Phone interview with Morgan Hakansson from MARDUK/DEATH WOLF
By Kate Wilcox
April 14th 2011, Hawaiian Ocean View, Hawaii: An unswerving commitment to blasphemy and extremity combined with a relentless touring schedule and a steady stream of recordings has helped establish Sweden's MARDUK as one of the best-known bands on the Scandinavian black metal scene. MARDUK is stronger then ever before!
Kate: Hey Morgan, thanks so much for doing this interview, how are you?
Morgan: I'm doing great thanks!
Kate: (As I was grabbing my interview questions) Do you have a lot of interviews set up for today?
Morgan: No, not so much, I've had a few today but also got to get away and do some fishing.
Kate: Awesome, I'm glad you got to get away for a little bit and relax!
Morgan: Yeah, definitely, it was good to be able to.
Kate: Your new EP, "Iron "is being released at the Maryland Deathfest, what can fans expect?
Morgan: We're doing 7 dates, which we call the 7 Bowls of Wrath and we wanted to do something different so we did this EP that'll be available at the festival. It's very aggressive; all the songs are war-related. There's only a limited supply of this about 500 copies but I think the fans will really like it.
Kate: Are these songs going to be included on the album or is this something completely different?
Morgan: No these songs are only available on the EP; we thought it'd be interesting to do something different like this.
Kate: Is there a new full-length album coming out?
Morgan: We're working on the music right now had done something like 200 shows since "Wormwood". We did the EP so now we're just focusing on the music for the next album and we plan be in the studio at the end of the year. We're also doing a box set to mark the 20 year anniversary of Marduk's official debut album. It's going to be massive.
Kate: It sounds massive!. How long will you be touring for?
Morgan: It's just going to be a short tour. Just those seven dates and then a couple festivals in Mexico and we have some festivals in Europe over the summer so no not for very long.
Kate: When you first created Marduk, what were some of your aspirations?
Morgan: I was really young back then I wanted to be the most aggressive, brutal and blasphemous band possible. I really wanted to really push the limits; I was inspired by a lot of bands back then to do that.
Kate: What are some of them now?
Morgan: It's still the same but you know what? I'm not really inspired by bands these days. There's really not a lot of music to get inspired from.
Kate: That's what I was going to ask you, with black metal do you think it's changed over the years?
Morgan: Yeah, it seems like its gotten worse (laughs). There seems to be no creativity at all, nobody seems to be pushing those limits or boundaries anymore. Not just with black metal but with music in general it seems like they just jump on the bandwagon and give people what they want.
Kate: I absolutely agree. Unfortunately, a lot of these younger bands cave in to the record labels and to the public and lose their identity.
Morgan: Definitely, everything seems to sound the same these days. Nobody's going out and doing their own thing anymore.
Kate: Any words for your fans?
Morgan: it's just great be back and working on material and excited to be doing these tours. We look forward to seeing everybody out there.
Kate: If you ever decide to play out in Hawaii that would be incredible!
Morgan: That would be cool. We've always wanted to play different places like that. Is there a big metal scene there?
Kate: Not so much on the Big Island, there is a little one but it's more so on Oahu and I think little by little it's getting better.
Morgan: Awesome, yeah, we've never been known to play just the general or well known places like in the U.S. We've played all over Europe, Singapore, Guatemala, and Indonesia. We love playing places like that. There's seems to be more of a hunger for the music.
Kate: Definitely, I think people in those places and here are more appreciative of the music because it's not as accessible like on the mainland.
Morgan: Right, I think people who have gotten more access to it have gotten lazier about coming out to the shows. Plus with technology it's just easier for people to watch it on the internet instead of coming out to see the shows live. I hate that.
Kate: Yeah, I remember being in high school and on I was always going to shows like every night and just being so psyched to see bands live. I agree, I think people have gotten lazier and not as appreciative as we were about the effort bands put out these days.
Morgan: Right, I mean the technology is great in some ways so people can see and hear music across the world but at the same time it can be a big downfall to music.
Formed in the year 2000 under the monicker Devils Whorehouse by Morgan from Marduk, and after releasing the highly acclaimed albums "Revelation Unorthodox" and "Blood & Ashes" as well as the eps, "Howling" and "Werewolf", the band fell its time to change name as the music and philosophy behind the orchestra has outgrown its name. The end of one world and the birth of another. The band now continues under the name Death Wolf symbolising the strength, dedication and will shown in its creations. The band just finished the recording of its upcoming album filled with Northern end themes and death hymns. Cold steel over the worlds throat. More info regarding its imminent release will follow shortly.
Kate: So I also have some questions for you about Death Wolf too. You were formerly known as Devil's Whorehouse and now reborn as Death Wolf, what brought on this transformation?
Morgan: We formed in 2000 and after releasing the albums "Revelation Unorthodox" and "Blood and Ashes" we felt we had outgrown that whole Misfits sound and headed for something more on the dark side and aggressive.
Kate: It does sound more aggressive and it sounds like you're heading in a stronger direction but I hear that Misfit's punk influence in there still.
Morgan: Oh yeah, there's still a lot of inspiration from Samhain and Misfits but we don't want people to put a label on our music.
Kate: On albums like "Blood and Ashes" Maelstrom had a huge Danzig influence in his vocal style and it's still present but he's gotten a lot more aggressive which I really like. Is that something he's purposely moving towards?
Morgan: I agree with that, I think he's really come into his own voice and gotten more aggressive. But I have a huge amount of respect for Glen Danzig. He's one of the few that struck out on his own and did what he wanted to do and is still doing it to this day!
Kate: Absolutely. As far song-writing and goes on the albums, who all is involved?
Morgan: We all work together as a band pretty much to decide what does and doesn't go on the albums. We want it to be an effort from all of us, not just one person.
Kate: What made you decide to start this project?
Morgan: It was just something really different from Marduk; we all have side projects and work going on. I love Marduk and I love playing with them but this is something completely different that I really enjoy doing.
Kate: What are some of your favorite songs off this album?
Morgan: Oh wow, it's hard to say I like all of them but if I had to pick I would say the opener "Circle of Abomination" is one of my favorite tracks.
Kate: That is a killer track! I mean the whole album is awesome but that is one of my favorites too.
Morgan: Oh thanks!
Kate: What are some future plans for Death Wolf?
Morgan: We have a festival in Germany coming up in June and we're currently shooting a new video for "Ironwood" which we are really excited about!
Kate: Awesome, well thank you again Morgan! It was great talking with you and hope to talk again soon!
Morgan: Thanks Kate! Great talking with you too!
Check out Marduk's official website and Death Wolf's official website.