Gnaw Their Tongues interview (04/2015)


With: Maurice de Jong
Conducted by: Apothecary (in person)
Published: 16.04.2015

Band profile:

Gnaw Their Tongues


Roadburn Festival lineups are full of pleasant surprises, but perhaps the biggest shocker for me this year was the announcement that Maurice de Jong ("Mories"), that twisted multi-instrumentalist behind various black, drone, and Avantgarde metal projects, would be performing under his Gnaw Their Tongues moniker on the Afterburner. I saw an opportunity and jumped at it. After contacting him and agreeing to set an interview up for the Roadburn Saturday after Botanist's set, sure enough we met up in the Dudok restaurant at the festival grounds afterwards. He kindly bought me a beer, and with his wife (girlfriend?) in quiet attendance, he sat down with me for a pleasant and interesting conversation. I really must say that this guy is virtually the complete antithesis of his music. If you were to judge him purely on the basis of his projects, you'd probably think he's some sort of lunatic with violent sexual fetishes. But on the contrary, he is one of the most friendly, generous, and easy going musicians I have ever met through the metal scene, and I cannot thank him enough for taking the time out to chat with me.

*As a small note, thanks to my good friend Mr. Doctor for contributing the questions on artwork and the use of samples!









Che: Hello there Mories. A big thanks for agreeing to do this with me today. Have you been enjoying Roadburn thus far?

Mories: It's been great this year. Enslaved, Svartidauði, and Botanist were fantastic. The Green Room was hot as hell for Svartidauði though! (*laughs*).

Che: Yeah, I think that's part of why they just wore the covers over their mouths, instead of the entire mask setup as they usually do. I'm sure it's going to be even worse for Urfaust later tonight (*laughs*). So what brings you to Roadburn this year? How long have you been coming?

Mories: Well, primarily doing Gnaw Their Tongues, of course! I played as Aderlating in 2009, that was my first year here, and again in 2012. And then I did Seirom last year.

Che: It does indeed seem as though Roadburn has been your prime medium for getting yourself out there live recently. As you've now done Aderlating, Seirom, and are about to do Gnaw Their Tongues as well, this only raises curiosity. Would you say there's any chance of you ever doing De Magia Veterum, or Cloak Of Altering?

Mories: Most likely not. De Magia Veterum is officially over, and Cloak Of Altering would just be too damn difficult to transfer to a live setting. Gnaw Their Tongues will be me doing bass, vocals, and samples, and Eric Eijspaart, who works with me in Aderlating, also doing vocals and samples.

Che: Well it's funny to hear you say that about Cloak Of Altering, because as soon as I heard you'd be doing Gnaw Their Tongues live, I thought the same thing: "how the hell is he going to pull it off exactly?" I remember while I was at Roadburn last year, they were handing out flyers for that show you were doing in Belgium with Alkerdeel, and it was billed as "the first and only Gnaw Their Tongues performance." What made you change your mind about doing it live?

Mories: The difficulty was definitely something that made me hesitant for quite a while. But last year, the Maryland Deathfest guys called me up and asked me about it, and sure enough Walter from Roadburn eventually did as well, and I said yes. Life is too short, you know? Sometimes we just have to take the opportunities presented to us, whether for better or worse, just because not doing so will leave us incessantly pondering over the question of "what if?" That Alkerdeel show was definitely a trigger for me though. After that I realized that Gnaw Their Tongues live may actually be a lot easier than I had previously thought, and it made me much more eager.




Che: That's great that it inspired you so much! Speaking of Alkerdeel... you did that absolutely disturbing collaboration with them last year, Dyodyo Asema, and I've heard that you're working on yet another one with Dragged Into Sunlight that'll be out soon. What exactly spurred on this desire to do some Gnaw Their Tongues collabs all of a sudden? And do you have any more planned for the future?

Mories: Alkerdeel actually contacted me asking if I wanted to collaborate. It seemed only natural, as I'm on the same label with them as Aderlating, Consouling Sounds. Something else few people know is that I've also contributed some vocals and samples for Anaal Nathrakh and The Meads Of Asphodel. I don't really have any other collabs planned for the future, as I've been extremely busy lately, but never say never!

Che: The collabs actually surprised me a bit, because so often you just stick to yourself and do your own solo work. Why is that?

