October 26, 2005

Photo Credit: Angela Monger

Tell me about your Soul In A Hole DVD that you guys came out with.

We recorded the London show. Our cheap ass label didn't want to record more than one show so we had to nail it otherwise we're fucked. I'd say 90 percent down we nailed it. There were a couple of fuckups. Every fucking show there is a big fuckup really. You just make nobody knows. It's a longer set than obviously what we get to do on this tour. We get to play four songs.

What? Four songs?

Four songs. Twenty minutes. That's what we get. We're one of the earliest bands on. The two first bands get fucking 20 minutes and then the next two bands get half an hour. Then I hear that the main support gets 45 minutes. It's a bit short. That was the only thing we could have. It's still a good tour to be on.

I hear you guys go on earlier than the time mentioned on the ticket.

Yeah, that happened a couple of times. What we do is we go out there and hang out with the kids and whatever. If somebody wants autographs, we sign them. It's very normal to sign tickets so I always make sure I look at the actual ticket and what the door says. There was at least one really bad example. We went on at fucking 6:30 at night which is usual and the ticket says doors open at 7:30. By the time people start showing up the third band is almost done. That's the promoter. You can't really blame anybody except the promoter who decides to be a dick. Can you see any logic in that? I just don't see the logic in it.

No because you're fucking the people who paid for the tickets.

You're fucking everybody. You're fucking the bands. You're fucking the people and ultimately you're fucking yourself. So Soul In A Hole, that's about 15 songs. That's about a good hour and 15 minutes or something like that. It's got a bunch of extra stuff like weird shit from the promotion of The Grudge album. There's all the videos that we've done on there. We've got photo galleries. You've got some Easter egg things on there.

What exactly is an Easter egg thing?

Like some hidden thing on there. Like the uncensored version of one of the videos which has me overdosing on heroin which you can't show on TV.

Something cool.

Yeah, something that is actually cool and obviously totally morally completely wrong. It fits with the idea of the video where I'm falling into some kind of dream state, a drug induced dream state that's totally anguish filled and fucked up. In many ways, it's a don't do drugs because then you'll feel like me which is not good. It's got a bunch of stuff like that on it. It should have been out here on November 1 but our beautiful label, I guess it didn't go well with their plans. They had to push it back to the 15th. They always do that. Every time we go on tour they somehow manage to make sure that our stuff is not out when it should be out.

So that isn't out yet.

No, not over here. They didn't support this tour. I had to go get money on my own to do this tour.

Are you still with Earache?

We split with Earache. I would advise any person in a band should not even touch them if you want to have a nice life. That's my advice. They're in the business of fucking musicians around and taking everything from the band. That's what Earache does. That's how it is. Then again every label does just that. They're business people. They don't really care about music. They see money. There you go. They don't care what they sell. I always used to say that the fucking boss should be a drug dealer because he's got the heart of one.

Tell me a bit about The Grudge. The last time we talked you had put out The Smell Of Rain.

It's been out a while now. Like about a year. They obviously I think managed to delay that one over here as well. It's been out for about a year and the album is a continuation of The Smell Of Rain but a lot angrier. I can't really remember how I felt when I wrote it but I was very pissed off. It was where The Smell Of Rain was an "I'm so sad" album, The Grudge is more of the "now I'm pissed off and keep away from me or you'll feel like shit." It's the next step in the natural progression of anger I suppose. I don't know. It's been a while since I've made it. I feel like a lot of this shit can be done a lot better but I feel like that's a healthy way to feel about the music industry. It's definitely a lot heavier. It's a lot more complex than The Smell Of Rain. Very dense. Maybe even too dense. It really has good sounds. Sometimes that makes it a little harder to recreate it live.

When you're in the studio you can do any fucking thing you want to but when you're on stage it's a little bit different.

Yeah, exactly. Of course we're doing it. I guess we'll see tonight given no fuckups occur because we never get sound checks or anything. There are a lot of bands on this tour so I can live with that. I think it's strange because you'd think primarily we would have gotten a sound check being a support. I just see it as just education. You get out there and you do the show. You have no idea how it's going to sound. You get up there and you hope it sounds good tonight. You hope that everyone knows what they're doing because a lot of times they don't. I usually don't hear myself sing. I know the songs. It's very punk. It's extremely punk every time we go on stage. It's like fucking anything can happen and a lot of times it turns into a very punky kind of show where there are tons of mistakes and you just fucking roll with the punches and just do it. That makes for a great show in itself actually. That's kind of the way I like it to be honest. Maybe a couple of mistakes less. A couple of problems I wouldn't mind seeing not happen again. For example when the drummer can't hear what's going on, he'll fucking stop playing and then he comes back in. That happened last night and I'm thinking "oh my God, this sucks." It was only 10 seconds and you're back into it and you just keep going.

No one probably noticed a thing.

No, but we did and you're so self-conscious on stage. You think every little step you make is scrutinized by everybody even though it's not.

