DAY OF THE UNDEAD
RESURRECTED TO TASTE YOUR FLESH
Well we have a new line up and a new EP out now on Dread Records.
2. First, letís go back in timeÖ Your first album "Dying Remains" from 1993 contained a simpler old Death metal with a filthy atmosphere, it didn't sound that American, there were almost doomy moments and melodies. What were you listening at the time? What do you remember of this epoch?
The underground was full of all these great iconic bands that were all just starting or coming out with their first demo. The death metal scene in the states was just giving birth to the style, but the bands in the fanzines were all from Europe and the sound just caught us, we were young and impressionable and the UK style bands just were major influence. Some of the bands were Boltthower, Paradise Lost, Entombed to name a few. Those bands had so much heart and it was all natural and full of atmosphere.
3. I feel some similarities in mood with the first PARADISE LOST album "Lost paradise" and what MY DYING BRIDE had recorded before their first album... Also some early DEATH ("Leprosy") or perhaps BAPHOMET can be felt. Would you confirm these influences or would prefer to quote other names?
Nope your spot on, we loved all those bands and learned through them, P.L. was big and "Gothic" was ground breaking, Not to mention we were label mates soon after. But they just really influence on us young kids at the time. Death came after the UK bands and that really changed things for me.
4. Can you tell us more about Dave Steffan who painted the cover of this album? According to Metal-archives he didn't paint for other metal bands... Was he a close friend of yours or something?
He was a friend of a friend and was told he can do a killer cover, which he did. And it's still one of my favorite until today.
5. At the time of your second album "As Humanity Fades" your music changed, your death metal became a bit more technical, American sounding and also "cleaner" produced. What lead to this change of style? Would it be possible to say at the time, Morta Skuld was something like a heavier/ elephant version of DEATH's "Human"? Ahah
What happened is the band and myself got into an argument about my playing, and at the time I was going through a divorce and wasn't really all there, so my playing did suffer a bit but we got through it. The other guys just weren't giving me the time I needed and they said if I don't improve they are leaving or I'm fired, depending which end you're on. So I wasn't happy at all and told them they couldn't use the name and I'd find some other guys. And just so Viogression was on a break as their singer was working with Cynic, so they and I got together and played out and wrote some new material (Which has been lost) under the Morta Skuld name. The other guys couldn't find anyone and the guys I was with were returning to their own band, So we were all at this party at a buddy of mine (Who played in REALM) and like a girl you broke up with you missed one another and that lead to talks. They had written an album worth of tunes in which they tuned up and gave it more of a cleaner sound, and not to mention the guitar player at the time Jason O was heavily into Malevolent creation and their guitar sound. So I picked the ones I liked and we wrote a few as a band and that is how that album came to be.
6. The very nice looking cover was painted by Dominic Marino. Can you tell us more? Did he paint for other Death metal bands?
Dom did some
of it by hand and the rest were real parts of a key board mixed
in, the actual piece was like 6 foot by whatever and he took a picture
of it and that was used for that album, he also did the cover of
the first Viogression too.
7. Then your third album "For All Eternity" made things heavier, more powerful, and the MORBID ANGEL influence was also stronger. I think this is also the first one with blastbeats. Perhaps this album is the most representative of your whole "career" since it's situated in the middle of the discography?
That album was the last of 3 for the Peaceville label, we spent a lot of time on it and the music was over thought I feel. We wrote more as a band unlike the second album which I didn't have much to do with writing music. And the problem with that album was it wasn't worked enough by the person in charge of working it, the first two albums did well, the third one not much... But then we did the fourth album for Pavement and that was our best, at our peak.
8. Your fourth album "Surface" was the fatter, heavier one... (So heavy I know some peoples find it disgusting ahah). Did you find it to be some kind of "epitome"? Do you remember the way you saw this album, and was it a direction you had in mind for years, or just a natural development?
We wrote that
album in two parts and recorded them as demos, and they sounded
so good we kept them and went into the studio to master them and
put them out ourselves, Phil from Malevolent was gigging around
our neck of the woods, we played him the demo and he made a call
and we put that album out on Pavement, The Morbid Angel influence
came in around that time as well, it got us to blast in our songs
because at that point we only had one song off the first album with
tiny blast, and "Domination" was out and Rutan just blew
me away, it just was so awesome the influence was amazing. Morbid
Angel was always an influence as much as Death. And we didn't want
to do the same album and stepped up to the plate, Itís a shame that
album didn't do better but we may do a reissue.
