Profile: Thomas Eriksen of Norwegian Black Metallers Mork

Mork

How long has it been since a band really conjured thoughts of their home, the dark mythos steeped within, and the genuine innovation of its scene? In Mork’s case, it happens on every album since their 2004 inception and their fourth full length, Det Svarte Juv, is no exception. And even though the barbed wire and razor blade approach is dialed back a bit here, they still are a looking glass into the past as they mold their black metal into something completely their own. The band’s creativity shines the brightest here, and it’s in these particular moments (no spoilers, sorry not sorry) that this effort will stand above the rest. Ahead of Det Svarte Juv we had the chance to ask founder and sole member (studio) Thomas Eriksen our set of Profile questions so head below to see how it all went down.

Mork - Det Svarte Juv

How did you first get into playing music, and have you achieved the level of success that you hoped for?

I remember getting into punk-rock at the age of 12 to 13. Not modern punk, but british punk from the seventies. I also remember having a school-mate who also was into the same stuff, and he had a cheap stratocaster knock-off. Shortly thereafter I got my own cheap strat knock-off and it was off to the races.

What’s the most you have ever debased yourself to get your band onto a show, into a magazine or otherwise promoted, covered, and praised? (If you don’t have a story, please tell us any funny/embarrassing story.)

Hah, well, we pretty much decided on never talking about this ever. But here we are. Mork signed onto this band-battle thing where the price was to appear at Wacken Open Air. This was to be our second show, ever. We showed up and found out that the equipment and soundman were equally useless. We pretty much pushed to get to play early as possible, without corpsepaint, to just get the hell out of there. There were perhaps 5 people in the crowd and our, then, drummer used triggers which never found their way to the speakers. So you can imagine the punch that was to be had with only symbols and snare.

What do you see as some of the great things happening in metal and what are some of the worst things happening inside the scene right now?

I do not pay attention, in any case. I guess, as always, there are fakes and trues. Haha, pretty plain and silly though. There will always exist artists that create something from their souls, and that is comforting.

It seems that now everyone has a passion for some cause and that those people are very open about displaying their passions. This is probably a very, very good (and progressive) thing socially. What are some of the most important issues (social/political/humorous/etc.) for you and how do you insert those issues into your music?

I am not overly interested in anything specific other than living my life, easily put. My music,however, is not inspired by any such things. The music comes from some secluded place within me where there seems to be a “seemingly” bottomless pit. Thankfully.

What, or who, got you into metal and how old were you? How did your family take the news?

My first meeting with “metal” was when me and a buddy of mine listened to his older brother’s vinyl collection. I remember hearing Onslaught’s “In Search Of Sanity” and Lääz Rockit’s “Annihilation Principle.” Last one I copied to tape and carried around in my walkman. My family has always supported my artistic endeavors, either it being my red pointy hair-leather pants-safety pin face or me in corpsepaint performing black metal.

What advice do you have for aspiring music critics and outlets out there? How can we all better serve the genre in the eyes of a hard-working musician?

What I don’t like about critics is that they mainly only can answer for themselves and their tastes. It does not represent everyone’s equal taste. But, that’s how it is. You can be lucky to have a critic being into your stuff, or you might end up in front of a Barbara Streisand fanatic, who knows. But, I guess any “properly trained” critic can easily hear if something is made from the heart and thereafter treat it with the proper respect it deserves.

What’s your goal? You guys thinking world domination? Maybe saving a continent? Maybe invading one? Any interest in starting a cult?

Mork is to run for collective president and go off to save the world with black metal.. hellelujah!

Do you guys have day jobs or hobbies you want to share? Whatever it is, please let us know.

We all do stuff to put food on the table and beer in our guts, you know. All the guys have their lives on the side but music and the band takes up a pretty measureable space. Especially in my sake, where the band is constantly twirling around in my head.

When you’re not obsessing over your own material, what are some of your favorite albums to listen to currently? (Feel free to include non-metal)

Right now I have been listening to the new albums of Devin Towsend and Vltimas. I have also spun Uriah Heep’s “Abominog,” Rainbow’s “Rising,” Black Sabbath’s full discography (not much Ozzy) and been checking out some of Susanne Sundfør’s later stuff.

What is the 12-month outlook for you or your band? Any specific events on the horizon that the masses should be aware of?

We will play shows and festivals. It’s funny that I never consider the shows we do after the release of an album as the ‘album tour shows’.. they are just shows, some happen to have new songs in them. I guess this is because Mork has never been touring as such. We mainly fly in and do one-offs. Highlights that are on the calendar as of today are; Album release of Det Svarte Juv and our show at the Inferno Festival during easter. Our club-shows in Norway as well as our coming back to the Hellbotn Festival. And then there’s the big one; Mork’s first plaguebringing to U.S. soil… the Psycho Las Vegas Festival and shows in San Diego and Los Angeles, in August. That’s a big one for us. Otherwise, the band will keep on keeping on, as they say. Hope to carry the black flame wherever we haven’t traveled before and return to places already infected, obviously.

Summarize your band in exactly one word. (Disclosure: If you include additional words, we will select our favorite for the final publication.)

Nekro-Wrath

Many thanks to Thomas for his time!


Det Svarte Juv will be available April 19 on Peaceville. For more information on Mork, visit their official website and Facebook page.

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