Even though it's impossible to be scrutinized by everybody.

Exactly. You're in the spotlight and you feel like they have the big magnifying glass on you and everything you do wrong they're going to see but that's not true. It's hard not to think that way when you're on stage.

You have more courage than I do. I couldn't get up in front of a bunch of people and do anything.

It's not that bad. First time I got up and I sang in front of a crowd that was scary. After a couple of shows it was a little better. When we first formed as a band, needless to say we had to start playing live. I'd never done that but you just do it. You just get out there and do it.

Weren't you in Emperor?

I played bass. That was fucking back in '92. That's a long time ago. I think my first Mortiis tour was in 2001 as a band. I did a bunch of weird shows between '96 and '99 but then I didn't do anything for two years. I just made The Smell Of Rain and put together the band and changed everything. Then we did the first show.

You had a lineup change in your band I read on your site.

Our guitarist, the other guy with the mohawk, for some fucking reason couldn't make this tour and we got Levi's brother who's just a new drum tech with us. We knew him and we were comfortable with him and he learned the songs and he's on the tour. He's done great. I took photos of him the other day and he looked like an old woman. He had bad luck in that photo. It was a horrible fucking shot. We're probably going to frame it. People were laughing at it for two consecutive days. Caught in the moment. Bad fucking moment.

I guess the tour is almost over then.

Yeah, pretty much so. There's today and tomorrow in Los Angeles. We hope to get back home. Actually because our plane is booked a week later and I don't want to get stuck in L.A. probably doing nothing. We're going to go down to the airport and pretend to be stupid and "please can we get on the plane." Otherwise we have to find a cheap motel for a week. I don't want to sit there for a week and do nothing since I could do some useful stuff back in Norway. I have a lot of shit to do back home. Private and fucking start to make some new songs and fucking to do whatever. I have to deal with my landlord because she's an idiot.

Yeah, you can't miss out on that. When you guys get back are you thinking about working on a new record?

We're going to make some demo stuff I think and the idea is to make a couple of demos and probably shop around for a new deal because we're in between labels right now. I'm in no fucking hurry to sign a new deal.

Your latest rumor is that your mask is now stitched onto your face.

That's what I heard about a week ago. Yeah, exactly.

That must have been painful.

It would have been if it were true.

He's a Norwegian troll who eats children for breakfast and has his mask stitched on his face.

The things people believe. Stupid.

You should feel special.

I'm just tired of it. I ignore it. What do you do?

You have some interesting tattoos. Tell me about those.

The spiders? Not much to say. I knew the guy who was doing tattoos and he was doing all this stuff and I started fucking thinking okay what can I do next. Shave my fucking head and get spiders tattooed on. I always had this stupid fear of spiders and it passed away with the years. I would want to run and squeal like a little girl. I've never done that but inside you want to do that every time a big fat spider comes walking along. I just figured fuck I like the way they look. Creepy as shit so I just figured that's cool. He did it for free. I guess if he had gotten some long haired fucking metal looking guy standing there getting his head tattooed, a lot of these customers would turn and hit the door because it scares them. These tattoo parlors get a lot of fucking, at least the ones I used to go to, would get a lot of fucking teenagers coming in wanting a little unicorn on their shoulders. The kind of crap that you tattoo on people but charge double price for it because you just thought they were idiots. That's business for them. There I am fucking sitting there getting my head tattooed which is going to look probably quite painful. Fucking blood running down everywhere. These girls with their unicorns would probably turn around and never come back. We did it after closing time.

What other plans do you have after getting back home outside of screaming at the landlord?

I don't know. There's a lot. After each tour there is always issues that you have to sort out when you get back. We're talking to Earache believe it or not about doing a remix album which they would have to do it because they own the songs. I'm on friendly terms with a couple of the guys over there. There are a couple of people working with Earache that I think when they're off the clock, when they're not working or when they're not being dictated by their boss, they're good people. Unfortunately whoever is above them is a massive cockhead. We're talking about doing a remix album thing. I want to do that because I like remix albums. You can approach clubs with them which is a cool thing. Some of our stuff is club friendly but a lot of it I think is too experimental and too weird.

Some of the stuff on The Smell Of Rain would work in that setting.

That works out and you've got "Gibber" that works pretty well from The Grudge. The Grudge has some really great fucking songs for that.

Any other thoughts or comments?

I think we're reissuing some albums as well. Older stuff. Era 1 stuff like Stargate and some shit like that. Not that I'm really interested in that but I think they're going to repackage it and hopefully remaster it too which would be really cool. I'm not a big fan of those albums but they're true to what I was at the time. I get to do that and hopefully we'll be doing some repeating touring but that remains to be seen. I hope to be back over here actually very soon. Play a bit later in the evening and get a few more songs in there. That's pretty much what's going on at the moment. That's more than enough as far as I'm concerned.