I have a special fondness for black metal the way Marduk and Dark Funeral play it; with great intensity and aggression. So whenever I find a band like that I just have to interview them, hence this interview with MURDRYCK. Anders Ekdahl ©2016
What is this band really all about?
-It’s pretty simple. We aim to play aggressive Black Metal music that pleases ourselves. The album is exactly the sort of music I want to listen to which is why I am our biggest fan. It’s a mix of old-school with a slightly updated sound. The influences are pretty simple…Iron Maiden, Slayer, Metallica, Megadeth, Annihilator, Deicide with a black metal edge from bands like Marduk, Emperor, Dark Funeral etc. It’s really not any more complicated than that!
Is there a difference in people’s attitude towards you if you don’t come from a cool place like LA or NY or London?
-I’ve really no idea. I think outside of Sweden it’s pretty “cool” to be in a band from Sweden. It promises a level quality in the song writing and musicianship that isn’t as expected from some other countries. I think most countries have some kind of stereo-typical expectation from the listeners. I think LA or NY or London aren’t exactly hotbeds for black metal so it’s an irrelevant question.
When you release an album that get pretty good reviews how do you follow up on that?
-Well, our debut album has received high reviews across the board. I have yet to see a bad one or a review that scores us fewer points than 7.5 out of 10. I am sure they will come and I relish the chance to have a good laugh at a poor review. We will absolutely publish poor reviews on our website, just so we can have a laugh. The fact we have gotten such good feedback is motivation enough to follow up with a strong second album. I think though, that since our style will not stay 100% consistent from release to release that this will open us up to further scrutiny and our albums will be compared with each other. Since we do this for ourselves, criticism is largely irrevelant in the scheme of things but they obviously help to sell a few albums. We have different goals within in the band of what we want to achieve with this. But I am satisified in creating music I can listen to over and over and feel proud of what we have done. You can expect the next album to be slightly more cohesive than our debut. I am very pleased with the debut and feel pretty much every song is strong with little filler material. The one song I feel is slightly weaker than the rest is enjoyed by our fans, so it’s all subjective anyway. The next album will have more diversity and challenge our listeners a little more.
What is the biggest challenge in the creation of an album, to write the songs or to come up with really good songs?
-I think anyone can write songs. Writing really good songs is a challenge but fortunately we take it in our stride. Often it feels after every song that it was somehow a fluke and that the next song will not be up to par. Since I am mostly responsible for the music and our singer, Gast focuses on the lyrics, it can be quite a burden to keep coming up with material that we both like. Gast has played an important role in helping me maintain quality and focus in my writing. Without him, the material would not have turned out as strong as it did. We have had many arguments, slanderous exchanges and outright war with some decisions but his aim is just to help me create the best music I can. I think I listen to him 80% of the time of time if he really wants me to change something. The frustrating thing is that he rarely can offer a suggestion to replace the ideas he doesn’t like unless it’s a simple change like an arrangement or drum part. So this often leads to me just coming up with new ideas until it fits. We do a similar tactic with the lyrics and vocal delivery. So, from a musical perspective, while the musical notes might be mine the songs are definitely “ours”. Gast is my quality control.
With a sound that is being described as both this and that by fans how do you view your sound?
-I view our sound as a simple tribute to 80s metal with a black metal edge. We get compared to Dissection an awful lot and it really pisses me off. I don’t think we sound anything like Dissection but a lot of reviewers throw that name into the pot. I guess though, that Dissection were very much influenced by the same bands and they were very ahead of their time in their abilities and musical development. I can understand some small comparisons but people talk like we are the bastard-child of Dissection or some kind of clone band. I know they mean well. It’s flattering to have our music talked about in terms of black metal legends like them. Truth is , I have never intently listened to them. I have listened tons to Marduk , Emperor…bands like that. I feel those bands influence is greater. We don’t offer anything new or ground-breaking. But the music is honest, no bullshit and good!
What part does art work for album covers play in the world of the band?
-Artwork is extremely important but a lot more difficult than you would think. Above all, it’s a question of budget. Artwork is not cheap if you cannot do it yourself or are best mates with someone who is highly talented. I am not very keen on using photographs either. It feels very homemade and a bit of a cop-out. The front cover of our debut was not exactly as anticipated. I felt that the artist didn’t really listen much to my wishes and the concept changed wildly from what I originally specced to him. On the other hand, it was relatively cheap but I didn’t get what I wanted. The fans seems to like it though. A lot of people think it’s great. I arranged the artwork before meeting Gast. But from the next album he will take more of a role in determining the covers. He has a better imagination than I do and he can tailor the covers to his lyrical visions.
When you play live do you notice a degree of greater recognition from the fans with each new time you pass through town?
-We have only played live once , but yes…people then search out your music after a show. I think we delivered a good show and the following day on our social media, Spotify and Bandcamp sites there was peaked interest. We are able to deliver live something that is fairly accurate to the album. This has always been a goal of mine not to over texture the recordings so that playing live becomes impossible or a severely degraded listening experience from the album.
What do you see in the future?
-A new album. Some more gigs and increased success.