I was interested in finding out what lied beneath the sinister surface of what's generally called Forgotten Tomb. Front figure, and also former sole member of the band, Herr Morbid was nice enough to answer my questions about music, life and philosophy.
This interview has taken some time to get finished. We did it in two sessions, and as you might notice some time went by before the second session got finished. But I hope you'll be able to overlook that and still enjoy the thoughts of Herr Morbid.
Hey there, Herr Morbid! Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions� When you released the �Songs to Leave� album it seemed to get a great response quite instantly. All the reviews I�ve read have been very positive. And you recently released a new output, �Springtime Depression� CD. What�s the response been like for that one so far?
Responses from both press/media and audience have been fucking amazing!! It seems that this album is already a cult-release, and this makes me really proud. It seems that everyone has understood our improvement and evolution. Sellings are very good too. I think a new generation of self-destructive youth has born!!
I�ve not yet heard your new album, but what can I expect from it? Any noticeable developments? New twist to the lyrics, sound productions (and so on)? Anything that you weren�t satisfied with on �Songs to Leave� that you decided to do differently?
�Songs to Leave� was a good album, but obviously it was needed to do something more personal with �Springtime Depression�. The debut was a good album, but there were too much influences in my opinion, so I tried to do something different this time. I felt this �evolution� as something natural, �cause my creativity needs to search for something new and better on every release. �Springtime Depression� sounds different from the debut, both regarding songs and production. I recorded it at Abyss Studios in Sweden, so the sound is really powerful but raw at the same time. There are less lead guitar melodies but more distorted and sick arpeggios. Vocals are quite different, they�re more rotten. Generally speaking the mood is really suicidal and obscure, it�s a manifestation of absolute sickness, misanthropy and glorification of Negativity!! Pure urban Dark Metal discomfort.
I�ve read in an interview somewhere that it would be a great compliment to your music if a fan committed suicide while listening to it. That got me to start thinking. Is it just a fixation on suicide, or is it more of everything leading to the downfall of mankind that is the goal/idea? For instance, are murders also a good thing even though it might be committed for a sickening reason? A neo-nazi killing someone just for looking differently? Know what I mean?
I know what are you talking about regarding the neo-nazi story. It was something happened in Sweden a few months ago. Well, I can�t speak about political ideologies in interviews so I will not comment that murder. Answering to your direct question, I would be pleased if someone kills himself while listening to my albums �cause it means that he deserved to die. Suicide-inspiring music/ideologies are a good way to lead young and easy-to-manipulate people towards self-murder and this is good �cause I want to get rid of weak people. I support murder too, but it depends on several things. Usually is always good when someone dies, �cause 90% of the people are not worth to live on this earth. Fanaticism is always a good thing. I think everyone must defend himself from danger in its own way. You can�t stop Chaos, so you must learn to live with it. I personally glorify Negativity in its highest form, but it has nothing to do with external things. I mean, I glorify it just basing every negative deed/thought on myself, not on the rest of society. I don�t care so much about what�s happening around me, I have my own ideas about society/people but my cult of Negativity is something really spiritual and it has nothing to do with things outside of my everyday life.
You want your listeners to feel the same pain as you do. And when it comes to your physical pain it seems to be self-inflicted, mostly. You want to inspire others to hurt themselves, as I understand it. I�m going at sort of the same concept as the question before this one. Is all pain and suffering something to inspire? Raping someone utterly destroys the mind of the victim, and they usually never get over it. But to me rapists are nothing more than scum. I�m definitely not saying your music inspires people to do this, I�m just wondering how you feel about something like that�?
People must learn to live together with pain, suffering and cruelty. You must be experienced to be at one with darkness. Well, honestly I can�t understand Black Metal bands supporting pedophilia, rape and shit like that, �cause they�re subhuman actions and they must be humiliated �cause they�re pathetic and weak. I aim for a superior race of people. I don�t think Negativity depends on those things. I learned to glorify Negativity within myself, basing my belief on my experiences and on my emotional states of mind. If you�re influenced by society you can�t worship Negativity in its purest way �cause you depend on other people deeds. Devotion is something pure, society is unpure so there�s no connection between the 2 things. Society is dirty, Devotion is pure. Spirituality in Negativity is the only way to reach the highest inner self. Carnal things are to be erased. My visions about society have nothing to do with my spirituality.
Religion is a popular topic in the metal scene, especially Christianity. Someone trying to be a �true� Christian is to me a quite weak person. It seems like it�s just an excuse to not having to take responsibility for your own actions and life, �it�s all up to God�. And gangsta�s running around all over America shooting and killing while having a giant gold cross around their necks are plain and simple ignorant. I don�t understand how someone can possibly believe their �God� will forgive them for their �sins� after that� What is your relation to religions/philosophies believing in a higher being? I don�t believe in any of that, I suppose I�m a materialist. Have you come across religious folks trying to �convert� you or something like that, �cause Italy is quite a religious country, right?
Christianity is something stupid, as every religion though. No one ever tried to convert me. I was used to be a really materialistic person, but after several experiences I learned to follow my own spirituality. I always believed in the afterlife for instance, and I had clear demonstrations that my belief was right. I can�t speak about this though. Now I believe in Negativity as a godly being. It�s not a real God, but an unearthly presence. Negativity lives in me and it guides my actions. FT is an instrument to portray Her magnificence. I entered a very spiritual process, I�m trying to detach my soul from my earthly shell to be at one with Her splendour. I�ve always been into complete negativity, but one day I felt the Call. Now I�m nothing but a slave under Her eternal spell!! I� ve sold my soul to Her and I paid my dues losing my wife for instance.My faith is blind and my will is stronger than ever. My interest in occult disciplines only increases my belief.
