behaviour??
I don't know what to think about it, I have no political interest. I'm not left-wing or right-wing or whatever, I have no interest, apart from history! I don't even have the time to have a political opinion on what's going on right now...People always think what they want to know, or they don't understand what you say, they think...I really don't care!!
You're also becoming very famous, you're on the cover of one famous Franch magazine, you've got killer reviews everywhere. What do you think of that?
I was quite surprised that the new album got so good reviews, because it's quite extreme. I thought that the big mags would have assaulted it, because it is so woild and full speed...But in a way, I'm not surprised either, because it's uncompromising, and people still appreciate uncompromising in music. I'm both surprised and not surprised...
I think you deserve it, because you've been in the scene for so long...
Yeah, we've been along for 10 years, and we'll probably be around for 10 more!!
I hope so! Even longer!! But I can't think of any other good questions, so what's your last word?
I'd like to send big regards to all our supporters and we hope to see them when we're on tour again! We'll play festivals this summer, and then play Japan, United States and Mexico, and then begin a new European tour, up to 45 dates!
Who will open for you?
ANGEL CORPSE, I think, and there will be one or two more bands. I like ANGEL CORPSE, they're fast and agressive!!
And that was it, we just talked for a minute about the next shows and the mags I work with...But I like this interview a lot! And MARDUK are the best, definitely. And I can tell you that I'm not saying that just in order to kiss their ass!! Just listen to 'Panzer Division Marduk', you'll see!!