Interview with Cederick Forsberg
Interview conducted by Luxi Lahtinen
Date online: June 19, 2013
Mortyr isn't a name that rings a bell for those of us who aren't serious game freaks. It's actually the name of a PC game and it's also the name of a one-man Thrash Metal band from Sandviken, Sweden.
Ced is the man behind Mortyr and thrashes his heart by playing all instruments himself. The name of his game is old school Thrash in the vein of bands like Dark Angel, Infernäl Mäjesty, Slayer and so on.
Ced was kind enough to fill us in about his Thrash Metal solo project. Read on...
Luxi: How's it going in Sandviken, Sweden, Ced? Life keeping you busy?
Ced: It's alright I guess, trying to get a job and shit, but it's not that easy nowadays. I mostly spend my days with the guitar anyway!
Luxi: What made you start this studio project, known as Mortyr? Your everlasting love for old-school Thrash, I suppose?
Ced: Yup, but it was a while ago, actually. I think the first tracks were written in 2008, and they would be "Nuclear Blast," "Screams of Death" and "Show Me to Hell." None of them really sounds the same anymore, there's a lot of added parts and stuff so the old versions aren't that good in comparison.
Luxi: What kind of challenge was it for you to switch from the Speed/Heavy Metal style of Rocka Rollas to the harsher and more brutal sound of Thrash?
Ced: It just came spontaneously and I don't have problems with complex songs. I would actually say that's what I'm best at. Looking at one of the upcoming albums with Rocka Rollas, one of the best songs on one of those albums is over 13 minutes long with lots of tempo changes. With Mortyr is feels more natural to have a lot of changes even during the shorter songs. "Nuclear Blast" is a good example; it's not very long but has an extended and interesting part in the middle.
Luxi: How many songs did you record for Rise of the Tyrant all in all, or was it just these 9 songs?
Ced: I recorded 10 songs! Stormspell's CD release will have eight songs plus a Running Wild cover while the vinyl versions, coming later, will have the same Mortyr songs but a Warlock cover thrown in! Both songs worked great and are thrashier than the originals.
Luxi: Besides all instruments, you also did the vocals for the first Mortyr demo from 2008. However, you didn't do them on Rise of the Tyrant but let a fellow named Jank, who is the bassist for Swedish Crust/Punk band Livet Som Insats, do them instead. What led you to this decision? And don't tell me you suck vocally, as you certainly don't...
Ced: Ha-ha... I will almost have to say that last sentence as my answer, but with a little edit.
Actually, I have gotten worse with time. I used to sing in some Hardcore Punk bands back in the day. I was quite young (not saying I'm old now, though, ha-ha!!) and I still had a good raspy voice that worked well on the Mortyr demo. I don't know why, but most people have a complete change of vocals and I would love to sound like I did back then but I just can't do it.
Jank, however, is still going strong with his screaming and I figured he would be a nice replacement.
Luxi: You have your own home studio, which obviously made it easier and less stressful for you to concentrate on this opus and not incur any high studio costs or strict timetables. That's the ideal situation, to have a home studio of your very own, right?
Ced: Yes and no. The "home studio" is in Falun, about two hours from where I live. It's called Studio Tvåtakt and my friend Robbin lives there. We have drums and everything to record them there, but I still have to go there and it can be stressful to know that I have to go back again but it's nothing compared to actual studio time. It's a total money saver, too! Everything I have put into recording equipment would probably pay for a decent studio album recording if it went smoothly. I have recorded probably hundreds of songs and about 10 full albums (in total) with all this stuff. I think I'm a lucky guy to have skills in music AND the recording process.
Luxi: Would you enlighten us a bit about the gear you used for the recordings of Rise of the Tyrant? Did you have to make any compromises regarding the gear while recording the album?
Ced: Back when Rise of the Tyrant was recorded, I only had some shit drums and shit microphones. Of course, the classic SM57 on snare but that's the usual thing to use. But taking into account the shit used for this album, it actually sounds quite good; a bit sharp on the cymbals but that's nothing I can do anything about now. I had to remove all the audio files to save space for new recordings, ha-ha-ha!!! The guitar was an old Ibanez Destroyer that I got for free a few years ago. It's basically a really good guitar but I have trashed it trying to make some modifications. Now I'm regretting even starting that project. The guitar amp used was a Peavey Vypyr 30, the same as I used when I recorded "Return to Port Royal" and "Metal Strikes Back." Needless to say, these albums where recorded during the same period, but Blazon Stone had the fortune to be upgraded to GOOD microphones and a much better drum kit. Mortyr was probably the least lucky of all three.
Luxi: Mortyr is still sort of a mysterious project; well, probably not so much anymore after this interview is published. ;o) Was your intention to keep Mortyr's name in the shadows, or do you believe you can handle the extra publicity for Mortyr?
Ced: I don't care for keeping it "secret," it's probably just because I like being a bit private. I don't even have any band pictures and sometimes interviewers want that and I can't give them any. As said Mortyr is not a secret project and I think I will eventually put together a live version next year for a few gigs. But I can't promise that.
Luxi: As I mentioned earlier, Rocka Rollas is also one of your studio projects. Do you prefer keeping your bands as projects only, not hiring members to form full bands?
Ced: Rocka Rollas is not a one-man project anymore, he-he!! ;) I have a great guitarist called Emil onboard now, as well as a singer called Erik, from Assaultery, and Billy, the drummer. All are working out great. We still have to get together for an actual rehearsal, but it is coming. We have a good bass player who is interested, but can't say who. The priority for Mortyr will NOT be live gigs, but as I stated before I will PROBABLY do some. My main focus is Rocka Rollas.
