For those in the know, the Icelandic Black Metal scene has been one of the most exciting developments in recent years, a multitude of bands have emerged taking a strong lead from the French scene and Reykjavík-based act Misþyrming has been at the forefront of this movement. Noizr Zine caught up with the band’s musicians — D.G. (bass, guitars, vocals), H.R.H. (drums), G.E. (bass), T.Í. (guitars) — just before they went on stage of the Brutal Assault festival in the Czech Republic. Below, you can check out the transcript of that interview.
3 years since your debut "Söngvar elds og óreiðu", a teasing split with Sinmara last year and extensive touring, one assumes that a new album is on the horizon soon, when should we expect to see a sophomore release?
D.G.: We’re making new music but for now we are not going to give out any information until we make a proper announcement ourselves. So it’s all really mysterious right now. [smiles]
Because I've learned from your 2016’s interview that at that time you’ve already been working on the finishing stage of a new album...
D.G.: A lot of stuff has happened since then. We’ve played a lot of new material at Roadburn festival two years ago. And a lot of that [will surface] later. It’s all I can say for now.
"Söngvar elds og óreiðu" was received to wide acclaim, how has the writing process differed for the second album? Is there a tonal or ideological goal to be achieved with the new material?
D.G.: I don’t think the writing process is any different. It’s all me, who’s writing the music, and it has been like that since the beginning. I’m evolving as a musician and what will come out will probably be more grown up or more sophisticated... something, but still the same band.
It's almost hard to speak of an individual Icelandic band without talking about the Icelandic BM scene as a whole, the strength and quality of which is nearly unrivalled, except for maybe the French scene, especially Parisian, which, in my opinion, has obviously left an indelible mark upon the Icelandic bands. Of the multiple unique bands from that French scene which do you value/enjoy the most?
D.G.: Peste Noire [everyone laughs]. The obvious choices are like Deathspell Omega, Antaeus... What else?
H.R.H.: We’re also really into Perturbator.
D.G.: Yeah, Perturbator, yeah.
T.Í.: Blut aus Nord, Antaeus, Aosoth…
D.G.: Blut Aus Nord definitely!
G.E.: Well, being obscure [smiles], the Lithuanian scene has always be on my side and the Japanese black metal scene — that’s my thing. That’s all of it. [other guys laugh]
Continuing in the French theme, D.G., how did the collaboration with MkM [Magus Kaiser Munkir, vocals for Aosoth, Martröð, etc.] come about for Martröð? Are there plans to develop the band further?
D.G.: I came into that band after it was formed. The founding members were Hafsteinn from Wormlust and Alex, who is also in Skáphe with me. They just had a talk about making a band that consisted of their favorite musicians and MkM is their favorite singer because of Antaeus and Aosoth, and he is a terrific singer in my opinion as well. So they talked to him, he said, "Yes", he liked the sound of the idea and later on they talked to me to fill in on the bass duties. So that’s how it all came about.
So are there any plans for this band? Because your debut EP "Transmutation of Wounds" was released two years ago now.
D.G.: All of us are in many bands and we’re so busy that we kinda haven’t been able to focus on Martröð since we made the EP, but we’re willing to let time pass and see when we’re comfortable enough to start working on the full-length [record] and it’s planned, so it’s going to happen soon or later.
How beneficial or detrimental do you feel the relationships you have with the other Icelandic bands is towards your creative process? Is there a sense of competition, encouragement?
D.G.: I’d rather say encouragement, we do gigs together at home, tour with the bands like Svartidauði and Sinmara. We’re often booked at the same festivals abroad, so we travel together, and even without any relation to the music we hang out as friends, so I wouldn’t say there is any competition, unless like in a good way.
H.R.H.: That’s kinda difficult to be in competition with each other when everyone is an every single band. So entanglements are more problematic!
On a wider basis what are your goals for Misþyrming? Are they purely artistically driven or driven by a larger spiritual/ideological vision? If so, what do you hope to achieve?
D.G.: Our main goal is to never stop the madness. [other guys laughs]
In artistic or spiritual/ideological way? [smiles]
D.G.: In every single way possible. So yes, you know, we’re in a swirling chaos and I don’t see that that’s ever going to stop unless something drastic happens.
T.Í.: The madness will stop when we die.
H.R.H.: You’ve got to work with the 2nd law of thermodynamics, you can’t work against it.