1. Let’s go take a look on the time-gap between the releases “Of Entropy and Life Denial” and “Grey Rigorism”. Have you played a lots of gigs? When did you start to work on the “Grey Rigorism”?
No, we haven’t played much unfortunately. We were mainly waiting for a massive tour which never took place. Every plan we had miserably failed one by one. So we have lost some time and energy in various concerts here and there. Not so many, a bit less than 10 I’d say. We have started to work on the new album one year ago, on fall 2008, immediately after Daethorn had replaced Dispater on bass duty.
2. A lots of bands are claiming that their new albums are the greatest they have ever done. What about MERRIMACK and your feelings about the new one? And why exactly should be your new album the best and most mature of your discography?
Because it’s the latest one indeed! Most of bands evolve and get better with time, and if not better at least closer to what they want to achieve. We’re not different. We’re developing our identity a bit more with each and every new release, so of course “Grey Rigorism” is the most personal album by Merrimack so far.
3. Although you’re playing since 1994, “Grey Rigorism” is just your third full-length album. What is the reason behind it? Are you just trying to do your best, regardless of time it takes?
We always had some line-up problems (read: bass player problems) but it’s all solved now that Daethorn has joined. He’s been playing with the band back in the 90’s and is now back with all his talent, inspiration and hypochondria. Also we never had the chance to have a massive tour right after the release of an album, which blocks the usual pattern of composition – recording – touring – composition etc. It’s the first time this year that we have the opportunity to promote our new album right after its release. So maybe things will get faster next time. Maybe not.
4. I’m asking this question quite frequently and this won’t be the exception. What can you tell us about the lyrical side of “Grey Rigorism”? Can we find some common concept or similar themes? Try to introduce the lyrics for the fans and give them reason to buy the album.
It’s really impressive and annoying that each and every interview has a question like this. It’s no big deal talking about the lyrics, but instead of having precise and interesting questions concerning them, it’s always “ok I’m too lazy to go through them, so please give us a smart answer so the readers don’t notice my question is cheesy”. It’s still very religious, but I guess it’s precisely what you guys expect from us, right? We’ve been very much influenced by the movie “Sous le Soleil de Satan” by Maurice Pialat, and then by the works of Georges Bernanos in general. I won’t try to sum up the lyrics since there’s no point, but it’s mostly about holiness, adversity, devotion and ascension.
5. When looking on the line-up of MERRIMACK we can see that it went through several changes during the years. Do you evaluate the current line-up as the best one? Or you advocate the opinion that fresh blood brings new elements into music?
Nah the actual line-up is actually the very best one we ever had. The core of the band (me + Perversifier + EsX + Necrolith) is still in and more solid than ever before, and as stated before Deathorn was already part of “the family” and appears to by fully indispensable now. 6. What attracted me on the “Grey Rigorism” at first, was it’s cover art. It is surely high-quality and abstract work. Who’s the author and what does it represent? Can we find some more detailed sketches inside the booklet?
We hired Seldon Hunt for this. He’s actually quite famous for his works for Pelican, Isis, SunnO))), Neurosis… He’s very talented. What you will find in the booklet is nothing but variations around the cover theme. You can check Seldon’s page here: http://www.seldonhunt.com/
7. How important for you is the cooperation with the Moribund records? Is it a type of label who really cares about bands?
As far as we’re concerned, fuck yeah. We’re fully satisfied with their work, and the fact they bring us on a full US tour this fall despite of the mountains of $$$ it costs is a perfect example of their devotion. Hail the Cult!
8. Can we expect some larger tour to promote the new album? As far as I know, you have never played in Czech republic. That’s Pity!
Yes we have! Open Hell Fest ’03, organized by the almighty Honza. Hails to him! It’s a very good memory for each one of us and we’ve been very well received. We have no plan as for now to desecrate Czech soil once again but we’re open to any decent proposition. As for touring, we’ll perform the full US tour I told you about above, supporting Marduk and Nachtmystium. Appart from this, we have no plan for a massive Euro tour yet, but who knows… Time will tell.
9. A lot of people views French black metal bands as the best in the world. It is also frequently stated that France experiences a similar extreme boom of fresh and outstanding bands as Norway once had. Can you comment it as person living in France and musician in contact with the other bands?
No one can deny French scene is very good, but I don’t really know what to think. Some of the good bands are dead or dying, some others receive illegitimate success. The other Merrimack members are in contact will plenty of other musicians / bands, but I’ve chosen to stay away from this all. This “scene” thing is not for me. Or rather not anymore. I’m not spitting on anything, it’s just not my thing. I just don’t care much for where bands come from. As long as they’re good, they can come from Mars, it doesn’t matter.
10. Big thanks for the interview and I wish you many years of quality music.
Thx a lot.