FR/ENG - Comme une odeur de mort qui rôde : Interview avec Mortis Mutilati - Black Metal
Hello Mortis Mutilati! Can you tell us about the origins of the band ?
Hi, I started Mortis Mutilati in 2011 as a solo project. After recording the first album, we started touring all over France and then in Europe and Mexico with the following albums. Mortis Mutilati is now a band in its own right, with permanent members.
If I'm not talking nonsense, you've been around since 2011, and you already have four albums to your credit? Are you hyperactive?
I don't think we can be called hyperactive because I always manage to compose everything over a period of about 6 months so that I don't have to do anything during the album cycle. Composition is a long and tedious work and for me it is the least "fun" part of a band's life. All our albums are composed at least one year in advance. I'm on "vacation" the rest of the time.
Macabre, you have a hell of a pedigree. Are your experiences in Hats Barn, Neptrecus, The Negation, Griffon or Moonreich reinjected into Mortis Mutilati? Are you inspired by these experiences ?
Not at all. Already, I was in most of these groups for a short time or to help out my friends. No band I played in has had any influence on my music, I do what I believe in and each project must remain parallel to my main project.
Your "funeral black metal" is as much about looking at itself as it is about listening: the visual aspect seems important to you when we look at your (splendid) covers and videos? (The clip of "Invocation to the mummy" for example). Where did you get this taste for music in pictures?
Indeed, imaging is an integral part of our concept. It makes the identity of the group and helps us to reinforce the image we want to convey of our music. It also helps us to get into our characters when we enter the stage.
I'm going to paraphrase Thrashocore's friend Sakrifiss but I agree with him that you do "emotional black metal" (at least I quote my sources!). Your music is sensitive, in the sense that it doesn't play the Nordic way of glacial overbidding, do you agree with that? In addition, female voices and keyboards bring a real gothic dramaturgy to the ensemble: your influences in music, literature, cinema?
I don't know if we can really talk about influences because I compose everything as I go along. I obviously try to be consistent, but under no circumstances do I try to sound like this or that group. However, I was very inspired by Egdar Poe for our first album, whose poems I used as lyrics on several songs.
Your latest opus, released last year, is called "The Stench of Death". It is a beautiful, atmospheric and deeply melancholic condensed BM, which makes us travel as if in a strange dream... Can you tell us about it? How did you design it? What theme did you want to explore?
It was composed a year and a half before the recording. This is Mortis Mutilati's first album where other musicians recorded and brought in arrangements. We wanted to create an album about pure and hard death. More direct compared to previous albums. Death is the recurring theme of the group and we wanted to put it at the centre of attention for this opus.
At times I thought of a group I like, Elend, on the quietest passages sung by Asphodel. Could neoclassical music like Elend, Dead Can Dance or others have been an influence for you?
I don't know Elend and I'm not a fan of neoclassical music but I know that Asphodel loves Dead Can Dance, which could have been an influence on his way of performing the songs, but not for me in terms of composition.
When you listen to "The stench of death" you are struck by the sound quality of the production. Obviously you're not looking to sound "raw"? This highlights the melodic aspect of your Black Metal. We think you could have great ambitions, do you?
I think most groups like to evolve, which is our case. I couldn't see myself recording albums on the dictaphone all my life. Moreover, our music is full of small subtleties that a too bad production would not allow to detect. Our only ambition is to write and play the music we want to hear.
Actually, Macabre, you're the master on board, and the other musicians are guests, right?
This was the case at the creation of the band where I was 100% alone before I decided to start performing with session musicians. Members are only permanent since The Stench Of Death. So it's pretty recent.
Your 20 favorite albums of all time?
1. Def Leppard - High'n'Dry
2. Def Leppard - Pyromania
3. Viva - Dealers of the Night
4. Burzum - Filosofem
5. Iron Maiden - Live After Death
6. Slipknot - Vol.3 Subliminal Verses
7. Viva - What the Hell is Going On
8. Mötley Crüe - Shout at the Devil
9. Rammstein - Rammstein
10. Marduk - Plague Angel
11. Nirvana - In Utero
12. The Cure - Desintegration
13. Burzum - Daudi Baldrs
14. Jamiroquaï - Emergency On Planet Earth
15. Accept - Metal Heart
16. Carpathian Forest - Morbid Fascination Of Death
17. Def Leppard - Hysteria
18. GG Allin & The Criminal Quartet - Carnival of Excess
19. Turbonegro - Sexual Harrassment
20. Twisted Sister - Come Out And Play
What's next for Mortis Mutilati? Are you working on a new opus? What can we expect?
The next album is already composed and we are working on it to record it in February.
The last word comes back to you:
Thanks for the interview!