Marc Grewe On Being Kicked Out Of Morgoth & New Insidious Disease Album

By on 4 June 2015

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After being ousted from Morgoth, the German death metal band he helped to form to in the mid-’80s, vocalist Marc Grewe has wasted no time at all in putting together a new Insidious Disease album, alongside members of Dimmu Borgir, Napalm Death and Nile. In an exclusive interview, Marc speaks to Terrorizer’s Kat Gillham about his split from Morgoth  and what we can expect from his new project.

I recently spoke exclusively to Marc Grewe founding member and ex-vocalist of German death metal legends Morgoth about the events surrounding his sudden and shock departure from the band late last year around the time the band were recording their comeback album ‘Ungod’.

Marc has given Terrorizer a very candid and detailed insight into what happened and has set the record straight from his point of view after various rumours started circulating as to why he was no longer in Morgoth. I also took the opportunity to ask Marc about the recording of the new Insidious Disease album, a band he has already recorded one previous album with (‘Shadowcast’ released in 2010 on Century Media) which also features Silenoz from Dimmu Borgir, Shane Embury from Napalm Death,  ex-Old Mans Child guitarist Jardar and ex-Nile, Angel Corpse etc drummer Tony Laureano.

Words: Kat Gillham

After a very successful European tour with Bolt Thrower late last year and whilst working on the new Morgoth album there was the shock news that all of a sudden you were no longer in Morgoth which took fans by surprise everywhere. Obviously rumours  started as to what happened so can you tell us directly from a first hand perspective just what exactly happened that resulted in you no longer being a member of Morgoth? Was it just as much a shock to you or did you see major problems on the horizon before?
“Well, first of all the tour was just great. We had very successful shows and the reaction of the audience was excellent. Needless to say that it was awesome to tour with Bolt Thrower again (did a tour with them in 1996 with my other band Power Of Expression). We had a lot of fun! After that great and overwhelming BT tour, where we already played two new songs, it was of course shocking to get kicked out a month after the ‘Overture Of War’ Tour ended, still having the positive vibes and impressions of this tour in the back of my mind. I received an an e-mail after a weekend-show we played in Italy on the 8th of November, saying that the other guys decided not to work with me any longer and kicking me out of the band, that I once co-founded in 1987 as a teenager. They did not even have the balls to tell me face to face, and of course I was and still am deeply hurt and insulted, especially if you consider, that I’ve known some of the people in Morgoth for more then 30 years! It was three days before the vocal recordings and it felt like a fucking stab in the heart! It´s hard to accept that people, who weren´t even founding members (only founding member left is Harry Busse, guitar) of Morgoth took over the power and certainly waited for the chance to get rid of me. Of course, problems had been there before, but could have been solved. It was mostly the lack of propper communication, as friends usuallly would do it! I kind of felt “isolated” to the other two guitar-players, who were writing the riffs and took the “band-decisions” without telling me about it. We only communicated face to face when we played shows. All the other stuff went through e-mail communication with the management, which I wasn’t (at some point) even allowed to talk to (as they said it would be too much hastle if three people would communicate with them). So I should have seen some ugly things sneaking around the corner already. But obviously I didn’t.

“Of course I would take some blame on me as well, as I am an introverted person and haven’t brought up things that disturbed and annoyed me, right away. There also was the situation that I ran into afoul with the others when I was drinking alcohol, which I got blamed and kicked out for in the end. But well, that’s how I used to handle being bullied from the others sometimes….I now know that this was definitely a wrong decision and I am getting some professional help now to handle conflicts better and by speaking out in a sober condition. Just recently the Morgoth biography was released in Germany (called the “Morgoth Chronicles”) about the band, and how this friendship between five teenagers in the ’80s developed into becoming a death metal band. But this insult is just destroying a lot of that good feeling that we once had in the beginning! It’s just a shame and it makes me sad, as Morgoth was a part of my life for almost 30 years!”

It must feel very strange as well as frustrating to see the first ever Morgoth album released without yourself on it. How has this made you feel and how far did you get into the initial recording process before you were out of the band?
“Well, of course it’s weird and even more painful to see that someone else is singing my vocal-lines, hooks and words! But to me, without singing on that album myself, I have also the impression that this is more like another band that is playing Morgoth songs… it doesn’t feel like “mine” anymore. As a consequence of kicking me out, they could or should have changed the name, instead of confusing the fans.”

The reunion up until that point seemed to be going very well with Morgoth fans worldwide welcoming the band back onto the scene with great enthusiasm, what have been some of the more positive highlights of your time involved with the reunion?
“Well, it definately was great to see, that we got really good reactions on the reunion and also had the chance to play countries and continents that we never played before.”

