Today it’s an honor to present the interview with one of Sweden’s most influential black metal bands, Mörk Gryning. Their debut album from 1995 “Tusen år har gått…” is a pinnacle of black metal music where many newer bands have come to list as one of their favorite albums and influences. After leaving the scene due to lack of interest in extreme metal back in 2005 the band eventually got resurrected in 2016. Now finally we can eagerly await a new album release from the band and what better time to interview one of the founders, Goth Gorgon, to talk about black metal in the past and present, what made the band reunite and of course discuss the new album.
What made you resurrect the band again?
It was about time. Me and Kimera had talked about it some years before but it didn’t happen then. In the end I guess we felt we weren’t done with it yet and I always had songs/ideas haunting me and finally it was time to put them to tape.
Was it easy to get the old team of Draakh Kimera, Goth Gorgon and Avathar back together again?
No, Avathar met former live drummer Baron Samedi at some gig and started talking about it. Kimera was keen and I came along as well. That show (at Party San) was fun enough so we said yes to one more and after that there was no going back.
How do you feel the response from the fanbase has been since you got back? Did it overwhelm you or did you expect it to be as it was?
It’s been incredible, we’re stoked about it. It’s cool that people remember us after all these years and also that younger fans are coming along.
You’ve always switched between English and Swedish lyrics, have you ever thought of doing a whole album in Swedish?
It’s funny, this is nothing we plan. The language just comes, which one feels more natural. Usually when I write riffs I get some words in my head that I build the lyric around. Theoretically maybe if we’d plan a whole album in Swedish then it would work cause then you’d have the mindset already. I don’t know, time will tell.
Tusen År Har Gått… is a black metal masterpiece and the title-track is probably your most known song. What’s your personal favorite track you’ve done so far though and why?
Thanks a lot. “Tusen år har gått” is probably my favorite as well. It’s just a very strong song, in your face, brutal and atmospheric at the same time. I also like the lyric a lot. It was the first song I wrote for the album, except for “Journey” and “Min sista färd” which already were on our demo. I don’t remember if we had already had the idea to make it a concept album but it fit in pretty well in any case.
Mörk Gryning has been away for quite a few years, how would you say the scene has changed during this time?
I don’t know if it’s so different from when we left it, but when we started it was something entirely different. The whole world was entirely different so it’s not so strange. Before internet, when you had to be tape trading with people from all over the world to hear new stuff. It was exciting times for sure when everything was new and at one point every new album or demo you heard opened new doors. It’s impossible to compare a scene to when it starts to how it is 30 years later. Back then everybody had to invent their own thing, today all the rules are carved in stone. I’d be happy to see more bands not following them so strictly.
You’ve started to record a new album, how far into the progress are you and when will we hear more info on the album?
Sverker (Wing Studios) has just started the mixing and we are extremely excited to hear the end result. My songs I wrote more then a year ago and they still feel fresh to me, that’s a good sign. I reckon a release date should be set in a month or two and I hope the album will be out in early autumn. But of course you never know, we have to get the cover and all ready first…
Now when you got the first live show after the comeback out of the way and a new album incoming. Will we see a Mörk Gryning tour in 2020?
We’re going to the states at the end of April for a week but apart from that we need to wrap up the album first. We’ll probably tour Europe early 2021 and there might still be some random gigs here and there this year.
You signed with Season of Mist for this coming album, how did this partnership come to happen?
Season of Mist are one of the few independent labels that still are around. We had just heard good things about them and just had good experience with them so far so we’re very content to sail under their flag. We’re still good friends with the old No Fashion people (Sound Pollution/Black Lodge these days) but we felt it was time to try something else.
What would you say is the biggest influence to Mörk Gryning?
Before we started MG we would buy demos in the local record stores or at shows. CDs and vinyl as well of course but there weren’t many bands with a record deal. So we’d buy demos or tape trade and pick the songs we liked. Some bands we did covers of were Unanimated, Desultory, Necrophobic, Afflicted, Pan-Thy-Monium, Edge of Sanity, Marduk etc etc. Personally, Tormentor “Anno domini”, Mayhem “Live in Leipzig” and Rotting Christ “Thy Mighty Contract” had a huge impact, and of course Dissection “The Somberlain”. But also their last demo and rehearsal tape were insane. Then all the Bathory albums. If you’d ask me my favourite band I think Bathory would have been the answer.
At the time of writing songs for “Tusen…” we had rediscovered classic heavy metal like Iron Maiden, Helloween, Judas Priest etc. For “Return Fire” it was the same but with Kreator and Slayer instead. We were huge fans of them. Other thrash bands we listened to were Nuclear Assault, Anthrax and Selpultura.
That’s all for me, thanks for doing this interview. You got any parting words?
Thanks a lot for the interest. Stay tuned for the album and nearby gigs. See you on the road!