Eternal Armageddon – Black Thrash Bastards (2015)

BTB

 

 

Bangladeshi act Eternal Armageddon started out as a melodic black metal band, with quaint and meandering tracks that built up nice atmospheres. However, for whatever reasons, most of the members went their separate routes with only main man Asmodeus left to pick up what remained in the aftermath of “Her Forlorn Monsoon” (the title of their first EP). His warcry was heard by Blasphemouranter on drums and Sarcophagous on guitar, the trio now set to construct a new sound to take the band further.

 

All ties are severed with prior incarnations of the band. The title “Black Thrash Bastards” should be a sign enough. Atmosphere and melody is traded in for vicious- ultimately intoxicating – riff-work and chaotic solos. However, the intelligent approach to songwriting that was present even on early works remains ever-present. Sing-along choruses as on the title track, and well placed mid-tempo grooves, drum fills, bass interludes show that there is method to the madness on display. The music here is meant to be played live.

 

Despite the moniker of Black Thrash Bastards, the music here is untainted and purely old school, and will appeal to fans of this strict niche. The metal on display here is not bastardized or watered down. Like a nasty pint of locally brewed ale, this material comes as an acquired taste. Stay clear if you expect anything less than Hellhammer, NME, Bulldozer, or Sodom worship. And for the die-hards, a quality cover of Sodom’s “Blasphemer” is also included. My personal pick however, would be “Satanic Whispers” and the title track.

 

Regardless of the inherent musical quality of this little demo, recorded in a rehearsal pad, it serves more as a sign of things to come rather than an all-encompassing entity on its own. Rest assured, however, until a proper EP or album is unleashed by this incarnation of Eternal Armageddon, this 5 song demo can rest easy in your collection for whenever you need a dose of third world barbarism.

 

 

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Eternal Armageddon Interview

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Destroy Cleveland Interview

Among the slew of literature and film coming out about heavy music, Destroy Cleveland interested me due to its focus on a certain scene rather than an entire country or continent. Cleveland Hardcore of the 80s and 90s has gone on to influence bands all over the world, from Belgium to Nepal, Italy to Singapore, and whatnot. I decided to hit up Matt Greenfield, the man behind this project and interview him for the zine.

DestroyClevo

 

– Hey Matt, how’s everything going?

 

Pretty great! Working at my day job and working on movie stuff simultaneously.

 

 

– Tell us a bit about your documentary “Destroy Cleveland.” What did Cleveland Hardcore mean to you and what prompted you to make a film on it?

 

Destroy Cleveland starts around 1987/1988 with the emergence of bands like False Hope, Confront, and Outface. From there it moves forward towards bands like Integrity, Ringworm, Face Value, and One Life Crew. The second half is about the 90s DIY bands like 9 Shocks Terror, Apartment 213, Cider, Puncture Wound, etc. I delve into the early 2000s with Upstab and give props to the new generation at the end but that’s pretty much it. There’s already another documentary floating around that covers earlier Cleveland hardcore.

Cleveland Hardcore means everything to me. This film is my life and so is the music. My world changed the first time I heard 9 Shocks Terror and from that point I just delved in deeper and deeper. Seeing the last Gordon Solie Motherfuckers show at Speak In Tongues was a defining moment for me. I grew up in Youngstown, Ohio, so going to shows at Speak in Tongues or checking out 9 Shocks at random places was almost like a mythical experience. I was a young, shy kid so I didn’t talk to people in the bands back then. I just built up mystery around them.

I was at work one day and thinking about how someone should make a documentary on Cleveland Hardcore. The next day it dawned on me that I should be the one to make it. I contacted my friend’s Colby Grimes and Jorge Matthew Delarosa in Kent, Ohio, and asked if they wanted to be involved. That’s how everything started.

 

 

– Can you tell us about a few of the bands featured in this documentary? How receptive were they to the idea?

