Interview with Vorgrov
Interview conducted by Lars Christiansen
Date online: January 1, 2007
Hail Vorgrov! Many thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Firstly, please could you give a history of how the band came into fruition for the readers who aren't familiar with your music?
Hail Lars! I don't want to repeat myself, that's why the following history has taken directly from our website at geocities.com/marbleboginfo. It is a perfect summary of past and present events: The way of Marblebog is similar to the old bands. It was born in 1998 and the band didn't release a studio album on CD half a year after the beginning. There was no possibility to record the ideas, so some years went past silently. In the end of 2001 the first demo "Nostalgic Moods In Grimwoods" was recorded. This was released as a split tape with the Hungarian band Shadowthrone. The first demo contained four raw songs. That time the label Archaic Grim Black Metal was used, but it became obvious that Marblebog is not a typical BM band. The lyrics never expressed stereotyped phrases, their essence were personal sentiments and images about Vorgrov's spiritual way. Marblebog is not part of any scene, it can be classified musically, but the attitude is unique. Marblebog is about the path which leads beyond dualities, it is a way to the original equilibrium. Also the second demo/promo "Arhat" was an expression of this ancient state. This tape contained two songs, it was recorded in May 2002. In January 2003 an old song was recorded with Khrul on drums, this was released on a split tape with the Hungarian band Verdeleth. In April 2003 the material "Ermitus" was recorded (it has very raw sound), this was released again as a split tape with the Hungarian band Hunok in 2004. In Autumn 2003 Vorgrov recorded the first full-length "Csendhajnal" on an unprompted way. It was written and recorded in one week. "Csendhajnal" was released on tape in 2004. Also in Autumn 2003 the second full-length "Forestheart" was recorded except of the drum-tracks, they were recorded by Gelal in 2004. "Forestheart" was released in 2005 on tape and – at the first time in the history of Marblebog – on CD. In 2005 there were some other releases, such as the split CD-R with the Brazilian horde Draugurz and the third full-length "Wind Of Moors", which contains pure ambient music performed with synth. This stuff shows again an other face of Marblebog, the album contains songs from 2002 to 2004. In April 2006 the tape version of the split material with Draugurz was released and almost at the same time the CD version of "Csendhajnal", including "Nostalgic Moods...", "Arhat" and the track from the split with Verdeleth. In May 2006 the digipak CD-version of the split with Hunok was released with 1-1 bonus tracks from both bands. In November 2006 the drummer Khrul returned to the band.
The name Marblebog is intriguing, where did the name come from?
I like names which are not commonplace. Sometimes I unite notions which are far away from each other. Marble and bog have very little in common. I don't want to give a decent interpretation of the name Marblebog, anyone can find meanings within. It is a strange image you can meditate on it.
You hail from Hungary, a country that has spawned many excellent underground black metal bands, and even a black metal legend in the form of Attila Csihar. What would you say it is about Hungary that forges such quality underground music?
I respect Attila's work, but to tell you the truth, I think that his present band is weaker than his previous projects (Korog, Aborym, Tormentor, etc.). It is a boring, so-called professional machine with good marketing. Here you are a couple of Hungarian bands which are worth the listening. Not all of them are metal and I don't respect the people behind these bands in every cases, but in my opinion art is beyond the artist. I list only active bands and I'm not intended to be exhaustive: Vérzivatar, Vorkuta, Hunok, Witchcraft, Barbaro, Waszlavik, Dusk, Korog, Forest Silence, Funebre, Hell, Elf Forest, Avar, Mare Frigoris, Shadowthrone, Teth, Dög, Toluol, Disztraktor, Cryptrook Vaultcrow, Age Of Agony, Black Marsh, Nebulosus Fatum, Firn, Teophania, Heldentod, Dunkelheit Some of the aforementioned projects are just at the beginning of their path, but I don't support only "big" bands. There are always promising newcomers in the underground, it remains fresh and strong.
As you are the main member of the band, playing all instruments bar the drums, do you think that Marblebog will ever become a live band, and more importantly, would you want it to be?
I'm not against the idea. There is a time for everything. Nowadays I'm very busy with other activities and events in my life. Another thing is that Khrul the drummer lives far away from me, we can't rehearse. Distance can not be a real problem when we talk about recording songs, but it is a serious barrier if you wish for playing live. An important argument against a live gig is that the atmosphere and the sound of Marblebog is not the best for stage. Perhaps a concert would extinguish the atmosphere. The whole sound of Marblebog has full of reverb. It would cause chaos in a concert, but without it something would be missing I think.
Are you entirely self taught on your instruments?
The vocal-work on your debut 'Csendhajnal – Silencedawn' is incredibly raw and harrowing, how the hell do you manage to force such sounds from your larynx?! It truly sounds like you're attempting to vomit your soul!
