It was one of the eerie days of Leipzig (which is a set in stone sacred place originated from 1991 for me) when I was invited to Ghost Bath Leipzig concert by Nuclear Blast on 16th November 2018. There was an opening band called Møl. After the enchanting interview from black metal to philosophy and fantastic literature with guys from Ghost Bath(which can be found on Black Metal Chronicles pages as well), I was ready to discover Møl. Under the starless night, in an old building secluded and somber, I cannot describe that peculiar moment really as I was stunned with Kim’s screams and the outrageous sharp music framed by melancholia at the very first moment. After the concert, in full dark ecstasy, I don’t remember how many times I let their debut album Jord infused into my grey matter and finally selected Jord as the album of the year at the top black metal albums of 2018 list on Black Metal Chronicles.
Here is the interview with this promising band pushing the limits of post-black metal from Denmark, Møl!
"Jord can be translated as earth, soil or the planet as
a whole. Nothing is constant and everything is changing, this notion that we're
all going to end up in the ground someday"
You had been touring with Ghost Bath all over Europe. I also found a chance to know Møl at my Ghost Bath concert in Leipzig on November 2018. How were the tours? Which Show was the best for Møl so far?
The Ghost Bath tour was amazing! We visited so many awesome cities and got meet a lot of both old and new fans. Getting out there playing our music and talking to our fans is what we all live for, it gives us the motivation to keep doing what we're doing. We also got the chance to play with Ghost Bath, a band that we're fans of ourselves, so getting a chance to play with “the big guys” was quite something. They’re lovely guys and hopefully we’ll get the chance to share a stage with them again one day.
Which one was the most interesting venue you played in 2018?
We’ve played at everything from a small basement in front of 20 people to big festival stage in front of 4000 people, but if we had to pick one out to be the most interesting or different I think it would be Satan’s Hollow in Manchester. It was a round stage placed in the middle of the room with a giant paper-mache statue of Satan placed in one the corners - that was quite unique.
Are you planning to show up at any festivals this year?
Yes! So far we have announced ArcTanGent and 2000Trees both in the UK and Saari Helviti in Finland over the summer. Other than that we’re touring with Rivers Of Nihil in the fall - really looking forward to that one!
Møl’s latest album Jord has been taken attention in various media sources. Many zines referred Jord as one of the best albums of 2018 and it is set to nominations in 4 categories by Danish Magazine Gaffa Denmark Awards. How do you feel about this success? Have you foreseen this when you released the album?
Not at all. We are eternally grateful for the attention that the album has gotten. A year ago we had no idea that it would take us all over Europe. We have to thank everyone who’s listened to the album and showed up at our shows - it means the world to us! Also getting mentioned in Metal Hammer and Kerrang, magazines that we have read as young inspiring musicians, is a huge honor. Getting recognition in your own home country is of course always something special and opening the award show at Gaffa Awards was an amazing experience.
New genre called blackgaze is born from black metal roots enriched by shoegaze experiences. Møl is one of the good example for the genre now. How do you describe the genre? How did this wave come to light or was it an improvisation?
We’re five very different guys and our tastes in music are very different. Some of us were born and bred into metal and others come from alternative rock, indie and shoegaze. Combining the different elements of every genre is what makes it unique and stand out from the crowd. We have always just played music that we are satisfied with and enjoy. I don’t think we ever have sat down and talked about writing a specific genre of such, but of course we can see the references to some of the more known acts such as Deafheaven and Alcest.
What does black metal side mean for you in this music?
Although we’re Scandinavians we have never labeled ourselves as black metal per se, but black metal is still a source of inspiration for us. The movement and the genre stood for everything that was and is extreme and different and I think that that ideology can be seen in our music. But the extreme political aspects of the genre are not a part of our music.
Which other musical genres does Møl take inspiration or personally what other genres are you listening?
Everything from electronical, ambient, alternative, indie, hardcore and everything in between. Lately we've been blasting some great 90´es pop and rock tracks in the tour van – something that everyone can sing along to and I think that even that shows through the music we play.
Blackgaze is mostly found audience from USA or let’s say it has taken its first steps there. How are the European audiences now? Will you have USA tour in the future?