 

I have members from most of the crucial bands; Integrity, Ringworm, Darvocets, Inmates, etc, etc…I could go on and on. The scene is very incestuous when it comes to bands. I’m not referring to them sleeping with their relatives, I mean they share a lot of the same members! Everybody has been really receptive for the most part. It was hard to get Dwid at first because there was a lot of indirect miscommunication going on. People who were ill informed told him the documentary would be attacking him and was centered around two guys who don’t like him and haven’t for twenty years or something. I’m friends with one of the guys who will remain nameless and he never even mentioned Dwid during his time on camera. The other fellow I have only met one time in my life. Once we talked and cleared the air, he was very interested. Dwid has been a great help and is a really cool guy, not the character I hear in all of these horror stories from people. Some other bands that I think are important that are in the documentary would be Outface (members went on to be in Filter and Sepultura) and H100s, and really just a bunch more. I’m afraid some bands will be left out but I’m doing my best to include most. I was never into Mushroomhead or that kind of stuff. No offense to those dudes or anything. I’m sure they are nice people.

 

 

– How is the funding for the film being achieved?

 

Out of my paychecks and out of Jorge and Colby’s pockets. We raised a few hundred dollars in the beginning which was cool. It covered the cost of one of my many trips from Texas (where I live) to Ohio. This is definitely a labor of love. I have nothing to gain from making this movie. I just want to shine a light on what I feel is one of the most important things to ever happen in the history of music. Cleveland hardcore is like nothing else.

 

 

– What about the Cleveland Hardcore scene made it different back in the day from the other places in the USA, and does that still hold now? Any specific environmental or socio-political reasons that gave Cleveland a distinct atmosphere from say the Bay Area or New York?

 

Cleveland has had strong music for damn near 70 years! It was also an important place for the birth of punk. You had bands like Devo, The Pagans, Dead Boys/Rocket from the Tombs, Pere Ubu, and The Cramps come from around the area. The early 80s had incredible hardcore such as The Guns and Starvation Army. By the mid 80s, of course there was a new group of weirdoes ready and willing to carry the torch. It’s a blue collar city that was in economic shambles. Cleveland’s a gritty, industrial place that breeds rough, wild characters. The weather sucks and people say there is something in the water.It’s fertile grounds for brilliant, angry music. NYC was a bustling metropolis with many artistic options for young people. The Bay Area is awesome; the weather is nice and there’s a ton of people with money. It still has a radical history though. The Black Panthers did great work in Oakland and Berkley but as for punk and hardcore , I don’t know. I can’t really speak on it besides being a fan of certain bands. I’m sure lots of people had rich parents though. 924 Gilman and all of that stuff is really politically correct. Not many people in Cleveland hardcore make political/politically correct music and surely there are only a handful of vegans from the bands in the documentary. Not to say the people are uneducated by any means. Lots of the dudes and women are well read lefties. The only right wing band is probably One Life Crew. Personally, I am not a Republican but I think One Life Crew is a fun band. This movie isn’t about politics. Cleveland is a fucked up city when it comes to police brutality though.

 

 

– There’s a sudden upsurge of literature written and documentaries made on the smaller local extreme music scenes across the world, in recent years. What do you think has led to this?

 

Probably easier access to technology.

 

 

– Have you worked on any other films prior to this?

 

Never, but I would love to do another one after this one

 

 

– What are your future plans once Destroy Cleveland is wrapped up?

 

I want to find distribution for the movie but right now I really just want to put it out myself. I know I can do a good job. Jorge’s company The Slow Mutants and my own Rust Belt Hammer are the “producers”. I will tour DIY style on weekends and premier the movie all over the country. All over the world if I have the means. It will come out on DVD this summer and no time will be wasted getting it in people’s hands. This is a very grass roots movie and movie campaign. DIY!

 

 

– Any new Clevo bands that you would like to recommend to the readers?

 

Obnox, Fat Vegan, Cruelster, Lucha Eterna, Wetbrain, Party Plates, Fuck You Pay Me, and Real Regular. Now That’s Class is a hub for great music.

 

 

– Cheers Matt. Best of luck.

 

Thanks for the interview. If people want to follow us, it’s “Destroy Cleveland” on Facebook. Thanks to Jorge, Colbster, Earl, Jill, Joseph, Dan, and anyone that has done any sort of work on this movie.