To scream such voices is not demanding. Sometimes we need to break every chain. We need to let our energy explode and dissolve. This world is full of repression, the wild animals in us are suffering, we have to let them out in a meditative form. It is a way of using instinct for a creative purpose. I'm not attempting to vomit my soul but I want to vomit all tensions, feelings, dirt and pain from my soul. Marblebog is a constant renewal and revival. It is a process, an inner path.
Which bands inspired you to form Marblebog in the beginning?
At the early period bands such as (the good old) Carpathian Forest or Veles were the typical influences, but I didn't want to follow anybody, those bands were just the beginning. If you listen to Marblebog you can hear a special Marblebog taste. There is no need to copy anybody, just as there is no need to copy your previous releases.
Do you listen to any modern day metal at all, or are you more rooted to the old school ethics?
Most often I listen to older releases but I'm not closed for the new. Valuable artists can be found in several styles, not only in metal. I listen to a lot of acts from styles such as black/death/thrash/doom/heavy metal, rock, ambient, folk, classical music, and so on, but mainly black metal.
Looking at your song titles, it seems you draw on quite a varied array of topic for lyrical subjects. What things would you say inspired your own personal favourite lyrics?
I use several different images in lyrics and song titles, but there is a common backbone which is inspired by a certain spiritual attitude. Life is a constant search and this search leads to the unfathomable. It is in close connection with Nature. Today we are far away from ourselves. Marblebog represents the journey towards our innermost core, the path towards the original equilibrium. To keep the fighting spirit and to pay homage to Nature is very important. By the way, I did not use real lyrics on Csendhajnal and Forestheart. You can hear only screams and howlings but not real sentences. I thought that words would throw those feelings in prison. Sometimes words are absurd...
A bit of a random question for you here, but how would you describe an average Marblebog listener? What sort of emotions do you try to invoke from listeners?
I really hope that there are no average Marblebog listeners. Average people don't listen to it, they don't understand. I don't try to invoke anything from listeners. In the first place I create music for myself. If Marblebog can give something for anybody it is cool, but it is not essential for me. By the way, I observed that people often see emotions and images from their own inner world in my music. It is particularly true in the case of Wind Of Moors, which is like a mirror.
I hear that your 'Wind of Moors' album is entirely dark ambient (it is the only Marblebog album I don't own, so I can't clarify that personally!), with your debut album being primarily raw black metal. You mix both styles well on your 'Forestheart' album, so do you foresee that there will be a segregation of styles on your next full-length release, or a mixture again?
The debut 'Csendhajnal' contained ambient songs as well, it was not purely metallic. In the future Marblebog won't release another 'Wind Of Moors', metal will remain in the center of future releases. Of course it doesn't mean that we won't use synth, we will. The new songs are similar to the atmosphere of Forestheart.
12)Speaking of forthcoming releases, how is your upcoming album progressing, as well as your split releases with Bilskirnir & Vorkuta? Was it record label involvement that instigated the split albums, or contact from the bands themselves?
There won't be a new, 4th full-length album in 2007, but we are working on several split releases. They are going to be the followings:
Marblebog/Vorkuta (HUN) "Split" MC/10"MLP (Stygian Shadows/Osiris)
Marblebog/Flammentod (GER)/Inmitten Des Waldes (BRA)/Woodsmarch (BRA) "Split" CD (Stunde Des Ideals)
Marblebog/Evilfeast (POL) "Split" CD/MC (Alles Stenar/Kárpátia)
Marblebog/Bilskirnir (GER) "Split" 7"EP (Turanian Honour)
Marblebog/Lascowiec (USA)/Vérzivatar (HUN) "Split" (no label yet)
The basis of split releases is always a mutual respect and good contact between the bands, even when sometimes labels come out with an idea. Good relationship is needed. I'm excited about all the aforementioned plans.
With your earlier albums only recently being issued on CDs, and your reputation amongst both fans and other bands growing rapidly due to this, what format will your future releases be released on?
I support the good old tape format, all Marblebog recordings were and are going to be released on cassette. In a couple of weeks Forestheart will be re-released on tape by a Brasilian label, there is a claim to it. I don't want all Marblebog releases to be out on CD in any case. If the full-length albums are available on CD, it is enough. Naturally I'm not against the CD version of other releases, just think of the split with Hunok (by EK Prod.). It has a great layout, very nice work.
The LP version of Forestheart is going to be out in a couple of months by Autopsy Kitchen Recs. After it is out, probably other LP-s will follow. Vinyl format is great.
Once all is said and done, if Marblebog could be remembered for one thing, what would it be?
Very good question. I'm afraid it is not a phenomenon which could be verbalized. The only one important thing is that certain feeling, a power that permeates your whole being.
Thanks once again for your time Vorgrov, may you continue producing heartfelt and sorrow-filled black metal for many a year to come. I'll leave the final words to you….
Thanks for your interest. Everyone who is interested in Marblebog can visit our site at geocities.com/marbleboginfo. "Transcend dualities, stay in the innermost core!"
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