Keep it dark and avoid the word Satan


Hello! Thank you for agreeing to an interview for Metal On Loud Magazine. We are always looking for up and coming bands to speak with and share with our readers and the members of Metalheads Forever. Would you introduce yourselves to our readers?

We are Murdryck, a Black Metal band based in Sweden. Our goal is to return to the old school with a modern twist…we retain melodic passages but focus more on riffs and keeping the music as hard and uncompromising as possible. Black Metal has kind of lost its way as the years go by….bands are becoming too nice…too melodic and too sweet and have no edge. We aim to readdress the balance without making it sound like a one-man bedroom production or overtly raw.

How did you all meet?

In 1999 Murdryck was a dark ambient project with just one person at the helm. When the band was reformed in 2014/2015 I searched online for a vocalist. I was fortunate to find someone (Gast, vocals) who lived near me and was willing to work on lyrics and arrangements and could deliver a nasty vocal sound. Gast and I worked a lot of weekends between Feb 2015 and June 2015 to work on material for an album. Peste (our live guitar player) was someone I had worked with in a previous band. We had worked on a song called As the Moon Bleeds…in Lord Belial’s rehearsal room, a few months before Murdryck was officially reformed. He didn’t write any further material with me but played on the EP. The rest of the lineup, Likfärd on drums, was a friend of Peste while Galar (bass) was someone whom I knew of but didn’t really know well. They were asked to join and accepted. We started training the songs and played live for the first time on April 1st in Trollhättan, Sweden. Unfortunately, Peste has departed from the band now and is not able to give us the time we need to continue with him.

I see you got together in 1999, that is pretty amazing! What made you decide to form a black metal band?

Originally, the dark ambient aspect of Murdryck was inspired by those elements from Black Metal bands that I liked in the early to mid 90’s. When I had decided to form a new metal band I didn’t specifically set out to merge it with my previous project but it seemed like a logical choice for me to do that. I always liked the name, Murdryck, and it is completely unique. No one else has that name. I figured it would be easy to remember than calling the band by a sequence of already taken words.

How did you come to the conclusion to name the band Murdryck?

I am not originally from Sweden, so in 1999 I was living in Scotland while I was developing the music for Murdryck. I wanted something that was unique and not accidentally replicable by another band. I just made up the name and stuck with it. The word doesn’t exist in Swedish but funnily enough if you split the word in two it has two very distinct Swedish words!

Your new album, Antologi MMXV dropped in January of this year. How does it feel to have a full-length album out?

It feels great to have the album out. We worked on it for a good 6 months but it wasn’t as plain sailing as I make it sound. The original title of the album was to be “Metamorphosis of the Blackened Angel”, hence the cover artwork being like it is. I commissioned the cover but it resembles very little of the concept that I tried to convey to the artist. I felt he didn’t replicate my idea at all and was quite disappointed with it. Even the colours of the artwork weren’t right (the original cover is yellow/green). It looked nice but it wasn’t dark or blackened enough. I changed the colours myself to better represent the vibe I was after. Some of the songs on the album were easy to write and arrange. Others took a lot of work and revision. We were supposed to re-record entirely with the new band members but it didn’t work out with lack of time to rehearse properly. Gast and I talked about just dumping the songs and starting fresh with a new album and moving on from it. I had some free time around Xmas and decided to get the album sorted…redo the bits that needed redoing and finish the mixing. The EP tracks weren’t supposed to follow but I thought the album would be more complete with them. I worked obsessively on all the small details for around 2 weeks then finally pulled everything together. The end result is what you hear. We are pleased now with the final product and the response to the music has been extremely positive. I’m glad we didn’t dump those songs.

Is there a theme to the album?

No, there is no album theme. The songs are all very different lyrically. Keep it dark and avoid the word Satan was the main goal. We might use the word Satan on the next album though.

I can definitely tell the transition in your music styles, you did a great job with that. What made you decide to go that route?

I am not quite sure what you mean but that, to be honest. If you mean that many of the songs have different styles and elements and that we don’t have 10 songs that sound identical in composition and structure then I would say that it wasn’t so much a conscious decision other than just trying to come up with the best songs and riffs at the time. I am very much inspired by older bands like Slayer, Iron Maiden, Deicide, Metallica, Megadeth, Annihilator. That’s probably why there’s so many links there to more traditional music but in a blackened direction. The speed comes from bands like Marduk, early Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth’s Vempire album. They are much larger influences for me than some of the bands we get compared to. While we might be a “new” band, we aren’t young.

