Malrun, a new band to me and quite possible to most our readers as well - could you please introduce yourself and tell a bit about your background?
Malrun - Well, first of all, Malrun is a Danish hard rock/metal band. We recently released our debut album, Beauty In Chaos, in Denmark and during December it'll be released throughout Europe as well. We've been together as a band for almost 5 years, in different constellations that is, starting as a lousy cover band trying to copy all of our favourite artists before turning into a serious and ambitious band focusing on our own productions. In 2007/2008 we recorded two demos, played a lot of great concerts and finally in 2009/2010 things started to move quickly; we were chosen to support Staind and we finally recorded our first full length album. Furthermore we played at SPOT festival 2010 and were signed on a Danish rock/metal label. Right now we're excited that the new album has finally hit the streets! Oh, and we love pizzas!
What kind of hopes and expectations do you have for 'Beauty in Chaos'?
Malrun - That is a rather difficult question, because, obviously you always have a genuine hope that the album you've worked so frigging hard on will help you get a major breakthrough! But, it would be foolish, maybe even arrogant to expect that from a debut album. We do, however, believe that, with Beauty in Chaos, we have a product which can lead to larger concerts in order to build up a fan base, and with the next album people might be looking forward to hearing what Malrun is up to next! You know, get a little step closer to where the real fun happens!
How does the final result compare to the idea you had going into the studio?
Malrun - It is now almost a year ago since we started the recording process which means that the writing process began approximately two years ago. Back then, we had no clue as to what to expect. The whole process of writing and doing pre-production really did a lot to us, both in terms of musical style as well as working together as a band. All of this has resulted in the final outcome being much better than we could have ever imagined, mainly because the album is quite a bit more aggressive and "metal" than originally planned. Furthermore, this is the first time we've worked together thoroughly with a producer who was really active in helping us reaching the highest level possible.
You have recorded the album under the guidance of a Jacob Hansen, who has produced, mixed and mastered the album. Not a chance many newcomers get... and made the most of it. Was he first choice and if so why?
Malrun - He was, indeed, our first choice (and a pretty damn good one I might add!). With our two demos we tried working with two very different rock/metal producers, the softer side represented by Tommy Hansen at Jailhouse Studios who focused mainly on making the sound a bit mainstream. The harder side on the second demo, Beyond, was represented by Tue Madsen and his assistant Jacob Olsen coz' we wanted to experiment with a dirtier, raw sound. So, with the debut album we kind of wanted the perfect mixture of the two worlds, and for us the obvious choice was Jacob Hansen. His productions are heavy, aggressive, pompous and melodic at the same time. Somehow he can layer 1,000 guitar tracks and still make them all stand out! In addition to this, we found out that he's a really cool guy with an even more twisted sense of humour than ours!
The artwork is very simple, on purpose...? What do you want to express with the artwork?
Malrun - The artwork was made in cooperation with photographer Morten Rygaard and a graphic design Studio called Spektr. The idea is basically based upon the duality in both the music and the lyrics. One day someone came up with the phrase "Beauty in Chaos". Emerging from that came the idea of this psycho-like person; a male character taken straight out of the newest Vouge Magazine standing picturesquely in his expensive, high profile Prada suite, not a single fold to be found, not a single air regarded except the fact that this person is covered in blood and holding a weapon in his hand. All of this is thought as a metaphor of certain feelings, so it's not about portraying us as murderers.
Can you give us a brief introduction on the lyrical concept behind 'Beauty in Chaos'?
Malrun - Well it's basically different stories exploring some of the darker human emotions and relations. However we've added twists of irony, sarcasm, positivity and sex here and there. Coz' although we definitely find the darker sides of life interesting to write about it would be boring if it was merely dark for the purpose of being dark. The phrase 'Beauty in Chaos' describes seeing such a twist in something which is in itself bleak and negative.
Any deeper meaning behind your name?
Malrun - To us Malrun symbolizes a combination of two words; the Latin 'Mal' refers to something twisted, wrong, abnormal or evil, and the English 'Run' will in this context represent something dynamic and the idea of always moving forward. These two things kind of sum up what Malrun is all about in terms of music and lyrics.
You are releasing this album on the Mighty Music label, Denmark’s leading underground metal label - how did you hook up with them and do you see this as an advantage?
Malrun - Mighty Music / Target's managing director contacted us shortly after we finished the recording because he had heard we had just been working with Jacob Hansen and all. The dialogue went back and forth for a while and we ended up finding a mutual way forward and agreeing upon a European release of the album under Target's wings. Mighty Music / Target really does a great job, especially in terms of expanding their band catalogue so that it's not just hard core metal and we've had really good experiences with them. The advantage of being on smaller label is, for example, that the "distance" between band and label isn't that big and that it is important to us because our music is our heart blood.
What does the words modern metal mean to you?
Malrun - Modern metal, to us, is the definition of a genre that emerged from classic metal such as Metallica, Pantera etc. As we see it, modern metal is defined by bands such as Lamb of God, As I Lay Dying, In Flames, Killswitch Engage etc., some of the bands trying to take metal even further, breaking the boundaries and thereby starting a new "era" of metal music. Having said that, I think it's really hard to define and label the various kinds of genres and sub-genres within metal nowadays!
Name five metal albums that have made a big impact on today’s scene and you personally...
Malrun - Let us put it this way, to us the following albums kick some serious ass: Sacrament (Lamb Of God), Come Clarity (In Flames), As Daylight Dies (Killswitch Engage) and Crack The Skye (Mastodon), The Great Cold Distance (Katatonia) and all albums by DJ Ötzi !
Thank you very much for answering my questions. Do you have any last rants for our readers?
Malrun - Yeah here's a question for you. Why the hell did our producer have a camel in his backyard!?!? If anyone can please come up with a reasonable answer to that question, please contact us!
Interviewed by Kenn Jensen