The European crowd has been amazing. One of the amazing things about our fans is that they are so diverse. Of course the music isn’t for everyone, but the music consist of so many different parts, that we address a larger crowd that, for example, if we only played trash metal. Hopefully we’ll get to visit USA one day. We have so many fans hoping for it, so it would be a huge experience to visit them one day.
What do you think about comparison of Møl with Deafheaven? Lately they are the most famous in this genre. However if you listen the latest album, I find them closer to shoegaze rather than black metal or their blackened style is not very in the foreground.
Comparisons can both be good and bad, of course we can see why some might compare us with a band like Deafheaven, but on the other hand I think what we’re are doing are still quite different. Deafheaven has evolved quite a lot since Sunbather and as you say, they have incorporated more shoegaze into their music. Some like it, some don’t.
You use both English and Danish in lyrics. What is the general theme/lyrical influence of Jord album? Is there a specific reason like phonetics or being native language to use Danish?
The main reason for writing some of the lyrics in Danish is to make it more personal and sincere -not only for listeners but for us as performers of the work. Something great happens when you sing something in your native tongue. The sincerity and intensity of the words somehow impact you on a deeper level that you wouldn’t get from it when uttered in a second language. Jord can be translated as earth, soil or the planet as a whole. Nothing is constant and everything is changing, this notion that we're all going to end up in the ground someday - There is a sense of giving yourself to the earth (which we all eventually do when we die) or surrendering to the chaos of change since many of the narratives unfolded through the lyrics can be interpreted as emotional milestones along journey towards an open and ultimately unfulfilled ending.
According to me, there is a turning point for Møl when Kim Song Sternkopf started to take vocal parts in 2016 with the debut album. With this heavier album, Kim’s dynamic high-pitch screams including quite wide variations in this sonic maelstrom music of Møl clutches the listener’s throat at the very first second and awakens from the daydreams, I should accentuate… What do you think about musical evolution of the band?
It’s a natural evolution - since the live part and the recorded songs have changed or progressed as result of the change in lineup. The dynamics between the ambient and the aggressive elements of the songs underline the theme of change and impermanence.
I think that there is a sinister dark mood all over the album. After all, I’d like to ask you if art is born from suffering according to you. What are the essential constituents of your music?
I think all you can’t have one thing without the other. No sorrow without joy - and no melancholy without jubilee- like many other aspects of life. When you mainly write lyrics from real life experiences, you tend to do it in a way of processing them and work your way through whatever phase in life you are experiencing - the good as well as bad. It was important for us that the lyrics and the emotional soundscape complimented each other. The album has to be felt as if you as a listener go through a journey. So as long as you feel something along the way, we would accomplish what wanted.
Are you into reading? Which authors or books do you like to read or take inspiration for your art?
Kim: I am really fond of works by authors like Joseph Conrad, Edgar Allen Poe, Howard Philips Lovecraft and Stephen King but I can’t name a particular work that I take inspiration from. Life-events and experiences tends to be my main inspiration behind many of the lyrics I’ve written.
What are the foremost albums of 2018 according to you? It could be metal or any genres you are into…
Label mates Conjurer made an amazing album last year, but so did many other great artist. I don’t think we can agree as we’ve all got so different taste, haha! If we’re talking 2019 though, Numenorean has just released an album that is well on its way to becoming album of the year.
Which black metal song has the best black metal riffs for you?
Holger: Taake - Hordalands Doedskvad, Pt. 1
Kim: Naglfar - The Darkest Road
Frederik: Ulver - I Troldskogen Faren Vild
Nicolai: Harakiri For The Sky - Jhator
Ken: Burzum - Jesu Død
Please share your last words for Black Metal Chronicles. Jord is selected as the top album of 2018 by two authors of this black zine also.
Once again thank you to everyone who has supported us in 2018 and listened the album. Keep an eye on our Facebook or other social media to find out where you can catch us next!
"Black metal is still a source of inspiration for us. The movement and the genre stood for everything that was and is extreme and different and I think that that ideology can be seen in our music."
MØL - JORD
MØL - Bruma