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It has taken a while, in the eyes of many way too long, but finally last year one of the German, or even European spearheads of the Death Metal movement came back with a vengeance, playing a couple of fantastic live shows. MORGOTH-guitarist Sebastian Swart talked with STALKER about the past, the present and the future of a legend.
Sotirios Kelekidis: Bass; Harry Busse: Guitar; Marc Reign: Drums; Marc Grewe: Vocals; Sebastian Swart: Guitar Cheers Sebastian, here we go again. Last year, shortly before your comeback and the „Cursed“ anniversary tour, we had talked about the upcoming gigs and your anticipation – so how does it feel a year later? What did you expect, what has been achieved?
Let´s put it like this: we achieved much more than expected. Basically we went into the whole thing with pretty low expectations, because we didn´t have any clue how people might react. We had received some positive feedback beforehand, but faced also very critical or even negative response. Finally 2011 turned out great for us, when it comes to our shows and the response!
Which means you are still into it, you have booked some festivals in 2013 already and you are rehearsing like hell for the "Odium" 20th anniversary tour?
No! 2013 we´re not planning any additional shows, but that doesn´t mean that we would turn down an excellent offer. In the end of this year we will have played the old stuff for 1,5 years at many good festivals, which means the Cursed anniversary is done with that. It´s still quite open what will happen in 2013.
Your regular label Century Media has just released its biography, and you are a pretty important part of this success story. What was it that CM did right and how could a young band nowadays, in your opinion, spot a good label?
It is true that in the beginning of Century Media we have been a major driving force for the label. Later things changed a bit, but still Century could celebrate our first big successes with us. In recent years, the label management around Robert Kampf has developed a good feeling for success potential in the scene, and it seems to me that they have cut down with experiments. Which means that the label became more business-orientated, but finally such realistic calculation is inevitable so that an enterprise can survive. I think Century has managed this balance between business and passion quite well.
Which can also be applied to bands. Therefore I take the freedom to ask, if the US trip to the Maryland Death Fest was worth the effort, financially, or was it simply out of a gut-feeling, „we just want to do it“?
What about finances? Surely we were excited, we have not been playing in the USA in 21 years. But naturally we won´t play shows where our costs aren´t covered, therefore everything hunky-dory.
Let´s talk about the new release, the Live-DVD "Cursed To Live" (see STALKER review ). There´s this big black flat thing coming with it, which doesn´t fit into the CD player or onto the iPod...
Yes, Vinyl records are once again big business, especially when collectors are concerned. Therefore we decided to make a vinyl too. I have to admit that the feeling and the format of such a record is second to none. Yet I´m glad that there is digital music, it´s more convenient.
The idea for a DVD came natural because we had a whole range of shows filmed. Moreover, we haven´t done any live release yet, and who knows if there would be a chance for that ever again! The decision was made at the Way of Darkness Festival, because everything there was perfect. Great light, good sound, good audience, good budget ;-) We were pleased to work again with Dirk Rudolph, who did the cover artwork like back then in 1991. It´s simply great, sinister, morbid and still very stylish. He´s really good at that.
Somebody is also really good at his job, namely a certain Dan Swanö who did the final mastering. I got this information via facebook when he posted being so excited about this DVD productiion job. So did you give him free hands or did you keep an eye on the production, and how did you end up working together?
Dan was recommended to us and delivered two test mices of two songs. And those were so great that we simply stopped looking. The collaboration took place via e-mail only. For a short time I had the romantic fantasy that Harry and me would actually be flying to Stockholm and work in a real studio, but I had forgotten that we are in the year 2012 and the presence of musicians at the studio mix session isn´t even necessary any more. It all works via online lists, downloads and e-mail :-)
For quite some time your Facebook page features various posts and compliments written by quite big musician colleagues in the scene, which is pretty cool. Is this balm for the soul or do you rather think „well quite nice. Nobody cared in all those years and now they are back..."?
Yes it is great that all those musicians still care after all those years. We have this connection that we have been working together, living through something together that we won´t forget. I f you are together travelling on a tour, a lot can happen, and if people also like the DVD, it´s simply great.
That´s right! What would be your (fictitious) dream line up for a (fictitious) tour and why those bands? Doesn´t have to be Metal...
As we´re not planning any tour, not even as a fiction, I also don´t have any dream line-up.
Even though there might be the slight danger that you get very upset with me, I just cannot withhold our feature "7 Deadly Sins". What´s coming to your mind when you hear:
Gluttony - boredom
Envy - stupidity
Sloth - feebleness
Vanity – misguided sense of pride
Greed – basic need of stupid people
Wrath - honesty
Lust – disgusting filthy things :-)
Amen! Who wants to check out the latest band merchandise and selected CDs, can visit the official MORGOTH-Shop:
MORGOTH @ summer festivals:
27.7. KFZ Marburg GER
28.7. Stonehengefestival, Steenwijk NL
9.8. Brutal Assault Festival CZ
16.8. Summerbreeze Festival GER