Truls Mörck of Graveyard talks Influence, Change and The Future

GraveyardGraveyard is fresh off the release of their acclaimed album Innocence and Decadence, which shows a musical as well as personal growth for the band with the return of original guitarist Truls Mörck holding down the low end this time. Mörck was able to sit down and answer a few burning questions before embarking on the second leg of their American Tour.

Hey man, first off congratulations on the new album. I’ve been spinning it non stop since I got it. How have the tours in support of the album been received so far?

Thank you! Touring is going great. We’ve seen a lot of people and they all seem to like the new songs. It’s always a bit scary at first to bring new material on the road. It puts you on your toes a bit and that’s good but not always easy.

The influence bands such as Black Sabbath, Pentagram and Bubble Puppy have on the band is no secret, what are some less obvious influences that creep into your music?

There is so much. You pick up bits and pieces all over. I remember we listened a lot to Love, Irma Thomas, and Nick Cave while we cut the album. Also some electronic music. Even shitty music you just happen to hear on the radio or in a store or something sometimes gets into your head and then comes out again in a new way. Its actually quite hard to control what influences you, maybe even impossible. Music seem to write itself nowadays.

Lyrically Innocence and Decadence is more diverse in terms of songs about personal relationships outweighing those of a political nature. Was this a conscious decision?

Not really. I think the lyrics reflect the way our lives look at the moment and of whats been going on lately. I guess the decision was probably more subconscious than conscious. The band has been going through some changes and its always personal with a group like this. You may try to look at it as a job or something but its always more like a marriage. For various reasons we’ve been having to take a look at ourselves and do some introspection of the lyrics.

How was the recording process different going from Don Alsterberg to Johan Lind Lindstrom. From a production, engineering and songwriting stand point?

I think the biggest change was the change of studio. This time we got to record in a big room where we could set up our gear kind of like we do in our rehearsal space. Don’s studio is smaller and requires a less natural set up. Recording the way we did it this time, with us and drums and amps all in the same room causes the sounds to bleed into each other and instantly mix. It makes it harder to edit and fix things afterwards so you really need to know what your doing. It adds to the general feeling of the whole thing and it levels your awareness a bit.

With the sudden passing of Lemmy, the forefathers of heavy rock are becoming an endangered species. Are there any artists that are still around you would be interested in collaborating with in some way or another (besides Slash of course…)?

We talked about asking PJ Harvey to do something with us but i’m not sure if we ever really dared. Working with Neil Young is also a big dream. I think they are both amazing and genuinely inventive artists that have the ability to reinvent themselves over and over. That’s really inspiring.

When can we expect an official live Graveyard album?

Actually we have been talking a lot about it. We haven’t made any real plans but chances are it will happen. Actually there is a live version of “As The Years Pass By” on a 7 inch somewhere. I don’t know if that counts. I would personally love to hear a Graveyard live album. What we hear up on stage is not what you get in the audience. Its strange, you don’t really know what it sounds like.

What is the most memorable tour story you can remember off the top of your head?

I’m not a good story teller so I’ll spare you the R&R anecdotes. But playing Fillmore West on or last trip to San Francisco was one of the greatest things ever. I grew up listening to live recordings from that place! So the ambiance was already in my DNA. Its such a historic place, it was actually a bit intimidating. I didn’t see anything of the city, spent the whole day in the building soaking up the vibrations.

What do you do on the road to keep from losing your mind?

Sleep. Its really the best when stuff gets heavy. I can really dig the bunk and I sleep really well on the bus. You can also drink beer every day. Being drunk makes most situations easier except coming home. Some have tried exercise but it seems to always fail at the end of tours.

How are set lists composed? Does it differ depending on where you are playing or is it based on the mood of the band at the particular time?

Mostly its just what we feel like playing at the time and the length of the set. In longer sets we include more mellow songs to make the whole thing more dynamic. Shorter sets tend to be more speedy. Sometimes we ask our crew for help, its always good with an outside point of view.

Thank you for your time, I’m still counting down the days until your East Coast tour and Happy New Years may all your dreams come close enough to true!

Thanks. yes its going to be good one. Been home for too long now.

Graveyard’s new album Innocence & Decadence is in stores now. For more information on the band and to purchase the album, please visit https://www.facebook.com/graveyardofficial.

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About Morgan McDaniel

Morgan McDaniel lives and breathes music. Part sound engineer, part musician, he attended LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts focusing on technical theatre and is a recent graduate from SAE Institute in New York. He has worked at several top-tier recording studios in New York, including the Magic Shop and Eastside Sound. On the job, he has been in charge of making sure sessions run smoothly by running errands for clients and engineers as well as setting up and breaking down the live room. In addition to this he has run live sound at the Living Room, Wicked Willies and Cafe Wha. A native New Yorker based on the Upper West Side, Morgan writes music reviews for Short and Sweet NYC and formerly played bass in the psychedelic rock band The Golden Grass, who have toured Europe and opened for Deep Purple. He currently plays lead guitar in the Brooklyn based heavy rock outfit Mirror Queen.
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