Interview with Louis Rando (drums)
Interview conducted by MetalMike
Date online: August 6, 2010
Why don't we start with a history of Mhorgl. How did you guys get together?
The original lineup of Mhorgl was born in 2004. The members at the time were James Campbell (bass, guitar, synth) and Sam Moretta (vocals,lyrics). James had been involved in various local bands since the early nineties (Infected, Tyrant, Cold Winter Moon) and had decided to do something new and grand.....Mhorgl came into existence. After the first album The Sacrificial Flame in 2007, Rob Thorpe (ex Tyrant) was recruited on guitar and I joined as the drummer after by previous project "fell through." The band now has a full line up and is in great thrashing order! We just released our second work Antinomian and look forward to carving a grim path in the future!
What is the origin of the band's name?
Mhorgl is a corruption of Morgul, a word taken from the Lord of the Rings, meaning dark sorcery, but there is no specific Tolkien influence on the bands lyrical themes and there is no deep meaning behind the name for us.
Where did the title Antinomian come from?
An "Antinomian" is an individual who, by virtue of faith, is released from the obligation of adhering to any moral or religious code. Mhorgl wishes that you all dispense with age old dogmas and count on yourself as sole creators of a new age. Belief systems will not improve your quality of life!!!!
I know the songwriting is credited to the band, as a whole, but does everyone contribute or are there one or two main guys?
Writing of the music is a task shared by myself, Rob and James. This makes songwriting very efficient! Lyrics and Vocal patterns are handled by Sam, although as of late, we are all contributing to the lyrical and vocal aspect more and more. Lyrical concepts explored within the band include sacrifice, death and the afterlife, mythological war and battle, power and might, anti-religious banter and the belief in oneself as the highest power.
Who were your musical heroes growing up? Did everyone in the band come from the same place musically or were there lots of difference influences?
Our influences as a band range quite a bit. Rob listens to a lot of classical and blues music on top of his regular metal influences. I have a secret habit of listening to a lot of Funk and Soul music as well as my metal hahaha. I won't flay you with the details....
Metally speaking, influences are Slayer, Darkthrone, Venom, Destruction, Bathory, Marduk, Immortal, Blasphemy, Angelcorpse, Havohej, Beherit, Metallica, Anthrax, Deicide, Suffocation, Ozzy Osbourne, Mercyful Fate. Basically, an even range of Black, Thrash, and Death Metal from the 80's-early 90's. Fast and harsh is a must!
As a drummer in a style of music that is traditionally played extremely fast, what kinds of things do you do to "stand out"?
I try to play TO the music as well as possible and give the drumming not only unmerciful speed and power, but also a firm sense of finesse and purpose. I wouldn't say I'm trying to stand out; maybe I was 10 years ago. These days I want to tap into something greater, which is the songs themselves and the personality they contain. I think Mhorgl has its own style and sound.
Being sort of isolated in the Southern Pacific must present some challenges to an unsigned band. What types of things are you doing to get noticed (besides getting a review and an interview on The Metal Crypt, that is!)?
It is very hard to be noticed all the way down here and our isolation does make it very challenging to tour and receive decent label interest. We have been sending our CD to many print and web-based metal media for review, also a few respected record labels.
In addition we will be shooting our fist film clip in the coming months to be used for promotion of the band. It will be insane!!!!!! Watch our website for it! We are looking at organizing our own independent tour of Australia in support of this album and for the next album, we'd like to tour Europe and perhaps the US? Things will surely fall into place. We are very persistent!!!!!!
What is the Black Metal scene like in Australia? Are there many places to play? Have you had a chance to play outside of Australia?
The black metal scene in Australia is a healthy as it is anywhere else I think. There are many underground bands releasing quality work and live shows happen about once or twice a week in the larger cities. The black metal bands don't play as much as metal bands from other genres, but they do leave their mark. There is a slight shortage of venues to perform in, but I think this is a trend that is happening everywhere in the world as live music is being traded for other 'trendy' 'trashy' forms of entertainment. Cover bands, DJs, pokie machines etc... Mhorgl as a band have not yet performed outside Australia, but I've had the opportunity to perform in Dubai, Sri Lanka, most of Europe, Turkey and UK with my other band NERVECELL (Dubai.) I look forward to achieving similar goals with Mhorgl.
Take us through the recording process for Antinomian. Was it done in pieces or did the four of you get together and thrash it out in the studio?
All instruments were recorded individually; we're not tight enough to record 'live' hahaha. No we're good, but for the sake of isolating all the instruments and keeping it clean, we record separately. We recorded it ourselves and the mixing and mastering was done by our long time friend Aidan Barton at Sovereign Studios in Perth, Western Australia (www.sovstudios.com). It was a very smooth process and everything went as planned, thank Satan!
I can definitely hear some Thrash and Death Metal influences on Antinomian. Were those intentional or just a product of the songs? Who do you guys like to listen to these days?
I guess all these influences creep out of our subconscious! We listen to a lot of Thrash, Death, Black and War metal bands. This style of metal is the best representation of the metal genre in our opinion. HARSH, FAST, SATANIC, AND EVIL!!!!!! We don't mind sounding traditional in a sense, but we do use our own tastes to 'tweak' things away from the norm to add our own flavor. James and Rob have many years experience in music and use a very unique approach to riffing which I think shines through on the Antinomian album, setting us apart from many others.
What do the guys in Mhorgl do on their day off?
Go to the gym, beach for me! Eat great food, soccer, drink beer, talk shit, weed...
What would be your dream band to open for and where?
Darkthrone comeback tour in Europe 2025!!!!
Shit, I know nothing about beer! (And I call myself metal!!???) You'd have to ask our Guitarist Rob, he's a beer encyclopedia!!!! STRONG BEER I guess....
Celtic Frost or old Venom?
For me, Celtic Frost, for our Bassist, Venom. Nice question.....
Anything else we should know about Mhorgl?
Hellhails to The Metal Crypt for being so easy to deal with!!!!! Total attack till frost!!!!!!!
Thanks for taking time to answer these questions and good luck in the future!
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