|Release:||Out of Spite|
|Genre:||Sludge, Crust, Death Metal|
|Release Date:||13th of April, 2023|
Over the course of the last year, there was a band that crossed my attention repeatedly. With a rather unique style of combining the filth of Sludge and the pressure of Death Metal, Godmorgon presented their full-length debut with Out of Spite this April. With a decent deal of politically charged lyrics, I was interested in asking a few questions in order to find out some more details about the background of the band.
Interview with Godmorgon
Hello GODMORGON, I’m glad to have you at Transcended Music Blog! How are you doing?
Itza: Hey, thank you for having us. Apart from the massive heat, we’re doing great!
I have to enter this conversation with a question regarding your band name. So far, I am able to come up with two options for your band name. Firstly, you might be incredible IKEA fans that wanted to devote an entire band to a piece of furniture. Secondly, your name derives from Swedish for “Good Morning” – how did this name come up? I sense an anti-capitalist statement!
Itza: Sorry to disappoint you but the IKEA theory is correct! When I went to IKEA in 2017 I saw a new product with the name “GODMORGON” and thought it sounded really evil (to be honest I didn’t know it just meant “Good morning” in Swedish). I thought it would be hilarious to name a metal band name after an IKEA product. At that point in time there were no plans to actually form a band or make music, but I always had this name at the back of my mind. When we founded a metal band two years later finding a name was quick and easy. So the name isn’t an anti-capitalist statement. However, we do critique capitalism in our songs. “Profit”, for example, is a straight up anti-capitalist song.
Seemingly, you came out of nowhere with your demo singles and quite quick debut album Out of Spite. Who is GODMORGON and is it possible that we might know any of your members from other projects?
Jan: Over the last years, before I joined GODMORGON, I used to be the bassist/singer in a doom metal band and the singer in a post metal band. But we only played a couple of gigs and these bands don’t exist anymore.
Marvin: Well, I wouldn’t really call it “quite quick” since we formed in early 2020 and it took us nearly two years two get everything set up. However, haste makes waste.
Simon: Additionally, a global pandemic certainly didn’t help to speed things up.
Itza: Jan is definitely the most experienced one in the band. For Marvin and me it is the first band we ever joined.
What was it that initially drove you to come up with the idea of forming a band and playing music together?
Itza: My inspiration and drive came from the prevalence of men and lack of women and FLINTA* in general in the realm of “extreme metal”. After another death metal/grindcore festival with no diverse artists with the only woman on stage being a “sexy dancer” I was so fed up that I told Simon we have to form a band. People always say “be the change you want to see” and while that is not always possible, it was in this case and this is how the two of us started the band.
When listening into your music, it is easily possible to identify numerous different influences that have found their way into your personal, musical style. Do you have any major influences that coined the forging of your sound?
Marvin: To combine different styles is both a blessing and a curse at the same time. It allows you to use brilliant ideas from different genres but it makes it hard for people to keep track of the whole concept. Whether there actually is a concept and not just a bunch of different genres strung together is for you to decide. To name a few bands that influenced our sound: Swans, Amenra, Godflesh, Neurosis, Code Orange.
Itza: For me there was no particular influence I wanted to imitate or go in the same direction. I think we all have very different taste in metal and punk music which reflects in our own music. Growing up and when I started to learn how to do false cord growls, I always admired Chris Barnes of early Cannibal Corpse and Six Feet Under. I might get roasted into oblivion for this, but he was my inspiration.
Your debut album bears the name “Out of Spite” – which is a quite straightforward title. What spite are we talking about at this point?
Itza: Like I mentioned before, we founded the band because I was fed up with only seeing men on stage, so the band was born out of spite so to say. I am very happy to see more and more FLINTA* people in metal and similar genres, but looking back a couple of years it was very normal to only see complete cis-men lineups and nobody batted an eye. A great thing about being in a band is how it enabled us to connect to other artists and in my case to many other FLINTA*.
On your bandcamp page, you mention that this debut album is 100% DIY, being recorded, mixed and mastered by Simon of GODMORGON. How did the decision to do so come up? Did you intentionally plan to record yourself in order to stay within a DIY spirit or does Simon have experience with audio recording so that you were able to employ his services at your favor?
Simon: I had some audio processing experience before from experimenting with electronic music production, but our first demo songs were my first contact with “real” audio recording. This sparked some ambition to get better and also my wish to do everything ourselves. This way we keep full creative control, and we don’t have to spend lots of money in a studio. So the answer is a little bit of both. In the end, it is nice to be able to say we really did everything ourselves: Jan designed our logo, our artwork is a photo of Itza’s hand taken by me, and we even copied the audio to the tapes at home.
When having followed your initial phase – especially your social media presence regarding your first gigs – it became evident that feminism is an underlying concept for the entire band. Was this idea regarding feminism and GODMORGON already there when you came up with the idea of forming a band?
How do you interconnect the concept of feminism and GODMORGON?
Jan: There´s a growing number of women in the scene, which is a good thing, but they´re still clearly a minority. So as a band we want to encourage women to participate in the heavy music scene.