If I�ve been informed correctly you recently joined up with a former Shining drummer. True? How does that work? You�re living in Italy, and I suppose he�s living in Sweden.
Wedebrand entered the line-up a few months before to record the �Springtime Depression� album. He learned his parts on a drum-machine line created by me, and then I joined him into the Abyss Studios to record the album. The final result has been satisfying. We never rehearsed before the recording-sessions! Probably Negativity guided our deeds.
What sort of response do you usually get from the audience after a live gig? Do you manage to get your message across at stage? You have an upcoming tour through Europe, and I will try to see one of your gigs on that one as I think it would be a unique experience to see you live. But maybe I�m wrong.
We played live shows in Italy, Germany and The Netherlands during November 2003. Reactions have been amazing, especially outside Italy. Some people drove 500 Kms to see us live!! It has been a fucking great satisfaction. We hope to play live once more very soon!! Live situation is good for us. Our shows are always different �cause we decide what to do on stage depending on the mood of the moment. Sometimes I could look really sober, dressed with elegant black clothes, other times I could look very disgusting, covered in animal blood, corpse-paint and so.
If I'm not mistaken you recorded your forthcoming album, "Love's Burial Ground", just a couple of weeks ago. Any new developments we have to look forward to? It seems that you're really making an effort to develop your music, as the first MCD, "Obscura Arcana Mortis", and the fullength, "Songs to Leave", is quite different from each other. And so is also the new album, "Springtime Depression", from the one before that... Is developing the music something you find important, or does it just come natural with your progression in life? Have the new members in the band put their own touch to it?
Developing in music is important but it depends on the music you play. I would not like to see a development in bands such as Darkthrone, or, outside Black Metal, AC/DC!! Regarding FT, I think it�s important and natural for us to develop our music in an always increasing personal direction. I usually try to keep the grim and depressive atmospheres but trying to add new solutions at the same time. I think we�re working in a good way actually. New album �Love�s Burial Ground� is the best example of our progression. Songs are more structured, vocals are more varied and you can hear a very haunting piano on one song. There is a better equilibrium between fast and slow parts too. It�s a a new dimension in utter Negativity!! New members added their personal touch too, for instance our new second guitar-player Razor SK wrote 2 excellent songs on the album.
Are you happy with the work Adipocere Rec. did for the "Springtime Depression" album? Has the co-operation worked out as you were hoping?
Yes I think things are working out good on every aspect. I hope things will be always better
You've had (still have) a couple of side-projects for some time. Does that in any way interfere with the work for Forgotten Tomb?
No, because I work on the side-projects only when the main engagements with FT are fulfilled. I always used to play in several bands at the same time, so I�m quite used to this �stressing� experience, hahaha... Now for instance, I�m just finishing the layout for the new FT album, then it will be printed and released, so I�ll be free to play a bit more with my side-projects. Currently I�m working on the new GASZIMMER material (Totalitarian Black Metal) and on the material for another project of ultra raw and arrogant Black Metal. Then I have a solo-project called DIED LIKE FLIES (Serial Noize Death Industrial): I�m currently discussing with some label to release an anthologic CD. I help some close friends too, playing guitar in some of their bands at times.
You've gotten a lot of attention throughout the years. When starting out, did you think that you would have such an impact on people and the "scene"? Suppose you're quite satisfied with this, as you shock people and can spread your views throughout the world.
I always aimed at something �big� since the beginning. When I recorded �Songs to Leave� I said: �Well, I�ll obtain some following with this album or I�ll quit everything�. Fortunately I found a deal with Selbstmord Services so the people started to get interested in the band. The material on �Songs to Leave� was very good so reactions and sellings have been very good too. I confirmed the potential of FT with the �Springtime Depression� album, and the people started to follow FT in a really strong way. Now we are what we are. Surely we�re not a �famous� band but we have a very good following. We obtained a lot of satisfactions not only in Europe but in the USA too. I recently knew that �Springtime Depression� was voted among the 10 best Extreme Metal albums of 2002 by one of the most important daily magazines there, and we�ll have 3 songs on the soundtrack of an american Violent Horror movie too in 2005 for instance.
But because of all this attention I imagine you do interviews all the time, and that you also come across numerous people trashin' you as they can't comprehend, or handle, you and what you stand for. Do you ever get tired of answering interviews and stupid questions? For instance someone was posing as you on chatlines/forums and talking all kinds of shit. That would have to be truly annoying, but at the same time sort of a compliment to you. You've managed to shock someone to the great extent that he/she feels the need to trash your character.
Actually everything sometimes is really stressing. You know, answering tons of boring interviews, answering e-mails of people who ask for things I already wrote of on the website, sending out orders, organizing a lot of things (albums-promotion, graphic artworks, website, mailorder, planning gigs, doing advertisement, etc.). But you know, this is all part of the game. The only very bad thing is when I have a normal job all day long and then I come home and I have to do all those things all night long. Not properly funny. Regarding that story about the guy who was posing like me, it has been definitely annoying but in the end it was only a stupid story without any importance. You know, young people are shallow idiots, filled with envy, jerking off all day long in front of their computers searching for a way to discharge their frustration. Since the band is pretty well-known, is normal for those idiots to do these kind of bullshit. Obviously when you discover who they are and you meet them face to face, they shit their pants. Fucking subhumans. Anyway, there are actually some guys that are completely obsessed by me and FT. I meet very bizarre people at times.
I think that is all I have to ask. I'm glad that you did this interview as I've been interested in getting to know you better, understanding your way of thinking etc. So I hope some of my questions at least managed to interest you a bit. As usual this last space is yours. It's up to you to put an end to this. Thanks for your time.
Thanx for the interview and sorry for the delay. Hope to meet you at some of our shows! For info, questions, and to be updated on all the FT news, check out the only official source: www.forgottentomb.com or write to:
Died Like Flies