Mourning Caress - Back from a five year hiatusAs can be read in my review of Mourning Caress’ sophomore record Inner Exile, fans of the band had a long wait before the album was finally released. Five years to be precise, and to help out and promote their comeback a bit more I asked guitarist Benedikt Bjarnason some questions, whose answers can be read underneath.
For those who are not familiar with Mourning Caress, can you please introduce your band to our readers?
“We are a five piece bunch of lunatics playing music together for almost ten years. Our musical style can roughly be described as metal, combined with melancholic melodies, an aggressive voice and a raw and dirty edge to the sound.”
Mourning Caress has been out of the spotlights for quite a long time, why did it take you guys so long?
“Several reasons. First of all we had a line-up change around three years ago. Our guitarist Florian Erhart left the band and was replaced by Florian Albers, an old friend of ours. We never intended to be away from the spotlights for such a long time. It just happened. After splitting ways with Arise we had no label anymore, then we changed guitarists and started to look out.”
So all the songs on Inner Exile were written between 2002 and 2006? I didn’t notice any difference between the songs, some being relatively old and some being new. Did you guys rearrange them before you went into the studio?
“We rearranged the older ideas we had except "Too Deep Inside", which is almost identical to when we wrote it. In general we picked material und stuff which all of us five liked to play and which stand for Mourning Caress in 2008.”
Have the lyrical theme’s gone through some changes as well during the years? What are the lyrical themes on Inner Exile?
“The lyrics still have a similar approach, since we still deal with the same topics. Our vocalist Gerrit writes them and they deal with his experiences in everyday life from a Mourning Caress point of view. They're mainly about inner chaos, losses, emotional confusion, despair, love, aggression, hope, struggle, defeat and survival.”
What can be seen as a major inspiration for Mourning Caress? Can be subjects, can be bands.
“Many things inspire us and I guess each of us five has different sources of inspiration. As for myself, I'm inspired by everyday experiences, movies, books and music of course. We all listen to different kinds of music, so it's hard to find a common denominator. Naturally we all listen to Metal, even if we listen to other stuff apart from that. If it comes down to bands we all like, then I would say Iron Maiden.”
Your debut record Imbalance was released through Arise Rec. from Spain. Did you only have a contract for one album, or was there another reason that you split ways?
“As far as I remember, Arise had some financial troubles and we actually had agreed on releasing two albums, but then we parted ways, since they had put very high expectations into our first album and unfortunately it didn't sell as much as they had expected.”
Now you’re signed to Dutch label Restrain Records, how’s working with them? I read something about a problem with the distribution? Will they also release your next album?
“Things are going fine with Restrain so far. They changed distributors from Cargo to Soulfood and now our record finally is available, which we are very happy about. They will most probably also release our next album.”
Speaking of a following up to Inner Exile, will it take you guys another five years or will this one be released a little bit sooner?
“It will definitely not take another five years until the next record is completed. We are working on new material and are planning to enter and release our third album next year. So don't worry, no more inner exile for such a long time.”
After reading your bio I see that you’d like to make Münster, the place where Mourning Caress comes from, more known for its metal instead of bicycles and bad weather. Recently you guys did an album release party over there, did the amount of attending metalheads give you the feeling that Münster has a growing metal scene?
“Münster definitely has a growing metal scene and there were around 160 people attending our show in a small club, which we were satisfied with, since we had been out of the game for such a long time. There are many metal bands in Münster, unfortunately not many metal concerts, but plenty of rehearsal rooms and people getting together to play music.”
What are the latest releases you've been listening to a lot? Any recent discoveries and/or underrated bands?
“The latest release I've been listening to a lot is the new Porcupine Tree EP entitled Nil Recurring. One of my favourite bands at the moment. But I haven't made any huge discoveries recently, due to the fact that I'm often busy discovering older stuff and buying old albums which I didn't have up to date.”
On which bands did you grow up yourself and what is your all-time favourite album?
“I discovered metal when I was about twelve years old and started with Helloween, Sepultura, Bolt Thrower, Sacred Reich, Anthrax, Slayer, AC/DC, Prong, Tankard, Sodom, Megadeth, D.R.I., R.D.P., etc... Then I got into death metal and more thrash metal, then hardcore and so on... it's been a passion and a love affair since. My favourite album of all times, that is very hard to say. I really love Pandaemonium by Killing Joke, everything by Black Sabbath and Stupid Dream by Porcupine Tree.”
What's the gayest record in your music collection?
“I've got many gay records ;-) But I would say it's probably some black metal stuff I have, which I hardly listen to anymore. During my teenage years I thought it was quite exciting, but nowadays a lot of it just seems ridiculous. Not all of it, though, there is some high quality black metal with spirit, which I enjoy, but I just dig the music and the vibe and find the image of a lot of bands gay. More gay than hairspray rock.”
Do you have any interest in other musical genres next to metal?
“Definitely. I listen to all kinds of music. Experimental music, 70's rock, psychedelic, industrial, country, progressive rock, etc...”
Currently there are still no plans for a European tour or something like that. What can we expect from Mourning Caress in 2008?
“We will be working hard on new material, play as much gigs as we can and try to get things going again. Unfortunately there are no tour plans at the moment, but we do want to play more gigs and hope to play some gigs in a row this autumn.”
If you could choose one band to support on a tour, who would it be?
“Each of us five would probably choose a different band... For myself I would love to support Killing Joke, that would be a great honour.”
Can you tell us something no one knows up till now?
“My favourite pair of shoes has a hole in the base and I like them so much that I don’t want to throw them away. Instead, I walk around with wet feet when it rains.”
That was the last question. Thanks!