1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the solo project?
Sgurr Mor is an Atmospheric Hiking Black Metal project , it is an attempt to express certain landscapes and sceneries in a musical way. The music is written and recorded by me, RP Possessed, and Planicie Moribunda contributes with some of her amazing lyrics. Contrary to popular belief I wasn’t born in a cave in the highlands and live off the land, I was actually born in Lisbon and moved to Glasgow in 2003 where our headquarters are presently located.
2.So far you have released one album, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style that you went for on the recording?
Well, I kind of miss those early Ulver albums so for this album I tried to resurrect some of that raw energy with the relentless waves of non stop guitar melodies, I have obviously done it my own way, in a big cauldron of existence and experiences, also with my own folk influences of several different celtic music styles and an obscure hint of medieval and there you go.
I don't think much about the technical side of it, I just grab a guitar, tune it, and hit the strings. It's about creating a soundscape not how many notes you can play in a second. I also decided not to use a metronome for recording the bagpipes, unless my neighbours' screams of agony count as one...
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you have explored so far with the music?
1-The Mamores are a group of mountains in the western highlands, opposite to the Nevis Mountain range. There’s an ancient vitrified fort, Dun Deardail. Don’t go near the edge at night with a bottle of Jagger and a torch or a bird of prey might get angry… But the view in the morning to Ben Nevis and Glen Nevis is amazing.
2-Dappled Glen, it's about Glen Affric, one of the most beautiful Glens in Scotland.
3-Scandent Serenity,The vast majority of the forests in Scotland are norwegian spruce tree plantations. The trees are planted very close together and you barely have room to walk.They can be very intimidating at first but eventually you develop a taste for it, just be aware of the “Stabbing caress of whorled needle arms”.
4- Great Glen way, get your feet moving.
5- Light of the Macabre is about a certain place… An air of mystery should remain about that one.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Sgurr Mor'?
Sgurr Mor in Gaelic means Great Peak, curiously there are several mountains with this name in Scotland. You get kind of familiar with these names once you have looked long enough at a detailed map of the highlands trying to find your way. The old highlanders had their own names for different kinds of mountains and all the slightly different geographical wanders that to common eyes all look very similar.
5.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the album cover?
It’s a picture of the five sisters of Kintail, a group of 5 Munros in the north west of Scotland. You can get there either by ascending from Morvich or just by walking the Affric Kintail way, on the last day you will have that view.
6.With this project you record everything by yourself, are you open to working with other musicians or do you prefer to work solo?
I never really liked the idea of working solo or being a one man band type of thing. I am working with several musicians in different bands and it works great , but Sgurr Mor just kind of happened, in between recordings of my other bands I started recording Sgurr Mor, and here it is! One of the good things about working solo is that things happen a lot faster. I have an idea, and I can record it straight away, and it's done!
7.You also run 'Rottenheart productions, can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
It is an underground label mostly to release my own bands and close friends' bands. I can have a little bit more freedom this way, focus more on the creative side without censorship, reprint when I want, and spend a little bit more time with each release, it’s more personal.
8.On a worldwide level, how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black metal?
The reaction to Sgurr Mor’s album has been great so far, a lot of positive feedback and support from the underground Black Metal “community”. Taking into account that it is an unknown band released by an unknown label, I could hardly ask for more. Also in a digital era it's good to know that in the Black Metal world some people still care about physical copies of albums, well the most hard core ones at least.
9.Can you tell us a little bit more about the other bands or musical projects that you are a part of?
I usually gather with HT Bastard for our weekly ritual like we have been for the past 13 years and play two sets, Rancor Profundo where I do the vocals and most of the songwriting, and Impenitent, where he composes and sings, basically his vision.
I also have a project with my brother, Karl malice, vocalist in Scrawl, where we both play guitar and sing, that should be interesting...and a couple of months ago I got a phone call from Jorman Chaos and we have decided to resurrect an old band we had back in 94, a fusion of old stuff and new, he is dealing with the instrumental side of it and I am doing vocals.Thats about it, I used to have a folk band but now I just play my Galician bagpipes on my own.
10.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician during the future?
Probably into an early grave.
11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Mostly nineties Black Metal, the usual suspects. And you can blame Cruachan for getting me into celtic music with their first full length “Tuatha na Gael”. These days I don’t have much free time to listen to music, a bit of Gordon Duncan , Clanadonia , Gaiteiros de Lisboa or Roncos do Diabo.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Well we are soon heading out to walk the Speyside way and the East Highland way, so for those interested that is definitely gonna be a source of inspiration for new Sgurr Mor material. I would like to thank Occult Black Metal Zine and also Black Metal Promotion for the support. And don’t forget to take an insect repellent with saltidin if you intend to do any long distance trails in Scotland, it might save your mental sanity.