Interview with Thomas of MORK

Interview with Thomas of MORK

- in Written interviews

Hello Thomas! Can you tell us about the inspiration behind the album title “Dypet” and how it ties into the themes explored in the album?
I had many titles that just didn’t work well. Even the title of the 4th track on the album, but it felt more like a song title than an album title. I ended up just calling it by one word. “Et kall fra dypet” is inspired by “the call of Cthulhu” by HP Lovecraft. I thought up a scenario where an old Norwegian fishing settlement on the stormy coast of Norway was worshipping the sea ghost, Draugen. Instead of the inhabitants of Innsmouth worshipping Cthulhu. I’ve had that idea for several years now, and as always a potential concept album is comprised down to only a single track, the album title and the cover art.

How did the collaboration with HJELVIK on “Hoye Murer” come about, and what was it like working with him?
I got to know Erlend when he reached out to me regarding coming onto my podcast. I have of course heard Kvelertak, but I also liked his solo endeavor “HJELVIK”. He had just recently released his solo album which is a mix of black metal, heavy metal and Viking vibes. I liked it, and his voice is cool. So I just asked him if he would want to do some stuff on one track. He recorded his parts remotely and sent them back to me. Easy and smooth. Fun to listen back to his takes as he sang my words in his own dialect, which gave it an extremely zing.

“Dypet” features analog synths, which is a new addition to MORK‘s sound. What motivated you to incorporate this element into the album, and how do you feel it enhances the overall atmosphere of the music?
It was all by chance and coincidence, honestly. I visited Snorre Ruch and he was all into the analog synthesizer thing. His entire living room was filled with old synths and cables. Cool stuff. I thought nothing more of it until I entered a different studio to do the mix for the new album. There my mixing engineer also had the analog synth bug, which led us to mess around a bit on some songs. The results are great, I think. It gave it all a bit more aura.

The album artwork, created by David Thiérrée, is very striking and depicts a cult worshipping a sea ghost. Can you tell us more about the imagery and symbolism used in the art, and how it relates to the music?
I basically told David what I wanted, which was: a fishing settlement, maybe in old times, a stormy sea, hard weather and the implications of evil, mystery and a cult worshipping an entity from the deep. What you can see is all David, I never made him add or remove anything. As always, he nailed it.

How do you feel “Dypet” represents the next logical evolution of MORK’s sound and creative vision, especially following the release of “Katedralen” in 2021?
It continues the path that I’m on naturally. I have been letting in more and more spontaneous influences while creating, more so for each album. It’s not a run of the mill black metal album, it is, in my mind, a product of MORK.

What was the recording and production process like for “Dypet”, and how did you go about capturing the raw and intense energy of the music?
The way I record and write is most of the time done in “one-sitting” sessions. Meaning that I go into the studio on a given day with one or two riff ideas and let creativity and spontaneity take the lead untied the song is finished. That’s a way for me to achieve a raw, organic and honest result.

“Dypet” is not a concept album, but it still explores themes of hatred, death, betrayal, and misanthropy. How do you approach writing lyrics and expressing these themes through your music?
I write lyrics as poems, most of the time without any specific music piece in mind. The lyrics are like my music, sort or scribbles that comes spontaneously from my mind. My feelings, experiences and such.

Can you talk about some of the challenges or obstacles you faced while creating “Dypet”, and how you overcame them?
As I mentioned, each album has been an evolution of my letting go of more and more preset rules and expectations. I have to be honest and say that I didn’t quite know how this album would be received by the general public and critics. Which proves that I only do this for myself and not to please anyone else. I don’t make music to fit in. Anyway, I was totally floored by the massive positive response on upon release. Obviously I did the right thing when just following my heart, to put it romantically.

What do you hope listeners will take away from “Dypet”, both musically and thematically?
If they take anything away that’s good for me. An impression means that they at least have heard it. Hopefully over time it will become a MORK “classic”? Who knows, haha.

You have several live shows and festival appearances planned in support of “Dypet”. How do you approach translating the intensity and atmosphere of your music to a live setting, and what can fans expect from your upcoming performances?
As a full live band every member has a say in which songs that would end up in the set lists. We try out songs in the rehearsal place and rather quickly notice which ones works for us, Nd which doesn’t. The live band is a living and breathing thing, so it’s important to achieve a great vibe whilst performing the songs. The crowd can expect a MORK show. We’re not into fancy stage shows or other stuff to hide behind. It’s all us and the songs. Sometimes the energy we create together with a crowd can outshine any stage show.

Ser deg senere!
Vi sees.

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