Bleeding hopes and stark wastelands: an interview with Morok from Bog[~]Morok

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It is fair to say that Russian metal is still pretty much in the shadows for the rest of the world despite the success of bands such as Arkona and…well that is arguably it despite the wealth of impressive and inventive bands creating thrilling sounds and releases within the country’s varied rock and metal realms. It needs an intent and exploration on the part of the listener to generally discover these shadowed treasures one of which is the excellent industrial/nu metal band Bog[~]Morok. The latter part of 2013 saw the band release their new album Industrialypse, an incitement drawing on numerous and unpredictable flavours and invention for a unique industrial metal bred creation. It is an exciting and stirring collection of tracks which deserve the widest attention. To find out more about the band we had the pleasure of asking its founder Morok about the origins of Bog[~]Morok, the impact of its home city, the striking band name and much more…

Hi Morok and welcome to The Ringmaster Review, thank you for sharing time with us.

Firstly can you give us some background to Bog[~]Morok at the very beginning, the spark and intention of the band at its start?

Hello and thank you!

Ok, I started Bog-Morok back in 1997. I just wanted to make fast, loud and aggressive music. Nothing special :). I think many people start to play music thinking that they are able to create something outstanding, something better than what they were listening to. I am not an exception. For a long time it was one-man-band. As a band B-M exists since 2003 when we released our first CD Azoic. Since then we have recorded six albums released on a different Russian labels, played a lots of shows, recorded many remixes for other bands, etc. The band’s style can be described as industrial/nu-metal. The new album Industrialypse released on 21 October on More Hate Productions for Russia and CIS. For the rest of the world it will be sold by Israeli label A&M Releases with support of GlobMetal Promotions.

As you said the band eventually expanded to a full line-up, was this a natural progression or a deliberate direction to expand on what you could do as a solo project?

I always wanted to play live shows. At first this was the reason to find musicians, but then I found that the writing process is much more interesting and effective together with other members. I am an ordinary bassist and very bad drummer, that’s why I cannot make qualitative music alone. So, I think this was a natural progression to expand the possibility to make music. Besides, we are very good friends and it’s a pleasure for me to spent time with these guys :).

Your sound has evolved over the years and your five albums, how do you see its change and evolution over the time? Bog_Morok_pic

You see, I always wanted to find special and unique sound for Bog-Morok. I wanted to make my band sound different from others bands. Not better, not worse, but different. Our first album is not typical for further creativity, but then we started to use low-tuned guitars, distorted bass, synthesizers, electronic sounds, etc. and now we feel that we are very close to what can be named “our own sound” :). Anyway, this process was natural. I never tried to make my band sounding like someone. It’s so boring…

How would you describe your sound right now for newcomers to the band?

Well, it’s some kind of mix of dirty and groovy guitars and bass, mechanistic rhythms and cold electronic sounds and backgrounds. This is just like a sound of machine or tool, but machine with a soul and furious emotions.

What is the story behind the band name?

It was many years ago, when I read the book called Sword and Rainbow or something like that. It’s fantasy, as far as I remember. There was a strange character. A troll or may be orc who lived in the bog. In Russian he was named Morok Bolotny (Morok from bog). Quite stupid character I have to say. But I liked him, besides I wanted to play fast and scary black-metal at that time. I decided that it will be great nickname for me and name for the band. But you see, this book was translated into Russian and I didn’t know how his name sounds in English properly. I used my own translation. Morok means ghost or spectre. Bog is bog (by the way, in Russian “Bog” means “God” that’s why some people thought I’ve got megalomania, haha!). So the band’s name means Ghost from bog. Time passed, we started to play different music, but the name is still the same. Maybe ‘cause it is quite unique and strange. I hope so :).

You recently released the excellent Industrialypse as you said earlier, an album of twelve inventive and explosive slabs of industrial/nu metal with plenty more flavouring to seduce the imagination. It is one of our favourite introductions to a band, it the first time we came across Bog[~]Morok, in a long time; how long has the album been in the making?

Too long! I started to write songs for this album a couple of years ago. Then approximately a year ago we started the record sessions at our studio, but in the middle of recording process I understood that the results did not satisfy me. I don’t how to explain it, but you see, the songs did not sound the way I wanted them to sound. Something was wrong and I didn’t know how to fix it. Then I started absolutely new side-project named Shexna, a strange mix of nu-metal, folk and sludge, together with Bog-Morok’s drummer and guitar-player and singer from well-known Russian band Temnozor. In a week I composed 9 tracks, in the next week we recorded all instruments and two more weeks I spent mixing and mastering these songs. The self-titled album was released by Russian label Sound Age in the beginning of 2013 and received a lot of rave reviews. Only after that we continued to record our distressful Industrialypse and finished it in August 2013.

