TARTAREAN DESIRE WEBZINE
This interview with Jack D. Ripper of Morgul was done by e-mail by Sam Chronic in June 2006.
I recently caught up with Jack D. Ripper Ė the solo driving force behind the black metal band Morgul to find out about recent happenings and what is next to come for his project.
To start off with give us a little background on the band and it's current members for some that may not may be familiar with your material.
I started Morgul with a friend of mine back in 90/91. I had had just been playing guitar for a little while and I made my friend buy a drum set. After a couple of years or so we got together with another guitarist and we took the name Morgul and released our first demo. After that we went back to being a two-piece band and we recorded a second demo. This demo got us a deal with napalm records. at this time another friend of mine joined the band on drums, we recorded two albums together on napalm records, but ever since the horror grandeur release on century media, I have been the only member of the band.
The basis of the music has a "black metal" generated feeling - but there is a distinct sound to the music that to me sets you apart from other groups - what is your focus as far as a writing process?
I don't really know. Maybe I am unfocused cause some people say my music is confusing. I try to stay within a certain theme when i write and rhythm is always important to me. I would say it's the most important thing in fact. I always think rhythmically if you know what I mean, and I sort of build melodies around that. And the words are an important part of the rhythm to.
There is a wide range of instruments on your albums - are you self-taught or did you go through schooling?
I am mostly self-taught. When I first started out there was like older guys in the neighborhood who showed me things and helped me start out. I took some guitar lessons when I was about 15, but only for like 6 months. Then I went to this music school for a year but that was mainly studio engineering and stuff.
I just wanted to say that I am a big fan of latest release "All Dead Here"...Really just an all around killer album. It seems that there was some troubles with this release - in fact so much that you thought about leaving the music scene altogether?
Thank you. Yeah there has been plenty of problems with this release, but actually I had sort of given up on the music industry already, I guess with this release I feel even stronger about those issues. There is an unbelievable amount of shit going on in this business and Iím really quite sick of it, and that's all I'm going to say about that for now.
How is it that you stay motivated and write new material with such extreme blockades in this industry such as label struggles?
Well my love and passion for music will always be there no matter what, so that's not a problem.
How are things going with upcoming material and finding a label?
I'm always working on new material, like basically 24/7. By that I mean I think about it all the time, I think about lyrics, beats, concepts, melodies etc. and I sit around with my guitar a lot, just fiddling around. Every now and then an idea comes around that inspires me. As for a label Iím not sure, I haven't really done much about it yet. One thing I know is that I'll be more careful whom I get involved with this time.
To talk more about your background - what is some of the music that inspired you when growing up?
There are some bands that stand out as major inspirations to me cause they are the bands I grew up listening to, and they are my favorite bands to this day. Metallica, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Megadeth, Anthrax, Wasp, AC/DC, Slayer, Pantera, Testament, Kiss. A little later there were death metal bands such as Carcass, Entombed, Morbid Angel Gorguts, Gorefest, Brutal Truth, Napalm Death, My dying bride, Unleashed etc. Today the list of bands I listen to is huge, but these earlier bands are still a great inspiration to me.
If you could write a song with any musician...dead or alive - whom would you choose?
I think I would choose Beethoven.
What current musicians do you find yourself listening to?
Devin Townsend is probably my favorite musician nowadays.
Being from Norway; which is such a large source of heavy metal - how do you feel about the current bands from your country?
There are still lots of good bands coming out of Norway. A band like Manngard is a good example. They are a great band.
You were living in Detroit recently...that is a long drive from Norway - was this a personal move or business move?
It was a personal move. I got married here.
How does Detroit compare to Norway? Been to any other cities in the States?
Well, Detroit is a shit hole and Norway is not. Thatís the major difference...he he just kidding. The difference is enormous though; it's like two different worlds. My wife and I went on a little road trip last year and visited a bunch of states. Michiganís U.P. is very nice; we went to Wisconsin, nice but nothing special. Minnesota, also nice, South Dakota, which was very nice and quite special, Iowa, it smelled there, Tennessee, which was nice too. Never really went to any major cities. I don't particularly like big cities.
Judging from your lyrical content I would assume you to be a horror movie fan...name your top 5 favorite of all time.
That's a tough one....Hellraiser series, The Exorcist, The Shining, the Entity, any old horror movie with either Christopher Lee, Vincent Price and Peter Cushing in them.
If you could be any character from a horror movie - who it would be?
Back on subject.... what is up next after an album release? Possible tour? DVD?
As all cooperation with the label has been terminated it's unlikely that much will happen until I can get a new deal with a decent label.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Still involved with music?
Still involved with music? Most definitely!
To wrap things up is there anything you would like to say to the fans and readers of the magazine?
Check out Morgul on Myspace and look out for the Morgul webpage, which will be up and running soon, and thanks to everyone who support Morgul.
Thanks to Morgul to taking time out of his schedule for this interview. Be sure to check out the latest release from Morgul Ė ďAll Dead HereĒ as well as the rest of the albums in the Morgul catalog. Go to http://www.myspace.com/morgulmusic for more information and updates.
Links of interest:
Morgul @ Myspace
Season Of Mist