Interview with Lev, Mortal Love  (April 21, 2005)

Hi, first off I just want to congratulate you on your new album. To new fans could your please fill us in on the history behind it all?
Lev -
Thanks a lot ...
Ok. It started in 2000 as a story and a project, but turned pretty quick into a band of five persons with the same structure, same goals and great personalities. We started to record a private pre-demo, which we brought to our producer Zet (from Ram-zet), and we started to record the Demo, that later would become “All The Beauty…”. We sent it out to several European labels, and Massacre from Germany was quick and professional to respond. We went back into the studio to refine a little, and released the “All The Beauty…” album late 2002. We got tremendous press feedback, and understood, that there was a future out there for Mortal Love. We did a few gigs in Norway. Then we played the Gothica4 festival in Budapest, which helped us reaching the eastern parts of Europe. Then we went back into “Space Valley Studio” in Norway to start recording “I Have Lost…” in the summer of 2004. We played some more gigs, and finished the album and cover in December 2004. Then Massacre saw a great potential in “I Have Lost…”, and gave it some more time to develop. Mixing it in Germany to get a larger refined expression. Massacre decided to put out a single and a video for the song “Adoration”. We made a video, and the single was released 29/03-05. Now we are just eager to see what happens to “I Have Lost…” and Mortal Love.

How has your new album been received by the media?
Lev -
As far as I’m concerned there has been a very positive hype around “I Have Lost…”. We have already done 10-15 interviews for the forthcoming album. Seems like there is a wider knowledge on what Mortal Love is about this time around.

I know artists are not happy to categorize their music, but how would you describe your music to an outsider?
Lev -
The “All The Beauty…” CD was categorized as Goth-Metal, and I think that it may just be correct. For the “I Have Lost…” CD I really don’t know. It's still the same genre, maybe a bit more over to rock/prog-metal. But since we have Cat on the vocal, I think the closest you get is Goth-metal.

Where does your inspiration come from, both musically and lyrically?
Lev -
The lyrics are related to our story that goes thru both “All The Beauty…” and “I Have Lost…”. It’s inspired by the tragedy in romance and love. Our story is true though, and we relate very much to it. Other than that I can only speak for myself. Lyrically I’m inspired by N.Peart (Rush), E. Costello, Jeff Buckley, Marillion etc. We come from very different genres and bands, that have inspired us on “I Have Lost…” are: Type O Negative, Cradle of Filth, 30 Seconds to Mars, Tory Amos, Jeff Buckley, Dimmu Borgir, The Gathering etc. Maybe these are not the kind of inspiration sources you think of at once when you hear “I Have Lost…”, but they are in there somewhere!!!

What topics do you deal with in your lyrics and why?
Lev -
Like I’ve mentioned before, we have a story that kind of runs thru the lyrics, making stops by certain feelings, and then a lyric is created. Why? I think it is very strong and personal. A person is letting you see right thru the soul and mind. Maybe it’s a small story on a World scale, but for each person, that have experienced this, it the most tearing, self-destructive, melancholy and desperate thing to ever happen.  

Who has produced and mixed the album, and are you pleased with the end result?
Lev -
Zet from Ram-zet plays a big part for Mortal Love as a producer. He pushes us in the right direction all the time. Knowing what is best for the product. He has produced all Mortal Love stuff, and knows us and our music very well. That’s an important thing for a band. A person you know that you can rely on in studio is a tremendous safety for us. 
It was mixed by Andy Horn (Famous Kitchen in Germany). He gave the product the greatness and finesse that it deserved. He did a great job, and it was kind of new to us having an external person mixing our music. We learned a lot throughout that mixing period.

Who has done the artwork? And how important do you feel it is to have a great cover?
Lev -
Tore L Larsen, who also did the “All The Beauty…” cover. He knew the story, our needs and delivered exactly what we wanted. The most important thing for us regarding the cover was to bring the feeling and sensation from our music and lyrics on print. We are very proud of the product, but didn’t make it “to sell more CD’s”. We made it because it was what the product needed. I myself think, that it’s a bit overrated. To have a great cover don’t say nothing to me about the music. You can have a simple or crappy cover, as long as the music is good, I don’t care. I still see the importance in the industry to have a beautiful or great cover. And one more thing …a cover may look great to someone, but as long as it doesn’t fit the product I think a band has failed.

Do you have any touring plans?
Lev -
Not as we speak. It depends on the interest and sales of “I Have Lost…”. We are doing a couple of festivals in Norway this summer. (Quart festival - the largest one in Norway with bands like Audioslave and Foo Fighters). And we do hope that “I Have Lost…” will bring us to Europe at some stage.

How do you feel about the co-operation with your label, and are you satisfied?
Lev -
Massacre has done a great job for us. They’ve done a lot to promote us with the “I Have Lost…” release. They have paid for the whole package; the single, the video and the record. We are satisfied with them, and hopefully they are with us!

The internet is a very important source for many music fans - how do you use the internet and how important is it for you and other bands?
Lev -
The internet provides an exceptional way to promote ourselves over the whole world. We have reached all the corners of the world, thanks to the internet. Smaller bands, that have not yet had their breakthrough, can learn lot from the fans, and make a name, without concerning about how much money a record label is willing to put into them. Loads of people have bought our album after listening to us on internet either on our site, or on an online radio. This is a great thing; because the music speaks for it self. You hear a song, and like it because of the music. Not a highlighted TV commercial or that kind of crap. I have found several bands, that I support on the net. If it wasn’t for the net, I would never have heard about them!

How do you see the metal scene at the moment?
Lev -
Interesting how minor bands are finally having the success that they deserve. Loads of bands standing on the edge of a great career, pushing dinosaurs down from the throne. I think and hope the music industry would be less cynical. Go for a new band with potential, rather than squeezing the last penny out of some old “used to be” band.

To finish things off - could you pls. make an all-time Top 5 or sort of the 5 most important albums in your opinion?
Lev -
Ohhh … really hard. But I’ll jump into it with both eyes closed:

  • The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper
  • Led Zeppelin - IV
  • Rush - Moving Pictures
  • Jeff Buckley - Grace
  • David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust

Not that much Metal. But in like 10-15 years maybe I would rate different, because my music interests really blossomed with Metallica, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains and Faith No More.

Thanks for showing interest in Mortal Love … and stay tuned!


Mortal Love - I Have Lost

Album out on Massacre Records.

Click on the album cover to see more info on Mortal Love.