** Morne’s third album, Shadows, is a best effort from our favorite funeral doom outfit from Beantown. Come to think of it they’re the only funeral doom band from Boston. So unique was previous album, Asylum, we had to catch up with guitarist Milosz Gassan and bassist Max Furst to see why, in 2013, Morne are still so downbeat. Hey, the economy’s starting to rev up and rent in Boston is still astronomical.
How is Shadows different from its predecessors?
Milosz Gassan: We were at a different point in our lives with this record, different feelings, and with different emotions. Day to day life is the main influence on my writing. I was in a different point in my life when I wrote Shadows and that naturally affected the music and lyrics.
Max had described the new material as more “straight forward and succinct” during the writing process. Is that what you were going for and is the material, in the end, how you envisioned it?
Max Furst: It’s definitely a more stripped down sound than Asylum. Asylum had a very deep, warm atmosphere in the production. Shadows feels darker, more cold and bleak.
Milosz Gassan: We wanted this record to be very simple. Stripped down to the core. No dead weight.
How are songs assembled, as a general rule? More on feel or are you following a protocol to write?
Milosz Gassan: There really is no protocol or writing rules in Morne. We write the way we feel is the most natural approach to take. It’s all about the artistic freedom we give to ourselves.
Morne has a cross-genre quality to it. Raw like punk/crust but regal/despondent like funeral doom. Where does Morne fits sonically?
Max Furst: I personally don’t feel like we fit in anywhere 100 percent of the time. We’ve always strived to do our own thing and we never let the expectations of any one scene influence our musical output.
Is Morne more about feeling than actual categorization of style?
Max Furst: I guess you could say that Morne is a continuously evolving creature. Even if there are elements that change along the way, there will always be a common thread throughout everything we do.
How important is atmosphere? Some think atmosphere is fluff, for others atmosphere’s 90 percent of the substance.
Max Furst: Atmosphere is absolutely important, but if all emphasis is on aesthetic rather than on actual songwriting, the whole structure of the song caves in on itself. Riffs are the foundation of a good song. Without a riff, you have nothing.
What role does the keyboards play compared to the guitars?
Max Furst: Asylum was a very keyboard-heavy album. It played a much more important role for those songs as it does on Shadows. There are subtle keyboards present on Shadows, but only to accent atmosphere and depth to the songs.
How is doom perceived now compared to, say, 10-15 years ago?
Max Furst: As far as I can see there is a much wider audience for doom bands in 2013 then in the 90’s. Bands that were playing to 20 people in 1995 are selling out 2000+ capacity venues today.
What’s Shadows about, actually?
Milosz Gassan: Shadows is about moving forward and casting away the past. I think it’s a very dark record but it also gives some sort of hope. It’s about realizing what’s really important in our lives and what really matters to us.
You have very striking covers. Simple yet effective. How important is the cover art to Morne and what it’s communicating?
Max Furst: As simple as the artwork may be, it’s always been a challenge to find imagery that we feel represents the band in the way we want it to.
What’s 2013 look like for Morne?
Max Furst: Only time will tell. Hopefully we’ll be visiting the West Coast in the near future.
** Morne’s Shadows is out now on Profound Lore Records. It’s available HERE direct from the label. If you don’t like ordering from Canadians you can probably find it at Target, but we recommend you order from Canadians. They’re ridiculously friendly.