Orator Interview

Hailing from Dhaka, Bangladesh  – Orator is often hailed as one of the premier Death/Thrash acts of the South Asian region. A trifecta of musciains influenced by the likes of Merciless and Possessed, as well as the mysticism of the Aghori cult, Orator has put out 1 EP, 1 full length album, as well as played live outside of their native Bengal homeland over the years. Eternal Abhorrence talks to them about the upcoming Banish The Posers Fest, their lyrical themes, among other things.

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– Greetings, Skullbearer, hope all is well at the Orator camp.

 

Thanks. So far we have been working on new songs, though we are not that active for the last one year.

 

 

– You’re playing at Banish The Posers Fest on the 11th of September. Over the years you’ve played at quite a lot of Primitive Invocation gigs, what’s the usual expectation for an event by them?

 

A very well organized gig, robust sound system and experienced sound engineer and apart from these, we expect nothing but fun and lots of headbanging from a very dedicated crowd.

 

 

– Do you think that the Bangladeshi metal scene has improved over the years due to PI’s work?

 

Definitely, ever since they started out their journey back in 2011 they have delivered us so many great metal concerts bringing bands from many parts of the world. They have also supported many new and old bands from Dhaka. PI has created a scene which was never there before, bathed in the essence of true metal spirit.

 

 

Orator_PI

 

 

– Orator has primarily been a power trio, however a second guitarist was added for a short while last year, before reverting to a trio again. Can you elaborate a bit on that?

 

We have always thought of hiring a second guitarist, even before Kapalgnosis. Re-Animator (Navid Anjum Khan) was/is a promising guitarist and we hired him. We jammed many times last year and performed twice with him on the lineup. However, he had to leave Orator because of the imperatives of his demanding academic life. We wish him all the best in life.

 

 

– There has been a marked shift in production values for Orator between 2010’s “Dominion of Avyaktam” and 2013’s “Kapalgnosis,” with the latter favoring a more well-rounded, clear-cut sound as compared to the raw tendencies of the debut EP. Can we expect the sound to get more deliberately polished on future output?

 

Orator’s sound will remain mostly like Kapalgnosis, but of course much more polished than the previous productions.

 

 

– Orator has a very distinct visual aesthetic to it, manifesting itself in the live presence, lyrics and artwork of the band, and as a result setting Orator apart from most death and thrash metal acts in the South Asian region. Was this aesthetic a deliberate attempt?

 

Thank you. If it were not deliberate then we would be confused of our identity like many of the bands out there today. For Orator everything was deliberate from the start and shall be in the future.

 

 

Orator_aghori

 

 

– Your lyrics mirror the image of Aghori, “Left Hand Path” Tantric Occultism and  other Gnostic related notions and you mention Aghoris as an Atheistic Avadhut in a recent interview. Aghoris renounce the establishments set by the orthodox Hinduism, yet they also partake in very specific rituals which signify a spiritual belief – added to that, they are devotee of Bhairava too. Traditional atheists do not usually partake in rituals or hold any spiritual beliefs, nor do they tend to be a devotee of any deity too. Can you explain this further?

 

Aghoris are not the devotees of any particular deities per se and they have many ruthless forms of bizarre practices that most of us might not have seen as of yet. Navakhanda, is a rite where they gash their limbs deliberately in nine ways just to have a strong quintessence of inner being. However, we do not take these religious practices literally. Aghori is for us a form, a hollow being that represents the perpetual orations of a decaying cosmos within and without. That Aghori is already dead and rotted away; he has no further belief nor any god to please, but him-Self. He is one with his being, an Avadhut in true form. Therefore, behold the mad Krakach, polluting the norms of established orders and purveying the essence of non-being.

 

 

– Considering that Orator is an established act now with its own distinct sound and identity, do you see Barzak – your and Vritra’s earlier band – and Orator to be connected entities or completely seperate? 

 

Just to be clear, Vritra was not a part of the original Barzak lineup although he joined in just when we destroyed Barzak and formed Orator. We did it together. And I do not see Barzak ever returning. Barzak is dead. Orator has risen up from Barzak’s ashes, separate and immaculate.

 

 

 

Orator_lineup

 

 

– You’ve played outside Bangladesh, in India and Malaysia – how difficult/easy is it to go around touring different countries from where you guys are based in? 

 

So far we have played in India, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. And I can honestly say that except for India, we never had any trouble flying outside of Dhaka and performing at the aforementioned countries.

 

 

– Thanks for your time, hope to see you live soon as well!

Thanks for the support! Hail!