Mories: I had played in some bands with other people when I was younger, but they were all just full of stupid bullshit. Ego problems, you know, one person wanting to dominate the composition, unreliability and people missing practices, etc. I just didn't want to deal with it. I'm not adverse to duos though if another person and I really click, as is the case with Eric and myself in Aderlating. In general, though, I think fewer people in a band is better. I've noticed a tendency for a more consistent focus to appear as a result, not just with my own projects, but with those of others as well.

Che: Totally agreed with you there, the power of the individual mind is indeed not to be underestimated. So let's just talk about some of your origins for a second, how did you start off really, and did anything in particular inspire you?


Mories's Necromantia shirt design


Mories: I did a lot of pre-Internet recording in the late 80s, early 90s. Then in '95 I got a computer and it was just onwards from there. As far as influences go, one word: Necromantia. They're still around, a really cool and sort of unknown Greek black metal band from back in the day, they were around the same time that the "second wave" was exploding in Norway. I actually took the name for De Magia Veterum from a song on their 1990 demo. And you've probably seen me wearing this shirt of theirs, I love it!

Che: Pretty cool, I'll have to check them out for a clearer understanding of some of your musical roots then. Now, going back to the topic of Gnaw Their Tongues in particular... with this project, I've noticed that you have a lot of sound variation. Some albums are absolutely unrelenting and aggressive, more to the black metal side of things, and others are more droney, trance like, and almost transcendental in a way. Is this variation intended? Do you plan it in advance?

Mories: I know this probably sounds trite, as a lot of musicians say this, but it honestly just flows naturally. The only album that I can say was genuinely planned out is the one with the French title, L'Arrivée De La Terne Mort Triomphante. It was written around a concept, and I consider it to be my most consistent Gnaw Their Tongues composition.

Che: I'll have to revisit that one then. So, with such a large Gnaw Their Tongues discography, with a good quantity of full albums, splits, and EPs, how exactly did you go about picking material for a set?

Mories: It was really just a matter of deciding what was most doable live. Over the past month I've actually been backtracking over a lot of the albums to decide.

Che: Can't wait to see then. Although your sets tend to be like one massive ritual, so I'm not too sure I'd be able to differentiate between songs (*laughs*). On another note, you do mostly all of your own artwork, for Gnaw Their Tongues and other projects. Would there ever be any chance of you compiling your work into a book?

Mories: I've done all my own album covers, except the one for that Alkerdeel collab. I'm somewhat adverse to an art book. Those art pieces are very personal for me, and I don't really consider them as needing to be anything more than mere album covers. They're not to be elevated or put on display. However, if someone was to approach me with the proposition of an art book, such as a representative from a label, or a festival organizer, or the like, I can't say I'd entirely shut myself out to saying no either. It's always good to keep one's options open.

Che: Well, I'm keeping my fingers crossed then! Musically speaking, you utilize a lot of various sounds in Gnaw Their Tongues, and there are thus a lot of audio samples of non metal instruments. Do you prefer these over the real thing?

Mories: I'd always prefer the real thing. Sometimes it's just a cost effective matter, actual instruments being more expensive. So for the moment, samples are indeed preferable.

Che: In some ways it seems as though Gnaw Their Tongues is the one project that people identify you with the most. Why do you think that is?

Mories: I do agree with you there. It most likely has to do with the fact that it's probably the one that has received the most publicity, through the Crucial Blast label. So just more underground exposure than Aderlating, Cloak Of Altering, etc. I'm sure the collabs have definitely helped turn new people onto it as well, fans of Alkerdeel and Dragged Into Sunlight who otherwise may have never heard of Gnaw Their Tongues at all.

Che: It's certainly a good method for help people get into your stuff. So do you have any new Gnaw Their Tongues material planned for us soon?

Mories: There will be a coming split with Actuary, this weird psychedelic/electronic band, as well as a new album in the Fall. It will actually be the first full album since the Per Flagellum one in 2011, as I recorded Eschatological Scatology back in 2008.

Che: Well I'm definitely looking forward to both, as I'm sure many others are. Well just to wrap things up, any other Roadburn bands you're looking forward to between the rest of today and tomorrow?

Mories: I must see Urfaust and Kayo Dot later, and I'm definitely checking out some of Anathema tomorrow.

Che: Kayo Dot unfortunately clash with Undersmile for me, but maybe I'll see you in the Green Room for Urfaust! And just as a farewell salute then, anything you'd like to say to your fans over on Metal Storm?

Mories: Thanks for all the enthusiasm and support!




