Monday, 23 June 2014

LIVE FB INTERVIEW: Mortuus Sum with Yngve drummer/guitarist

Mortuus Sum
Interview with: Yngve drummer/guitarist
Band website: Mortuus Sum
Country: Greece
Genre: Black Metal

LIVE FB Interview Conducted by: Lady Kat Chaos, Guest Colleen Maloney (OCZ Co-owner) and Chris Meyer Of Aberration Nexus

Date: February 10, 2014

OCZ: Hails Nick! Thanks for taken time for our live FB interview. You have a lot going on at the moment. How far a long are you with the writing and recording process of your forthcoming first full-length album," Vargavinter"?

Nick Yngve: First of all, thank you for this interview! It's an honor for me to talk to my big sis!!!! Hehehe!
The album is going pretty well... All the guitars and bass are done and all is left, are the physical drums (I have demos with drum machine first) and vocals to be recorded....

Colleen Maloney Hey sunshine! Just dropping by to say Good Luck with your interview. What studio are you recording your new album?

Nick Yngve: Hi!!!! Nice to have you with us! All the guitars and bass are recorded in my home studio, the vocals in the singer's studio and the drums in another! We are all over the place for this one!

OCZ: Do you use soundcloud or something similar to transfer each track to combine them together?

Nick: We use dropbox and e-mails mostly.... It needs time though, but we get the job done.

OCZ: How protected is your music when sharing tracks with dropbox?

Nick: I believe that it is well protected, at least so far. Nothing has ever happened to me or anyone else, as far as I know.

OCZ: Speaking of protection do you copyright your music and songs?

Nick: Yes! Everything is copyrighted of course!

OCZ: Why are you using a drum machine compared to using your full drum kit?

Nick: I use a drum machine for the pre-production, so I can record the guitars and the bass player can record the bass... After that, I go to a studio and record physical drums and last we record the vocals...

Colleen: What can you tell me about a drum machine you are using for your album and if I wanted to learn how to play on one which one would you recommend to me?

OCZ: How would you compare the sounds from a drum machine to a full kit? Have you ever ran into issues with not catching the same feel?

Nick: Drum machine is easy if you want to make drums with not many things playing. Just some simple rhythms to record on top the guitars and bass. Of course if you work on a track a lot of time, you can make a full album, but the sound will not be the same as physical... I use a Boss Dr-880 drum machine for the pre-production. The sound is NOT AT ALL the same. No way can it be compared to physical drums! I will not change that for the world!

OCZ: Indeed, they don't sound the same. What pro-tools are you using?

Nick: I am using Cubase 5 only and Amplitude for the guitars.

OCZ: Does it make it easier for you to have your own recording studio? What is your studio set up and what would you like to add to it this year?

Nick: I don't have a huge and super equipped studio or something. I just have my PC with Cubase and the plugins I am using.

OCZ: Who will be handling the mastering?

Nick: The mastering is going to be done in Dark Fairy Studios, by W.E.B.'s guitarist/singer, Sakis Darkface. He also did the production for the split EP with Nattergal.

OCZ: Metaphorical, "Vargavinter" means "wolf winter" or "very cold winter" but it also reminds me of Thyrfing, track "Vargavinter", the Folk Country band Vargavinter from Sweden or tale of "Clan of Vargavinter". How did the name of your album come about and what is the meaning to you?

Nick: The meaning is indeed the "winter wolf". The song is about the wolf from the story of Leonidas of Sparta. When a Spartan is a boy, they leave him out in the cold and woods and he must kill to survive. Leonidas had to fight a wolf to survive. So the song is about this story. Also I like winter a lot... the feeling it has... everything... I thought it suited the album and music very nice!

OCZ: Leonidas was the Spartan King, after all these years he is valuable and inspiring to many by showing that Greeks are willing to pay to maintain their freedom from any foreign oppression. Have you ever felt oppressed mentally or spiritually when it comes to maintaining the battles of putting out your releases and how do you overcome it?

Nick: No. I have never felt oppressed, but sometimes I am frustrated, because I want to do certain things and I don't have the time or the money. In that case, I am getting really pissed with the situation. How I overcome it? Deep breaths and think through the matter.

OCZ: Some fear wolves, have you ever felt threaten by wolves?

Nick: Unfortunately, I have never seen a wolf.... When I do though, I think it will PERFECT!!!!!! I totally respect those animals... for the society they have, the whole wolf pack, the respect to one another... Very beautiful beasts and so noble at the same time! I don't know if I will be afraid, but I surely want to see a wild wolf....

