1. For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
Vultus: Hi there. Morgengrau is a black metal band from Germany, more specifically from Lower Bavaria. The band started out as a two-men project 10 years ago, consisting of our former drummer Necrodaemon and me. In the following years we completed our lineup step by step, resulting in todays formation of Morgengrau. Since two of our members (guitarist Katharsis and drummer Moloch) live in Austria and we therefore can not rehearse on a regular basis, everything has to be well organized. In 2013 we released a demo cd called "Schattenzeiten". The demo was recorded without a bass (our bassist Krieg joined the band one year later). Our debut full-length album "Staub zu Staub" was released in March 2017. Approximately one year later co-founder Necrodaemon left the band, which forced us to search for a new drummer, which took quite some time. Finally, in August 2019, Moloch joined the band as the new man behind the drum kit. Currently we are in the middle of the songwriting process for a new album.
2. So far you have released a demo and a full length, musically how do they differ from each other?
Vultus: Well, let’s take a look at the sound as well as the production aspects. The demo was completely recorded and produced by ourselves. We wanted to create both, a melodic as well as a raw sound but by taking into account the advantages of a modern production. Nevertheless, people often refer to us as old school black metal, where we tend to not agree with. However, even since we use certain traditional elements, which may be associated with old school black metal, it was never intended to mimick the style of 90's black metal.
When comparing the demo to the album the most obvious, yet one of the crucial aspects regarding the differences in sound, is the presence/absence of a bass guitar. The demo was recorded without a bass and to be honest, we first didn’t even consider to add a bassist to our line-up. After our live performances in 2012 and 2013 some sound engineers recommended that we should add a bass guitar to our sound. Finally, we had the opportunity to engage the very talented bassist “Krieg” and from nowadays perspective we couldn’t be happier with this decision.
Songwritingwise we had a bunch of new ideas for the full-length album and it was our goal to present black metal driven by blast beat drumming at higher tempos in general, including atmospheric and vicious guitar riffs and a rocking, yet melodic bass. Also, I guess one of our signature elements is the notorious voice of our vocalist Lupus, which adds the “spice” to our compositions. With this in mind, the production of "Staub zu Staub" started in May 2014 and ended in November 2016. While the guitar and bass recordings were done in our home studio, we entered a professional studio for vocal tracking, mixing and mastering.
3. The band has been around since 2009 but so far has only released a demo in 2013 and a full length in 2017, can you tell us a little bit more about the gaps in between releases?
Vultus: Due to the fact that we are scattered across Bavaria and Austria it is impossible for us to meet on a regular basis. Since we also have to prepare for live performances, almost all of our rehearsal time is occupied with playing already existing songs. As a result, the songwriting process mostly takes place at our homes, where usually one of us comes up with an idea, a riff or even an almost finished song. We type that into our computers by use of an appropriate software and share it with our fellow bandmates and, if necessary, everyone can add his ideas.
4. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?
Vultus: The experience of our life's is the basis for our music as well as for the lyrics. Ultimately, all of our songs have their own conceptual message, which tends to be part of a daily journey. On this journey, you can collect a lot of impressions about life and death, thoughts about the behaviour of human mankind on earth and against nature or, in complete contrast, the beauty of nature itself.
5. The older lyrics were more anti Christian based, what was the decision behind moving away from that songwriting approach?
Vultus: Back in the days, around our founding years, our music was rather primitive and so were the lyrics. Nevertheless this does not mean that it was not demanding for us. Eventually, it is a continuous process of self-discovery that is not less dependent on different life situations. By emphasizing more the atmospherical aspects of Black Metal and moving our minds towards atheism, also the lyrical concept evolved in many ways.
6. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Morgengrau'?
Vultus: The english meaning of 'Morgengrau' is, roughly translated, dawn of a new day. Our main inspiration behind that name is, roughly speaking, that every day starts with a - more or less colorful - dawn, even if there is no mankind anymore.
7. Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that was present on the last album?
Vultus: The idea we had in mind by choosing the eye on the front cover of the album was that the spectator should feel watched, or observed. Combined with the title it highlights the message – without any attempt of whitewashing - that everyone of us will return to dust.
8. What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Vultus: Trying to remember the best shows of us makes me thinking about supporting 1349 on the launch of their Chaos Raids Europe tour in Munich, back in November 2014. This was kind of a real honour to be part of this concert. Later on, besides enjoying every single live appearance we did, some really awesome festival gigs, e.g. co-headlining Hammerfest South Tyrol in 2016 and starting the second day of Dark Easter Metal Meeting Munich in 2018 in front of a full house, were very exceptional experiences.
Performing live since 2012 has been showing us one characteristic feature: This kind of music has to obscurely fascinate people. Otherwise you will not reach out to the audience for a whole show.
9. Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Currently there are two confirmed 10th anniversary shows this year. The first one will take place in Regensburg/Germany with Waldgefluester and Wolves Den on 16th November. The second one will be our first ever live appearance in Austria's capital Vienna on 29th November.
There are no plans for 2020 yet, except from first ideas about organising a release event.
10. Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
Vultus: We always have on eye if there are some interesting labels that might be a good match for us (at least from our perspective), but we also have received interests so far. All in all I think I don't have to mention that it would be milestone in the band’s history if we sign up to a appropriate label which has certain power in terms of range and money as well. But we take our time until the right opportunity shows up. There is no reason to rush in this matter. But if something changes, you can be sure that the news will be spread through our web channels.
11. On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black metal?
Vultus: By talking about our listeners, the vast majority comes from Germany, Austria and Italy. But we also received some feedback from the USA and Mexico.
12. Are any of the band members currently involved with any other bands or musical projects these days?
Vultus: Not all of us are involved with other bands, but some of us are! Krieg is also performing as bassist for death metal maniacs Abstractyss, drummer Moloch is also involved in black metal bands Waldschrat and Heidnir, the death metal formation Abaddon Codex and own-styled Hackmonocut (all of them are located in Austria), guitarist Katharsis also plays the drums for black metal band Ill Tidings from Vienna and is involved as a live member in several other black metal formations.
13. When can we expect new music and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Vultus: Currently we are working on the successor of “Staub zu Staub”. The plan is to release it in the first half of 2020. We all do not know what time will bring to the band's progress, but finally we will refine our style getting away from these raw attitudes into a more epic, melodic and atmospheric sound.
14. 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?
Vultus: Each of us has his passion and his own favorites. We can say that they influence us to make music, but they do not influence our musical content directly (at least this applies to me). Generally I am listening to lots of black metal bands (second wave until today) but I also do have some favorites in death metal and the mixture between these two genres. Some of my all time favorites are Kampfar, Watain, Naglfar, Hypocrisy and The 3rd Attempt.
15. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Vultus: I would like to say a big thank you to my fellow band members, including those who parted ways with Morgengrau or were temporary part as session musicians. Also a big shout out to our fans and supporters and partners so far.
Also thank you for the interview!