First of all, Brutal Romance marks Morglbl’s fifth full-length effort. What was it like for you guys in the studio? At this junction of your musical career, is it sort of a mechanical get in and get out manner, or is it still as engaging and fresh as when you went in to record your debut album?
With time, things have chenged, as we get better conditions in terms of comfort and timing. For that one, we all took the time to record things in the best environment for each of us. Drummer Aurel went to a studio near where he lives to record all of his parts, and bass playe Ivan and myself recorded in our personal studios. This let us flexibility and time to experiment and get the best we could out of every one.
While looking at your previous releases, I see you have largely been associated with Free Electric Sound. Why is it that the group continues to release material through them?
It’s a matter of mutual confidence. We feel a lot of support from the record company, and we know Ken Golden is a fan of music ! It’s not just a business deal. It has more to do with working as a team. Ken expects the best possible music from us, we expect the best support and promotion from him, and everyone should be happy at the end of the day!
After five releases, it sounds like Morglbl is still having the same amount of fun as you guys did on previous efforts. Is writing and recording music at this point still a enjoyable and creative for your and everyone else involved?
More than ever ! Aurel entered the band 5 years ago and brought some new refreshing energy to the band ! We admire and respect each other a lot as musicians, but first of all, we simply enjoy the company of each other as well as playing as much as we can. We jam a lot, which keeps us on our toes, and are always excited about new ideas brought by other band members. I’d also say we get more and more confident about the directions we choose as we know each other better. Confidence and fun is the best package for keeping on doing what we do.
One thing I noticed on this release is that it has a bit of an emptiness to the background considering how light the drums and bass can be on here. Was this something the band wanted to go for, or did Morglbl originally consider maybe a second guitar track to try a fill the material up?
We defintely try to sound as live as possible on the record. We dont over produce things just to avoid sounding to poor when playing live. This a choice. Actually, I personally think that the combination of Ivan’s bass playing and Aurel’s drum playing is strong enough to fill up the space with taste while still letting enough for the guitar to express itself as a ‘singer’. I think that could define what MÃ¶rglbl sound is about.
Speaking of the sound, why did Morglbl decide to have the drums come through as light as they do in this recording?
Most of the premix has been done by Aurel and his sound engineer. So I guess we let him make some choices for his overall drum sound. We also wanted to avoid the over compressed drum sounds heard in a lot of metal prog productions, and keep a very live sounding drum.
Obviously Morglbl has a Progressive Rock meets Jazz kind of sound. On Brutal Romance, do you feel that the group may have ventured away from anything you’ve done musically in the past, perhaps considering this a bit of a new incarnation to the group? If so, is it (or are they) ideas that you kind of miss doing?
To be honest, we don’t think much in terms of style. Depending on where we play, we are considered metal, fusion, jazz rock, prog… I would not be able to describe our style, because we simply never thought about it ! Our only concern is : all members must validate a riff, an idea, or a song. There is no limits or musical direction. We once called it jazz for deaf people…
Brutal Romance has a really laid back quality to it, but you guys do have some heavier moments that creep in here and there. Is this something you or the fans really enjoy adding to the releases? If so, would you ever consider writing a largely heavier album in the near future?
Aurel and I have other heavier projects, and it is obviousely part of the band’s culture to throw in every now and then some heavy riffs. But again, this is just one of the many sides of that band. And the fun comes from the mix in between all those different influences. I personally would love to perform in an extreme metal band…
Is there any correlation between any track or tracks on Brutal Romance to specific events in your life? Or, is this just an artistic expression, and not necessarily one that conveys any emotions you may have been feeling at the point the group was working on the material?
Most songs are co written by the three of us. So some riffs can be related to feelings or events, but in the end, they become part of a whole that has more to do with a musical experience than the expression of one single event, or emotion. There are sometimes songs which are written entirely by one band member. In that case, the song might a more personal vibe to it. But BrÃ¼tal RÃ¶mance has really been a team effort from A to Z.
How about music? What have you or Morglbl in general been listening to a lot of lately, and do you think any of it may have influenced the music on Brutal Romance?
We all listen to so much stuff be it new or old things. I am into listening to a lot of swing at the moments. Or classical music. We have been touring intensively lately and that is a good way for me to relax and clean up my ears.
Depending on when you get this interview, Morglbl is currently on tour through France, or it just wrapped up. How is it going for you? Have there been (or were there) any problems or interesting stories from the road?
At the moment, it all goes very well and the response of the audience has been amazingly positive ! The album gets very good reactions, and I’d say it all goes smoothly !! We meet some new ‘fans’ who have been in touch with our music recently as well as die hard ones. And we celebrate every night with fun, high volume, music and good vibrations!
Is the sound/output of Morglbl largely any different live than it is on a studio recording? Meaning, do you guys happen to use different gear on stage than you do when you go to record an album? Or is just generally the same equipment, but just the energy or atmosphere is different?
The equipment is mostly the same. But the atmosphere is more related to the way we play. And it changes every night depending on the kind of venue, the kind of audience. You never know what you are going to get when you go to see MÃ¶rglbl live. It can be a jazz fusion evening, but it can also be VERY extreme ! Actually, what I love about that band is that you never know what’s going to happen. We change setlists, we improvise a lot, and we try to reinvent the songs as much as we can!
What kind of equipment does Morglbl happen to use, either in the studio, while writing, or when on tour? Mind giving the readers a rundown?
Laney amps (Nexus for bass, GH100L for guitar), Zoom and Palmer effects, Vigier guitars and basses, and Pearl drums. We all use different recording methods, and as I don’t know what the others are using, I can give you my details : I put 2 Sennheiser 609 in front of a Laney 4×12 and a Palmer 2×12 cabs. Thene I run through Palmer PGA04 cab simulator, and those three signals get into a Zoom R16 recording machine. My effects are Zoom multi effects and Palmer pedals. I used 2 Vigier Supra, one Expert, one Christophe Godin Signature Model, and one Supra 7 on this recording.
Thank you again for your time. I really appreciate it. Before I let you go, is there anything else you would like to mention?
I simply want to thank you for your questions, your interest, and your support. We are blessed to get a little exposure with our very uncommercial music, and we get it thanks to people like you !!!
Interview conducted thanks to Free Electric Sound via Freeman Promotions.