Itza: From the idea to form the band to the imagery and the lyrics – I think feminism plays a big part. Not every song is about feminism, but songs like “Rose” or “Soul” dive a bit deeper into that. In “Rose” I sing about how women are perceived by many to only be nice to look at, but shouldn’t be heard and how the anger that many find so unappealing is only growing more and more with every attack on our rights and autonomy. “Soul” is very laid-back and sludgy and is about a woman rediscovering her inner strengths and trust in herself and her abilities despite things not always going well in her life.
Having in mind what the current Metal scene is like – how do you experience carrying the idea of linking feminism and Metal within this scene?
Itza: There are many locations that book more and more FLINTA* artists. However, these are mainly autonomous centers and other politically left-leaning locations. I love to play there and they’re doing great work. I don’t necessarily see the same trend in more “commercial” locations. The metal scene has traditionally been very male-dominated and it’s obvious to this day. In the past I often heard that there just aren’t that many bands with a diverse line-up so it’s not the bookers’ fault there are no FLINTA* on stage. But even if I don’t believe this was always true in the past, it definitely isn’t now. One great resource to discover bands with FLINTA* members is https://www.grrrlztothefront.org/. It’s by no means a complete list but definitely worth checking out. By the way, I’m not saying that there can’t be shows with only cis-male bands, but there are definitely still locations that just don’t want to book anything else.
It is remarkable how many gigs you already played within a short period of time. What were your favorite shows and / or locations so far?
Jan: Actually we didn´t play that many gigs with GODMORGON yet, so every gig felt special in its own way.
Itza: Yes, I wouldn’t say we played that many gigs, at least it doesn’t feel like it. Each one was very special so I definitely don’t think there is any kind of routine setting in. However, I do feel less nervous now than I did before our first gig.
Apart from GODMORGON, some of your members (if not all?) are also active in another band called Venlafvckscene, with which you also already released an album (Luxury). How come you came up with the idea of forming two different bands at (more or less) the same time? What’s the difference between these bands?
Jan: Venlafvckscene started as a fun project in the rehearsal room. I wanted to try out something with a different approach. Stripped down, very short songs, some faster parts. Just drums, bass and vocals, no guitars. This formula is nothing new, I´ve seen other bands doing this and I thought it could be fun. And it was, so it grew into a side project and soon we recorded an 8-track EP. Again, Simon did all the mixing himself. While the music we play with GODMORGON is rooted in the metal genre, Venlafvckscene is more on the raw side of hardcore and punk rock, which is the main difference between these bands.
Itza: We started with Venlafvckscene last summer, shortly after our first GODMORGON gig and were incredibly fast with writing and recording these 8 short songs. I’d like to add that there is a strong focus on lyrics and I personally like to think of the songs as short poems – again often featuring feminism. Apart from metal, I am a huge fan of riot grrrl music. So Jan, Simon and I also have another project – a riot grrrl band called Cat Piss Potion with Jan on bass, Simon on guitar instead of drums and me on vocals – however clean vocals without any growling which is still kind of nerve-wrecking and scary. We play our first show on June 21st at subrosa Dortmund.
Your vocalist Itza is also active booking concerts under the name of Violent Witch Events. Especially the recurring event “The Witches They Tried to Burn” can be highlighted, where FLINTA* bands are in the absolute focus. I really favor this idea. What was your path from the idea towards booking your first show like? How do you plan to continue?
Itza: The idea was born last year when we tried to get our first gig with GODMORGON after the pandemic was finally over. We weren’t connected in the scene at all, so it didn’t really work out. As mentioned before I felt like there are bookers in the metal scene who are more cautious when booking FLINTA* bands. So I decided to organise shows myself – not just for us, but especially for other FLINTA* artists. The first location I got in contact with was AZ Mülheim and we played our first show there with the incredible Pisscharge and GVLA (who had to cancel short-term because of illness). The first show was already a great success and I haven’t stopped since.
How did you perceive the resonance for these shows?
Itza: I received a lot of good feedback and the shows were always well-visited which is of course great for the bands. I am also happy to get to know more FLINTA* bands this way and also other bookers with a similar objective, e.g. Contraataque Wuppertal who organise FLINTA* shows at AZ Wuppertal.
Are there any active plans for upcoming shows you including GODMORGON or organized by Violent Witch Events you might already share with us?
Itza: I am working on a bigger show in December together with Hartkern e.V. (Simon and I are members of that too) where GODMORGON might also play. Stay tuned for that!
Some time ago, you shared a Playlist including underground Ruhrpott Metal acts. Since Transcended Music Blog is strongly focused on expanding your musical preferences, I am highly interested – what are your favorites among these (or even further)? Feel free to mention the favorites of any of your band members!
Itza: We created this playlist a long time ago and to my shame I have to admit I haven’t updated it since then as I’m not using Spotify anymore. But one of the bands featured in that playlist is Smorrah. I really dig their sound. Some local FLINTA* bands I would add now would be Tristis or Cryptborn Horror.
As usual for these interviews – the last words shall belong to you!
Itza: Thanks again for having us and supporting the local scene! And see you at our next gig at Bocksmauer Osnabrück on July 1st if you like.