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THE METAL OBSERVER - Interview - TAD MOROSE - Online Mar. 2004

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Tad Morose - Computer videos and the flag of Metal (Urban Breed) - Online Mar. 2004

Hello Urban, congratulations on the new album. How’s everything going at the TAD MOROSE camp?


It’s all very well thank you. A bit too much Christmas and such but, hey, it’s only Christmas once a year.


Let’s talk about “Modus Vivendi” right away. From what I’ve read I’d say it’s getting a good treatment. What’s your view on the album, are you satisfied with the final product?


…Can’t complain. Oh, I’m very happy with it. To be perfectly honest, this is the only album so far that I can pick any song for a live set and be happy about it.


The title “Modus Vivendi” has a doomy feel and sounds like something taken from the Latin language, what does it mean?


If you take it literally, which of course you shouldn’t, it means “way of life”. Still, we’re perfectly fine with such a simplistic interpretation. However, we mainly intended it and this is how it is more often used, to indicate that we as a band more often than not face situations where, in order to keep things moving along, we have to “agree to disagree”. So the title is an indication to how we function as a band. …And with every album it’s getting ever more so.


Can you tell us a bit about the lyrical contents; is there a central theme reoccurring throughout the album?


Sorry to disappoint you but no, there is no central theme. The connection, as far as the lyrics go, is I wrote them. There are songs about as diverse topics as “Ungratefulness getting to the point where you finally snap” and “Hey! Let’s fly the flag of Metal!!!”


The songwriting is excellent, so many fresh ideas, I gather the bands been recharging the batteries?


…and my theory is we simply worked harder on editing ourselves.


So, what’s your favorite track from the album?


The one song most people don’t take to all that easily. “Take On The World”.


“Cyberdome” and “Life In A Lonely Grave” are two real standout compositions; care to tell a bit about these two gems?


So what do you want to know? Ah, well, here’s the story from the beginning. They were both Daniel’s original ideas. He handed me the files and I cut them down to size altered a few transitions and sent them back. He added some guitars for the transitions and the ball was back with me. I decided on the concepts for the lyrics and wrote the melodies. Up next were vocal harmonies so I took care of that. After a check with the band at rehearsals Anders asked me to not cut as much from “‘Life In A Lonely Grave” as I had done. So I rearranged it into a lengthier piece. What the lyrical concepts were? Can’t you tell? Heh… “Cyberdome” is all about forgetting how to interact, how shall I put this, in the flesh, so to speak. “Life In A Lonely Grave” is a bit more complex since it incorporates several themes really. The first verse speaks about the obviously less than perfect world that survivors of an apocalypse are left with. The double verse hints at the way the US enforce their political view onto others. Just to mention the obvious references.


You recorded the album at Soundcreation, but decided to mix the album Studio Fredman, what was it like working with one of the best Metal producers in the world?


It was very much like working with Per Ryberg except for the fact that Fredrik is more of a Metal induced kind of person as compared to Per. I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Per jumping up in the middle of the chorus posing and singing along.


The songs are heavier than normal TAD MOROSE standards was this a conscious decision, some kind of frustration or just a natural move?


Are they really? I’m not sure that they are. I just feel that they’re better. So, in conclusion, no it wasn’t a conscious move. As a general rule and contrary to some theories I’ve encountered on the internet, we’ve never set out to write music in a certain way or toward a specific genre. It is understandable that people draw this kind of conclusion and it’s near impossible to convince them otherwise but this is the truth. We just write the songs and then record those we like.


You’ve worked with Per Ryberg on the last three albums, has he become like an outside member for the band?


Not really, but he’s a friend. He’s also most helpful and generous with his time so that’s that. Yet another reason to record at his place is that it’s in the same building where we rehearse. Get us a billion dollar budget and we’ll record the next album in Kuala Lumpur.


What’s even more interesting is that the band itself is credited as the producers on the last three albums, whereas your last producer Uffe Petterson did most of that kind of work in the past.


We were discussing this prior to the “Modus-sessions” and if a good producer would offer to work for free we’d probably drop the role immediately.


To the best of my recollection, I don’t think you’ve done any videos yet, is that something you’ll try out with this album?


You’re not entirely wrong, but wrong nonetheless. There is a video for “Lost In Time”. Now, that is so long ago so I am willing to agree that you’re right. There are no videos. The reason for this is simple enough. Century Media aren’t willing to pay as much as a single cent for a video. So I’m tackling this in my own way, it’ll be a computer-animated video. I have two people working on it as we speak.


From what I hear on your albums, I imagine you function well as a band, is it easy to get along with your band mates?


Unless there are creative decisions involved. Yes.


You have a very unique style, have you taken any lessons and who are your vocals influences?