 

Destroy Cleveland on Facebook

After the Fall Interview

After The Fall is a melodic hardcore/skatepunk/hardcore band from Albany, New York state. I bought their first full length Everything off Interpunk when I was just getting into punk rock. Little did I know that I boarded this crazy journey of shifting sounds and insane speeds. One of the most admirable things about the band is that their songwriting was, in essentiality, songwriting. They didn’t write songs fit genres or line-ups, they wrote songs from within and set a standard too high for the other bands I was listen to in the future. These guys are on the cusp of releasing their new record, Dedication, and I thought “What better time to talk to these guys?”

 

– Hey man, could you please introduce yourself?

 

Hey Vrishank, my name is Mike and the bands name is AFTER THE FALL

 
Could you give a brief history about the band? How did you guys begin?

 

Our band began in 99-00 while we were in our freshman year of high school. We were originally called “Downfall”, with me and Tyler, and our buddy Dave and Kyle Chard (Born Low). Downfall had some great local gigs for a young high school band: Opening headlining acts including Rise Against, Hot Water Music, Thursday and more. This is where we became comfortable playing shows and eventually Dave and Kyle moved on to other bands and Brian and Meepy joined forces with ATF in 2000 and we played our very first “ATF” show with Fordirelifesake and Boys Night Out.

 

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– You guys started with Everything’s more melodic skatepunk sound and moved on to cover almost every musical element associated with punk. There is a constant shift in sound – how do you guys approach song writing? Is it a conscious choice?

 

 It just seems to happen that way, singing or screaming, poppy or heavy, it’s all relative to the music we listen to mostly. I can say the newest LP is mostly melodic. I do enjoy “singing” more than screaming at this point. Not to say we won’t rage some fast heavy songs once in awhile.

 

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– What bands have inspired you in your writing, both musically and lyrically?

 

Propagandhi, Descendents, Ramones, Black Flag, NOFX

 

 

– After Fort Orange, you guys went towards a grittier, more hardcore sound with the Coaster EP and Eradication LP? What was it like working with NY legend Don Fury on those records?

 

 Don Fury did the coaster EP, Jason Maas (Defeater) did Eradication. Both were fun, Coaster was like a fun project we recorded as a two piece when Fury just opened his new Troy, NY studio.

  

 

– So Bridge Nine Records, one of the biggest hardcore labels of all time, how did you guys pull it off?

 

 We just played our new record for them and they really liked it.

 

 

– The new record – Dedication – can you tell more us about it?

 

It is a ten song, nineteen minute long record written for and about our friend Brian Peters who passed away 10/1/13 after a two-year battle with cancer. He was the best friend and founding member of After The Fall. And I really don’t want him to ever be forgotten. So I wrote a record in his name. We recorded it at The Blasting Room in November 2014, and it came out better than anyone thought, we are all so happy with it.

 

 

 Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 9.29.03 pm

 

 

– The cover art of ‘Dedication’ is a little different from the usual After the Fall cover art. Any story behind it?

 

The cover art is an oil painting of “Thatcher Park Lookout” near Albany, NY. It is the place where we spread a portion of Brian’s ashes right along the “Indian Ladder” trail. If you look at the 7-inch art, it is a actual photo of the same place with Brian’s urn on the ledge by the same lookout view. Our friend and bass player Matty V painted the LP for us, we love it.

 

 

– What’s the future for After The Fall?

 

 We have two Brooklyn and Philly shows next week with our pals Iron Chic. Then we have a MEXICO tour and the Tri-State release shows in May including a stop at Pouzza Fest in Montreal. Lots of things planned for June into November. December through March we will hopefully make a new EP or LP we’ll see!

 

 

Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 9.29.30 pm 

– Lastly, any funny tour/gig story?

 

 One time in Holland, we sent our driver home cause he couldn’t afford it and took 4 days off before our next show in Berlin. We had to take 14 trains in 15 hours from Amsterdam to Berlin, it only cost $65 a person!

