Interview with Morfeus
How did you come up with the idea for Limbonic Art and how did you get a deal with Nocturnal Art Productions? Are you pleased with their work so far?
Limbonic Art started out with Daemon, back in 1993, with a full line-up. They decided to split due to differences in what the members wanted to achieve musically and, at the time, Daemon and I had started to rehearse a bit on our own and we found that we suited each other well, so we decided to keep the band name and to keep the band running in its first intent. This lead to the recording of the first demo, which lead to another demo and this, in turn, lead us to get in touch with Nocturnal Art Productions. After that we recorded the debut album, entitled Moon in the Scorpio, and from this stage you hopefully know us…
We signed up with Nocturnal Art Productions after the second rehearsal tape. They contacted us after seeing a review in Nordic Vision magazine and they offered the best deal we had got so far, so we decided to join them. Samoth and Nocturnal Art Productions are doing a great job for us in all ways and they are doing everything possible for us to have the best options. We have full artistic freedom in what we do, they pay us what they should and when they should (sometimes before they are supposed to, when we need stuff), so our relations with them are perfect.
Why did you decide to release Epitome of Illusions (a rerecorded anthology of your promos of early) and how do you look upon the material today? Is there anything you can forward about the new opus?
Well, one of the main reasons was that we didn’t want those songs to lie and “catch dust” and it was an opportunity to close an older chapter of the Limbonic Art history. We wanted to release them in a rerecorded version so we could improve the sound quality on the songs, but also to give them a touch of new inspiration. We rearranged some parts of the songs, added some lyrics here and there, and, all in all, improved the quality, because we feel that when we release a product it shall hold a certain point of quality, and we felt that the old demos didn’t. There were also quite a lot of people who sent us tapes to get the demos and you could say that we were a bit fed up with it – you know, copying two, three of those tapes every week is not my idea of a good thing to do with my spare time. There are probably some people out there who are angry with us for not answering, but imagine it yourself. Looking at the old demos today, well, I haven’t listened to them at all for a very long time; the production sucks and, of course, when you do a recording on a four-track home-studio you can’t expect that much either, but it is comforting to see that we are evolving, becoming more professional and to experience that we grow in the ways of making music – both in style and in making more “mature” compositions. I see it as a starting point and from there we have developed a lot. There is, of course, some sort of link between the albums; I think it is so with all the albums we have released due to the fact that we are making music all the time – that it is a continuity in the work we do. We develop while doing the songs; we do not make songs, stop, grow and become more mature and then start to make songs again.
Ad Noctum – Dynasty of Death is way much more aggressive than what we have done before and I think that it turned out more as we wanted it to be, more than the other albums did. We really focused on the guitars and the drums this time and we wanted the album to have a more brutal approach, to differ a bit from the other albums, in the way of keeping it interesting to ourselves and to the audience. I don’t find it very funny to know what I am about to hear when I listen to a new album; I like it to surprise me a bit, just as long as I can hear that it is the same band playing. I don’t think I shall put too much effort in trying to explain how it sounds: you have to check it out.
Lyrically, from where does your inspiration comes from?
I’m sorry to tell you that I will not talk about lyrics at all. This is Daemon’s department, exclusively, and I am very lucky to have the opportunity to not have to think about lyrics at all. I am not very fond of writing myself; I think that, through the course of time, I haven’t contributed with more than just one or two titles for songs, so the rest has always been totally up to Daemon, and he does this extremely well, so I haven’t really bothered with it.
Classical music must play a major influence on yourselves as musicians. Are there any composers, in particular, that you feel most inspired by? Do you tend to follow a method at the time of composing a song? On the issue, do you enjoy the studio you have worked in so far? Have you ever thought about working with Pytten?
