Interview with the Evil Wizard



CRITICALTOM: Are you originally from Sweden, or is Norway your native land?


MORTIIS:I am from Norway.


CRITICALTOM:What is the appeal of Sweden as opposed to Norway?Did you leave when you did because of what was going on in Norway?


MORTIIS:No, but it might look that way.The real reason was because I had this girlfriend from Sweden.I basically went there because of her.


CRITICALTOM:What do you call your music?How would you describe it?What category?


MORTIIS:I donít know.Itís hard to say.Somebody just called it ďgood musicĒ.I like that . . . A big inspiration for me was groups like Skinny Puppy, and Nine Inch Nails especially .


CRITICALTOM:What about categorizing yourself with Ulver who has the same Black Metal background?


MORTIIS:Thatís interesting.I just met him recently.He sent me his new album . . .


CRITICALTOM:How does The Stargate and The Smell of Rain relate to your previous albums?


MORTIIS:To me The Stargate was like a soundtrack for a Conan movie. The earlier albums are more like Stargate, but more ambient. Iíd say that The Stargate is much better than those.But the new album is quite a dramatic change as it has singing, guitars and such.


CRITICALTOM:What is the deciding factor in your choice of musical style from album to album?


MORTIIS:I was tired of doing what I had been doing.I wanted to do something else.


CRITICALTOM:You are pictured on the back in a desert.Unless Iím mistaken, there are no deserts in Scandinavia.


MORTIIS:(laughing) Thatís in Death Valley.No, we donít have any deserts, though maybe I could have done something like that at a beach.


CRITICALTOM:What is the appeal of the desert?


MORTIIS:The desert represented my state of mind.


CRITICALTOM:Is that a positive or a negative thing?


MORTIIS:Negative.I was feeling drained and I felt like the desert represented my feelings.


CRITICALTOM:Is that also the mood of the album?


MORTIIS:Yeah, pretty much, though mostly on ďParasite GodĒ more than perhaps the others.It is about how society/religion tells people how to live their lives.Itís really sad.


CRITICALTOM:Do you feel that it is natural for fans of extreme metal to like this kind of music too, or do you think that it is not that common?


MORTIIS:I donít know.It is hard to say, but probably some [metal fans] got interested because of my background and then dropped out.


CRITICALTOM:Then what kinds of t-shirts do you see in the audience at your shows?In Flames?


MORTIIS:No, definitely not.I just see lots of make-up and colored hair.Itís basically the Goth scene.


Well, it is obvious that I had little else to discuss with Mortiis.I am only familiar with The Stargate and the new album, The Smell of Rain.And these two albums are as different as East is from West.We did talk more, but nothing really worth reporting here.