MORDBRAND have been very productive since I last caught up with them. So to make up for lost time I decided to interview them again. Anders Ekdahl ©2016
Going back to the interview I did with you in 2011 I realize that time flies to fucking fast. Back then you were about to release a MCD on Deathgasm. Now that I look at your back catalogue I see a lot of releases but just one album. Why?
Per: We decided to stay active and release some smaller stuff first, it felt too early to release a full length right away. Trying to build somewhat of a reputation before heading into our first album. Every release contains of exclusive material though.
Björn: Yeah, we made it clear to ourselves that we shouldn’t regurgitate old material our of laziness. All releases should be unique in terms of material. So every E.P. has it’s own direction and theme.
Back then we discussed the use of a Swedish band name. Has the implication of the name been a problem for the band (Arson and the whole 90s Norwegian church burning thing)?
Per: I don’t think it’s been a problem with the swedish name, but how can you tell? The norwegian arson thing is not something we have been connected to due to the name (or otherwise), it really hasn’t been something of an issue at all. Its hard to pronounce correctly for non-swedes, thats about it.
You seem to have embraced this whole digital download thing. Has it made DIY a whole lot easier or what?
Per: Yes it has and it’s a double-edged sword. Of course downloading will affect sales, and CDs seems to be of no interest to people. I guess most rip the album and transfer it to their smartphone anyhow, digital downloads just make the process easier. Vinyl is popular though, and we make some digital sales as well. Great times to be a music lover, everything is so easy accessable.
Björn: We want all of our efforts to be easy to get a hold of and we always make the clear with labels. The vinyl freaks get their money’s worth, but if you just want to jam our stuff you can stream it for free at http://mordbrand.bandcamp.com or download it and pay a few €.
With what intentions do you do this today? Are the intentions the same as they were when you first started to play back in the days? How much does growth play in how you view your playing?
Per: Pretty much the same, just wanna deliver some good music in the vein of what we enjoy ourselves. No grand plan at all, just be a part of the underground militia.
Björn: I think that we are still developing from release to release. I think the songwriting is a lot more interesting today than a few years ago. If the ideas don’t develop there’s no reason to continue. And I’m not a very nostalgic person so if we don’t have anything interesting to offer anymore, we’ll just disband. You’re never better than your last release.
Something I have often wondered about is if you feel that you are part of something bigger and greater when you play in a band, that you are part of a movement sort of? You do splits with different bands.
Per: I don’t think I’ve felt that, maybe it was a bigger thing when I was a teenager. We have shared space on records with bands we feel connected to, either musically or personally. So there’s a sense of kinship there I guess you can say.
When you play the sort of music you play do you feel that you can have whatever you like as art work for the cover of your album? What is a great album cover to you?
Per: Good cover art should somehow sum up the feel/atmosphere of an album and its lyrics. It’s obviously great if you can have it custom made via an artist and we have been lucky to work with some skilled persons in that area. Other than that, just basic skills in photoshop can take you a long way. Looking back on records that have meant much to me, I’d say that Venoms 2 first have great imagery that goes along with what you get listening to them.
I have a great fear that the change in how people consume music today will eventually kill music as we know it. That it will be a matter of politics. Not everybody has the same access to the net as we do in Sweden but everybody can get their hands on a cd/tape. What’s your opinion?
Per: I’m pretty sure things will be just fine, there are more bands now than it ever have been and most have been conceived in the digital era. Its easier to get your music heard, but its also easier to get lost in the white noise of the internet. The amount of bands around is truly overwhelming. Physical releases will probably die out one day, but for the time being it’s ok.
Björn: Yeah, and it’s something ideal with musicians doing music for the sake of doing music. Don’t quit your dayjob!
Is the era of great arena tours a thing of yester? Are the days of mega bands gone for good? Will music return to the grass roots?
Per: Yes I think so, there doesn’t seem to be that kind of enormous attraction in a band/artist anymore. Lots of competition that wasn’t available back in the day, DJs and youtubers seems to be held in higher regard by todays youth. So, when the dinosaurs have died out I think that kind of artists will be gone. Mobile festivals etc will replace them to fill up the stadiums. (that’s probably already been happening for a while though)
When you play live is it a happening or do you see it more as a party?
Per: We are not an active live band for the time being, hopefully when we do get to play live it will be both.
Björn: We are looking at some possibilities of taking Mordbrand to the stage next year. We’re focusing on recording at the moment.
What would you like to see the future bring?
Per: Not sure, we are working on our second full length, hopefully that will turn out like the monster we intend/strive for. Find some suitable members to help out for some live shows.
Björn: To be able to keep doing what we’re doing suits us just fine. Hopefully each release will gain us more attention. Fact of the matter is that without that small growth between each release this wouldn’t be possible. But we’re humble and thankful for what we’ve been able to do thus far. There are a lot of great bands out there!