There are too many ways of doing things and so many sources to inspiration that it is really hard to describe them. I’m not listening to a lot of classical music, actually; in fact, I guess I’m not listening to it at all – except what is on TV from time to time or that sort of thing. I just enjoy the ways of layering sounds and instruments that are in a symphonic orchestra, but there are also numerous of other sounds in our music. We are not restricted in any way, and as soon as I find a sound that I like and I can find a good surrounding for it, then I will use it.
As for the making of the music, there are numerous approaches for that too and I don’t think that it is worth talking too much about it. Sometimes we jam together on guitars – just sort of searching for riffs – other times I do stuff at home that I present on rehearsals and so on and so forth.
We used Pete’s Place for the last recording too but, sadly, he got bankrupt right after we were finished with Ad Noctum – Dynasty of Death, so I’m not sure what we’ll do in the future. I guess that the studio in Bergen was “overused” when we started with recording plans, and we thought that the sound was too similar with all the bands that recorded there. A major fact was also that our first budget didn’t allow us to even think about it, so we had to find a cheaper solution.
What sort of video did you shoot for the In Abhorrence Dementia CD?
The film you mentioned was done solely for cover art purposes and it was just an idea that I got for doing the images for the album cover. I think I even erased the tape afterwards and it there was no set thing for it other than just to extract images of us. From time to time, we have briefly talked about doing a video but I don’t see us doing that (not for a long time, at least). I think that the expenses would be more than what we could earn from doing it and, in our genre, there is no market for such a thing, so I don’t think so.
How did your show in Denmark and your European tour with Emperor and Aeternus go? Did you also enjoy taking part in the No Mercy Festival bill? Are you planning any future official live release? And what can you tell about Morgana, your live-keyboardist?
We did one gig in Denmark, which went okay, but I don’t recall anything really special about the gig. The thing about it was that there were some friends of us there, who wanted us to come over and play, so they arranged the whole thing. They had an opening act for us, a band called Gothic Domain – there was also another band there, but I don’t recall the name. We had a good time and I think there was something like two hundred people there.
The No Mercy Festivals went really great – at least from our point of view. I think we had a good reception from the audience and we came along well with the other bands. There are, of course, always some disturbances on such a tour and everything is maybe not that well planned, but we got through it in one piece and with a thirst for more. On the same tour we did a gig at the London Astoria, which was recorded and professionally filmed, but at the time everything was more or less fucked-up and we did not have like showers or food, or anything, and Morgana and I had gotten a really bad cold, so it was not a pleasure being on stage that day and I don’t think that video will ever see the light of day. I haven’t seen it myself, but I can imagine what it looks like. Emperor released a video containing footage from that same gig and I think it went better for them.
Morgana has always been with us live, handling all the electronics, securing that everything goes fine but, sadly, she’s leaving us from now, as she is going to concentrate on her studies.
Apart from being on the road, composing and recording albums and doing some oil painting on the side, what do you do for leisure?
We don’t appreciate too much of our private life to be out in the open, as we cherish our privacy. Personally, I work regularly at a printing factory as, sadly, the music still doesn’t give enough money to be able to live from it.
I do paint something from time to time, although I do not get too much spare time; but when, or if, the opportunity is there, I will do some cover-work or that kind of thing – as long as I have the time and find it interesting.
Some people have compared Limbonic Art to Tartaros. Do you like Charmand’s music? How do you look upon the current state of Norwegian Black Metal?
Tartaros is a fine band with a great guy, and I hope he will succeed in what he is doing.
I don’t pay any attention to the “scene” – if it could be called a scene nowadays. However, I think it is more mature and not as depending on what others think any more, and that is just good since you get more independent music from that.
Tell me about your future plans regarding Limbonic Art and feel free to add anything else you find relevant.
We are going to do a small European tour just in a couple of weeks, travelling mostly in Germany and the eastern parts of Europe, so, sadly, there is no opportunity for you to see us now, but who knows? That is the planned future of Limbonic Art, but we still have a lot to achieve and lots of work to do, so only the future will tell what is to come.
Thanks a lot for this interview as well.