Blind God Artist Morgengrau Interview is up ...
1. Erika tell us how Morgengrau came to be I know you were part of Ignitor
who released a CD on Cruz Del Sur before this which was more Power/ Classic
Erika: Hey Clint! My path to death metal has been very round-about. When I
started playing guitar as a teen, I always wanted to do a very heavy band.
My favorite bands at that time were Slayer, Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel,
Deicide and Pestilence. Unfortunately, I lived in a rural area and was
shy, so I didn’t have the resources to get a band going. After college, I
gave up on guitar to concentrate on getting a job and starting my “adult”
life. Boring, I know. Some readers may be aware I sang in a neoclassical
darkwave band called Autumn Tears for quite a few years. It was a bit of a
weird way to start my music career, given I’d always wanted to be in a
metal band. Towards the end of my time with AT, I started developing a
more aggressive vocal style in anticipation of moving in a heavier
direction. In Ignitor, I got the opportunity to put that new approach to
good use. The problem with Ignitor is it just wasn’t heavy enough. I
enjoyed the music as I like NWOBHM, but it wasn’t the band for me long
term. After quitting Ignitor, I dabbled around with more aggressive yet
still heavy metal vocals in a project called Bracaglia. About three years
ago, I decided it was now or never if I wanted to do a death metal band,
so I bought a guitar and amp and relearned how to play. Developed my death
metal voice and about a year later, Morgengrau came together.
2. The Sound of Morgengrau is a mix of Old School Death metal Immolation,
Asphyx and Grave with some strong Extreme thrash elements . How did the
sound come about?
Erika: Suffice to say, the bands of my late teens-early twenties are
permanently a part of my inner soundscape. That stuff is imprinted on my
brain permanently. I do find it really interesting since the album has
come out hearing what influences others detect in the music. Everyone
hears a few different things. You’re a good example: you hear Grave
elements but I couldn’t identify a Grave song if it bit me on the ass.
Never listened to them. We gotten a few later model Death comparisons,
too, and again, that was never part of my lexicon. Just goes to show we’re
hitting solidly in the death metal model, which is by no means a bad
3. Your releases you debut album Extrinsic Pathway this month on Blind God
. Its this the bands own label? If so did you want to independently release
the album as in 2013 its just a better way ..
Erika: I’ve watched several bands much more established than mine struggle
like hell to get label support, their albums languishing unreleased for
months to years. I’ve also noticed the dismaying tendency of some labels
to produce very cheap digipaks. To avoid both of those problems, I created
my own imprint and self-released the album. Much easier, faster and
complete artistic control.
4. Whats a like show like for Morgengrau? Do you enjoy live or in the
Erika: We prefer playing live much more than being the studio. The studio
is a necessary evil. It’s stiff and inorganic and tiring. Live is so much
better. We have very energetic, violent shows. It’s a great exchange of
energy between the band and the crowd. By far, the most enjoyable live
performances of my career have been with Morgengrau. This is the band I’ve
always been meant to be in.
5. I read that Devo of Marduk fame mixed and mastered the album how did
that come to be and how do you feel that polished the album for you?
Erika: I got to know Devo a few years back. My husband was Marduk’s stage
manager for their 2009 US tour, so I got to know them all. When we
traveled to Sweden, we spent a bunch of time in Devo’s studio in
Norrköping. I knew he could give the album the right old school feel and
he agreed, so there you have it. He did a great job, very fast, very easy
to work with. Super cool guy - support Endarker Studio!
6. Is there a theme or story line for Extrinsic Pathway or just a
collection of Extreme Death metal tracks?
Erika: It’s a collection. It’s possible the next album will be themed. I’m
a very slow songwriter - it takes me forever to construct songs and even
longer to come up with lyrics, because I am so particular. Extrinsic
Pathway is raw and unbridled. The next album will be more focused, now
that we know more about ourselves as songwriters and a band.
7. If you could make a video for any track off the new album which would it
be and why?
Erika: Antithetical - it’s a great example of Morgengrau’s relentless
style and my favorite song on the album. We’ve toyed with the idea. Maybe
after we play the Martyrdoom fest. Right now, we’re too busy getting merch
and a few new songs completed to add anything else to the Morgengrau To-Do
List at the moment.
8. Whats you thoughts on the underground metal scene in 2013 is more active
then ever or is it back to basics again were live shows and grass roots is
the only way to get a band out there?
