Editor’s Note: It was fantastic to briefly sit down with industrial giant Mortiis as we discussed anything from giving his music away for free to his music video for “Visions of an Ancient Future” to what fans can expect in regards to his upcoming tour. Fans can find Mortiis at the following locations:
William: Take us into the video for Visions of an Ancient Future. What is the song talking about?
Mortiis: The way I see it, the video marks the return of a version of Mortiis that sort of went into hibernation about 2 decades ago. I´m a big fan of visuals in music, so it was natural for me to aim for something that marked a return. It´s got a very occult and ritualistic vibe, and that ties into my wanting it to feel a bit like a vintage horror, as opposed to anything modern…I was just not that into modern videos…I can´t put my finger on why that is, I´m just a lot more drawn towards yesteryear…I like the fadedness, and the fog of the past, it´s just more interesting to me. I wanted to create this visceral atmosphere, that the past has come alive again.
William: Favorite and least favorite thing about making music videos.
Mortiis: Well I don’t exactly make videos every 6 months, so I don´t have a ton of experience, but from the 9-10 or so I’ve made so far, the thing that sucks the most is all the waiting around. Most of the work, well all of it,done during the shooting of videos, are done by other people, so you just hang around and wait for the camera guy to be happy with the lighting, or for the director to make up his mind about some shit, so it´s really just a lot of waiting for other people. Some of my videos, like Doppelganger (and Visions of an Ancient Future, to some degree) are pretty gory affairs too, so a lot of that waiting around, is spent being covered in this really sticky blood and slime, which is pretty uncomfortable. But we suck it up, and suffer for the art, haha!
William: You’re embarking on a 10 city North American tour! What can fans expect from a Mortiis concert?
Mortiis: This is the question I find impossible to answer…I mean it´s a totally individual experience, going to shows… The idea is to tour the return to the period in my history known as “Era 1” musically, and visually, albeit in a better version of what it used to be like… Not totally the same, but the spirit is there.
William: You gave away your music for free, what was the reasoning behind that?
Mortiis: Well the cynical part of my brain did it because it brings attention to the tour, which is where the money is made (fees and merch sales), while the idealistic part of my brain likes to do cool things once in a while, as a gesture of appreciation towards my fans, Some of those guys have stuck with me for 25 years, which is astounding.
William: Take us into the Norwegian music scene.
Mortiis: Do I have to? I´m not your guy. I stopped paying attention to anything going on back in 1996 or so. I just thought the scene was getting watered out and boring by then. I have no idea what´s going on anymore. Some of the old bands are still going like Mayhem, Satyricon, Dimmu, and so on…I mean it used to be a cool scene, but I think money became a massive factor for a lot of bands, and while that is logical as you get older, you know when real life kicks in and you have to worry about bills and so on…Something kind of happens that puts a damper on the excitement of being a part of that…It becomes a little bit more like a job… Something dies at that moment…But it’s unavoidable. these days, I hear some stuff coming out of Norway on the radio, it’s called metal, but that’s by the same kind of radio DJ that will play a GNR song and call them a thrash metal band, so it´s all a bunch of BS as far as I´m concerned… It’s not music that I can get into…the talent is there, but the music gives me nothing.
William: Plans for Mortiis for the rest of the year!
Mortiis: Well we’ll be putting out the new album ‘Spirit of Rebellion’ so that’s going to take a lot of focus, I’m working on additional material when time allows, and there’s a few other, as yet to be announced, plans in the works, so I’ll be keeping pretty busy, which is the way I like it.
William: Thank you for your time to interview with me for Madness To Creation!
Mortiis: Thank you very much for your interest!
And there you have it! Check out Mortiis on tour!
Thu. 3/28- Metro Gallery in Baltimore, Maryland
Fri. 3/29- Brooklyn Bazaar in Brooklyn, New York
Sat. 3/30- The Raven in Worcester, Massachusetts
Sun. 3/31- Cafe Campus in Montreal, Canada
Mon. 4/1- Velvet Underground in Toronto, Canada
Tue. 4/2- The Forge in Joliet, Illinois
Thu. 4/4- El Corazon in Seattle, Washington
Fri. 4/5- Hawthorne Theatre in Portland, Oregon
Sat. 4/6- Oakland Metro in Oakland, California
Sun. 4/7- Lodge Room in Los Angeles, California
Sat. 4/27- Revolver in Grunerlokka, Norway
For tickets and further information on any of the shows listed above, click here.