 

BITP

 

Orator on Facebook

Banish The Posers Fest 2015

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Against Evil Interview

The Indian metal scene has been growing at a steady pace over the last few years, reaching a point where bands outside of the so-called main urban centers have started to form. While India as a metal-producing country is well past the initial primordial stages of development, it’s still interesting to see 80s influenced bands such as Against Evil form from the unassuming backdrop of Visakhapatnam.
against_evil
– Hey Shasank, how are you doing?

 

I’m doing great man! Thanks for asking! Hope you are doing well too!

 

 

– Can you tell us about the formation of Against Evil?

 

We actually started in 2009 playing hard rock/heavy metal covers in a band called ECHO. We became quite popular in the local music scene and also did a fair number of gigs across India. In late 2014, we decided to make and play our own music and since ECHO has already made a name as a cover band, we wanted to get a fresh start and decided to form a new band focused on playing our own music. That’s how Against Evil happened!

 

 

– Most Metal bands in India play pretty extreme stuff. What motivated you to play traditional Heavy Metal?

 

To be honest, we didn’t pre-decide what kind of music we were going to make. We just wanted to play METAL with clean/semi clean vocals but we didn’t care about any sub-genres. We picked up our guitars, started jamming and this turned out to be the final product. Our love for classic metal bands like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Megadeth, Accept etc also helped influence and shape our sound.

 

 

– Not much is known about the music of Visakhapatnam. What’s the status of the metal/rock scene?

 

Well, there is no metal/rock scene here in Visakhapatnam! There are a couple of good bands that play covers/originals but absolutely no audience to encourage any of them. Hopefully, we are trying to change that and get more people to listen to and encourage rock/metal music with our upcoming release.

 

against evil art
– Your first release is out soon on Transcending Obscurity, how did the release come around?

 

We released our debut single – War Hero back in February, 2015 and got an overwhelming response for the song worldwide. This motivated us to make more music and release an EP. Since we had already written a few songs by then, we thought that it would be best for an unknown band like us to release our music first to get better recognition. In that way, we got in touch with Kunal Choksi from Transcending Obscurity Distribution who was interested to release our debut EP.

 

 

– What was the recording experience like?

 

It was one hell of a ride man! We had a great time in the studio even though it was the first time for us! It was also a great experience for us to get associated with veteran guitar player Simone Mularoni from Domination Studio, Italy who mixed/mastered the entire album. A special mention to All Things Rotten from Croatia who did the album artwork for us. Working with such great international artists on our first release itself is a proud feeling for us!

 

 

– What’s next for Against Evil?

 

We have put in a lot of hard work and effort into making this album and we hope the music reaches out to rock/metal lovers all over the world and they enjoy it. The fact that people are buying our music and listening/enjoying it means a lot to us. Right now, we are gearing up to play a few shows that we have lined up.

 

 

– Thanks for your time, good luck for the release!

 

Thanks for taking the time to do this interview man! Hope you enjoy the album 🙂

 

AE 7

No Sir, I Won’t Interview

NO Sir I Wont

 

– Hey there, hope all is well. Which member of the band am I speaking to?

All’s as well as can be expected, thanks! Or at least I haven’t read the news in a few days, so I don’t know just how bad things really are. Hope all’s well with you. I’m Dan, I do vocals and now I play bass as well.

– Can you introduce No Sir, I Won’t to the readers? The circumstances under which the band formed, the musical influences, fellow band members etc.

NO SIR, I WON’T started when I moved back to Boston in about 2009 (I’d been living in California and playing in a band called SURRENDER), and I got together with some friends who had a mutual interest in making political punk music. It was a rocky start, people had a lot of shit going on in their lives, but eventually we shuffled the line-up a little and started playing in earnest. At that point I was singing, Jeff (BRAIN KILLER, WITCHES WITH DICKS etc.) was playing guitar, Dominick (SUBCLINIX, SAVAGEHEADS etc.) was playing bass, and another Dan (LIBYANS, FOREIGN OBJECTS etc.) was on drums. That’s the line-up that recorded the demo, the first 7” and the first 12”. Eventually Dominick moved to drums, I took over on bass and our friend Kelley (FUNERAL CONE etc.) joined to do vocals as well. We’ve all been influenced by all kinds of things, and while the most obvious influences on the band are CRASS, CONFLICT, CHUMBAWAMBA, bands like that, everyone has brought their own interests in as well. For instance I was involved with the noise/experimental scene for a long time, I love prog rock, metal… I grew up as a total metalhead in the 80s before I discovered punk and realized that there was a whole alternative lifestyle available to me. I imagine it’s different in Pakistan, but in America the metal scene (especially in the 80s) was mostly a-political, mostly kind of braindead, mostly about partying, basically another version of mainstream society, with all the same misogyny and shitty attitudes. Punk opened up a way to make music and be involved in a community based around political ideals and personal ideals that were really different from what I saw around me every day.