Luxi: Would it be out of question to see either Rocka Rollas or Mortyr playing live some day?
Ced: Rocka Rollas will be out gigging soon, and Mortyr will probably do occasional gigs. This is the plan now. I always have plans I feel are carved in stone but later change. Mortyr might become a full band too, but I have no plans for that now.
Luxi: I have to say, having heard Rise of the Tyrant 6-7 times in a row, it is a really well done, catchy, old-school album that strongly reminds me of mid/late 80's Thrash à la Dark Angel, Infernäl Mäjesty and Slayer. Was it easy for you to capture that kind of sound?
Ced: Well, I'm not really into any modern Metal at all and never have been. However, that doesn't exclude bands with modern production. I can live with that as long as the music is old school. So I have my influences, mainly from the 80's, and it shows, I guess!
Luxi: Do you believe you will keep on working with Mortyr in the future?
Ced: Definitely! The second album is in the works, and while it's early in the process, it will probably have a different direction than Rise of the Tyrant. It will have a sci-fi theme, and with that comes some technical riffs and stuff. I can also reveal it will be recorded as a long continuous song, but with track numbers, of course. There won't be any silence during the entire album, just faster songs with vocals and then some instrumental overtures and stuff.
Luxi: And keeping it old-school will be the one and only continuous theme for Mortyr, right Ced?
Ced: Old school yes, that's how I like it. But there won't be much Destruction-like simplicity on the next one. However, the plan is, when I have explored the more technical side of my Thrash writing, to go back to something more like the first album!
Luxi: Can you tell us what elements, or ingredients in Thrash Metal, feeds your inner flame to channel so much your energy into making Thrash? It's pretty evident that you couldn't live without having this type of heavy shit around you...
Ced: Ha-ha... questions like these are hard to answer. The easy answer is "I like it fast and heavy"' and I cannot make any deeper analysis. I have gotten questions like this before and I never know what to answer, ha-ha!! I even hard time making an analysis of my favorite band, Iron Maiden and why I like them. And it is even harder with other bands.
Luxi: Many Thrash bands sadly split up in the 90s when Grunge became popular, and then Death Metal really took off worldwide. However, Thrash Metal was never completely dead and now, in 2013, it's going strong and is very much alive and well as its own sub-genre of Heavy Metal music. Why do you think that is?
Ced: I don't know, but I guess it might have to do with the people from that time having kids now who are going through their parents' record collections. I mean there were a lot of shit albums and bands back in the day, but those who are remembered are mainly the good ones. And that's where the kids get their inspiration. Like myself, ha-ha! Not that my parents had any Thrash, there's mostly early Punk and Pop stuff in there. Anyway, many of the bands today aren't really original, but still have a good vibe that I can relate to. I don't care much for originality, I care more for good songs and if it happens to be somebody trying to sound just like Running Wild with a project called Blazon Stone I would be all over it... eh wait... that's me. Ha! There are countless bands that sound just like Metallica, Slayer and all those bands, but it doesn't matter because, at times, they are better than the influences.
Luxi: What are some of the new Thrash Metal bands that have won your attention? Want to make some recommendations?
Ced: Violator might be the obvious answer here, but seriously, I have not kept up date with recent bands at all. All my time and money goes into my own music. However, I'm really looking forward to a time when I can afford to take time off from music. Right now album sales are about the only income I have, but thanks to my girlfriend I have somewhere to eat and sleep. If I got a job and some money I would first upgrade my studio, guitars and everything related to recording until I had exactly what I needed and then I will probably take a little time off and spend all my time buying albums and listening to new stuff. It has been a while since I did that, but I have had no income in a year, and back then most of my money was spent on beer anyway. I will catch up on the new stuff later. Also being sober nowadays I don't have to waste money on stuff like that, either!
Luxi: As for Slayer, what kind of blow was it for you to hear Jeff Hanneman had passed away? It seems like the Metal community was mourning his passing quite heavily.
Ced: Yeah he's definitely a big inspiration for the whole Thrash scene, no doubt. However, I wasn't as affected by that as many others. I never even thought about going to see Slayer live; I don't know why. It might be because I really only like the first few albums and the rest does nothing for me. This might be blasphemy to other Thrashers but that's just how I felt about this thing.
Luxi: Back to Mortyr for the last couple of questions. Once people get to hear Rise of the Tyrant, some of them may start asking about Mortyr merchandise. Got any special items planned?
Ced: Nothing I have thought of yet, but it might come. I don't know actually.
Luxi: Are your fingers burning and ready to compose new songs under the Mortyr moniker?
Ced: Well, I might have revealed the news about a new album already, but oh yeah, my fingers are burning!
Luxi: Where did the name Mortyr come from?
Ced: I actually took the name from a PC game, which I haven't even played. But the name was cool so I took it!
Luxi: Okay Ced, I think that was the last question I had in mind for now. Thank you for opening the on Mortyr a little bit, and last but not least I want to wish you all the best with this band plus other projects that may come your way. If you have any closing comments, feel free to fire them away...
Ced: Thanks to you as well! Actually while writing this I have lost track of time, so I'm almost late for a meeting about a potential job. I probably won't get it anyway, but I have to go!
Also not much else to say yet either; all projects are still very young but there will be much more to say in the future. Thanks a lot. Bye!!!
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