Erika: This is a hard question to answer. Getting exposure feels very
random and luck-based. I see many very legit bands working hard in the
grass roots fashion and making middling progress at best. I see ridiculous
bands play-acting at extreme metall - these are the ones on labels,
filming videos, getting on tours while adding nothing to the scene but
debris and confusion. Metal’s ever-increasing visibility to mainstream
society has created a trend of curiosity and a “let’s-get-in-on-it”
interest in the genre that isn’t helping anybody who’s still making metal
for the reasons we all had in 1990: aggression and death/occult worship.
Way too many regular people still try to connect with me just because
they’ve caught a Dethklok cartoon on Adult Swim or because their kid
listened to The Devil Wears Prada for five minutes. Suddenly they’re a
fucking expert in metal. It’s so hard for me to not react with utter
disgust in those moments. I have nothing in common with those people.
Metal is very serious business for me, and because of that I know my
chances of turning a buck on it are close to nil. Yes, I know many other
musicians have said, “We’ll never sell out” and then out trots their own
version of the “Black” album a few years later... Morgengrau has an
advantage over them: we know we’ll never make our living off metal. That’s
what our day jobs are for. We are free from the pressure of needing to
cash in on the latest trend to turn a profit to pay the rent.
9. Do you think the digital age is helping sales and growth of bands or are
there to many outlets and webzines and we water down the scene at large?
Erika: You’re very right about the scene being watered down. So many
people want to exercise their own “creative genius” and be acknowledged as
such when all they are creating is useless dreck. When I was growing up it
was a lot easier to focus on what mattered. There was less of everything.
There was no Internet. There were only a few labels: Roadrunner/Roadracer,
Metal Blade, Combat, Earache. You knew what you were getting. There were
fanzines, but your access to them was limited to how much you wanted to
write to other metal fans and take the chance of sending dollar bills
through the mail. Now, there’s 10,000 options for everything at your
fingertips. You have to wade through acres of garbage to find good stuff;
it takes a lot longer. I’ve done my best to seed Morgengrau in as many
online haunts as possible. We’ve gotten a lot of good press since the
album came out so that is helping raise our profile as well. We’ve moved
about 1/5 of the first pressing of the album, which is pretty good for
only 2 months post-release with no official distribution.
10. Were do see a band like Morgengrau progressing to with future releases
? Do you want to find a bigger label expand on the sound of the band . Get
out on National and International tours or all of the above?
Erika: Larger label support would be ideal, so we can get better
distribution on releases and not have to deal with so much of that
mechanism. I intend to keep the band firmly in the old school vein as much
as possible - we will write music we want to hear. If we find a label who
agrees with our model, then everybody will benefit. Getting on a tour
would be wonderful, even if it was only for a short stint. I feel we could
make a really good showing.
11. Morgengrau is based out of one of the biggest music cities in the world
Austin Tx what is the scene like there and are there any stand out bands in
the local scene you would like to promote to my readers?
Erika: Oh Austin... we love to talk about how great our city is for music
but in truth, it’s good for trendy pap and country, not metal. We have a
decent scene but certainly not the best. We do have some great bands in
our area: Birth A.D. is a killer crossover thrash band - their album “I
Blame You” is out on Unspeakable Axe Records. The Blood Royale is a
punk-metal crossover unit with a lot of Motorhead influences, so if metal
with a more rock feel is your bag, check them out. Black metal fans should
listen to Plutonian Shore from San Antonio. They have a very European old
school flavor. Also from San Antonio is Hod: really good speedy blackened
12. As a band you seem to use social media Bandcamp, Reverbnation, Facebook
etc do you feel this the best way to promote bands in 2013 is a good PR
team and Social media all you need or does a proper website seem to be
Erika: I find it hard to know what’s best. The world of social media and
the Internet is so fluid that a site which gets a lot of traffic for 6
months may not have the same traffic 6 months later. Like I said earlier,
I’ve tried to seed band information around on the Internet to cover the
broadest base possible. We just got up on iTunes. Clawhammer PR handles
our main promotion, they do a great job getting us reviews and interviews.
I’m sure we could be doing more. I could spend all day fucking around on
the internet posting shit in 400 different places, but then I’d never
write another riff. In the end, I think getting interviews in zines,
playing strategically important shows, using social media and old
fashioned word of mouth are the way to go.
13. If you could tour with any band who would Morgengrau want to do so with
Erika: Immolation - because they are a great inspiration and also our good
friends. Who wouldn’t want to tour with friends who share the same love of
metal, goofy jokes and ice cream?
14. Thank you for your time any closing thoughts here...
Thanks Clint and Absolute Zero! Readers, please check us out on Facebook
and Reverbnation and purchase a CD through Bandcamp.com. Support the true
underground - Hail Metal, Hail Death!