OCZ: Wolves are amazing. How many songs are your recording for your album and are you writing new songs or will you be adding the song off your promo demo or the songs you used on two splits?

Nick: The album will have 6 or 7 songs in it. It will contain the song "Mortuus Sum" from the promo re-recorded and the song "Vargavinter" from the latest split also re-recorded and 4 or 5 new songs. Until now there are 4 new, but in the end, I might add a 5th one!

OCZ: What new titles track can you unseal and speak of at the moment?

Nick: Except from "Mortuus Sum" and "Vargavinter", I can give you a couple of more. One title is "Dissolution of Fatherhood" and another is "Excommunication".

OCZ: You stated that you may add a 5th track, what point are you at with your new song?

Nick: I am at a very good point at the moment. I might add it after all!

OCZ: What changes will you be making to the song, "Mortuus Sum"?

Nick: The drums will be different, the singer will be different... The bass player was singing for the promo, but now the new singer will do the vocals. Also the sound will be much better!

OCZ: Many songs you have written deal with themes of Ancient Greek Heritage and Mythology, Ancient Cultures, Darkness, Death, and Religions. What themes will you be writing about for this album that you're willing to discuss?

Nick: Well... The song "Mortuus Sum" is about Lilith... The song "Vargavinter" is about a wolf and Leonidas as I mentioned above and the other songs will be about various subjects, about religion mostly. The Ancient Greek heritage and mythology theme, will appear mostly in the second album... We have a lot of time until we get there though! I should tell you, that I have already 2 songs written for the 2nd album... It will totally different music wise. The band will take a turn into more Swedish black metal style than the Norse style of the first album.

OCZ: You mentioned that this album will have more of a Norse style of Black Metal. Will the guitar playing have more direct style of playing power chords using only two or three strings, similar to Snorre "Blackthorn" Ruch or Oystein "Euronymous" Aarseth who are well known for that back in the 90's?

Nick: Kind of yes. It will contain a lot of tremolo picking for sure, but you will probably notice some other influences also!

OCZ: You mention this album will continue with having a Norwegian Black Metal style but I've always known you for Hellenic Black Metal! Will there be a combination on your upcoming opus?

Nick: Not so much for the first album. Overall, Mortuus Sum are more in the Scandinavian black metal scene. Not many Hellenic black metal influences, but at the same moment, those influences are not absent...

OCZ: How has Thou Art Lord, Necromantia, Mayhem and Darkthrone helped you with your song writing style for this album in the works?

Nick: I cannot possibly describe what those 4 bands mean for me, along with Bathory and Celtic Frost/Hellhammer of course! If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be listening and playing black metal!

OCZ: I know that you write most of the music and Banshee writes all the lyrics. Will your new vocalist be contributing to the lyrics as well?

Nick: I don't think so... Banshee is writing all the lyrics for Mortuus Sum. The singer is alright with that, so we are all ok! And yes, I write all the music. This doesn't mean though that the other members are not free to write as well. They are completely free to send me riffs or songs and if I see that they fit Mortuus Sum, these songs will be recorded.

OCZ: Does your lyricist get ideas from your ideas, thoughts and your own philosophies?

Nick: She is free to write about anything she wants, but we discuss it first anyway. We always talk about the vision I have about every song and she contributes with ideas and lyrics. Yes I have my own philosophy, but she is free on that.

OCZ: How long have you been working with her?

Nick: Banshee is with the band since 2012!

OCZ: Before Banshee joined as your lyricist in 2012, who handled your lyrics?

Nick: Before Banshee, Morrigan was the lyricist, but she left the band in 2012, when the were some inner conflicts in the band!

OCZ: At first when you created Mortuus Sum you wanted your lyrics only to based on death and darkness, what made you decide to open the gates to wider spectrum when it comes to writing about other contents?

Nick: I just thought that there wasn't any reason not to be involved in other subjects also, especially when those subjects are about out Mythology, our Heritage and out culture.

OCZ: Your debut full-length, "Vargavinter" will be released by Apocalyptic Art Underground Black Metal Label. How did that come about?

Nick: Morpheus, the label's owner is a friend of mine and he also released Dizziness' first full length "Offermort Heritage", so I sent him an email, we talked about it and here we are.

