Morgoth - 19/07/2012

MORGOTH is a German death metal band that was formed in 1985 by Rüdiger Hennecke and Carsten Otterbach in Meschede. Originally the name Cadaverous Smell. When Harry Busse joined the band they renamed themselves to "Minas Morgul". In 1985 the band settled on Morgoth when singer and bass-player Marc Grewe joined the band. The name was derived from the epithet of the original dark lord Melkor in J.R.R Tolkien's Middle-earth Legendarium. They recorded the Pits of Utumno demo on four tracks in 1988, which eventually led to the band being signed with Century Media, which had just started.

 

In 1989, Morgoth recorded their second demo Resurrection Absurd in a twenty-four-track studio, which was released by Century Media in the same year as an EP. In February 1991, the first actual full-length album was recorded in the Woodhouse studios, titled ‘Cursed’. To promote the album the band supported Kreator and Biohazard on a US tour and another European tour with Immolation and Massacre. Morgoth took a break then and only to return in 1993 with the album ‘Odium’.

 

Eventually a third album was recorded, ‘Feel Sorry for the Fanatic’, on which they incorporated more and more industrial influences. The band broke up in 1998. But Morgoth got back together in 2010 and germany's most legendary Death Metal band released their first ever live album and DVD in June 2012. "Cursed To Live" marks the band's live documentation of their currently ongoing 20th anniversary celebration of their all-time classic album "Cursed" (released on Century Media Records in 1991).

 

 

So, in order to find out all there is to know about Morgoth’s live album and their current status we tracked down Marc Grewe (Vocals) to answer some questions. Here you can read what he had to say to the readers of Metal-Experience.com.

 

 

First of all, how are you doing? And congratulations on your new live DVD ‘Cursed To Live’ which will be released soon. Of course we’d like to ask you a couple of questions about it.

 

Its been a couple of years since you reformed to participate in the Death Feast Open Air festival, so can you give us a little update about what’s been happening since then?

 

Marc: Well actually we decided to play more shows after that, because we really enjoyed the experience to be on stage again. The “Cursed” Anniversary Shows will be ending this year.

 

What can you tell us about the new band members?

 

Marc: The new drummer Marc Reign is known to most people as the drummer of Destruction. He played with them for 10 years or so. Our new Bass player Sotirios Kelekidis is a guy from a prog Metal band called Sinew. They just released an album which is worth checking out. Both guys are really laid back and cool people too, so that was important as well.

 

What was it like for you guys to play those shows after a break of over ten years?

 

Marc: Well, actually it wasn´t too hard to play shows again. Of course we were well prepared before we entered the stage. We did a lot of rehearsals. But also, even though we hadn´t played the songs for over 10 years, it was quite easy…it was still there in the back of our minds and brains, hehe

 

What were the goals which you had in mind when you decided to record a DVD, any elements you definitely wanted to include on it?

 

Marc: We just wanted to have an indoor show, where we were able to use all our lights and so on. And of course we wanted to capture a show where we did a full set with all the songs, not only a 45 minute festival gig. I think ‘Cursed To Live’ captures the live quality of the band in a pretty good way, so we are really satisfied how it turned out.

 

 

The DVD was mixed at the Unisound Studio in Sweden by Dan Swanö. In which elements can one clearly hear his vision and ideas?


Marc
: The rough mixes of the show were already pretty good. And when we got the mixes from Dan, we were just absolutely astonished at how much more he was able to get out of it. He comes from the same background and he knows exactly how Death Metal should sound in a live situation, so he did the mix quite fast and we were just happy with the first mix he did, which is really awesome!

 

What do you think are the most typical differences between Morgoth anno 2012 and Morgoth back in the day?

 

Marc: Well I think we all got more professional in playing our instruments. It’s 20 more years of practice, I guess hahah. Also the new members of Morgoth made their impression on the sound as well. Marc Reign plays it with a more “thrashy” touch I would say…

 

The shows you did the last couple of years were mainly based on the ‘Cursed’ album, why this album?

 

Marc: It has this “cult-status” to the fans, plus it had its 20th anniversary in 2011. That’s mainly the reason.

 

What do you remember about recording ‘Cursed’?

 

Marc: We wrote it in the winter season.We come from a region where there are a lot of hills and dark woods. I guess that made its impression on the whole atmosphere. Plus we rehearsed in an old slaughterhouse and we could hears the screams of dying sheep next to our room, which may just have been an inspiration for some of the screams!

 

What were the goals you had in mind when you guys started to record ‘Cursed’ back in the day, any elements you definitely wanted to include on the album?