    

 

Listen to the title track of DEDICATION

 

https://soundcloud.com/paperandplastick/afterthefall

https://www.facebook.com/Afterthefall518

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Morne Interview

Morne have been active in the underground punk and metal scene around New England since 2005. Although rooted in crust punk, the sound of the band exists outside of the constraints of the genre. Austere, elegiac, and in no rush to make a point fast, their songs play as sprawling epics. As a band that still writes albums instead of singles, and one that takes a precise approach to song craft, we were interested to hear their ideas about their music and more. Guitarist and vocalist Milosz Gassan sat down with us to answer some questions.

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Arjun Ray: Thanks for sitting down to do this interview. It’s been a long time coming.

AR: So Milosz, you had the idea to start Morne back in 2005. What influenced the atmosphere and sound of the band at the time?

Milosz Gassan: To be honest the idea is a little older than that. I moved here to Boston in 2000 and one of the things I left behind was my band. So the obvious thing to do was to start to play again. I gotta say, it wasn’t easy. Finding people who see music the way I do was pretty hard. I was influenced by Amebix and Misery. Bands that had this really great vibe. There was something about it. There were more bands that I admired, though maybe not necessarily metal or heavy bands. They all had pretty heavy vibe. MG: Moving from Europe didn’t change my vision or path, I think it made it stronger. I was pushing to play again. I had a lot of ideas that I was going to use on my old band’s second album, but things changed. I moved away and it all stayed with me. Like I said it wasn’t easy to find people who want to do this the same way as I do. I kept writing songs, riffs. Meanwhile I joined a local hardcore band. Things were moving in their own way. After a while I started to play with few friends down in Connecticut and Providence. It was fun and productive in a way but didn’t last long because of our schedules, other projects, distance etc. I needed to keep it all local to make it move forward. Then I started to play with Max and Kevin (the drummer at that time). This was the first solid line up. I showed them songs and ideas I had and we recorded a demo. That is how it really took form. Then the vibe, image and atmosphere of Morne started to slowly surface… The whole specific idea about the band.

AR: Which hardcore band?

MG: It was Sleeper Cell. I joined them when their bass player left. They already had two 7’s out at that time. I recorded an album with them and some comp tracks. The album came out on Partners in Crime and we had a song on MRR comp. The band stopped soon after the album came out.

AR: Actually, Morne reminds me most in spirit of Amebix. Unabashedly metallic and experimental. You guys don’t seem to have any of that neo-crust thing that Tragedy started, and the sound is way more pristine and austere than most old school stench core.

MG: I don’t think there was or will be another band like Amebix. They created very unique atmosphere. Very heavy, I’m not saying that they are down tuned, which many bands these days take as heavy. The riffs, two-three notes that make you change your mood, moving and atmospheric. That’s what I’m influenced by. The vibe and image, is simple and bold. That had very big impact on me pretty much since I first heard them.

AR: Easily on of my favorite bands. I actually found Killing Joke, another of my favorite bands, through the influence they had on Amebix. Morne AR: Not obviously punk, even though the influence on the drums and vocals is clear, I hear more post-metal in your sound. Bands like Oceans come to mind. I fucking hate terms like post-metal that, but how would you describe your sound?

MG: Killing Joke are great, I like all of their eras. Very influential. They are doing their own thing and that’s simply the way it should be. Post Metal…Post Rock…hm I heard bands adding word Apocalyptic to this sometimes. Not sure if they wanna scare someone or something. I don’t really know what Post Metal means…nor I care. I’m focused on a vibe and aesthetics of the band. The sound, the look. The name tag is what people want and they can have it. We come from a punk scene and more or less operate in it as people but the band isn’t attached to anything like that. We play what we want and what naturally comes from us. Since it’s distorted most of the time and loud we could call it metal I suppose.