OCZ: Will you be releasing "Vargavinter" on physical tapes, vinyls and CD’s plus digital downloads on amazon, I tunes and so forth?

Nick: The album will be released on tape, in limited copies.

OCZ: I'm a huge fan of tapes and vinyls are you as well?

Nick: Of course I am! Nothing better!

OCZ: You say that this album will end a very important chapter to Mortuus Sum 2007-2011 era and you'll be opening a new era with your follow up album?

Nick: Yes that's true. "Vargavinter" will end a very important era for my life and for the band as well.

Chris Meyer Of Aberration Nexus Guest: Hey guys, sorry to butt in. Nick, I'm not really up on your history only recently discovering Mortuus Sum. Was this a solo project? If so, what prompted the shift to full band?

Nick: Hey Chris!!! Glad you joined! The band started as a solo project, because I was involved in another band (Acherontas) and I didn't have much time to focus on Mortuus Sum. After I left Acherontas, I decided to turn them into a full band. Chris if you like, you can check the band out at ... I will be more than happy to tell me your thoughts!

OCZ: Welcome Chris! Everyone is welcome to ask questions...Here we go with Nick's 100 bands!

Nick: Hahahahaha!

OCZ: Have you ever thought of keeping Mortuus Sum a one-man or two-man project?

Nick: At first, Mortuus Sum were indeed a one man band, but I could handle everything, as I cannot sing at all! You don't wanna hear me singing! Haha!

OCZ: In a brief history, Mortuus Sum was founded (2002) under a different name, Panzerfaust. Panzerfaust disbanded about a year later because of members leaving and moving. It was about five years later Mortuus Sum has arose. Although, throughout this time period more member changes....why don't you introduce your current line up and the craft they master?

Nick: Yes of course! The lineup is:
Astraeos - Vocals
Yngve - Guitars/Drums
Jim Havok - Bass
Banshee - Lyrics

The first lineup in 2002 was Auren on guitars, bass and vocals and me on guitars and drums. Auren left for Sweden and I joined the army, so we split up. 5 years later, I reformed the band as Mortuus Sum.

OCZ: At the time you created the name Mortuus Sum which is stem from Latin and translates to I Am Dead! Did you feel this way after you left the army and this was the mind state you were in during the birth of Mortuus Sum? How do you feel you have developed as a individual, as a drummer and guitarist over the years?

Nick: Yes totally!!!! I was really depressed with my life at that time and I was reading about Death themed subjects, so it fitted nice! The development was huge! As a musician I evolved through the years, by practicing and listening to new stuff. As a person, I read a lot, so I believe that I am progressing in a lot of ways.

OCZ: If I'm not mistaken everyone in Greece needs to serve in the army, how long did you have to serve in the army? Was it hard to find work after you finished your time? Did you write any songs when you had free time for yourself?

Nick: I served for 14 months. It wasn't at all difficult to find job, because the situation in Greece was preety good at the time (2003). No crisis at all and people had money in their hands for real! While in the army, I totally left music aside. I didn't do anything at all.

OCZ: At times life can be depressing for many different issues. How has listening to and creating music helped you with your depression back then?

Nick: It wasn't very helpful, because as I told you before, it was a very hard time for me. I had no interest for music at all back then. Not for composing at least. Of cours I was listening to black metal though.

OCZ: What do you like reading about the most and who are some of your favorite authors?

Nick: I read a lot about ancient cultures, so I cannot tell you any specific name. Most of the books I read are researches about Atlantis, ancient Egypt and ancient Hellas. Also I am a huge fan of paranormal themes!

OCZ: While reading different books do you compare the same facts that were written, that are completely different from each other and take your own notes? We are always questioning history within yourselves. What is something that you have read recently that has made you look deeper into it?

Nick: Yes I always compare books to each other. Nowadays, I am reading about the Emerald Tablets of Thoth. A very interesting book I must say. Thoth was an Atlantean priest who was said to have found Egypt. Thoth had many reincarnations, the last of them being as Hermes the Trismegistus. This book made me look deeper into the ancient Egyptian theme, concerning the occult side of it. The ancient Egypt theme made me write some songs more Eastern oriented, but maybe this will be another project of mine in the future... Who knows what Time will bring right?

OCZ: Are you reading the original or the translated one by Dr. Michael Doreal?

Nick: The translated one!

OCZ: Have you read the nine Booklets? What realm of wisdom would you like to bring forth through your songs?