 

Marc: We just wanted to create a dark atmosphere and also we wanted to bring elements into our sound which we hadn´t used before. We listened to a lot of different music like Fields Of the Nephilim and so on and we were a little bit tired of just playing fast. So the main intention was to create a special atmosphere.

 

From the early demos through to ‘Cursed’, Morgoth traced a pretty straight path from raw death metal, but after a couple of albums you started to insert more and more industrial influences. What happened in that time between ‘Cursed’ and ‘Feel Sorry for the Fanatic’?

 

Marc: Well we all developed our taste in music into different directions. ODIUM was definitely more industrial- influenced and FSFTF was a big compromise beween all 5 persons in the band. I don´t think FSFTF is a bad album, but it was a little bit too early, and we should have taken more time to produce it differently…

 

 

Was that change the reason for the split up, or were there other issues?

 

Marc: Yeah, there was definitely a tension between the members about where to go with the band. Some people just wanted to quit and that finally happened.

 

What are your thoughts on ‘Feel Sorry for the Fanatic’ and the experimental stuff you did in those days?

 

Marc: I wasn´t involved in the songwriting too much as I was touring a lot with my other band Power Of Expression at that time. So I can´t say too much about that period of writing.

 

Is there anything looking back that you would have liked to have done differently, or are you satisfied with the way in which your albums turned out even all these years later?

 

Marc: As I said, we could have spent more time on the production. But looking back I don´t regret it. It was just the stuff that came out of us at that time. Nothing more nothing less.

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself and the kinds of things that motivate you in your writing, your poetry, and your lyrics? What are you personally into?

 

Marc: Well of course back in the old days it was mainly books which had something to do with the darkness in any kind of form. Nowadays I really like psychological literature, which leads you behind the standard psychology known to the public.

 

Which Morgoth release are you personally the most proud of, and why?

 

Marc: Well, I think ‘Cursed’ is my favourite still, because it is a “complete” album. From the art work to the production, and also the time it was released was just the best time for releasing it.

 

Could you respond to the following terms in just one word or sentence:
 

Thrash : Slayer

Underground : Tape trading

Internet : kills record sales on the one hand, but otherwise I love it ;-)

Religion : the reason for hate and wars

Politics : useless

The Netherlands : friendly people unless it comes to football ;-)

Germany : Beer

 

 

What have been the highlights and low points throughout your career?

 

Marc: Highlights were the early tours we did plus visiting a lot of different countries and being able get to know a lot of cultures and people.

 

What is your opinion on the death metal scene these days? Is there anything missing in the scene?

 

Marc: Well, I guess back in the days there was only a really small scene. People were more dedicated because of tape trading, doing fanzines and the whole “do it yourself” mentality…now every band has a website and there are 1 mln. More bands. I personally like to go to small shows by underground bands and discover stuff for myself. It makes me feel like I have a better connection with reality.

 

What makes Morgoth different from the other heavy metal bands out there, and why do we have to buy ‘Cursed To Live’?

 

Marc: I am pretty sure we are unique and don´t sound like any other band out there. ‘Cursed to Live’ is a perfect example of what a Morgoth gig is like. We don´t do extensive touring anymore, so if people wanna get an impression of us…get it now,and watch us on your comfy sofa !!!

 

Which goals did you have when the band started out and how do these goals stand now?

 

Marc: We just wanted to play music for ourselves and maybe play some gigs in our local youth centre. We never expected to become a band that would ever release a record haha. Well I guess we did quite well ;-)

 

What can we expect from Morgoth in the near future? New material?

 

Marc: We’ve decided to play the last show in Essen (Turock) on the 3rd of November and after  that we will see what will happen. Of course we’ve talked about a new album, but we will give it the time it needs. I will also concentrate on Insidious Disease next year, so we´ll see what will happen, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed!

 

If so, what will these new songs sound like?

 

Marc: Don´t know ..pretty classic Old schooly I guess ;-)

 

A last statement?

 

Marc: Hope to see some of you at our only Holland show at the Stonehenge Festival at the end of July. Thanx for your support.. See you in the Pits of Utumno!!

 

Thanks for you time,

Eugene Straver

 

 

Members:

Marc Grewe - Vocals

Harry Busse - Lead & Rhythm Guitars

Sebastian Swart - Rhythm Guitars

Sotirios Kelekidis - Bass

Marc Reign – Drums

 

Albums:

(1989) Resurrection Absurd (EP)

(1990) The Eternal Fall (EP)

(1991) Cursed

(1993) Odium

(1996) Feel Sorry for the Fanatic

(2005) 1987–1997: The Best of Morgoth