AR: Good answer. And that’s the last we’ll be talking about genres. AR: The band has evolved a lot since I first saw you guys with Resistant Culture and Vitamin X in 2008. Each album seems very much within a cohesive overall sound, but with different emphasis. How have you guys directed your sound over the years and why

MG: Like I mentioned above some of my original ideas were leftover riffs I had for a second Filth of Mankind record. Obviously I never used them for that. It was a different time, different environment. Most of Untold Wait was written even before the band had a fully functional line up. Then things started to shift a little when I partnered up with Max. MG: Overall it’s all about the time and place and our state of mind. Different vibe comes out from us at different times but we are still the same people. I think it’s the same with music. It circles; drifts away, comes back. You wait and see what happens, how riffs change but the vibe stays the same.

AR: Untold Wait is probably my favorite album of the three. I’m a sucker for ripping mid-tempo riffs. What’s the plan for recording in the near future?

MG: We are working on our new material. It will take a while. We never want to rush anything, it happens when it happens. Next album will probably be out sometime in 2016. Morne AR: What is your writing process? Is it collaborative or is their one main writer per song?

MG: I brought a lot of finished songs and riffs to the band over all those years but I don’t think there is a strict writing formula in Morne. It just has to sound right no matter who writes it. We are pretty picky about what ends up on our albums. Our horizon is pretty wide and very narrow at the same time if that makes any sense. MG: Sometimes I bring a full idea and we all work on it. Sometimes Max has something and I add to it and vice versa. Billy wrote some riffs recently that we will definitely use. We have some new music brewing that seems to be 100% collaborative effort of all four of us. I guess in any band there is or should be leading person but the chemistry between all of the members makes it sound the way it sounds. There is a direction and we are getting there as a band, not as single people.

AR: Yeah that makes a lot of sense. Everything is available to draw from, but very little makes the final cut. It’s hard to make a band 100% collaborative in my experience, but it can be really good if it works.

MG: I agree, It’s pretty much impossible to be always on the same page with your bandmates. I think that is a part of being in a band, and this brings another thing which is to make it all work. Everyone has their own role in this pretty complicated at times structure. I think as long as people embrace their roles and work with each other then the results are pretty satisfying.

AR: What influences do each of you bring to the music?

MG: Influences…hm now when I’m thinking about… I think it’s really hard to talk about influences by naming names etc. I think music we listen to shapes us to some degree and everyone releases the vibe they absorb in a different way. Two bands may say they are influenced by Discharge and one is playing heavy well produced music and the other is playing very noisy lo-fi punk. I mentioned before that I am influenced by Amebix. I’m influenced by their vibe, simplicity, image. You may say Morne doesn’t sound anything like Amebix…and that’s the point. I’m not ripping them off, I’m influenced by their work. I think it’s not a very straight road. We are all different people and we all bring ourselves to this and aim for one target, and that is a record, and another one and another one.

AR: One of my old band members had a thing about not sitting on a song idea for too long before recording it. I don’t know what his deal was, but every song idea ended up scrapped or recorded within a week. I preferred a more deliberate song writing process. How do you decide when a song is ready to be played out or recorded?

MG: I guess you just feel it when it’s ready or not. It’s kinda hard and foolish to rush anything when you write 10 minute songs. When we have riffs that we feel are good and fit Morne, we work on them. If there are any doubts about them fitting what we are aiming for we don’t even start working on it. Sometimes someone brings a cool riff but it just doesn’t fit what we do. Some bands write 20 songs, record them and release only 10. We aren’t one of those bands. We write an album as a one piece of music. Sequence it even before it’s recorded. Make sure it flows and feels the way we want it to and then we record it. Keeping it as simple as possible is the key. If it takes time or not it has to feel right.

AR: It comes across. The albums really do work cohesively. Good records to play from front to back without interruption.

AR: You take an intentional and purposeful approach to your music. It seems like a very process oriented endeavor, and I respect that as a musician and as a recording engineer. Can you talk about what kind of ethic you bring to a recording session for an album?