Do you each have a favorite song from this or previous releases?

I am very fond of all the songs. There is only one song I consider to be weaker than the others but still a good song and that would be Under Torn Constellations. It was hastily finished to add to the albumand hasn’t received the same care as the other tracks. In fact, it was a total blast fest from start to end but that changed to give it a more dynamic edge. It has a lot of good riffs but as a piece it lacks, maybe.

My goal as a composer is always to write music I want to listen to. I have totally achieved that as I love listening to this album. I have never listened much to things I have written in the past but we worked so hard on making all the songs as good as possible without over-thinking and second guessing ourselves. I think the more you listen the more you appreciate what is going on….that’s true for most albums though. We spend care and attention to detail…especially the bass guitar.

Gast had a big part in making me re-evaluate all my decisions with the music and arrangements, so his contribution has helped create a very strong record that would not have happened without him. That relationship between us can be tense at times but in the end everything comes together for the better.

I am really interested in learning about your writing process; what inspires you?

I am not very creative in the sense that I have a million ideas in my head so everything comes through improvisation. I jam riffs until something sticks. Then the song evolves around it. Sometimes the original riff or idea isn’t even present in the final version. Once I start getting somewhere with a song it inspires me to come up with new sections. Other times I can be stuck for days, weeks or months. Swallowed By The Ages is a song that evolved heavily from what you hear in its current form, for example. The intro riff was much more complicated, the middle section took months to finally come up with (despite not being a very intricate section). For about 4 months we had a good start and ending but no middle section! Some of the alternative takes of the middle sections differ wildly!

Will we get to see any new videos in the coming months?

Not in the coming months but hopefully at some point. For the next album we will have to be more prepared in our marketing campaign and how we release everything. It wasn’t ideal that the digital and physical release were at different times and we had no label before we released digitally so the marketing was very limited. We won’t be able to throw money at the video though, but hopefully we will sort something.

When it comes to making the videos, how do you decide what to do?

Can’t answer that now but I guess the process would be to try and think of a video theme that fits the budget.

Who would you define as your music mentors?

Jeff Water from Annihilator, Dave Mustaine, Jeff Hanneman, Dave Murray…Hoffman brothers from Deicide…these were the guys that really inspired me to play guitar. I can’t credit them as mentors but my time in Lord Belial as a bass player enabled me to learn a lot about  song-writing. In the past, I always never tried to repeat anything I wrote and make it all as unique as possible. I learned that you don’t have to be over-creative on the guitar when it comes to writing good songs. It’s ok to use the similar patterns in a different way…it’s the song as the whole that is most important not always its individual component parts.

Will you be playing any festivals this year?

Nothing booked as yet. We need to find a second guitar player to continue live. I’d like to get out and play more but it’s not the most important aspect in Murdryck. It comes secondary to our goal to make albums.

If you had the chance to play anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I don’t really fantasise much about where to play. I’d love to play at Inferno Festival in Norway at the John Dee stage..I really like the smaller scene they have there and packed atmosphere…I think that would suit us well. I want to play where the crowd is intense and responsive. Mexico maybe…

What bands would you like to tour with in the future?

Haven’t given it any consideration at all.

If we got a glimpse at your playlist, what would we see?

Oh god! That might damage our reputation as a gnarly black metal band!

What do you do in your spare time?

Making a shitload of money from Black Metal means we can spend our time fucking porno chicks and strippers.

Would you like to share a message with the readers of Metal On Loud and the members of Metalheads Forver?

Yeah, please check us out on Spotify or YouTube! The full album is there for streaming. If you like it and want to support us then then stump up the cash for a CD or donate a few dollars to our Bandcamp site. It means a hell of a lot to the band if people can give us some income from what we create. It all costs a lot of money….artwork, studio equipment , promotion etc. It’s impossible to grow without the backing of a label and that requires support from the people that like us. I can say, owning the CD with the whole package really gives a better representation than just listening in crappy earphones.

Thank you so much for your time! I really appreciate it and can’t wait to share your music and answers to these questions with our readers.

Cheers and thanks a lot!

Tabatha Spears

Tabatha is a Metal On Loud author who writes the 'Metal Minute' columns and takes the occasional band interview.
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