Nick: Difficult question and I don't think I can discuss this one in only one question! Maybe some other time! ;)

OCZ: How has Mortuus Sum changed for you as a creative outlet—does the material still have the same emotional pay-off for you as it did when you started listening to Black Metal?

Nick: Yes and I must admit that every-time I am writing a new song, I am as excited as I was at the beginning of the road! Black metal is my life and I will never stop listening to it or playing it.

OCZ: What bands from Greece would you recommend to our readers?

Nick: I could recommend Profane Prayer, Aenaon, Slaughtered Priest, Enshadowed... I cannot possibly write here all the bands. I will surely forget a band and I don't want that. So I will just say, listen and search for yourselves the Hellenic metal scene. You will find some pretty good bands over here!

OCZ: What are your thoughts about the Black Metal Scene today? How much do you pay attention to what other bands from the past and today are doing? What are you doing differently not to be compared to other bands who are your influences?

Nick: Black metal scene is huge! Especially here in Greece, we have so many great bands. Of course I will get in the process of naming, because I will surely leave someone out and I wouldn't like that. Unfortunately, nowadays it is very difficult to be original, but I don't care for me. I just write and play what feels right. Ok I will not copy something, but if my influences are obvious in a song, so be it. I am proud of what I have done and for what I am listening to. Keeping up with the new releases is a bit hard, but I think I manage after all!

OCZ: In your own words, why do you think its difficult to be original?

Nick: It's difficult, because everything is already played. We are currently living through the 3rd wave of black metal in Greece, so there is no way you can be really original.

OCZ: What are your views regarding various sub-genres originating out of Black Metal?

Nick: It's ok. It gives black metal a different approach in each band. I like it a lot, even though I am a more traditional guy involving the scene. I don't mind experimenting with music, as long as it stays black metal of course.

OCZ: Do you feel that black metal a fad for younger generations these days or one of the last true forms of artistic expression?

Nick: Black metal is a very difficult genre to begin with. Of course it should be passed to younger generations, but never forget to "teach" them about the Old ones too, without whom, we wouldn't listen to anything. Last forms? I don't think so. Maybe special form I could dare to say.

OCZ: Indeed, they need to acquire the roots. If you had to sit down and discuss what Black Metal is about to a younger generation what would be your key elements to tell them about?

Nick: Black metal is a way of life. It is how you feel inside and it should not be music for the masses (unfortunately it is though). Black metal is something that can evolve as you evolve through it. A very big topic, that needs to be discussed in a more intellect situation.

OCZ: Let's unobstructed a few things up about Mortuus Sum. I know that you're proud of your descendants of the ancient Hellenic Gods, why do you feel many have misconceptions about your band?

Nick: Here in Greece, everyone believes, that if you are writing about ancient Greece, you are an NS musician and a fascist. From that statement alone, you can imagine that we are talking about subhumans with no idea of what they are talking about. How can you be a fascist, if you love your ancient Heritage?

OCZ: How is Mortuus Sum a complete different entity compared to your projects Christfuck and Dizziness?

Nick: Mortuus Sum is pure black metal. Christfuck is a thrash/black metal band and Dizziness is not a project! Dizziness is not my band. It is a band that plays Hellenic black metal and I am very proud that I am a member of them up to now! You can check them out here: and

OCZ: Indeed, it was a great way to give them a fast plug. Since, I've known you for a few years now, how do you manage being apart of different bands and focusing on your own?

Nick: I have no idea! Hahahahaha! I just do. It's the power of will I suppose. I like playing music, so I always find time to do it!

OCZ: Let's give a run down of your present bands you're involved with: W.E.B. / Memorain / Mortuus Sum / Christfuck as a full member on drums and a session player for Dizziness / Vetusmora. Do you like being a full member or session player more?

Nick: Both are decided, regarding the current state I am in and of course from what each band needs. For example I am not a full member for Dizziness any more, due to some personal matters, but I still play with the band as session. Nothing has changed really.

OCZ: In the past you have recorded drums for Acherontas, Nadiwrath, Empire Of The Moon, Odin's Court, and Vomit Church and Caelestia. How many songs or releases have you recorded with each of these bands?

Nick: I have a lot of recording to tell you the truth. The list is long, so you can check it out here:

OCZ: You also did play with drums for Dimitris Liolios and Happy ΧΑΠΙ professionally, during spring and fall of 2010. What happen to these two bands?