MG: When we write music we let ourselves go a little. It’s a process when anything can happen. It’s pretty interesting to see how things flow, get moved around, get added, or taken away. It’s a process that takes a lot of time. When we feel that we have solid concept for our new album we make demos to see how it all sounds together. We tweak some things and then we start to rehearse it. We practice two or three times a week and play the new material sequenced one time after another for few months. We want to be 100% prepared when we enter the studio. Morne isn’t one of those bands that write their songs during their recording session. When we enter our studio we know what we want to do and basically turn it all into a little machine. I usually plan how many days we gotta book and when we will record what and how long it may take. I know, some bands these days record their albums on a computer in their practice room but that’s not really our thing. We like the classic, conventional approach. We try to be very direct with this approach and do exactly what needs to be done, and the more prepared we are, the easier and smoother our recording sessions are. Sometimes, we come up with some quick idea when we are recording but generally we enter the studio with a plan and end the session with the plan being completed. It saves a lot of bullshit and doesn’t break the bank. Morne AR: So you guys are putting out your own vinyl and you have some stuff out on Profound Lore?

MG: Our first album came out on Feral Ward and they handled all formats. That was more standard situation. Profound Lore is our primary label now and they released our last two albums, Asylum and Shadows, though they specialize in CDs and other digital formats. Vinyl releases are up to us. It is a little bit different approach then then we had with Feral Ward. Vinyl versions of Asylum came out in Europe on Alerta Antifascista and here in The States on the Armageddon Label. With Shadows, we decided to take a little bit different route and try to do it ourselves. We started Morne Records to handle our vinyl releases. It happened with great help from our long time friend Ben who runs Armageddon Label. I think it’s a pretty natural progression for Morne.

AR: I didn’t know Ben was involved with Morne. That’s cool, Armageddon shop is fucking great.

MG: Ben is my long time friend and friend of the band. He actually played with me for a while when I was starting it as a project. Dropdead was on hiatus and he had some free time to jam. He does good job with his band, stores, and the label. Wish there was more people with guts out there.

AR: That’s a classy and expensive move to press your own vinyl. Don’t see quite as much of that these days with all these tapes.

MG: Pressing a record is very expensive but we wanted to see if we can do it ourselves since we had that agreed freedom from Profound Lore. I think it brought us closer to a true craftsmanship and some sort of DIY ethics. We are pretty strict about what goes through the band and what the band goes through, and pressing that album was one those great things we wanted to achieve us a band. Write your own music, write your own lyrics, design your own artwork, while being supported by such a remarkable label as Profound Lore. On top of it, being able to release your own vinyl on your own label is a really satisfying thing. Profound Lore gave us an opportunity to try to do it and we greatly respect that. We are supporters of DIY ethics but I gotta say, it is really awful to see when bands try to ride that train and put that tag on themselves only because they have no recognition from larger labels, but then they maybe get that contract, they sign it and disappear. I think honest approach is the key no matter what you are doing. No need to sell yourself as someone you aren’t. We aren’t directly part of the DIY scene but it’s still something we identify with to some degree as people and try to support it. image011 AR: It’s impossible to ignore that Morne places a lot of value on aesthetics. I’m a fan of the new logo. It’s got some of the same uncomfortable overtones and aesthetic power as the Crass logo. Can you talk about the imagery used for Morne?

MG: Thanks. We always wanted to have a symbol; an emblem that can represent the band without even saying its name. Max and I were trying to come up with something for years but nothing was ever good enough or fit the band. All the designs, layouts could be so much easier with something like that haha. The thing with band emblems is that everything pretty much has been done. Different approaches, different styles but pretty much all of it is already out there. Black Flag, Husker Du, Crass, Einstürzende Neubauten. Very hard to come up with something, especially when you are so picky. Guess you never know but we spent a couple of months last year working with napkin drawings and computers, going back and forth and we finally agreed on it. Cold, block like image that fits. Now it seems so easy. MG: Max designs our album covers and pretty much all images we use. He crafts something that seamlessly fits the band, its vibe and message. I think it represents us very well and speaks for the band without us saying much. I was always a fan of simple images like that. I remember the guitar player in my old band did some good layouts for our releases; not exactly along the same lines but in this frame. I like stuff like that. Last time I spoke with Max about our art he said that he wants to try something different for the next album. We will see.

AR: I want to back up a second and ask you about Filth of Mankind, your old band Milosz. Do you still have any affiliation with them?

