Interview With MORS PRINCIPIUM EST's Andhe Chandler

Hailing from Pori, Finland, Mors Principium Est have been one of the pillar Melodic Death Metal acts worldwide since their formation in 1999. They are one of those bands that make listening to them seem like a journey into the endlessness of musical genius. Fast, pumping, technical, aggressive, beautiful, and melodic, their music combines mastery of musicianship with emotionality in a simply epic output.

So far, they contributed to the enrichment of the prosperous and competitive Finnish Melo-Death scene with three critically acclaimed full-length gems; Inhumanity – 2003, The Unborn – 2005, and Liberation = Termination – 2007; moreover, they are yet to release their highly anticipated album entitled “…and Death said live,” following a short period of dramatic events with a couple of members quitting the band and the prospect of an early split-up.

Fortunately, we got a chance to catch up with them through their guitarist, Andhe Chandler, and ask them a little about their upcoming album, their future plans, and their influences. Here is how it went:

Karim: First of all and on behalf of the whole Metality crew, I would like to welcome you to Metality and thank you for giving us the time to do this. It is such a great opportunity for us to have you here on board as we have all been longtime fans of yours, and personally, you are one of my favorite bands of all time and one of my greatest influences! How are you doing?

Thanks! Doing great, it's snowing and around -20 at the moment outside. Freezing, but everything looks beautiful in this weather.

Karim: Tell us about last year and the departure of your two guitarists, Tomy and Kalle. As far as I know, and although it was not the first time for the band to face departures, you were considering disbanding at that point. What happened and how did you manage to go through it and dig your own way out to writing a new album?

Well the other guitarists wanted to focus on other things, so that left the band without guitar players. Of course the future of the band was uncertain at this point, but the band still had faith that the right players were out there. Andy was the first one recruited from the UK, and then I managed to get the second guitarist position. Andy was the main song writer on this album, and I contributed a few songs also, and helped a lot with lyrics. Writing took place with Andy in the UK, the rest of the band in Finland and I was still living in NZ at the time. So lots of files were sent back and forth to everyone across the globe. I guess writing took place over 14 months or so, then it was time to enter the studio. I have been living in Finland for 7 months now.

Karim: As for the time being, you’re getting ready for the release of your fourth full-length album, title to that was set to be “…and Death said live.”  How did the whole process go, from writing up until recording and mixing, and how did the new line-up manage to pull it along together? Also, tell us a little bit more about the album itself, its concept, how it sounds, and where does it stand from your previous albums.

As I mentioned above, we spent 14 months or so writing, and then we started recording drums here in Finland in July, then we went to Sweden to The Panic Room to work with the legendary Thomas 'Plec' Johansson in August. The recording process went quite smoothly, and Thomas was a pleasure to work with, and knew exactly what we were trying to achieve, and knew how to get the results. There was no overall concept for the album. The album title kind of sums up nicely the situation with the band presently. When Andy and I joined it meant that MPE could continue, “Death” giving the band another chance. As there were times when the band wasn't sure if the band could continue, but here we are with a new album! We all feel that this is the best sounding MPE record to date, and we're excited about things to come for the band. There is still the classic MPE sound, with some new elements so it is fresh, but still contains all of the previous elements that defined MPE.

Karim: What are your expectations from “…and Death said live,” and how far do you expect it would get you?

We don't have any 'real' expectations I guess, we just hope that everyone that has supported the band in the past, continues to do so and enjoys the new album as much as we do. We want to tour as much as possible in support of the new album.

Karim: What are your plans for supporting the album? Any prospect of touring yet?

We want to tour as much as possible this coming year, and would like to play to our friends and fans around the world. We have a few shows lined up for 2013, but no solid tours yet. Hopefully after the album is released we can book some decent tours to promote the new album.

Karim: You released your first three albums via Listenable Records, but this time you chose to work with AFM Records, tell us about the new collaboration and experience. 

Well, it was not entirely by choice, the contract with Listenable was finished, we talked to many labels around the world, AFM were willing to take us on board and have been incredibly supportive so far. Things are good!

Karim: What do you guys do other than music?

Ville & Mikko both have families / children so a lot of their time (apart from working) is spent there. Teemu and I play a lot of video games, and Teemu also has his own studio here in Finland.

Karim: What do you think about the Finnish Melodic Death Metal scene? How do you see the presence of bands like: Insomnium, Wintersun, Swallow the Sun, Omnium Gatherum, Amorphis, and Eternal Tears of Sorrow, and how it affects the scene. Do you think it’s as active as it used to be or do you want to see any kind of change?

I'm probably not the best person to answer this one, as I have only been in Finland 7 months.. But I think the best MDM comes from Finland/Sweden, there are not many USA bands that can pull this style off convincingly in my opinion. There are many talented musicians here in Finland, and plenty of great bands playing here all the time.

Karim: What influenced the writing of “…and Death said live” and what are your influences generally. They can be musical (favorite bands) or nonmusical (movies, books, events…etc.)

There was no real musical influence behind the new album apart from the previous work of MPE. With the sound already so solid, we just wanted to continue that and make a killer new album that stands up to the old material, but still bring something new. I guess there aren't that many bands these days that still play this style of music, In Flames, Soilwork etc have all changed their sound over the years. We all listen to different styles of music and bands, and draw inspiration from them all collectively.

Karim: Which places do you want to visit and play, and what bands would you like to share the stage with?

Bands like At the Gates, are bands that we would love to tour with. As far as places we would like to play – USA, South America, Australia, Japan.. I know Ville would say Hawaii, haha.

Karim: Thank you very much for this pleasant opportunity and for your time. Wish you all the best and success with your new album. Feel free to share any final words for Metality followers and Metal fans around the world.

Not a problem, thanks for thinking of us, I hope you enjoy the new album! Kiitos, Andhe.

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