Interview with Czech death metal band MORTIFILIA.
translated by Markéta, thank you!Recenze/review - MORTIFILIA - ... When I Killed The God (2016)
Ave MORTIFILIA! You have released your new album “…When I Killed The God”. Currently, I listen to this album and I just told to myself that your band is one of the few Czech bands which play a melodic death metal. How did your create your new songs? Who is the author of your music? I always wonder how bands compose. Who makes the riffs, who is the leader, who is always dissatisfied, etc. How MORTIFILIA compose?
Greetings, Asphyx! Yes, you are right. There are only few melodic death metal bands in the Czech Republic. We chose this music style immediately. We all grew up in the west Bohemia and we were willy-nilly soaked by our good west bohemian “bigbeat” and there is a lot melodies in this music. Just add our passion for death metal and you have to realize that we had no other choice, haha. It is like a curse!
About the composing in MF – I am the leader of our music and I do everything except from vocals at home. I just send to the guys almost complete materials so they can learn it. When we have rehearsals we are only tuning details, Vrbís thinks about drums and when the vocals are ready we record and listen. When we need to we add or take away some notes. We just don´t stop until we have the imaginary strawberry on the top of the cake.
The album was released in a beautiful digipack CD edition and as a vinyl. I can see that the whole look of your album was made carefully. Who did the graphic for your new album and who is the author of the cover? From how many works were you choosing and did you decide for the black and white version? No offense, but this is the second MORTIFILIE´s cover which I like (with the last album “Fate”).
Let me just correct you, your album was released just in a CD form. But we were promised that when our last vinyl Fate is sold out we can released the new album “…When I Killed The God”. By the way, do you have Fate on vinyl?
The publishing Magic Disk Musick with the leader Berry did the cover of our album. Just like with the album Fate he worked with the local graphic studio. Berry was responsible for the whole cover and we absolutely believed in his work. We are really glad and he has the feeling for graphic. We just care about the music and we don´t really understand the graphic…The author of our cover is Mexican Erick Gonzaga. He approached us to work with him and he send us some examples of his work. So when we talked about our cover he was our first choice. And why black and white? We tried a lot of possibilities and options and this looked the best!
The first thing that was surprised for me was the sound on your new album – it is cold, cutting and animalistic at the same time. You recorded by Honza Kapák in Hellsound studio. How did the recording go? For how long did you do it and did you talked about the final sound?
Thank you for the compliment. That was why we came back to the Hellsound – cold, cutting and animalistic sound. That´s it! All of this, Honza gave it to us and we were absolutely satisfied. He just knows what he is doing. We really liked the sound of Fate album, no doubt about that, but we wanted to make our new album more raw and “dirty”. That was a thing we and Honza agreed and everything went so well. The recording, including the mix and mastering, took about 10 days so it was 10 days full of happiness and celebrating. The final sound did Honza and me and we agreed that it should be just a two people´s responsibility. Because if everyone has something to say, it would be a mess. The rest of the guys took the album at home so they could say something about it but our opinions were not too different and all of us are happy about the final sound.
“…When I Killed The God” was released by Magic Disk Musick. Are you happy with this label´s work? They have (rightly!) a big name in the Czech Republic but it is still just more local label. Have you ever thought about cooperating with someone abroad who would “spread” your music to the foreign countries?
This is not our first collaboration with MDM. We released a lot of material with them and Berry is our friend and former manager. So both sides know what to expect. The first ofical CDs were released abroad, by Spanish Mondongo Canibale Records (by the drummer Haemorrhage). But as you probably know it was not a miracle and we have to work like normal people every day.
When I am going through your work you did a long journey. I can see that you work on yourself. How often do you train? Are you a real band which train all the time or are you more like rebels which don´t really care?
We do rehearsals quite regularly, we don´t underestimate them and if we don´t play on the weekend we meet every Sunday. At the beginning of our band we did rehearsals twice a week but we had no other responsibilities at that time. Now, we don´t have a lot of time to do so. You have to prepare at home also but the hours you play in the studio are irreplaceable.
