In lots of respects, Mork’s Thomas Eriksen is an important True Norwegian Black Metallic artist of his era. Eriksen is main the motion into a brand new age. Positive, there are many different gifted younger musicians, however Eriksen is in-your-face, unafraid, true to the spirit of the style, and true to himself. Mork’s work is extremely significant, mature, and emotive. The lyrics are all the time distinctive. Mork has advanced in thrilling methods, however Eriksen’s distinctive inventive voice continues to be immediately recognizable. Mork’s work displays whole freedom whereas delivering the rawness and brutality that we elitists want.
Thomas Eriksen based Mork in 2004 in his hometown of Halden. Mork started as Eriksen’s one-man challenge and presently capabilities as such within the studio. You might need observed that most of the high BM albums launched during the last 10 years have come from Mork: After the stellar 2007 demo Rota til ondskap, the band’s debut album, Isebakke, lastly premiered in 2013. The identical 12 months, Eriksen started rehearsing with a reside lineup, which has included many unimaginable musicians over time. Mork’s first present occurred in January 2015, in Olsztyn, Poland. Since then, Mork has conquered the world with concert events, festivals, and livestreams.
Mork’s new album Dypet is about to unleash its fury on March 24. To have a good time this victory, we had the honour of sitting down with Mr. Eriksen to debate his pure black artwork.
Congratulations on the upcoming launch of Dypet! I actually love the album. Is there something that you simply’d like listeners to know upfront?
I recognize that you simply prefer it, clearly. I hope extra folks will prefer it when it’s out. That is my sixth album, and every album appears to simply be a time capsule of my life, I suppose, of the interval it was created. I feel I began work on this album maybe in 2019/2020, someplace round there. I feel I labored concurrently on this one as I used to be engaged on the final one, Katedralen, as a result of all my albums overlap like that since I’m the one musician and the artist inside Mork. So, every little thing simply occurs on my private time schedule. And clearly, as an artist, I’m all the time working. It’s one thing that retains me alive. It’s good for each physique and thoughts. Yeah, it’s a bit unusual sitting speaking to you now and simply occupied with the discharge as a result of this album has simply been hanging over me now for a number of years.
Clearly, I actually-really love Katedralen, which you simply talked about, as effectively. I nonetheless haven’t recovered from that album as a result of it’s so magnificent and so highly effective. How did you identify which songs went to Katedralen versus Dypet… versus the EP Den svevende festning? There was some materials that we haven’t heard earlier than on the EP — that was one in all MetalSucks’ top releases of 2022.
I suppose once I was engaged on Katedralen, I all the time knew which tracks would match that individual album. After I’m writing an album and one thing comes up, I begin riffing on one thing, a brand new concept, if you recognize what I imply. Then, impulsively, I don’t envision it on the album. It’s like… I’ve a little bit of OCD, I feel. It’s like I already know that is one thing totally different, so I’ll reserve it for later.
And the EP you’re speaking about is mainly two leftover tracks from Katedralen, a particular mixture of a unique observe, and there are three reside tracks. So, it’s mainly Katedralen stuff. “Den svevende festning” and “Ormtunge” — these are the leftover tracks. I like each these tracks. Don’t get me unsuitable. However often, once I ship an album to Peaceville, I get informed, “It’s too lengthy, Thomas! It’s approach too lengthy. We have to reduce a number of tracks.” And it’s like, “Kill your infants,” you recognize. It’s a tough factor to do. However hey, you simply must do it. I made an excessive amount of. However like I used to be making an attempt to say, the cool factor about working with Peaceville is that for a few years now we now have really performed this fill within the hole EP launch, which permits me to launch all the fabric anyway. So, I do love the brand new album. I did make approach too many songs, which I recorded and delivered. So, if every little thing goes the way in which I hope and Peaceville continues to be into the custom now, I suppose there will probably be an EP after this one too.
That may be nice! You’ve acknowledged: “I put each single drop of myself into the method of shaping Mork’s music.” That’s clearly one thing we hear and actually recognize. It’s fairly obvious within the lyrics as effectively. However I used to be stunned since you continued: “Maybe much more so with this album.” All your albums really feel so private to the utmost diploma.