MG: No man. I’m one of the founders and author of most of our music on the releases but I left the band many years ago. Haven’t been an active member since. I’m good friends with Pawel, one of the motors of the band back then and also second guitar player (not the best one though, cheers mate) who left many years ago too. He roadies for Morne when we tour in Europe. Seems like we still see things eye to eye except few minor fall outs we had over last 20+ years. I lost contact with the vocalist who also isn’t in the band. Don’t have much contact with the drummer and bass player recently. They are only two remaining members of FOM who keep resurrecting it in various new lineups even after apparent split-up four or five years ago. Not sure why anyone would want to do anything under that name after so many major changes and not much activity for so many years. Music is art and art is your message. I believe when you mess with it too much you start to look like you never had anything to say. Funny that you asked this question today.

AR: Thanks for the honest answer. Morne AR: What are the plans for the future with this band. How do you see the band changing or staying the same? I know you guys recently went through some lineup changes…

MG: I assume you are talking about Jeff’s departure. I could say we had artistic differences…and what won’t kill us will make us stronger or something else as stupid. But I’m not a person who likes to sugar coat anything just to make it go away. Jeff was a big part of the band for a good amount of years. We recorded three albums together and did a lot of touring, shared laughs and were in situations where our patience was put through serious tests, but that is how it is while you are in a semi-busy touring band. You start to wear out. Personalities clash, you lose interest or just want to do something different. I can’t speak for him here but I’m pretty sure he would agree. A while ago things started to not work for him which consequently made things start to not work for us. We did a very successful tour in Europe last April and after that I went to Poland for a while. Few weeks later, Jeff called me and said “hey man, I’m leaving the band”. I said “ok”. We talked a little bit about my dad’s health and some other stuff and that was it. I didn’t try to stop him because I respect his decision. No drama, no stupidity. We aren’t some kids who run around in circles trying to prove something to each other. Being in a band isn’t easy and if anyone ever tells you something different they are full of shit. Now, path and direction of the band won’t change one bit because that was established way before Jeff joined the band. We carefully auditioned a few guitar players and decide to move on with our friend Paul Rajpal who was working at New Alliance Studios during Asylum and Shadows sessions. Very good guitar player with similar playing style to Jeff’s, which is super important to us. Great personality and work ethic. We are already writing new material and moving forward. MG: See, this is one of those things that we do: express our passion in music, lyrics, artwork and all around it. We do it for self-centered, ego driven desire. Not for some spiritual crap, black masses or other shit like that that a lot of bands try to sell to their fans. Or some semi-political cover up to their lack of opinions. We do it for personal satisfaction and fulfillment, and then when our work makes us wake up to a message from someone saying “hey guys, just discovered your band and listened to your albums, they really made my shitty day better”, that is what makes it worth doing. We are writing our new album, going to play some random shows on the East Coast and tour a little in the fall.

AR: It’s not uncommon to see that Morne is on tour in Europe on big summer metal fest bills. How is your reception in Europe compared to that in the States? Where else do you guys want to tour?

MG: We played a couple of bigger festivals in Europe over the last few years. Roadburn was one of the greatest. It was a true honor to be invited to be a part of this very unique and exclusive event. Great experience. We also played at Hellfest in France, one of the biggest festivals in Europe. Very good and very strange experience at the same time. DIY Hard Core fest in my hometown in Poland organized by my friends was a very cool experience. It’s very heartwarming to see people being involved in creating something like that. Europe is good for us. We toured there three times and all three trips were great. People from different scenes and different backgrounds follow music with a very remarkable passion. Small, big and pretty much any bands are treated very well. I think the situation in the States starts to catch up slowly but steadily. People travel and see how it’s done in other places and start to get to implant it in their local scenes. I’m hopeful.

AR: One of my buddies who works down the hall from me played Hellfest 2014. Some strange lineups, but tons of excellent bands, but that’s another story. AR: Would Morne ever consider touring less traveled countries, like the country of origin of this zine, Pakistan?