Frontcover 1Have you like your sound, evolved and changed how you approach recording your music and working in the studio which made a big difference and help in creating Industrialypse.

You know, I am the maximalist and that’s why I never satisfied with the result. But I know how to find a compromise with myself. Otherwise, you can go crazy trying to achieve a perfect result :).

The title is a provocative word sparking the imagination to sculpt thoughts of an apocalyptic expanse bred from an industrial toxicity; what was your thoughts behind the name and does it represent a theme for the album as a whole?

It is a combination of two words: industrial and apocalypse. You see, we live in quite a big industrial city, Rybinsk, where there are a lot of factories and most of the people work there. Every day I see crowds moving to their working place and back. They are just like zombies: no hope, no future and no past. Eat, work, sleep, die… I think that industrial apocalypse is already happened for them. That’s why there weren’t any doubts it will be the title of the album when I wrote this song. But I can’t say that it’s refers to the album as a whole. You see, there are so many things to sing about. I think I’ll never be able to write a conceptual album :).

You just described Rybinsk with its factories and industrial plants etc., has this setting made a specific impact on not only the lyrical content of the album but your music in general?

My parents are teachers, I am a lawyer, but when I was a child I always drew factories and smokestacks and dreamt to work on a plant :). Thank God my dream has not come true, but when I grew older I started visiting different abandoned factories and other industrial objects (there are a lot of them after the notorious Perestroyka). I still love it and when I started to listen to music I was so happy to discover such bands as Die Krupps, FLA, VAC, Fear Factory, Steril etc. Their music was like a soundtrack of my dreams and visions. So there’s no surprising that I started to make industrial metal :).

How does the song writing process work within Bog[~]Morok and has that changed in a large way since those early days of the band?

The main part of music and lyrics is written by me. It has not changed since early days. But you see I play music with very good musicians. When I bring a new song they can change whatever they want. I trust them. In most difficult cases we work all together on a song looking for best option or may be compromise. Really, I am the lucky one these people are play music together with me :).

Do you enter the studio with songs completed or allow them to evolve further as you start to record them?

We’re recording songs in our own studio and there’s no need for the long training before record session and rush while recording music. May be that’s why we work so slow :). Anyway, we may write song, record it completely and then throw away ‘cause it doesn’t suit us. We can afford it.

Is there a particular part or aspect of Industrialypse which gives you the strongest intensity of pleasure?

I love this album entirely, but today my favourite one is Bloodsucker J. This song is outstanding ‘cause it consists of only one note A, it’s true, there are no any other notes except A :). The guitarist and bassist can drink beer while playing this song, ‘cause the left hand is free. I love this song today. May be because I’m in a good mood, you see, I always listen to most heavy songs when I’m in a good mood:).

I am sure like us you feel it is time for the world to wake up to Bog[~]Morok, what have you done his time around and put behind the album to try and make that happen?

We signed a contract with GlobMetal Promotion. They do their job very well spreading our music all over the world. As for us, we are playing live shows, answering the questions, communicating with people and many other things to please our old fans and to find new ones.

Are you planning to promote the album in live shows or tours? Band Photo 2

Yes, we’ll do our best to play as much shows as possible, but don’t forget that we live in Russia, the country where life is like a survival, the country where all your plans can be destroyed in a few seconds…

What comes next for Bog[~]Morok?

I think it will be live shows, some videos and writing of new songs. Yes, we will start to write new songs rather soon. I have some ideas but nothing definite still. All I know the next album will be more insane and outside borders and genres.

 How about the band member’s other projects outside of the band, anything we should be watching out for?

Oh yeah. Our drummer plays in very interesting black/death metal band Iconoclast. Also all members of Bog-Morok involved in our side project Shexna. And of course, I’d like to present our new band Morguenstern. This is the band where I play the guitar and the vocalist is my sister Morgana. We play old school gothic metal, sometimes horror punk. The music is similar to soundtracks from horror movies of the 80’s J. The debut album Sepulchral Burden will be released by Israeli label A&M on 15th January 2014. Check it out!

Thank you again for talking with us, would you like to leave any final words for the readers?

Take care of yourselves and don’t forget to listen to Bog-Morok! Thank you for your interest in our music!

Read the Industrialypse  review @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/11/08/bogmorok-industrialypse/

http://www.reverbnation.com/bogmorok

Pete Ringmaster

The RingMaster Review 01/01/2014

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