– The Anarcho-Punk tradition dates back to the late 70’s and has been through several ups and downs. How do acts like yourself stay relevant in the current political and musical climate?

I’m not sure we do! But for me, anarcho-punk has never been a particular sound, it’s not as narrow and constrained as, say, D-beat is. It’s always been much freer and more creative, much more wide-ranging, mostly connected by a general political outlook. If you go back to the early days of anarcho-punk in the UK, you hear bands like D&V, HIT PARADE, RUBELLA BALLET doing all kinds of strange things, looking different, sounding different. It’s not only based off of CRASS. So likewise, when we started this band we took the political ideals and the goals and brought our own thing to it. We grew up playing in street punk bands, hardcore bands, pop-punk bands, grew up in a different time and place and so the result was naturally something different, something born out of the the here and now. The important thing was that we grew up with the same ethos as the old anarcho-punk bands in mind. Even if you weren’t an active revolutionary or something, it was hard to be involved in punk around here in the early 90s and NOT encounter anarchism, not be influenced by that day to day political outlook. In the end I think that by not trying to sound just like CRASS or CONFLICT, and by allowing the band to take its own course it naturally adapted to the current climate. That is to say, the current climate of the DIY scene. Neither our politics nor our music are at all relevant to what’s going on in mainstream society, as far as I can tell! I wish they were…

 

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– Do you believe Boston is a fertile breeding ground for politically and socially conscious punk acts?

I think it has been and it could be, but I don’t see a lot of that going on here right now. Boston has a really transient population because there are so many schools, and it can be hard to form a solid, lasting community like the kind that I think political activity often stems from. Also the trend in punk (at least in the US) right now seems to be towards a more nihilistic kind of attitude, and a more superficial engagement with (or outright rejection of) the political aspect of the music and the lifestyle. That’s a generalization of course, there are people in Boston and elsewhere who are doing great work and making great political statements, but particularly in Boston right now that seems to be the exception and not the rule.

– Apart from music, what literary, non-musical influences do the band members hold?

I can only speak for myself, but I’ve always been heavily into science fiction. Philip K. Dick is big for me, Ursula LeGuin… I think those authors have influenced my outlook at least as much as the bands I mentioned before. Science fiction has always been a forum for radical views, a way for people in repressive conditions (Yevgeny Zamyatin in Soviet Russia, for instance) to voice their ideas with just enough of a remove from reality that they could get away with it. I’m not a conspiracy theory person, at least relatively speaking, but SF has definitely contributed more or less to a certain paranoia I have about the state and about what’s really going on in the world. Lyrically and rhythmically I also take  influence from poets like Blake and Tennyson. I like their romantic, dramatic style, but I also like the more down to earth diction of people like William S. Burroughs. When I’m writing lyrics I try to balance those two things, the more poetical and the more vulgar, I guess you could say.

– Any upcoming plans? Splits, EP’s, full length?

Unfortunately we’re lying low right now, Dominick is out on the West Coast for a while. Planning to do a tour at the beginning of the Summer and hopefully make a new recording then.

– Thanks for your time. Cheers from Pakistan.

Thank you! It’s a rare treat to hear from someone in Pakistan, I hope people in the States can learn more about the music scene there through your work. Cheers! Get in touch: nosir.iwont@yahoo.com

 

nosiriwontlive

No Sir I Won’t on Bandcamp

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

Djinn & Miskatonic Interview

Bangalore is no stranger to Doom Metal, as those who remain involved with the South Asian scene may know. Djinn & Miskatonic are one of Bangalore’s premier exporters of riffy Doom Metal – despite the fact that they started as a bass-and-drums Drone style act. Despite the success of that style, they added another guitarist and released their debut album “Forever in the Realm” on Transcending Obscurity India, which was much appreciated by Doom-mongers in India and beyond. With the band working on a split with Black Metal band Solar Deity as well as another full length, I figured it would be an interesting time to catch up with founder and bass player Jayaprakash – who apart swinging the hammer of doom, is also a published author and runs an animal shelter. Read on.

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– Hey there, JP. Hope all’s going smoothly.

 

It’s okay. I live in interesting times, as the ancient Chinese curse stipulates.

 

 

– In terms of creative output, how was 2014 for you?

 

It was quite a good year. We got Djinn back together after a short-lived disbandment, did a couple of gigs and now have a second album coming together. My first chapbook of short stories, ‘Weird Tales Of A Bangalorean’ was published and sold out. My stories appeared in a few good anthologies and magazines.