MG: To be honest I would love to go everywhere we can. We get messages from Malaysia, Indonesia. Australia, New Zealand and Japan are definitely on our future map. We still haven’t been to a lot of countries in Europe. Got invited to Mexico and I’m sure we will get around taking that trip at some point. Like I said I’d like to go pretty much everywhere as long as we can get there safely and get back home in one piece. There is a lot of interesting regions that would be amazing to explore as a band but the political situation in those places definitely makes us push them to the back of our list. Unfortunately.

AR: The political situation in some of these truly fucked up countries ends up channeling some of the most aggressive, heavy, and righteous music out there. You may find some amazing bands to play with in places off the map, along with foaming-at-the-mouth fans more excited than most audiences to see heavy music.

MG: I’m aware of it because I am from a country that has a not as fucked up but pretty rough history. Whole Eastern Block, communist era. Russia, Berlin wall, Cold War. It put a lot of pressure on people in their normal day to day lives and their “after work time”. Radio didn’t play much “western music” not talking about punk or metal. You couldn’t go to a store and buy the Ramones cassette. Stuff like that didn’t really exist. Not everyone could get a passport and fly to London to pick up some new music. That tension created a lot of great punk bands, metal bands. I have contact with a lot of people in countries that are still in kinda the same situation Poland was in back then. Not talking about even more fucked up regions where stuff like that gets you killed. I remember when in the early nineties , a few years after the Berlin Wall collapsed, we could see more and more underground bands coming to Poland. Shows were packed and people were freaking out. Bands loved to play there because they always had a good crowd. I remember when I went to see Misery and Extinction of Mankind in a town few hours south from my hometown and there was 600-700 people; both bands played extended sets and it was crazy. The next day we drove across the border to Berlin to see them again and there was 30 people and no one really cared. People were spoiled by so many bands coming through their town. That wasn’t always the case but it was happening a lot around that time. MG: It’s much easier to create art, music or whatever it is in a country that provides a cozy place to live, you make good money and they also pay for your practice space because they invest in arts and entertainment. I really hope that at some point we will get to go to a place and play to people who see two, three bands a year and are really happy and passionate about it. Not sure when but it will happen. Morne AR: What bands are you guys most excited about right now? Are there any bands that in spirit or in sound you consider similar to Morne?

MG: I’m probably the most boring person in Morne when it comes to questions like this. I often get stuck with a few bands that I listen to for few months straight. There may be weeks when I only listen to Cocteau Twins Peel Sessions or days when I blast Misery in my car and then go to see Doom play. I’m not an easy customer when it comes to music or pretty much everything. There are a few local bands that I like. The new band called Sea and our good friends Obsidian Tongue are great. Hard working people. Punk band Sadist has a very interesting approach. I admire when bands do their thing. Even when it doesn’t bring them a full house every time they play, I think it’s better to be original to a degree and honest then use half assed rip offs of someone else’s songs and call yourself influenced by…. that’s weak shit. As for bands in spirit of Morne…. I gotta say, I don’t really know man. I’m sure there are a lot of bands doing stuff the way we do.

AR: How fucking cool is it to be on the Darkthrone cover for Circle the Wagons? I assume you get asked all the time, but I had to.

MG: You know, it’s a great thing. It’s very honorable to be endorsed by a band like them, or I rather say by people like them. They are very down to earth guys. Fenriz emailed me few years ago, when we released our demo and asked if I wanna trade it for a recent Darkthrone cd. Very old school penpal situation. It was very simple. He liked the band. One day he said they are working on their new album cover and asked if it’s ok to put Morne logo there. You know what, their band is huge and our band is smaller but at the end of the day we are still people doing pretty much the same things. If you start to freak out and run around like a little kid you will look like that little kid and no one likes that shit. Like I said it’s a great honor. In their eyes we did a good job and they decided to support us and that’s awesome.

AR: Thanks for giving us a great interview. Please let people know how they can support the band and any other info you want to share with our readers.

MG: Thank you so much for the recognition and for supporting our band. It’s a really nice thing to be part of and I greatly appreciate it. People can contact us through our pages and support us through their appreciation of our music and supporting our label. Cheers.

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____________________________ live band photos taken by Hillarie Jason