Interview with Myrkur

There are a million ways to promote an album, but in a style like Black Metal which originates huge discussions about what is authentic or faux, what is pure or impure, the best way to promote a new BM release from a young act is definitely to portray an image of authenticity.
Well, at least that’s what Relapse Records thinks anyway, when they had to come up with a marketing strategy to promote Myrkur, a one-woman black metal project emerging from the darkness of Scandinavia.
Not much is revealed about Myrkur’s origins and history, except the fact that she resides in Denmark and signed a record deal with the respectable underground label for the release of her very first recording. Yet, there are rumors floating around claiming that the mysterious woman behind Myrkur is actually an indie-pop artist residing in New York.
If the rumors are proven to be true, then this is just a weak gimmickry from Relapse to avoid Myrkur getting tagged as yet another bunch of hipsters jumping on the black metal bandwagon. Does it matter? Not really, especially because Myrkur is actually a great and unsettling listen.
We asked Myrkur a few questions by email prior to hearing these rumors and here’s what she had to say about the project’s origins and various influences. 

I’d like to start by asking if you can tell us a bit more about your musical upbringing? Who were your influences growing up and what artists inspired you to start Myrkur?

"I grew up in Denmark by the northern coast and forest. I was taught violin and played in a symphony orchestra. I grew up listening to Nordic composers mostly, Edvard Grieg, Carl Nielsen, Stenhammar etc. Black metal bands I like are for example Ulver, Dissection, Mayhem, Kvist, Emperor, Abigor."

You mentioned that "Nature is a big part of the reason black metal even exists.” Living in Denmark, do you think your environment has had a major influence over your music?

"Yes nature is the biggest influence on me of all. Scandinavian nature looks the way black metal should sound. Frozen, pure, pine trees, fjords, dark, but also with crystal clear skies. Midnight sun in summer or darkness all day in winter. No grey areas or half way anything."

What other non-musical influences initially lead you to create Myrkur?
You also mentioned that you always dreamed about becoming a Huldra, an elf girl, a Valkyrie or the goddess Freja. Is that idea present in your music?

"Yes these characters possess both human and godly features, darkness and light. I like this combination in my music as well. I have many sides to me. This is one of them."

Let's get into the EP. It's a great and unsettling listen filled a mysterious darkness. Can you walk us through the creative process for this album?

"I have been writing these songs for a long time and was not planning on releasing them. I mostly write and record in my house in Denmark alone. Sometimes I have written in Bergen, Norway. The songs on the EP are all the original demos. When I decided to release them, I mixed them myself and then had them mastered to make them properly loud."

“Dybt i Skoven” seems like an extremely sensitive and ethereal song that stands out on “Myrkur”. What were you thinking about when you wrote it?

"I was fallen into a black hole of thoughts about my forest that I used to walk around in when I was little. The song reflects to me a journey into darkness for a young girl who gets lost and perhaps wishes to disappear forever into a romance with nature."

You said that when you’re screaming these songs it physical hurts you and it feels like something is leaving your body. Is your music intended as a catharsis or do you view it more as a process to transcend to another spiritual state, or a little bit of both?

"I don't have a deliberate motivation when I write or perform this music. But I wish to leave the mortal world and become one with nature. And express a fraction of the anger and hatred I have inside me. But also something beautiful and pure."

Lastly, how do you feel about black metal in 2014?

"I do not know how I feel about it. I don't know too much about new releases or the current Black metal scene. But truthfully I do believe that black metal has the most dedicated fans whose hearts bleed for the music they hold dear. And this hasn't changed."

Find out more about Myrkur here: