Chain D.L.K.: First of all, could you tell us something more about how you and and Stefan met and then decided to form Morticians?
Morticians: We went to art school together and soon discovered that we liked the same type of music and shared an interest in making music ourselves. I had already been programming synthpop in my small home studio for a couple of years and Stefan had been involved in another EBM act. We decided to join forces and try to make some music in the distorted style that we both enjoyed.
Chain D.L.K.: You formed the band back in 1991, could you tell us what was the scene back then in Sweden and could you tell us what were your principal influences?
Morticians: The EBM/industrial scene was very small and limited to a few bands, mostly from the record label Energy, that got all the attention, like Cat Rapes Dog and Pouppée Fabrikk. Synthpop was a lot bigger but most of the Swedish bands sounded like bad copies of Depeche Mode. We weren’t into Swedish music at all. Instead we loved bands like Skinny Puppy, Ministry, Nitzer Ebb and Leatherstrip. The Danish Leatherstrip was probably the most obvious influence in our early music.
Chain D.L.K.: Eleven years after releasing your demo you decided it was time to produce new stuff again. What made you decide to come back together again?
Morticians: Morticians has actually been active during this time but since the mid 90s the music style slowly evolved into dark moody synthpop, though still with some influences from industrial music. Stefan was replaced by Marie Hagelqvist who joined this project in 2000 and in 2002 we released a CD called Private Void. Since this music had very little in commonwith the original Morticians we finally changed the name of this project to Eternity Range in 2003. Eternity Range released a new CD this summer on the US label Kinetik Media.
In the late 90s Morticians–both the original industrial incarnation and the new synthpop version–became quite popular on mp3.com and was frequently downloaded until the site was shut down.Marie, who sings in Eternity Range, often tried to convince me to do more music in the original industrial/EBM style which she loved and when I happened to find a label that was interested in this in autumn 2004 I decided to go along with it. After some convincing I even got Stefan to do this with me. We hadn’t been playing together for several years and he was and still is very tied up with his own musical project.
Chain D.L.K.: Have you played on other bands in the meanwhile?
Morticians: Besides Eternity Range I have also been involved in two other side projects: Nervkallaps–a cult industrial band with funny Swedish lyrics and OnLoad–a catchy electropop act. Stefan started his solo project Folie in the late 90s and has been pretty successful in the electronica genre.
Chain D.L.K.: What are the main differences you feel from playing again in the new millennium?
Morticians: I’m not sure if it’s really that different at all. This kind of music seems to be just as popular now as when we started. The main difference is probably that we have now finally released our songs on CD.
Chain D.L.K.: The thing that excited me more by listening to your old stuff is how well you balanced the melodic lines with the distorted elements. Since back in the early nineties it was difficult to work with computers, could you tell me what was your working method back then and what is it nowadays?
Morticians: We used a couple of synthesizers and sound modules together with samplers all connected to an Atari ST computer with an early version of Cubase that was then called Pro 24. Making a new song back then involved physically connecting a lot of cables, loading sound disks and turning a lot of knobs before we got what we wanted, while now it is all done virtually on the computer. It’s a lot more comfortable now and it takes much less time.
Chain D.L.K.: By reading the tracks titles (“Zombie Centerfold”, “Mortal Death”, “Rest In Pieces”, “Cannibal Sex”, etc.) on MUTILATION RECREATION and by noticing your look, it seems that horror culture plays an important part in your music. Can you tell me if this is right and, in this case, can you talk about your main influences and how they affect your music?
Morticians: We have always loved bad horror movies and cult movies like Evil Dead and Hellraiser. The bands we listened to when we made these songs–Skinny Puppy, Leatherstrip etc–used to sample those movies but we took this concept further and also wrote our lyrics and shaped our whole image in a way that was inspired by the movies. I think that we were also a bit inspired by the spectacular live shows of metal bands like W.A.S.P. and on our first live shows we used things like fake blood, skulls and gravestones on stage. Unlike other bands in the genre we didn’t want to present any meaningful or political viewpoints in our lyrics, we just wanted to entertain and horror was what we found most entertaining ourselves.
Chain D.L.K.: The second CD on MUTILATION RECREATION contains reworked and remixed tracks. Do you collaborate in any way with the bands for these tracks and is there one you prefer?
Morticians: We didn’t collaborate with any of the bands for these tracks though I have later played keyboard with Cryo on one of his live shows. Cryos track is my favourite and I generally love his work. Christoffer who runs the Plutonium label made a cool contribution with his version of Cannibal Sex which he called Animal Sex.
Chain D.L.K.: On the press sheet I read that you are working on new tunes. Can you tell us something more about them? How do they sound?
Morticians: I am working together with my cousin Jonas Rimheden on some new Morticians songs in the same industrial/EBM style as Mutilation Recreation. Stefan didn’t seem to have time for this unfortunately.It’s probably a bit too early to say anything for sure but I think the sound of the new tracks will be a bit more futuristic than Mutilation Motivation and the lyrical theme will be inspired by bad sci-fi horror movies.
Chain D.L.K.: When do you think shall we listen to your new stuff?
Morticians: One of the new tracks will be appearing on the compilation Plutonium Showcase 2 which is due to be released in October. A full length album will probably take until spring 2006 to complete.
Chain D.L.K.: Anything else you’d like to tell?
Morticians: There seems to be a common misunderstanding that the Mutilation Recreation CD is entirely made up of old tracks. I’d like to point out that three of the tracks are actually completely new: Zombie Centerfold, Repeat Reassemble and Mortal Death, though the last two are based on songs from the original Mutilation Motivation demo.
Visit Morticians on the web at:
[interviewed by Maurizio Pustianaz] [proofreading by Benjamin Pike]