Myrkur, the one-woman project led by the Danish Amalie Bruun is about to release its newest record “Mareridt” on the 15th of September. Having introduced a whole new perspective on black metal, her music didn’t leave anyone with an interest in the genre untouched. We at GRIMM Gent are always interested in refreshing contribution to the metal genre, so we were very curious about what the latest Myrkur offering would bring. Luckily, we had the chance to have a pleasant Skype chat with Amalie herself on a random Wednesday evening.
Hi Amalie! How are you doing?
Not too bad, not too bad.
That’s better than bad in any case!
Yes, exactly! (laughs).
So, you’re about to release your new album Mareridt. How did the recordings go?
They went well. We did half of it in Denmark and the other half in Seattle, where the producer is based. Apart from the travelling et cetera it went pretty smooth. It was pretty tiring but I came in very prepared so that made things easier.
Can you tell us something more about the album in general?
It’s a conceptual album because all the songs are written about my nightmares. Hence the title. It’s Danish for ‘nightmare’. Every song is about one of my nightmares.
I had the privilege of listening to Mareridt before the release date since I’ll review it for our website. In my opinion it’s an amazing album, you’ll get a positive review! A pleasant surprise was your cooperation with Chelsea Wolfe. What was the start of this cooperation?
She and I became friends a while ago. We started talking and I suggested we could make some music together. Not anything specific, just play music together. After some back and forth, I ended up travelling to California. We went to a house in the desert and just wrote! So it was quite natural.
Something else that struck me on your new album is that is much more melodic than your previous work. You also sing more clean. Was that a conscious shift?
Hmm… no. The unconscious or the subconscious on this album is something comes straight from the dreamworld. Therefore, most of it is based on intuition, not so much on the rational side.
That’s something you can clearly hear I think, you just feel that the music comes from deep within. Another thing that came as a surprise was your cover of King Diamond’s Welcome Home. Any chance we’ll ever get to see this live?
(laughs) You know, maybe! I’ve got some very overwhelming responses on that cover. So maybe, one day I can maybe play it acoustic or with a full band. Or with him, if I’m lucky!
That would be so cool if you could do that! I was also wondering where you, apart from your nightmares for this album, get your inspiration from to make music.
Nature is a big part of my creative outlet and inspiration. That’s the reason why I did this album, exploring the shadow side of the mind… The unawoken, darker sides to the human collective mind is something important to shine a light on these days. Things tend to go wrong if it doesn’t happen. I wanted to take my part in that. But it’s hard and I spend time with brilliant and awoken minds and once you get ‘red pilled’, as they say in The Matrix, and you can never go back so the world becomes a shittier and lonelier place. But at the same time, you just have to keep going and growing, that’s what you’ve got to do.
You’re also known as a multi-talented artist. You sing, you play the guitar, even traditional folk instruments like the nyckelharpa. A lot of instruments! Where did you learn all of this?
Well, as a child I was taught how to play the violin and the piano. Everything after that was kind of self-thought. When you open one instrument door, it gets easier to play other instruments. I’m good at educating myself, even though I didn’t go a lot to school it was always on my mind to keep on learning instruments and educating myself. I also grew up in a very musical environment so that made it easier. I also do seek out other instrumentalists and learn from them.
You’re also a rare example of a successful woman in the extreme metal scene, especially since you write your own music. If you could give any advice to young girls with ambitions in the metal scene, what would your advice be?
Stay focused and listen to the people you respect and look up to. Don’t listen to literally anyone else, because most people do not have good intentions. Or they’re just unaware of their own feelings that they’ll say something that they’re projecting their insecurity. So listen to those you know well and respect. You just have to be fearless in a scene like this. Burn this shit down, don’t care. It’s not easy for anyone.
Where you young when you realised you wanted to be a metal musician or did you have other musical ambitions?
I’ve listened to metal since I was a child but I’ve never wanted to release any music like this before. It’s something that only came the last years. I grew up playing classical and folk music, so that’s where my heart is.
You also said that you should focus on people you look up to. Of course there are a lot of assholes in this world, also in the metal scene. Many people want to define a genre, or even what your music should sound like. How do you cope with all these people?
Those people should just make the music they want to make. Then they know something I don’t know. They should just do it themselves, the world is waiting with bated breath, let us hear your album (laughs) !
The 16th of December you’ll perform in Belgium with Sólstafir. What can the Belgian audience expect from this show?
I don’t know yet! Time will tell, I haven’t figured it out yet. I’ll go with the flow!
We’ll probably see it when the time is there. See you then and thanks for your time!