 

 

– Aditya from Solar Deity mentioned he would be doing a split with D&M. How’d that come across, and when can we expect new material?

 

More or less at random. Sriram, our guitarist, and I talk about doing splits with all kinds of bands and we liked the idea of going outside genre lines and doing a split with Solar Deity, whose music we like quite a bit. I’ve always liked the more, well, depressive kind of black metal. Aditya liked the idea too and I think he will be recording soon. I am not sure exactly when we will put this out, we need to re-learn and re-arrange an older song of ours called ‘Flight Of Sand’ for this split.

 

 

– On the previous record, the band’s sound was generally of a free-flowing structure, plodding along at standard doom tempos but not afraid to kick up the speed here and there, with some unexpected nods to Death and Black Metal apart from the usual 70s proto-metal and doom fare. To what do you credit the curious songwriting style?

 

Gautham Khandige, our singer, says I have an ‘anything goes’ approach to songwriting. Personally, I just get a bit bored playing one mood and style straight through a song. While I enjoy consciously retro bands, I don’t see any point in pretending the 80s and 90s didn’t happen, and it’s fun seeing how you can branch into thrash, or death, or black influenced passages and still keep it doomy. On the new album, though, there’s a general increase in baseline tempos and more 80s metal and epic metal influences. So I think the key to Djinn is a doomy core with other metallic textures thrown in. Really, it all goes back to Iommi who pioneered the turn-on-a-dime style of songwriting.

 

 

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– You’re also a published author. What are your main writing influences – apart from H.P. Lovecraft, of course.

 

Peter Ackroyd, in novels like the amazing Hawkmoor and The House Of Doctor Dee plays on the idea of old cities being palimpsests, where sometimes older times peep through the cracks and become part of their own future. That’s been hugely inspirational for my series of Bangalore tales. Robert Aickman is a writer I struggle with – I am probably immensely influenced by his beautifully written, haunting and subtle tales of unease, yet I feel there is something dry, sterile in his style that I want to rebel against. But is there, or is it just the urge to ‘kill the father’? I don’t know. Other important influences are Vilas Sarang, Naiyer Masud, Thomas Ligotti, Italo Calvino, JL Borges, Angela Carter and many more.

 

 

– Do you feel that your interests in writing stories and making music converge, or do you prefer to keep them seperate?

 

There is a parallel. I favour dark themes and moods in both music and fiction. I write gloomy weird fiction and I play doom metal. HP Lovecraft is beloved by weird fiction fans and metalheads alike. I think it dovetails quite well. I may even base a song on one of my stories some day, and in fact some of my stories allude directly to music.

 

 

– Tell us about your animal shelter that you run with your wife. When did you initiate it, and how has it fared thus far? Is there much of a scope for animal rights activism in India?

 

It’s been a series of ups and downs. Currently more downs than ups. But we will keep at it.

India has a vast need for everything. I focus on animal welfare, but there’s poverty, environmental destruction, a host of social evils…you could spend a lifetime listing what’s wrong. I choose to focus on one cause, because you can’t do everything, and the plight of stray and abandoned animals in our cities strikes a repsonsive chord. My work is more in practical rescue and rehabilitiation than activism per se, though I do try to spread awareness. I think it’s the urban middle class who are the biggest problem. They are divorced from nature, high on consumerism, and want to live in a sanitised, branded and shrink-wrapped world. The joke is that they’re living in a bubble and it isn’t going to last forever.

 

 

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– Back to your band. You started it as a drum-and-bass only sound, adding guitarist Sriram a year later. Do you foresee any more lineup additions?

 

I was really content with the drums and bass sound, it sounded way heavy as it was if I may say so. But it’s hard getting that kind of amplification going on the bass out here unless you have some seriously large cabs to go through. It also limited our appeal a lot – people who would have objectively enjoyed our riffs and arrangements tended to be unable to see beyond the ‘lack’ of a guitar. But I can’t say this worried us a lot. However, I was starting to want to draft a guitarist just to have more sonic options and Sriram happened at the right time. We’ve currently added a second live guitarist, Mushaf Nazeer, to replicate some of the dual guitar layers Sriram put down during the sessions for our upcoming second album. I’d like to add a cellist some time, or failing that a keyboard player.

 

 

– Barring the upcoming split, what’s in store for the future?

 

We’ve almost wrapped up our second album, which will be called ‘Even Gods Must Die’ I hope to have it out by March/April. We are planning another split with Dormant Inferno and a few other Indian doom bands.

 

 

– Thanks for your time. Hope you have a good year.

 

Thanks for asking! And a great year to you too.

 

 

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