How does it feel to be back with a new studio album after 15 years? How was the “resurrection process”?
Awathar - It was quite relaxed and natural. We’ve never really had any ”plans” of anything, neither in the past or now so it was basically just someone that said ”should we do another record” and since more than other says ”yes” it also happened.
You released a live recording in 2018, Live at Kraken, recorded in Stockholm in 2017, what can you tell me about this live show?
It was a pretty cool evening, a lot of people and friends showed up. As always, there was and never ending pouring stream of technical problems but you don’t even get surprised by that anymore but some of them had a negative impact of the show but overall it was good. Our friend Linus Nirbrandt recorded the show and also mixed the EP.
How long did you work on Hinsides Vinde, Now that you’ve been through the period of writing, rehearsing, and recording the album, what do you think about it?
We worked on it for about a year I think and we’re very pleased with the result. It turned out as the perfect mix of the other 5 full length-albums kind of. A bit brutal, a bit melodic, a bit experimental and a bit spiritual. The release that kind of completed the circle up until now, but that does not say there’s more releases coming up, but for now it is very pleasing to us to have done it.
The production is very powerful and it captures your distinctive sound even after this 15-year-long break, was the intention to stay true to your roots and to remain loyal to your old sound and style but with a modern production?
We had some different ideas about it, one idea was that there’s really no point of releasing something that does not sound awesome but at the same time we’ve also always been against recording with click tracks etc because it eliminates the swing and a bit of the vibe that MG has always been about. All minds combined - I think the idea was to make it sound perfect but not polished in the bad way. It had to have a soul and not just sounding like all the other stuff that comes out that on a technical level might be cool but really lacks of spirit.
Please tell us about the album title.
Its old Swedish meaning ”Wrath from a world beyond” which pretty much summons up the record in a good way.
The artwork looks stunning, kind of weird when you look at it for the first time, and I’d love to know more about it.
The cover is done by the legend on planet earth CG who’s also behind the drum kit on two of the tracks on the record and our livedrummer. He’s also an art director and worked on the cover for quite some time. The rest of the artwork is done by the label I think and they really match together nicely.
The opening track “Fältherren” (The Warlord, if I´m not mistaken) is the only track written in Swedish, tell us about the song and why is the only song written in your mother tongue.
There’s no reason for this really, its just that these tracks where the ones that made it all the way to the album. But there’s some instrumental tracks with Swedish titles though (Just one, "Hinsides" - Chris).
You wrote the song “A Glimpse of the Sky” as a tribute to Bathory. Please tell us about the song and about when and how this idea came up in your mind
Bathory has always been a big influence and also one of the first ones. This track seemed like a fine way to pay tribute to his legacy and art.
Where do you draw your inspiration for the lyrics? Are they the same sources of inspiration as in the past or have they changed over the years?
They have changed in the same pace as we change as humans. Very early lyrics might seem a bit childish for all metal band but they evolve and so they does for us but still keep a core of thematics about darkness, death, life and spiritualism so I guess it´s pretty much the same but in a more linguistic way.
Do you have plans to record a video clip? How would you like it to be? can you name your favorite black metal video clip?
We dont really have any favorite black metal clips and that’s one of the reasons we’ve not done any yet. I can not recall seeing one single BM video that I liked and did not laugh when I saw it. There’s some live videos that’s cool though, like some Marduk-stuff and Morbid Angel but mostly its really an art that does not really fits the video-format unless you have the same budget as a major Warner Brothers feature and we don’t.
Tusen År Har Gått… and Return fire had a huge impact in the scene and were acclaimed by fans and the press when they were released. Nowadays they have great significance in the history of black metal. What are your memories concerning those recordings, especially concerning Tusen År Har Gått…
Draakh Kimera - We were quite young when recording "Tusen..." so we didn´t have that much experience in studio recording. When we walked in to Unisound and Dan Swanö saw us, he must have thought that this would not work at all, besides we had only five days (!) to record the whole album. But we were prepared and we nailed it i 4 days so Swanö had one day to finish the mixing. Then of course, we could never imagine that this album would have that impact on the scene as it had.