Are you not tempted to put your own version of Morgoth together like Entombed A.D. or Venom Inc have done?
“They took the name Morgoth and have to prove with the next releases (without my involvment in the vocal- and hooklines), that they are able to carry on with the flame, that the “original” Morgoth once lit. There is no “trademark” thing on the name, as it is taken from the book Lord Of The Rings, so I could eventually do my own version of Morgoth, but I am not interesed in doing something like that at the moment. We’ll see what the future will bring though, but I definately miss singing the songs, for sure!”

There clearly seems to be a split between Morgoth fans about the new album due to your lack of participation/involvement, what is your opinion about this? Have you heard the new album?
“Well, of course there is a split between the fans! I was always the one being in contact with the fans, even when the band was on hiatus. I definately know, that for a lot of Morgoth fans, it was also the voice, that made the band somehow characteristic to people and was a “trademark”. I really wanna thank them all, for standing aside and sending their best wishes to me. That was a great to see that a lot of fans supported me and helped me through those darkest days with their messages and wishes!

“I have heard some songs, and as I said before: It just feels strange to hear somebody else singing my vocal-lines and stuff I developed on the riffs, even though I think that Jagger could be good replacement vocal-wise. But it’s of course not the same and it’s always weird to hear and see bands that you once really liked and adored, having a new vocalist/frontman. To me it also felt strange to see Sepultura without Max, Morbid Angel without David Vincent, Judas Priest without Rob Halford or Iron Maiden without Bruce Dickinson… of course I would not compare myself with them, but it always felt somehow “not right” to me when watching those bands, even if those bands could be also cool with their new “replacement vocalists”, a certain thing is always missing…I guess you all know what I mean, right?!”

m.greweYou have bounced back quickly and have been currently working on new material with Insidious Disease. Please tell us about the new material: how is it sounding, what can the readers expect from it?
“We have around twenty songs and we are currently working on the vocals. Silenoz and myself have found a very constructive way to work with eachother and I am very grateful to have such a talented songwriter aside of me. I was just recently in Norway to record some new songs, and we’ll probalby will have some new stuff on our FB page soon. Right now, I can tell you that the material is damn heavy and catchy with sometimes less blastbeats then ‘Shadowcast’ and I think you can of course hear where all the band members have their original roots from and in what bands the play… or should I say played! I guess it´s an album where people will discover different stuff with every spin, definately not an ear-in/ear out album.”

You have been recording in Norway, where has it been taking place and who is producing/mixing the new album?
“We have been recording in Norway recently, but those will not be the final recordings, we just did a pre-production. I really liked the production that Russ (Russell) had done to the last album!!”

When will the next album be released? And via which label?
“We are currently looking for labels who are interested in releasing it. So there is still the chance to contact us, if there is someone interested in us at all, hahaha…But we’re really looking forward to a late 2015/early 2016 release.”

Are you responsible for the lyrics on the new album? What subjects do they deal with?
“Well, it’s Silenoz and me who are working on the lyrics. He has always great ideas and we will have another “session” in the next weeks. Subjects deal with social matters, morbid-fictional stuff, as well as the real horror of life itself, which has a lot to offer, especially after the last few months!”

Do you have a title decided for the album?
“We have two, three options, but it´s too early to let anybody know yet, as we might come up with something completely different.”

Will you be touring much in support of the new Insidious Disease album?
“We decided to do a lot more touring for this one than for ‘Shadowcast’, which we played only a handful of shows for… so touring more then that will be easy hahaha! But yes, we were talking about that already and Silenoz and me both love going on tour, so it’s definately going to happen. Of course we all know that especially Shane will always be busy on the road with Napalm. But we’ll find a way, I am sure!”

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What’s happening with Neolithic Void, another band you’ve been involved with? Please tell the readers a bit about this band.
“Well, it´s a project I had/have Mathias Lodmalm (ex-Cemetary guitarist/vocalist, but that’s on hiatus at the moment, I also have another project going called DÖD, which I do together with the former drummer of Secrets Of The Moon and a couple of other friends. That stuff will be very primitive and simple death metal and we’ve decided to just release good old casette tapes and keep doing it as DIY thing. But at the moment full focus is on Insidious Disease!”

What is your message to the fans of Morgoth and Insidious Disease who are reading this? Thanks for answering this interview.
“First of all I wanna thank everybody who has supported me and my bands! I am a fan myself, and I know how much effort and money people are putting into going to shows and support their favourite bands. They have my full respect. Well, I still live that lifestyle myself, by going to shows, buying records and shirts! I am just grateful to have the opportunity to play and record and I really hope people will check out the stuff I ´ll be doing in the future. Because I always do it for the love of the music. People should know that they always get something that comes from the bottom of my heart and from the bottom of my rotten lungs! Thank you for the interview, Kat!”

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