I have two years worth of classical training where my coach kept complaining almost every single session that I had been singing Metal the night before. As far as influences go and early ones in particular I used to sing along to IRON MAIDEN, QUEENSRŸCHE, DIAMOND HEAD and, ...ah, forget it, I have always sung along to whatever music is playing. Vocalists that really impress me though are Ronnie James Dio, RJD and well who else… did I mention DIO?


You joined the band back in 97 if I remember correctly, what do you think of the bands material from albums like “Sender Of Thoughts” and “Leaving The Past Behind”?


Oh, I don’t know, I sometimes, more often than not I’m afraid, feel that the arrangements are very weird and not exactly flattering to the ideas presented. That is if you ask me today. If you’d asked me way back when I joined it would’ve been a different matter altogether.


After the release of “A Mended Rhyme” there wasn’t much activity in TAD MOROSE, why was that?


We were simply trying to get out of the Black Mark deal. It sure took some time.


The Century Media deal really gave the band new ambitions then, right?


We’d kept the songwriting process going so when we got to work on “Undead” we had sort of made the “missing link album” which made the move to CM seem even more of a drama than it really was. I don’t think we were all too excited about the transition but it was certainly a move to the better and it didn’t exactly damage our motivations for writing.


How is everything working out with Century Media, are you satisfied with the work they’re doing for you?


A bit of both, naturally we want them to move heaven and earth for us but unfortunately for us we’re sort of rational and realistic people.


Is there any competition between the bands on the C.M. rooster, there are some big names you know :)


Maybe, I never saw any competition but then again it may be because I’m too much of a nice guy who would never dream of making someone an unfair deal or use someone else to get an advantage.


When I think about it, your band name doesn’t really fit into the new music style. Don’t get me wrong though, I just think it fits better with material from the old days, have you ever thought about changing your name?


You may be right and I’ve thought about it, but it’s not my decision and in the end if we do so we might as well start a new band altogether, don’t you think?


Here’s something I picked up when browsing through “Undead” and “Matters Of The Dark” one day. The spoken intro to “Undead” and the opening lyrics to “New Clear Skies” are in fact the same, if I’m not mistaking. What’s the catch?


Cool! You found it. I wondered when it would come up. There’s no catch. The spoken part bears the title “Nuclear Skies” and it’s the precursor to “New Clear Skies”. It simply means that “New Clear Skies” is one of the earlier songs that ended up on “Matters of the Dark”.


You’ve often been compared to the U.S. styled Power Metal sound; especially SAVATAGE comparisons tend to turn up in reviews, what’s your view on these statements?


I’m not sure why we’re being compared to SAVATAGE but I can imagine being compared to worse so I’m happy either way.


I have to ask about the current status SEFER JEZIRAH, though I really should ask “Krunt” about this, but still :)


We are all very busy, both LEFAY and ourselves so at the moment I doubt very much will happen. It is a side project after all. Very much like my own.


Do the other members of TAD MOROSE have any other projects going on?


There’s always something. More often than not it is nothing serious.


So, are there any tours or festivals lined up?


I think so. We’ll be playing Bengtfors, that is 2000 Decibel, some shows in Greece, Athens and Thessalonica, I hear words about something in the US and there will be more I think. As for the tour I just hope they will find a suitable tour to hook up with. Personally I might end up playing Sweden Rock again this year.


Where would you most likely want to tour, are there any TAD MOROSE crowds that are more fanatical than others?


Not that I know of. We generally get a good response no matter where we play.


I guess you’ll be playing some of the new songs, but your discography spans over six albums, how do you come up with a setlist for the crowds that want to hear the old stuff as well?


We don’t. I mean, we put in a song or two, possibly three, but that won’t keep those that prefer the old era happy so what we’re doing now is that we’re arranging to play a medley. Hopefully that will help.


You’ve been around for more than a decade now; do you plan to celebrate this event with some special release?


No, no budget from Century Media. So in the end we would end up paying so CM can make some cash. Not too appealing.


Ok, so what’s next for the band besides touring, any chance you’ve already begun writing new songs?


You’re kidding right? There are several songs in the making. All I need to do now is restore Daniel’s computer back into health and I can ship him some files.


Ok, thanks a lot for doing this interview, you’ve made a true fan reached one of his many dreams; do you have any last words to the fans?


What dream would that be? Your girlfriend didn’t promise you something if you got to talk with me did she? Heh, seriously though, it was no problem. My pleasure, really.


Thanks again and good luck with everything.


See you on the road, alright?


1993: Leaving The Past Behind (CD, Black Mark)
1995: Sender Of Thoughts (CD, Black Mark)
1996: Paradigma (MCD, Black Mark)
1997: A Mended Rhyme (CD, Black Mark)
2000: Undead (CD, Century Media)
2002: Matters Of The Dark (CD, Century Media)

2003: Modus Vivendi (CD, Century Media)


Frodi Stenberg

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