|Mortiis as an artistic creation has evolved over time - a time that has seen Mortiis the individual transform into Mortiis the band. The concept of Mortiis is one that is never stagnant, a concept consisting equally of music and image that is influenced by the surroundings, society and feelings.
Today the phenomenon that is Mortiis is firmly established in a new era. Now a full-fledged band, they - Mortiis (Vocals, Synths, Programming, Sound Design), Levi Gawron (Guitar), Asmund Sveinunggard (Guitar), Leo Troy (Drums) - have pushed their creativity to another dimension. Mortiis has in the past produced, and is still now producing, some of the most enigmatic, dark and haunting songs ever. Not only has Mortiis' music progressed, so has the character of Mortiis himself and the band.
At the heart of great music lies ingenuity and eccentricity, which Mortiis has in abundance. This is ably demonstrated by tracing the eras that Mortiis has evolved through whilst signed to the Earache label.
1993-1999 - The first releases from Mortiis saw him following a completely different path from his previous musical output. The boundaries of music in Norway were being challenged and new influences were everywhere. Mortiis chose a new, radical direction, exploring the world of ambient darkwave music on these first solo outings. Bizarre theatrical live performances supporting albums like "The Stargate" ensued.
"Smell Of Rain" - Era 1 was now consigned to history as Mortiis continued to push back the musical boundaries that some artists can never hope to achieve, taking in influences from artists such as Enigma through to Skinny Puppy and Nine Inch Nails. He once again demonstrated his disregard for convention, delivering his most encompassing album to date. Pushing his own personal boundaries, Mortiis took full control over the vocal duties. Previous albums had featured guest vocalists with Mortiis concentrating mainly on the musical aspects.
The "Smell Of Rain" was a new beginning, a new era. "This album is about honesty, mental decay and coping with it. Basically it's about falling into a sort of depression and symbolically wanting something so badly that you can smell it," explained Mortiis.
Taking "Smell Of Rain" on the road with the musicians involved in the recording astounded and astonished fans and press alike. The live band scenario transformed the songs into a hard-hitting, harder edged spectacle. Refusing to embrace the norm or current trends, the idea of a full band began to formulate. All the while, a new image was also emerging for Mortiis, having toned down the controversial stage show in favor of a stronger individual audio/visual experience for an overall show, which in this day and age seems to be lacking.
The progression continued at a pace and as Era 2 exhausted its natural life, Era 3 beckoned in the form of "The Grudge," the current Mortiis studio album. Think "Smell Of Rain" with more than a touch of anger. Recorded as one unit - as a "band" - the development is instantly recognizable. The input from guitarists Levi Gawron and Asmund Sveinunggard adds the harder edge, which compliments Mortiis' new songs, all backed with the powerhouse drumming of Leo Troy. "The Grudge" has become the most prolific and successful Mortiis album to date. Their first ever single, also called "The Grudge," was released prior to the album in August 2004 and reached Number 51 in the Official UK Singles Chart. The second single "Decadent & Desperate" entered the UK Billboard charts at number 40.
Mortiis isn't a freak of nature but a distinctive character and the embodiment of greatness and exploration most are too scared to discover. There have been some totally ludicrous fables that have been written about Mortiis throughout the world: Yes, Mortiis has lived in the Norwegian Mountainsides, surrounded by forests. Yes, Mortiis is an unusual character shrouded in mystery. But it's never too late to unearth the truth for yourself. If you're still confused then "think of me as a human being with 7,000 issues," states Mortiis himself.