Nick: With Dimitris Liolios, we played for some months just for money. It was an opportunity to play something different and at the same time, spend some nice qquality time with some friends! Happy ΧΑΠΙ was a cover band that didn't last long and I really don't wanna talk about it. Some nasty things happened inside the band, that made feel miserable.

OCZ: I know you enjoy playing with different bands, but when playing for other bands do you feel that part of the atmosphere is missing compared to your own band?

Nick: No. Each band is completely different from another, so nothing is missing. The feeling is right each time, according the what style a band is playing like. My own bands are different. I never play with a band that is similar with another. There is no point in that. I want to play in different styles each time.

OCZ: Has your schedule ever over-lapsed?

Nick: No. Up to now at least, everything is going smoothly and I hope it won't change!

OCZ: Mortuus Sum is a recording band, have you ever thought of performing for a big fest?

Nick: No never. Mortuus Sum was and will be a studio band only. No gigs, no rehearsals ever! Maybe if something EXTREMELY good shows up, we may consider it, but the fact that we all live in different cities of Greece, makes it very hard to happen... So we stay a studio band and there's no problem about it.

OCZ: Because the members all live in different cities in Greece, how do you meet each other?

Nick: We don't! Hahaha! Seriously, I have never met with the singer yet. With the bass player though, we are long time friends, so we occasionaly meet and have some beers or go to watch a gig together.

OCZ: What are the biggest fest that occur in Greece and if you got an offer to perform for it which one would you choose to play, hypothetically speaking?

Nick: The biggest right now, is Heavy By The Sea festival. This summer will be the 2nd time happening and it is great. Last year, we saw Slayer, Down, Rotting Christ among others and this year we will see Behemoth (at last I will see them live!) and Ghost among others. I would play with Mortuus Sum of course IF there was a possibility to so it.

OCZ: What venues would you recommend to touring bands to play at?

Nick: Fuzz club, Kyttaro club and Gagarin 205.

OCZ: Dusting off some cobwebs....for those who are interested in your released “Demo 2011”, “Inverted God Split” 2012 or “Buried and Doomed in Misery” Split 2013, where can one purchase them?

Nick: "Promo 2011" and "Inverted God" can be downloaded for free via BandCamp. "Buried and Doomed in Misery" can be purchased for 5 euros from BandCamp also. You can check it out all here:

OCZ: “Buried and Doomed in Misery” was a split between you and Nattergal. Both of you released three songs apiece. Your three songs, “Prisoner”, “Vargavinter” and you did a cover of Hypocrisy track, “Roswell 47”. Why did you choose do a cover and will “Vargavinter” remain the same for your album or are you changing it up and if so how?

Nick: I first listened to Hypocrisy in 1995 and instantly I wanted to play and record this very song. I finally did it so many years later and I am really proud of it. Vargavinter will be re-recorded for the album and of course it will be different in many ways.

OCZ: As an old schooler, as you know how I get into arguments with a few because I feel the underground should stay hidden as it was in the past. What are your thoughts about this because of the internet?

Nick: Of course I agree. Underground, should remain underground, otherwise it loses the meaning...

OCZ: As your band came out onto the internet how has it helped you and have you thought about removing your band page to go back to the roots of Black Metal and staying underground?

Nick: There are some bands that were underground and went to the "other" side (mainstream) and then all of the sudden they were sold out. Other bands, remained true to the underground but continued to gain ground. I respect all kinds of art, but I can't stand it...The truth is, that I thought about it a lot of times, but the thing is that internet is a huge help for promotion... Dropping it will be a suicide I believe. It's not good to say something like that, but unfortunately it's the truth!

OCZ: I agree it does help the bands with promotions, gaining some more interviews and so forth. You and I can go on for hours. I know that you have to head out and get some sleep. I'll leave this interview open if others have questions to ask of you as well as we'll set up a Part II live interview soon. Apocalyptic Art will be releasing Mortuus Sum's album "Vargavinter" later this year. Thanks for stopping by and opening a new chapter of Mortuus Sum any last comments before you head off for now?

Nick: Yeah we could definitely go on for hours! Well, since I have to work tomorrow, I will say again a million thanks for this interview and I am looking forward for part 2!!!!!! I will be glad to answer anything that anyone will ask (if they ask that is... hahaha). Apocalyptic Art will indeed release the first album entitled "Vargavinter" on tape format, probably around September or October. In the meantime, check out Mortuus Sum's page for updates and news about the band! Hails brothers and sisters!!!!!

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