Impact metal channel conducted an interview with guitarist Morgan Steinmeyer Håkansson of Swedish black metallers MARDUK prior to the band's May 4 concert at Blue Hell in Budapest, Hungary. You can watch the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On what to expect from MARDUK's forthcoming "Viktoria" studio album:
Morgan: "It's hard to say. It's up to everybody to make up their own minds, as I always say. For me, it's a continuation of the 'Frontschwein' album. It's, in the sense, a MARDUK album, I would say. The music writes a different journey from 'Frontschwein', I would say, but it's still the continuation for the same thing. As with any other MARDUK, it's a complete different musical journey. It has a lot of variation, power, aggression, devotion, feeling. It's hard to explain when it's so fresh in your mind. But, we're proud of it. I think it's a great MARDUK album.
On MARDUK's evolution:
Morgan: "It's hard to describe. You constantly play and keep on doing what you believe in. Things change. That's the way it is. You don't do the same thing you did when you were 17 years old or whatever. Most people would say it's a natural progression. We're not one of those bands who sit down and think, 'We have to do this, we have to do that.' We always follow our instinct. We do whatever we think. It's always about making music and lyrics becoming one. The music is reflected in the lyrics and the other way around. That's why we keep on doing whatever theme the album has. This is the fourteenth album and I'm sure the fifteenth is going to be different as well."
On keeping MARDUK's sound "diabolical":
Morgan: "The thing that I always say is important is, as I said earlier on and I've said a thousand times, is to make music and lyrics to become one. For instance, a lot of bands, I get the feeling they write music and they just put some lyrics on it just to have something to sing. For us, the lyrics are equally as important as the music and we put a lot of energy into making it fit into each song so they reflect each other so you get the full picture in your mind and it creates a picture in your mind. It should be like a painting stuck in your mind."
On the inspiration behind MARDUK's music and lyrics:
Morgan: "I would say the longer you keep on doing something, you don't really find a lot of inspiration in a lot of other bands as you maybe did when you were 'forged' when you were younger. But, I think you come to a certain point in your life when you go inwards instead of the outside."
On whether MARDUK would ever add a second guitar player for the live setting:
Morgan: "We had the idea a few different times, but it's nothing we really want to do. I even think some of the latest albums we've done are written more for one guitar, I would say. On the albums, we don't have this massive layer of guitars as we maybe used to have in the past. We used to have it in the past; we try to keep it very simple. Just having two guitars on every album makes it more dynamic than having a wall of guitars. More of the SLAYER feeling, I would say."
On MARDUK's 2018 plans:
Morgan: "Right now, we're focusing on the new album, which is coming out. We're already going out now touring. We started out by playing the Stockholm Slaughter festival. Now we'll do this tour for a month. After that, we have June, July, August, we'll do summer festivals in Europe. Very late August into September, we're doing nine or ten dates in Poland together with VADER. I'm looking forward to that as well. After that, mid-September to mid-October, we have a month in south Latin America. In November, we're focusing on going to Japan and in December, we're going back and doing probably another two weeks in Europe and finish out with maybe one or two Swedish shows in December. We'll see. Next year, I don't know exactly when, but we're going to continue marching across the world with the new album. We're going to do Russia and Asia and probably another part of Europe as well, then we'll see."
"Viktoria" will be released on June 22 via Century Media Records.
Håkansson is the role remaining member of MARDUK who played on the band's debut album, 1992's "Dark Endless".