Yeah, they’re clearly. I suppose it’s extra that… As I stated earlier than too, I are inclined to comply with fewer and fewer expectations and guidelines. And you recognize, that is black metallic. Everybody has some expectations. And so they attempt to determine what you’re. However Mork has come thus far now, I suppose, with the three final albums. Issues have began to move far more. It’s not this slim path with black metallic anymore. And that may be a bit… It’s a superb aid for me that I’ve come up to now the place I can simply pour all types of influences into my Mork music. It nonetheless seems like black metallic, after all. However to my thoughts anyway, it’s a bit extra authentic once I are inclined to lose grip on the foundations, if you recognize what I imply.
Yes, I actually benefit from the combine inside Mork. A little bit of a unique query: In your podcast, you stated that you simply and Thomas Bergli often share your work earlier than it’s really launched. I used to be questioning in the event you had the prospect to react to one another’s new albums as a result of Dypet and Fandens kall are the 2 releases that I’m actually enthusiastic about.
Sure, I already did hear this one. And you recognize, Thomas, is a large expertise. If I’ve my playing cards proper, I do consider he makes the music for all of his bands and initiatives. He has Sarke, which I’m an enormous fan of. He has Tulus. And he has Khold. He appears to be an undrainable supply of riffs. That impressed me very a lot. And he’s a superb buddy.
Hjelvik made a visitor look on “Høye Murer” — unbelievable track! You’ve recorded with plenty of different superb visitors over time like Nocturno Culto on two events and Kampfar’s Dolk. Are there any artists that you simply want to collaborate with sooner or later?
Erlend Hjelvik was really a bit by coincidence this time round. I wasn’t actually searching for any particular visitors or something. This simply popped into my head for enjoyable one night time. I do take pleasure in his voice. I feel he has a cool rock sort of growly factor happening. You need to take a look at his solo album that got here out a number of years in the past, Welcome to Hel. It’s a fairly cool Viking excessive metallic. I don’t know sooner or later. There are, after all, folks I want to work with.
But it surely’s like I informed you, it’s a bit extra by coincidence. As a result of once I’m completed with my stuff, then I begin asking or occupied with visitor appearances. I by no means write something specifically for anybody. That occurs fairly seldom. However there are a number of names on my listing that will be cool to ask if it matches, you recognize what I imply. Fortunately, it’s a small scene and most of us know one another, and it’s not onerous to get folks to go alongside.
There have been some clear vocals, although solely a tiny bit, on Dypet. We’ve heard your clear vocals previously, and also you clearly have a very lovely voice. I feel it might be nice in the event you possibly made an album of acoustic covers.
That’s a cool concept at the least. I do have a tendency to take a seat round with my acoustic Martin guitar each occasionally, and I even occur to make Mork riffs on the acoustic guitar too. One man informed me as soon as many-many-many-many years in the past that if a track sounds good on an acoustic guitar, then it’s a superb track. That’s really fairly good recommendation for a songwriter. So, often, I attempt to do some acoustic variations of Mork songs now after the actual fact too simply on my own. I’m really enjoying round with the thought of doing possibly, not an album, however one thing the place I do older Mork songs acoustically. I feel that would work out.
I consider you began enjoying guitar at 13. In 1998, you co-founded a band known as Pale Children. In fact, you had success with that enterprise, and your work aired on TV. That was a very cool challenge that was clearly fairly totally different from what you do now. Might you please inform me a little bit bit about your early performing adventures? And was tough to let go of your journey with Pale Children?
No, in no way. That simply wanted to finish for my sake. Briefly, the story is that I grew up in a city the place there have been no metallic musicians or metallic children that I might play in a band with. So, by default, we began enjoying punk rock and stuff like that. We saved that up for many-many years, enjoying punk rock. And on the facet, I had already discovered black metallic. I’m a bit extra… I are usually interested in darker stuff, extra atmospheric stuff. So, I used to be dabbling on the facet.