The following day, Mories subjected me to one of the most aurally intense live shows I've ever experienced with him and Eric doing Gnaw Their Tongues. It was every bit as depraved and bludgeoning as you could probably imagine, and my ears are still ringing. Cheers to him for an excellent interview, and an even more excellent performance. I greatly hope to see him at Roadburn again in the future, whether he's performing, or is just a simple audience member.






 



Posted on 16.04.2015 by Comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable since 2013.


Comments

Comments: 15   Visited by: 143 users
16.04.2015 - 20:16
mz
Thanks for this interview Che.
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Giving my ears a rest from music.
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16.04.2015 - 20:42
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by mz on 16.04.2015 at 20:16

Thanks for this interview Che.

Of course man, it was incredibly fun. Guy is totally chill and comes off as very open minded.
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Written by RaduP on 14.01.2016 at 02:08

So you're not actually a bearded shaman opening his third eye through music?
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16.04.2015 - 22:47
3rdWorld
The Psilosopher
Great interview and you are one lucky bastard.
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17.04.2015 - 02:18
Bad English
Masterchief
Wife - GF ... dude look at finger
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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17.04.2015 - 03:32
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by Bad English on 17.04.2015 at 02:18

Wife - GF ... dude look at finger

....what?
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Written by RaduP on 14.01.2016 at 02:08

So you're not actually a bearded shaman opening his third eye through music?
Loading...
17.04.2015 - 11:17
Bad English
Masterchief
Written by Apothecary on 17.04.2015 at 03:32

Written by Bad English on 17.04.2015 at 02:18

Wife - GF ... dude look at finger

....what?


He kindly bought me a beer, and with his wife (girlfriend?)
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
Loading...
17.04.2015 - 13:04
Mr. Doctor
Skandino
Written by Apothecary on 17.04.2015 at 03:32

Written by Bad English on 17.04.2015 at 02:18

Wife - GF ... dude look at finger

....what?


Translation: He might have own a wedding ring. Which many times still doesn't mean shit. Some friends of mine have rings with their partners and they sure as hell are not married.
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
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17.04.2015 - 14:56
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Written by Mr. Doctor on 17.04.2015 at 13:04



Translation: He might have own a wedding ring. Which many times still doesn't mean shit. Some friends of mine have rings with their partners and they sure as hell are not married.


In the Netherlands it is usually the case that if one has a golden ring and the partner as well that they are married.
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Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

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17.04.2015 - 16:39
Bad English
Masterchief
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 17.04.2015 at 14:56

Written by Mr. Doctor on 17.04.2015 at 13:04



Translation: He might have own a wedding ring. Which many times still doesn't mean shit. Some friends of mine have rings with their partners and they sure as hell are not married.


In the Netherlands it is usually the case that if one has a golden ring and the partner as well that they are married.


in most countries its like in the Ned
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
Loading...
17.04.2015 - 16:44
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by Mr. Doctor on 17.04.2015 at 13:04

He might have own a wedding ring. Which many times still doesn't mean shit. Some friends of mine have rings with their partners and they sure as hell are not married.

Yeeaaaahhhh.... I don't think I was really paying attention to his hands while I was interviewing him
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Written by RaduP on 14.01.2016 at 02:08

So you're not actually a bearded shaman opening his third eye through music?
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17.04.2015 - 17:27
MetalDoomMaster
Great interview. He looks exactly like one of my computer science instructors in that pic.
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17.04.2015 - 17:29
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by MetalDoomMaster on 17.04.2015 at 17:27

He looks exactly like one of my computer science instructors in that pic.

Like I said, the guy is like the COMPLETE antithesis of his music, both in looks and personality
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Written by RaduP on 14.01.2016 at 02:08

So you're not actually a bearded shaman opening his third eye through music?
Loading...
17.04.2015 - 18:05
Lit.
Account deleted
He actually reminds me of that guy who played Edward Adama in Battlestar: Galactica.
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17.04.2015 - 22:56
Erik M.
Nice interview, dude.

Kind of funny you two were sitting at the restaurant where my brother has worked about 2 years and 3 months ago when the place just opened their doors.
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03.05.2015 - 16:09
psykometal
A staff guy...
Kind of surprised you didn't inquire about Pyriphlegethon at all. Kool interview for sure though. Even still, regardless of how I feel about a band or musician's work, I always enjoy reading everything you write.

In general Mories' work doesn't appeal to my tastes, but I do actually enjoy his more straight forward approach with Pyriphlegethon so I was kind of sad you didn't inquire about that at all.
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~Zep, Database and Forum Moderation~

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