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Interviews : “I always really wanted to go to Australia”- An interview with Mortiis

By on July 21, 2018



Genuinely different, interesting music has long found a home among the denizens of heavy metal fans. In a somewhat perplexing conundrum for those who still think metal is just loud guitars and overtly masculine lyrics, heavy metal audiences are among the most open-minded and ready to embrace aspects of music outside the framework of traditional guitar/ bass/ drums.

Mortiis is one artist whose fanbase is typically made up of the same audience who might attend a Megadeth performance, yet the music contained within his vast ‘Era’ spanning catalogue veers from cathedral synth soundscapes to Trent Reznor inspired industrial-rock.

It is rather thrilling, that as an artist whose tenure in the music business spans more than 25 years, including a brief chapter as a burgeoning Emperor’s bass guitarist, Mortiis’ upcoming Australian tour is the very first time he’s visited or performed on antipodean soil.

“In terms of like the live show, this is a solo thing. I’ve gone back to … To a large degree, I’ve gone back to my sort of 90’s sound, because I’ve been thinking about that a lot in the last couple of years. It was fun to kind of go back to there. Those were simple days. It was just me. I was making all the decisions, you know? No drama, no nothing, you know? Visually, it was always very cool with the mask and the outfits and all that stuff. I was kind of playing with the idea of a return to that in some form, and then the opportunity came last year when I was offered the 30th anniversary of Cold Meat Industry (festival), which was one of my first record labels, and kind of like a two-day festival with a lot of really cool bands, so I just kind of jumped at it.”

Expanding further on the impetus for what we may anticipate will form part of the Australian shows, fans of Mortiis’s classic material will note that one album has become a particular focus.

“What I did is I kind of reinterpreted my second record from 1994 (Født til å Herske), but I didn’t want to just perform it as it was because a lot of people have heard that record, at least people into that type of music. I felt that that would have just been kind of like, ‘Okay, here’s the record that you’ve heard a million times before exactly the same way.’ So, I sat down, re-recorded the whole thing. I added a lot of new pieces to it and added new layers, a lot of rhythmical stuff that didn’t exist on the first one, added melodical (sic) content, I replaced all the sounds. This may sound bigger, more sort of epic, and more like if I had created that record today, that’s kind of the way that it would have sounded. It also came out sounding this time around the way that I kind of wanted it back in those days, but I didn’t really know how to make it happen.”

In a far-reaching conversation covering aspects of his life as a touring musician and concerned global citizen, Mortiis is looking forward to the Australian tour. Referencing our fearsome flora and fauna, checking out the local wildlife is high on his bucket list.

“I always really wanted to go to Australia. A big reason, and it’s a bit silly I guess, I am so fascinated by all the venomous creepy-crawlies… all the bugs and you’ve got Great White Sharks too. I was thinking that this country has got all the f*cked-up things”

Check out the conversation here.

Catch Mortiis on his upcoming national tour of Australia in July.

For complete tour and ticket information, visit official Bleed Records website

Wednesday 25th July – Badlands, Perth
Thursday, 26th July – Crowbar, Brisbane
Friday, 27th July – Factory Floor, Sydney
Saturday, 28th July – Bendigo Hotel, Melbourne
Sunday, 29th July – The Brisbane Hotel, Hobart
Monday, 30th July – Enigma Bar, Adelaide


Andrew is a musician who has spent many years performing on the stages of the pubs and clubs of Queensland. A devotee of the broad church that is rock, punk, funk, jazz and of course all genres of metal... he now shares his enthusiasm via a burgeoning pursuit of music journalism. Follow him on twitter @andymckaysmith