(Provided by Thomas Bonnicel)
The Panzer Division Marduk strikes back! And this time, they don’t have only their mortar shells, but they took their whips with them! You know what to expect then…a nice spanking! Let’s see with the very friendly Legion (vocals) what sort of punishment they have prepared for our butts…
Legion, what’s new since our last meeting in November?
We have released our new mini CD, ‘Obedience’, and it contains two new tracks, ‘Obedience’ and ‘Funeral Bitch’ and a cover of Celtic Frost. That’s the main thing that has happened since November. We have also been working on new material and new songs for the new album, that we may record in October or November, but most likely in December. We are also choosing live-recorded tracks in order to release a double live album, through Osmose Productions in October. We are going to choose different versions from our tracks, and as we had already released a live album for our German fans, ‘Live In Germania’, this one is gonna be dedicated to all our French fans, it’s also gonna be a double album because there are nineteen or twenty tracks on it. There are going to be tracks from all our shows in France, and some of the songs will appear more than once on the album, but with in different versions, with a different sound and so on. We have also decided to have that rough-edge sound, and we won’t make any overdubs or whatever. This is just going to be pure energy and metal. We also do that because we wanted to do something special for our tenth anniversary, and since we’re not going to record the new album before the end of the year, we wanted to release something for the fans, that would reflect our entire career… And still concerning our news, we are now on the No Mercy tour, and we are going to do some festivals this summer, like the Wacken Open Air that we haven’t been able to do last year, or the With Full Force, and some others as well. We are also most likely to go to the US, but we don’t know yet. About the new album, it’s going to be violent and pure fucking metal as usual! We don’t like to sit back and relax, we like to write new stuff!
Still about that live album, it has been said at the beginning that you’d release it through Regain Records, just like ‘Obedience’, and that the second CD would be composed of covers exclusively. What about that idea?
Yeah, the cover CD was something we had just discussed and thought of. But we prefer to release a new live album instead of a new cover record. There are too many cover records on the market right now, and it wasn’t such a good idea to do it for the second time. It’s a better idea to spend time in the studio to record new stuff than covers again. Concerning Osmose, our contract was over, and fulfilled with ‘Panzer Division Marduk’, but for the mini CD, we wanted to see how it was like to release it with another label. Anyway, it’s just marketed and distributed by Regain Records. It’s a bit like that other mini CD that was released by Shadow Records…But we have resigned with Osmose, and they are going to release the live album, and the new albums.
In ‘Panzer Division Marduk’, you talked about heavy Panzers, and now you are taking about sweet girls in ‘Obedience’. How did you get that idea? Why did you do that?
It’s just a thing that fascinates us. We wanted to do an extreme thing, take the things a bit further, and it was quite cool to write lyrics inspired by pornography… That’s something that we all like, and it was something really cool to make, and quite new in metal too!
About the pictures, did you make a special photo shoot for the album, or did you get them from some magazines or on the web?
We got the pictures from a guy that we know. We didn’t rent a studio or whatever…
At the beginning of the interview, you told me that you were all pretty busy. But how can, for example, Fredrik manage to be playing in Triumphator too?
That was quite easy for Fredrik. He just listened to it, and he immediately knew what to play. I think that it took him only a week to do everything and record the drums! So, that’s not very much trouble. Marduk is of course our main priority, but if we have the time do something else, why couldn’t we do it? But Marduk has to be our top priority, because else, how could we be at this level? We need to rehearse a lot, to write new songs all the time, and we play a lot of shows too. Between the studio, the rehearsal place, the road and the promo, we don’t have much time left!
In France, most of the people think that Sweden is a true heaven for the metalheads, because a lot a bands come from this country. But how is the scene up there, and especially in your hometown Norrkцping?
It’s not a scene! There are a lot of bands there, but that’s only because there’s no other way to be into metal there. There are mostly no live shows, there are no metal clubs, nothing. If you want to know what’s happening in the scene, you have to play in a band, and buy a lot of fanzines. This is how the scene works. Here in France, you can be really into the scene without being in a band or whatever, you can hang out in metal clubs, you have a lot of shows to see, and that’s cool! But we don’t have that in Sweden, and that’s why everybody has his band. For example, we did only two shows in Sweden last year, and they were the first ones since 94! We haven’t been playing in our hometown since December 93, I was not even in the band at that time. That shows how lousy the scene is there…
About your last tour, you had some problems, and your shows in Russia have been cancelled. And as I’m also writing in Russian mags, I’d like to know what really happened there…
When we arrived at the Russian border, the tour manager told us that we wouldn’t get any green card, and that we wouldn’t be allowed to travel in the country, and that we would have to give up our passports. So, if we entered Russia, we would have been without passport… If the police had caught us, they would have taken all our stuff and so on, so we thought it wasn’t a good idea to enter Russia. But what has happened in fact was that the tour manager had decided to steal the money from the last shows we had made. At the end of each show, he collected the money of the evening, and each time and met representatives from Metallysee, he gave them the money. But this time, he needed a few days off to plan everything and leave with the money, so he told us that huge bullshit. He let us alone in Germany, planned everything, and then left with the money. So we had to finish the tour without him…But by luck, he has been caught by the police on the last day of the tour, and as we had signed a contract with Metallysee, we didn’t loose any money. The guy stole Metallysee’s money and not ours… But that guy fucked the entire Russian audience! I don’t know how much he stole, but I guess it was around 50'000 DM!
Now that the band is ten years old, what are the best and the worst moments if you look back at your career?
I think that the beauty of it all is the best point: we get better and better, and instead of becoming very famous at some point and then losing everything immediately, we just gain more and more audience. We are no metal stars or whatever, but people remember us now, and we have a lot of dedicated fans, who know what they will get with our albums. Every year, we are expanding… We can release what we want, play what we like, and that’s what I really enjoy: only being a true metalhead who does what he wants. And I’m playing for people that love what we play, and we’re quite a sort of family now. The people recognise us in each venue, and we’ve got some ‘intimacy’ with our fans. We don’t have gigantic crowds, people are there and we can see their faces and so on, that’s cool! About the worst point, I don’t know. Of course there are always some shits, but that’s quite normal… Maybe we could have made more stuff, but well. We love what we’re doing, and we’re not stuck in some damn factory, driving a Volvo and having a life that sucks, so that’s definitely great!
And just in order to finish that interview, as you are all big fans of Mayhem, I’d like to know what you think of their new album?
I haven’t heard it! I haven’t talked with the guys for long even… We speak about each other in interviews, but I haven’t met them for a long time, damn! (laughs)