Which bands do you feel have helped influence mork gryning music most in the beginning and over the years?
Awathar - Oh, that’s quite a lot of them. It the same story as for everybody in the scene I guess, starting with Metallica, Slayer, Sepultura, Bathory, Destruction, Sodom etc, moving into death metal and black metal and beyond. I guess MG has always had different influences aswell like a lot of classical music, film scores, expertmental stuff and also a lot of electronically music which you can hear in our music. But if I was to name just a few for my own sake that’s been huge to me it would be Merciful Fate, King Diamond, Slayer, Carcass & Morbid Angel. Nowdays I listen to a lot of Berghain-stuff, jazz & old school UK drum n bass but also some BM. But it is very varied and we’re obviously not the ”the most metal-metalheads” around but we’ve never aimed to be and that’s the biggest reason our music sounds just the way it does.
Did you play any cover tunes in your early days?
Yes we did, on Return Fire there’s a Slayer cover (yeah! Necrophiliac, the intro of that cover version is sooo cool - Chris) and we also recorded a Venom-song for some compilation that’s out there somewhere.
What were your reasons for dissolving the band in 2005?
Just a lack of time and interest at that point. Counting without those two elements at hand would have made the music sound horrible so we thought it was better the let the music out when it wanted to instead of forcing it. There’s no bigger betrayal than releasing shitty music and knowing it.
In my opinion it was good that social networks did not exist in the early 90s, even without social networks the scene was quickly saturated with an exaggerated amount of labels, bands, fanzines etc. But times have changed and I suppose you try to see the use of these media in a positive way. How important are social networks to you? Is there something you miss a lot about the scene in your early days?
Yes, it guess it is but that’s just missing youth I guess. Having a ”It was better in the old days”-attitude is not our thing and does not help you in any way I think. Of course nostalgia could be nice for a conversation but not really to guide you. Me personally have the attitude to break up traditions and things that are in a certain way just for the sake of it and instead trying to find new ways of doing things. I don’t spend my days thinking of how cool things where 20 years ago but rather move forward. I don’t spend much time on social media but its out there so if you want to release music you have to use it guess. But also, we needed a label we can trust so we can leave all that to them and focus on the only thing that really matters to us - the music itself.
What would you submit as the proudest moment you've had in Mörk Gryning thus far?
Haha, not sure. Its not something I do to be proud really. Its something I do to stimulate my ears and brain. BUT it was pretty cool to mix the Maelstrom Chaos-record together with Pytten back in 2003. He was an old schooler for sure and I think our techniques worked together in a good way.
What is your opinion on the current black metal scene? Any bands out there that you feel a particular affinity with?
Euhm no idea really. I think Mephorash and Funeral Mist is pretty dope (Funeral Mist rules! - Chris) but more than that its mostly old stuff. I guess there’s a big scene out there but I don’t know much about it
Throughout your career, you already played quite some gigs, were there any special ones for you?
I think the gig at ”Hell on earth” 2004 was pretty cool but also the latest ones because we have such a great live-setup nowdays.
What do you think of black metal bands playing on cruise ships? If you had the opportunity to play on a cruise ship to sing songs about death and darkness surrounded by people wearing bikini and Bermuda shorts, would you play there?
From what I know the black metal scene nowadays is Bermuda shorts and gossip on the internet so I have quite a suspicious mind towards every gig but they have actually proved me wrong all of them. But I’m not sure, I think I would answer ”maybe” on that one.
What´s the strangest place and the most shocking place you have been?
Staying a night at Pyttens house back in 2001 while his wife explained he was a nudist. Such a cool dude though, I remember that session with joy.
What does de future hold for Mörk Gryning?
Everything and nothing. The future is our allied and enemy at the same time as for everybody. BUT if we get to choose ourselves it will be some insane live gigs for sure and at least 10 new out of this world-records.
Thanks you for your time, last words are yours…