Marduk Guitarist: 'I'd Rather Be the Motörhead of Black Metal Than Be Experimental' (INTERVIEW)
"It's hard for me to say since I've put so much into each of them, but I consider every single one of the 12 full-length albums we've done to be killer," Morgan "Evil" Steinmeyer Håkansson tells Noisecreep. The founding guitarist of black metal demigods Marduk is on the phone from his native Sweden talking up Serpent Sermon, the group's forthcoming new album.
Håkansson continues: "We're not the kind of band that sits down before we start writing a new album to discuss what direction we're going to go in. It's more natural for us. The new album has a lot of variety on it. It's fast, it's brutal, it's evil – it's everything a black metal album should be. It's vicious in every single way."
Formed in 1990, Marduk is unquestionably one of the most influential black metal bands of all time. Håkansson wisely subscribes to the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" spirit when it comes to the group's uncompromising songwriting style: "I think it might be the difference between being 17 and 39-years-old – which is what I am now. I know what Marduk should sound like and don't care what anyone thinks.
"Marduk has always gotten better at what we do, but I don't always think progression is a necessarily good thing either. For me, it's never been that important to develop and become a better musician just for the sake of it. I'd rather be the Motörhead or Slayer of black metal than be experimental. I don't want to just try and be different because critics think I should."
Another aspect of being in the spotlight Håkansson isn't comfortable with is having a personal social media presence: "I'm not a fan of all of this Facebook stuff. The mystique is gone for a lot of these bands that do it too much. If I want to know what someone is doing, I'll give them a call. Look, we have pages up for Marduk for all of our loyal fans to check out where we're touring and all of those kinds of things. But I don't have a personal page and never will.
"I try to spend my personal time away from computers as much as I can. I'd rather go fishing or be outside than be online and read about some guy in a band telling me when he's going to the toilet or what his favorite band is. I don't give a fuck."
Håkansson thinks one of the most essential aspects of being a hardcore music fan has been lost with the advent of the Internet: "I remember being a kid and waiting for the new Iron Maiden album to come out. You couldn't wait to go to the record store and have the vinyl in your hands. These days, people download songs off the album way before they are official released. The power of the release date is gone now. You would look at these full page magazine ads for an album and you couldn't wait to hear what it sounded like. There was a mystery and excitement to it all. That's gone now. I think it's sad for the younger generation of metalheads that they have missed out on that."
Marduk's 12th studio album, Serpent Sermon, will hit stores on June 5 via Century Media. Pre-order the album at this link.
Tour dates w/ 1349, Withered and Weapon:
May 31 - Santiago, Chile @ Club 334 **MARDUK only**
June 1 - Puerto Rico, PR @ La Respuesta **MARDUK only**
June 2 - Baltimore, MD @ Sonar
June 3 - Brooklyn, NY @ Williamsburg Music Hall
June 4 - Montreal, QC @ Les Foufounes Electriques
June 5 - Toronto, ON @ Wreck Room
June 6 - Ottawa, ON @ Maverick's
June 7 - Columbus, OH @ Alrosa Villa
June 8 - Chicago, IL @ Reggie's
June 9 - St Paul, MN @ Station 4
June 10 - Winnipeg, MB @ Park Theatre
June 11 - Regina, SK @ The Exchange
June 12 - Calgary, AB @ Distillery
June 14 - Vancouver, BC @ Venue
June 15 - Seattle, WA @ Studio Seven
June 16 - Portland, OR @ Bossanova
June 17 - San Francisco, CA @ DNA Lounge
June 18 - Fullerton, CA @ Slidebar **MARDUK only**
June 19 - Hollywood, CA @ House Of Blues
June 20 - San Diego, CA @ Ruby Room