9. If the band had kept on recording at the end of the 90's, do you think your music would have kept on evolving in such a manner: "Always heavier/ always more powerful" and how do you imagine it could have sounded? (Perhaps you would have finally turned to purely monolithic doom death? Ahah)
Good one, I canít say what it would have been like, but after the "Surface" album we had written a few more and it was along the same lines as "Surface". It was more in a 3 piece vein as we lost our guitarist (Of 8 years) and had guests come and go; One was Takis from REALM, which we did a few tribute albums with, that helped us and our skills got even better. So who knows what we would have sounded like? It made me a better player for sure.
10. Last year you released a new MCD entitled "Serving two masters", musically I find some similarities with your 2nd and third albums, but there are also quite many differences. How would you describe it? Does it contain only new songs or do some riffs date back to end 90's?
It contains 3 new songs and two older ones re-recorded, The new line up wrote the EP except the two older songs, so itís new. The Ep has this energy to it and was recorded by our guitarist Nino, and then the rest by Scott Creekmore. It was done old school as a band in the same room, we recorded all of our music in back when we were kids. Also with how long we have been doing this we learned a lot and wanted some modern stuff in there, not just the same we did many years ago, but we still remain true to our style.
11. You have probably been working on compositions for a new album. Does it sound similar to your last MCD or are there new elements? Perhaps you could unveil some song titles?
We have two new songs almost done and a third one started, The song titles are "My Weakness" and "Mass self Replication". it is in the same vein but with a twist or two. You never know until the songs are finished and you step back and listen to them. Back in the day we wrote the music and it went to the studio as is; These days changing things after you have had time in the studio is possible, it's a more modern approach to writing this style. Plus when we wrote the new EP it was the first time we all wrote together, it was very Organic.
12. Years ago, I read somewhere the name "Morta Skuld" came from the words "Mortal" and "Skud", but lately I found on the web Brian from VIOGRESSION actually came up with this name... Can you confirm the right story?
When I started
doing this I didn't know what I was doing, so Brian helped me quite
a bit, and he had this list of names. He liked the name "Puss",
and I was like no... And then I said "What is this Morta Skuld?",
and he said "ok". The name together tells the story of
all babies as we are born and the 3 witches of fate decided each
of our fates. It's Norse.
13. Do you remember the kind of distorsion effects you used on guitars in the 90's. Was it only a Marshall Amp distorsion with a bit of chorus, or perhaps a metal zone effect?
We used the Marshall JCM 800 with a rack mount 26 band EQ and noise suppressor. And Also EMG pickups too.
14. Which bands did you feel close to in the 90's, on a musical or personal point of view? (I think you shared something with late 90's BROKEN HOPE (Rather "Grotesque blessings") or perhaps some MALEVOLENT CREATION of the same epoch (Even if the style of the two bands was different from yours)).
We were close to a lot of bands and would write back and forth to everyone from Mitch in Napalm, to Karl in Boltthower. And Phil from Malevolent Creation were tight, as well as Broken Hope, Joe and Shaun were buddies of mine. We all just supported each otherís, it was good time for us and the scene. We were all in each others' area at one point and we became a metal family.
15. What do the musicians of Morta Skuld like to eat? Are you into the softer "bio" healthy food or rather enjoy the harder heavy meat and French fries up to the stomach? How is your alimentation compared to the 90's?
I try to eat
Organic food if I can, or try to get a healthier choice, but I do
love my junk food and pizza as well, most of us like Mexican food
and it seems we can always agree on that. Pizza close second.
A beef stew, a little something for everyone....hahahaha and of course I would taste.
17. What do you enjoy listening to these months? Are there only new bands, or you dig some old records? For the older stuffs, do you still dig albums from the 90's or mostly the 70's/ 80's records you grew up with?
I'm not into a lot of new bands, I listen to a lot of the bands I have been listening to for years. In the last few I have been getting into Mnemic and Conquering Dystopia, but I still listen to old Whitesnake and The Cars, or even Styx and Journey. A lot of the new stuff sounds forced, and there are so many bands it has been hard for me to see which ones are good and which ones our bad.
18. What can the listeners expect from Morta Skuld in the future? Some new (re)releases, some new merch?
We are working
on a Cassette release of the first two demos, in classic form, through
DREAD RECORDS. The new EP will see a vinyl release in overseas'
market, and then hopefully a full length will follow. And yes, some
merch: New hoodies, posters and shirts for sure.
Web page: https://www.facebook.com/MortaSkuld