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Morphia

Het Gelderse Morphia bracht onlangs middels 'Fading Beauty' de opvolger uit voor het in mijn ogen meesterlijke 'Frozen Dust'. Een nieuw album, een wat ander geluid dus hoog tijd om zanger Jasper Pieterson eens aan de tand te voelen.

Door: Michiel B. | Archiveer onder doom metal

I received the album 'Fading Beauty' in the spring this year, but on the booklet a copyright notice mentions 2004. Is this a misprint or did the release suffered serious delay? If so, what was the cause of this delay?
You really have looked into our album! We recorded the album in 2004. The official release date was also in 2004. The date has been moved a few times. The recording took a lot of time. We all have had a busy year. Five of us got new houses and moved. It takes a lot of time to make a new home just that: 'home'. Next to buying houses we all have full-time jobs and that also consumes its time. We did one week together in the studios and in that week we recorded the basics the songs. Due to our busy schedules we had to return to the studios individually for solos, vocals, etc. So over a long period we recorded the album bit by bit. Also the artwork took more time. Eventually, we released the album in the end of 2004. After the release we all shifted our priorities to home and families and were a little late with sending out all the album for reviews. So that's the reason you receive the album in the spring.

The most striking part of the album is the three-piece 'Meaning Of Forever'. Could you tell us something about this song?
The three piece was kind of an experiment. It consists of three different songs. The thing they all have the same is the emotion in music as well as in lyrics. They all describe in a deep emotional way the cynicism of the word 'forever'. 'Forever' is a word without a meaning, or perhaps, the word with the most of meanings. For instance: marriages, in which we pledge to love one another forever (or at least 'till death do us part'), are nowadays as easily broken as they are made (Meaning of Forever II). The Meaning of Forever I is about how life can sometimes seem to last endless, and how we take that for granted. But just when you think you have everything settled and planned, you can lose someone very dear to you, in the blink of an eye, and without warning. These lyrics do not mean to be depressing, on the contrary. They mean to express: Life is short, enjoy it with your friends. Not tomorrow, but today.

As mentioned before, all three songs share this cynicism, but are also very different. Part one is a typical Morphia song: heavy sound with lots of grunts, screams and clean vocals. Part II is the kind of song we never did before. It is a deeply emotional sort of love song brought as a ballad, ending in an emotional mixture of acoustic as well as heavy guitars, with violins, keys and vocals. Part III is without vocals, but the mood again is cynic and melodramatic. It gives the listener the opportunity to think about his/her “Meaning Of Forever”. So this is what I can tell you about the Meanings of Forever. And what we like to see in the three parts.

A pleasant surprise on the album are the violin parts played by Esther Wertwijn. Why did you decide to bring on some violins, and why did you choose her to play those parts?
After the Album “Frozen Dust” we wrote a lot of new songs and wanted to add something special. As a lot of people already know, “emotion” is a keyword in Morphia and we want that in every song. If there is no emotion, there is no song. A violin is perfectly fit to add to this. Esther Wertwijn is a friend of Peter and Erik, so it wasn't very hard to find her. We all are extremely satisfied with the results and find that with the violin we have added that extra bit of symphony we wanted.

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In my review I wondered if Morphia – with this new album – would be able to catch on with established Dutch doom bands like Officium Triste and Whispering Gallery (musicwise I think you have a lot in common with the latter). What do you think yourselves of Morphia's place in the nowadays Dutch doom scene?
Time will tell. We think we are certainly able to catch on with bands like Officium Triste and Whispering gallery. We all play in sort of the same genre. But I think all have their own unique things within the genre that makes us three good and above all different bands. But its hard to judge ones own music and to compare it to other bands. Its hard to say where we stand in the nowadays doom scene. I still think we are heading the right way in the scene, as more and more people get to know our music still.

If I am not very much mistaken you are one of the few bands around who see their sound-engineer as a full-member of the band. What exactly is his part in Morphia, and in what way was he involved in the making of 'Fading Beauty'
We indeed see our sound engineer as a full band member, for he adds as much to our success as the musicians do. When we are on stage, you won't see him directly. But you can definitely hear his work. On stage we play the song, we hit the strings, keys ,drum and we make the sounds. The way it reaches the people is formed by Bert (sound-engineer). We may play our best gig ever, but if the sound is terrible, the audience consider it to be a bad gig. They pay for a good show, and that includes a sound to match the bands recordings. So that's the main reason we see him as a full band member. He knows the possibilities when it comes to sound. Also that is one of the main qualities he displayed over the new album. In the writing process he told us how to achieve the things we wanted in the songs. In the studio he helped to get to the Morphia sound for the album.

'Fading Beauty' is the second Morphia CD that has been put out through Fear Dark. I suppose the collaboration with them goes quite well, right?
That's true. We know Fear Dark for some years now. Until now the cooperation goes very well and we have a lot of musical freedom. Great thing about Fear Dark is their enthusiasm unmatched. They are all fans of metal, rather than fans of money.

A lot of people think that Fear Dark is a Christian label, because they signed a band like Slechtvalk, but they told us on more than one occasion that they are not. How about you guys? Do you share the Christian faith? If so (or if you follow another persuasion), in which way does this influence you in writing music and lyrics?
This is a question a lot of people ask. We receive lots of emails with this question. Four members of Morphia are indeed Christian, three members do not consider themselves Christians. We all do believe when you make music, all members must be able to believe in the “message” that is told in the music. So when we would have made Christian songs, for three of us that would have been fake. So we choose to be a non religious band. We write about feelings, happenings from all over the world, from next door situations to major world issues. Our music is mostly about the dramatic side of live because we are all struck by minor, rather than major chords ;) So we are not a Christian band really.

What can we expect in the near future from Morphia?
In the past year we have been taking a little break with Morphia. Erik and Peter got new jobs and wanted to give their attention to work for a while. I became a father for the second time and wanted to give my time to my family. The consequence was that Morphia became second place for some time. We haven't done many gigs in this past year and the promotion for “Fading Beauty” didn't went so hard. So what you can expect from Morphia is to get back on stage, promoting “Fading Beauty”. We are already writing new songs as well. We already brought out a new long-sleeve shirt. So we gently move on.

Any famous last words?
LoM, continue your good work for the scene! Also we want to thank everyone for support and reaction over the internet , through mail and so on. We hope to see you all soon in at a show.

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