Your work is influenced by Nordic mainly Swedish bands which played melodic death metal in the 90ths. Do you listen to them today? Do you even have any idols, someone because of who you started to play death metal?
Well the North influenced us, that is for sure. And the main idol? When we were in the beginning of our band we loved Dismember and their album Massive Killing Capacity. It is not a secret that we started in 1997 as a hard rock band in the same group as now but with a different title, obviously. But we were not really satisfied, so we wondered for our real direction. We wanted to play faster and harder music. And one day our drummer Vrbís played this album for us from 1995 and that was it. Yeah, our direction was found!
You have been in this scene for a long time now. You organize the great METAL MADNESS FESTIVAL, you do concerts and are an active band. Do you even have cabin fever when you are sick of each other? I can´t imagine a group of guys being together all the time. Do you go for a beer together to chat? And how about families, you are not teenagers and your partners must be very patient.
During the 20 years when we are together we had some crisis and I remember two fights and one sulk. But it was not that important for the function of our band. A few people already have already asked me how it is possible that we are still together. When I thought about it I realized that we don´t really talk that much, we are more shy and sometimes we don´t even talk. Do you know what I mean? Introverts, haha. We are just four weirdos from Šumava. So this is why we don´t really fight, it´s because of our personalities. We used to go to the pubs in the beginning of our band especially during the time we were searching for our direction. Today we drink together only on our festival. I think once a year is enough.
And families? We met our wives and partners a long time after we created MORTIFILIA so they all knew what they are about to have. And since my wife is looking over my shoulder I have to say that I am happy.
People around the band are often forgotten – drivers, organizers, etc. Do you have someone around you which you would like to thank? Who is in the MORTIFILIA “team”?
We don´t really change people in our team. There are 4 of us, the author of our lyrics Marek and Berry who has been with us since the beginning and until 2012 he was also our manager. And we have no idea about the literature so all the promos for our event are done by our friend Bhut (Echoes zin member). When we do the festival there is more people who help us, but I don´t want to tell you the names because I don´t want to forget about any of them. They know…
You are from Sušice which is a long way from the “main” events in Prague. I often see that Moravian bands don´t play in Bohemia and vice versa. Well the travelling on the other side of the republic is a lot and there might be only a few people on the concert which could be frustrating. But you are close to Germany. What do you like the most for concerts? Who has the best fans and where do you like to return all the time? How about you and concerts abroad?
We have played almost everywhere in the Czech Replubic and we love to go back to Ostrov where we have a lot of good friends and we love it there.
We played in Germany few times but it is the same as here. I can´t say it was something special or different. The truth is that it has been a long time since our last concert there and we are going to go there this year in November (and we are going on Morava also). So we´ll see if something has changed.
I can feel the more melodic side of your work today. I am glad for this change and I like the cold and freeze which I can feel from your music. What direction do you want to go in the future?
We will definitely continue in this style of music, we don´t want to do any harp experiments. Maybe we would do more of a hard music, maybe softer. But until we decide to quit, it will be us. That´s for sure. It´s going to take a while before our next album, three or four years and we´ll see.
You organize a great festival in Sušice called METAL MADNESS FESTIVAL. In a beautiful environment with a great background. I attended the second year already and I was so happy with the result. The atmosphere is unique. How were you satisfied as organizers? Was there anything you were not happy with and you want to change it in the future? How about the bands? How do you choose the bands?
We were so happy, my friend! The weather was great, people were amazing, bands also. What more do you need? I mean sure, there is always something which could be better but I don´t like to share it publicly. But we have some things we need to work on.
And about the bands – there are just a few conditions which lead us in choosing. But the main thing is that we need to like their music.
Thank you so much for the interview. I wish your new album great selling numbers and to you a luck in your personal lives. I am looking forward to see you at some concert!
We also thank you, Asphyx. For your support and the interview! All the best!