Long running Danish death metallers Exmortem haven't been resting on their laurels since the release of last years Pestilence Empire. As you can read below they been quite busy and have a few new releases coming up in the near future. I talked to guitarist Martin Thim and we discussed their upcoming releases, the state of the Danish metal scene, touring as well as a few other things.

Martin Thim interviewed by PSL

What have you been up to since the release of Pestilence Empire?
Well, first of all we did a one month European tour with Necrophagia in April and did a lot of promotion [interviews etc..]. We have also made a few new tracks and recorded some material for a 7" and an EP that will be out very soon!

Please tell a little about your upcoming releases Pest Campaign 2003 and Killstorms 7"
We actually got a lot of releases coming up right now. We got the Killstorms 7" vinyl that will have an unreleased track plus a cover of Autopsy on it. Then after that Unique Leader will re-release the Berzerker Legions album in the US, but with six bonus tracks, plus a completely new layout! The reason for that is that none of the Exmortem albums has ever really been released in the US and there is a huge market for us over there. Osmose will release the Pest Campaign 2003 10" vinyl with three live tracks plus an unreleased track from the Pestilence Empire recording session. My own label [Pestifer] will release the Pest Campaign MCD [around February 2004] with six tracks and in a very exclusive packaging. Within a few months we should also have the Berzerker Legions album out on vinyl... finally! Anyway, it's a bit confusing right now with the release dates and all, so the best thing to do is to check our website for updates on the releases and so on...

How did the idea of doing a cover of Autopsy come around?
The people from Ancient Darkness [who will release the 7"] asked if we wanted to do a vinyl release with them and we thought it would be cool. So we needed to record something for them and we had this unreleased track we could do, but needed one more, so we thought it would be cool to do a cover track. We choose Autopsy, because it's a fucking great band and because we wanted to record something a bit different from the style Exmortem is usually known for.

Did you also record in Antfarm Studios this time around?
No we recorded this the old fashioned way, 16 tracks on tape to get that old dirty sound [laughs]. It's at a small rotten studio in Guncity-Aarhus.

Any particular reason to still release vinyl 7" besides it being nostalgia and collectors items? I mean most people don't have record players anymore.
It's exactly what you say. Nostalgia and collecting! It's a gift to those who still holds on to that media, the tracks will get out on CD format as well, but the vinyl collectors will get a bit more, visually.

What's the connection between you and Unique Leader? How did you hook up?
I've been in touch with Unique Leader for several years now and they have been fans of Exmortem and wanted to sign us earlier. Now we finally had the chance to do something with them and I'm sure that it will mean a great deal for Exmortem in the US, it's an almost new market for us, so we are very excited about this deal.

You're going on tour in the US early in 2004. That must be pretty exciting. Any details on where and when?
It has always been one of my dreams to play the US, as long as I have played music, so I'm very excited about this for sure! I'm sure that the US will be a great place for Exmortem to play and I'm sure that we got something to offer, even though they have a lot of great bands over there. I can't reveal any details at this point, but we hope to have some news soon!

How is the metal scene in Aarhus? It seems to be alive and well at the moment.
It's the capitol for metal in Denmark without a doubt! The scene here is growing and we see more and more bands and initiatives all the time! Personally I'm involved in www.superion.dk [distribution] www.pestifer.com [mailorder and label] www.feemetal.dk [FEE], plus Exmortem and Necrocell. But you know Aarhus got all these bands like Illdisposed, Panzerchrist, Hatesphere, Barcode, Koldborn, Ad Noctum, Apollyon and so on..! There is a lot of things going on here at the moment!

You're scheduled to play on the new annual Fee Metal Festival in Aarhus. That must be pretty cool, that a thing like this is finally happening in Aarhus!! [We've been waiting for that to happen in years]
Yeah it's fucking great and it will become the main metal festival in Denmark, from the first year of existence! Aarhus is perfectly placed for a thing like this and it will only grow stronger!

How do you see the Danish metal scene in general? It seems to be stronger than it's been in a long time!
Yeah I think that it's stronger now. There are more signed bands now and more bands that are getting on tours outside Denmark and stuff. I only wish that more bands where a bit more extreme, because that's the kind of metal I like heh!

Your sound has changed quite a bit since the early days. Is it a result of natural progression or mainly caused by various line-up changes? Or do you deliberately try and head in another direction with each release?
Ever since I joined the band it has been my goal to progress and take it to the next step. Not two of our releases are alike and we will try to continue that way! The line-up changes will have their effect as well I guess.

Are you still in touch with the other original members of the band?
No, not really, I meet some of them from time to time, doing to the fact that they still live in this city, but apart from that there is no contact any more.

Do you enjoy touring? Many bands seem to lose money on touring and can barely pay for their food when touring. Do you have it the same way or.?

I have come to like touring and look forward to go again, but it's hard for sure, because we don't really earn anything. Last time Michael and Andreas had a hard time because they had no money, so they where stuck with the food we got at the venues which is not always that interesting to say the least haha! When playing this kind of music as we do, you don't tour for money or fame or whatever, you do it mainly because you like to get out there and play and just have some fun…

You've been around for many years and must be considered as being among the elite of Danish metal. I mean many bands just release one or two albums and then they disappear. Any ideas on why this often happen?
It's all a matter of motivation! That's it really, you use a lot of money and time and all you get back is hangovers!! If you can't live with that, if the interest is not big enough, then you will quit!

What are the future plans? I mean when can we expect to see a new full-length from Exmortem?
Well, right now we are looking forward to get these upcoming releases and the next big goal is the upcoming US tour! Apart from that we have started to prepare material for the next album that we hope to record within the next half year, so we should have plenty to do…

Any last comments?
Yeah! Support my mailorder at: www.pestifer.com and remember to see all the shit we are up to at: www.exmortem.com Thanks for the interview! The new Gorgasm is heavy! That's it.

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