As you recognize, I began Mork in 2004. I didn’t launch something formally till 2013. So, it’s been within the shadows for a very long time. I simply wanted to focus totally on that. That’s extra what appeals to me and is mainly what I’m. However earlier than Mork, I performed the concert events, I recorded demos, I performed plenty of genres really. I’ve performed some rock n’ roll; some metallic; once more, punk; I’ve even performed some acoustic stuff. However I don’t know… In case you are a musician at coronary heart, I feel it’s a must to be open to do plenty of stuff. And in the event you’re not in a position to do plenty of stuff, then I’d say that you simply’re considerably of a poser.
You’ll be at Inferno Fest, for instance, this 12 months. And Mork has clearly performed plenty of superior exhibits previously as effectively. Mork made historical past by turning into the second black metallic band to carry out in İzmir, Turkey, after Mayhem. You informed a narrative about how one boy got here to the present all the way in which from Iran after being imprisoned for listening to black metallic. So, I used to be questioning if there are every other live performance experiences that you simply’d prefer to share.
Yeah, we’ve been blessed. We’ve been in a position to play… We’ve got really not toured quite a bit, however I feel lately we rounded 100 concert events or one thing. That’s not quite a bit in quickly to be 10 years. However we now have performed in lots of cool locations and met many cool folks. It’s a bit onerous to select favorites to be trustworthy with you. I do have fairly a little bit of wanderlust now. I like to go to new international locations.
We’ve got this humorous factor in Mork the place we are saying we’re going to play each continent, and that’s really closing in on being true, which is absolutely cool. We’re engaged on dates in Asia now and Oceania — Australia, Japan, and stuff. Nothing is confirmed, however we are attempting to make it occur. That may make my world. Simply being round, you recognize. Lately, we went to South America. That was superb. And what can I say?! They’re actually passionate folks over there. That’s no bullshit when folks say that. I noticed that firsthand.
We performed a number of larger concert events with a number of hundred folks over there. And we additionally performed a number of actually small membership exhibits the place we have been simply up within the face with the followers, and that was intense. It was nice! And, after all, the mighty Wacken pageant was nice for us. That was a objective for a few years, and now we’ve lastly achieved it. I feel the viewers gave us a superb response as effectively.
As I sort of talked about a bit earlier, you will have what I might name the perfect podcast ever! It’s my favourite. You’ve had so many legendary visitors… Are any moments that stand out to you as being among the many most memorable?
Wow, that was a enjoyable journey really.
Oh no. Please don’t say it’s over.
The reality is that it was a Covid challenge. You already know, clearly, I couldn’t tour a lot, so I simply determined to do the podcast throughout Covid. I’ve performed a number of episodes afterward, nevertheless it’s not as frequent as earlier than. I don’t know if you’re maintaining with it, nevertheless it’s solely on YouTube now. It’s not on Spotify and stuff, and I don’t know… I used to be about to make an episode only a few weeks in the past, nevertheless it simply didn’t work out. So, it’s nonetheless on my thoughts, you recognize, however I’m not as keen as I was. I have a tendency to make use of my time specializing in Mork now and music. I’ve one other challenge too, which I can’t discuss but, nevertheless it’s fairly thrilling for me. And, you recognize, I’m only one man, and I solely have so many hours throughout per week. So, the podcast occurs when the planets are aligned, however I gained’t let you know it’s over… But it surely’s not as frequent.
I hope that you simply hold going with it since you’re unimaginable at capturing these tales that haven’t been informed correctly for essentially the most half. Whenever you converse with somebody, you get the perfect and most thorough interviews that I’ve heard, whether or not it’s with Vicotnik or Snorre Ruch or whomever.
You already know what, that really has stunned me quite a bit, simply sitting there and attending to extract these tales from these folks. I don’t all the time anticipate that. That simply occurs, as a result of I’m not a journalist in any respect. I’m a shy artist similar to everybody else. However I simply discovered this podcast platform… And the idea of a podcast is fascinating as a result of it’s so relaxed and simple. So, if you’re sitting there with a beer or a espresso and simply having a chat as pals, extra stuff tends to return out. Fortunately, none of my visitors have come again round to inform me to take stuff down or something. They’re all the time pleased with the entire one-, two-, or three-hour episodes and that’s a praise, I might say.
Yeah, it truly is. And, once more, you’re the excellent individual to be doing this for lots of causes… I just like the story you inform generally about the way you visited the place Darkthrone used to rehearse and file, and that impressed Isebakke. Since Isebakke is popping 10 years previous this October, do you will have any reflections wanting again on that excellent album?
Yeah, I do. As a result of I’ve come thus far since then. From simply entering into the previous Darkthrone rehearsal studio up in Trysil, Norway. And simply… I keep in mind that night time too as a result of a superb buddy of mine [Kjell Arne “Hudbreider” Hubred] lives there, so clearly I can go there anytime. However again then, it was a bit particular. I went down there and Nocturno Culto’s previous guitar was there as a result of my buddy purchased it off him a number of years in the past. I used to be standing there together with his guitar within the room. That was cool.
Again then, I used to be engaged on a bit extra fashionable sounding black metallic for Mork really — a little bit bit extra Dimmu Borgir meets Keep of Kalessin sort of excessive velocity, a bit extra technical stuff. However proper there after which, I simply understood that this isn’t me. I’m the AC/DC man, you recognize. I’m the Black Sabbath man. I’m the Darkthrone man — the Burzum man. So, I would like it a bit extra primitive and atmospheric. So, proper there after which, it clicked. I went straight again house in my studio, and I wrote Isebakke and recorded that for the subsequent couple of weeks.
I recognize that that occurred to me as a result of that set the course for Mork as a complete factor. That’s the reason why I obtained a file contract within the first place. I made a decision to place a band collectively. I made a decision to play concert events. It’s additionally humorous now as a result of in the event you hearken to Isebakke and also you hearken to the brand new album now, it’s two fully various things. It’s nonetheless me. It’s the identical voice and every little thing. And I suppose if you recognize me very well, you’ll be able to discover the similarities in riffing too.
However I’ve allowed myself to bloom, not simply comply with that slim path, as I informed you. And I don’t know… It’s cool! Isebakke is 10 years previous this 12 months; you’re right. We are literally occupied with having a 10-year anniversary and enjoying your entire album a way alongside this 12 months. Let’s see when or if it occurs. We’re speaking about having a live performance right here that in Halden really, our hometown, however I suppose that will be later within the 12 months.
I actually hope that occurs! So, you’re undoubtedly a torchbearer for black metallic. You’re on the forefront of the motion now and have been accountable for protecting the style alive. So, I’d prefer to ask: Do you will have any ideas on the way forward for black metallic?
The cool factor about it’s that you’ve every little thing to select from, and black metallic is so vast now. The time period black metallic is absolutely broad, and I discover it actually humorous as a result of you will have this little group of people who find themselves sitting there and pointing fingers and saying, “That is true; this isn’t true,” and whatnot. And that’s full bullshit as a result of so long as folks, or artists, are in a position to simply belief themselves and don’t give a fuck about what everybody else says or does, then I feel you’ll have True Black Metallic on the market. It’s all about what occurs inside your thoughts.
So long as it doesn’t get too polished. It must be a bit uncooked, I suppose. The ambiance must be saved alive. However I don’t assume that will probably be an issue. Black metallic has been round since 1984 now, in the event you ask me, with the primary Bathory album. And now, it’s 2023, and it looks like it’s getting larger than ever. Being an artist, I’m seeing all these totally different festivals popping up all all through the world. I see the US is beginning to have a little bit of black metallic stuff. I don’t see any finish in sight.
At the least not whereas Mork continues to be making music. Is there something you’d prefer to cowl that we didn’t contact upon?
Yeah, don’t hearken to prejudice. Don’t hearken to so-called true consultants on the market. I’ve now change into fairly conscious that Mork just isn’t a small band anymore, so an increasing number of eyes are seeing what I’m doing. And clearly, in the event you get consideration and many individuals see you, additionally, you will get haters. I feel it’s humorous when individuals who don’t even know me are pointing fingers and saying that I’m this or that. That simply tells me that I’m doing one thing proper. And I’ll carry on doing what feels right for me and residing the lifetime of a hermit and an solely little one as I’ve been doing for the final 10 years, you recognize, protecting the artwork alive.