The following interview is done with J.C.M....

Introduce Mortem to the world... and also give us a history and bio.
We are MORTEM from Peru, we've been around for quite a long time. We started the band back in 1986. We released 4 demos through the years and did countless local shows. Also, we've released 2 albums (CD/LP) on Merciless so far. The first one is called "Demon Tales" and was recorded back in 1995, then came our sophomore opus "The Devil Speaks in Tongues" in 1998. Our music is dark, brutal and 100% pure metal. I'd say we play Death Metal, but not the typical one, our music is very fresh cos it has a lot of influences from classic Death Metal and has a lot of feeling!

Tell us about your new CD, which like the previous two will be released on Merciless Records.
Right, our next album will be called "Decomposed by Possession". It will be released on CD and vinyl as well, and has 11 tracks (2 covers), titles are:' Death rules supreme' , 'Blackest Funeral', 'Devilled', 'Noctivagants', 'Incubus: the return', 'Decomposed by possession', 'Curdled blood', among others...

Mortem's been around for quite a while... tell us about some of the positive and negative experiences you've had in the scene over those years.
Well, let's start with the negative ones: we've had a hard time getting a name in the underground and we're still pretty much an unknown band yet. Basically I think that's cos we are from South America. The lack of money makes things difficult, especially touring. A positive experience for us is to be able to release our albums on vinyl, you know the old way it used to be.

Currently there is no website for Mortem?
Wrong. Our new website address is: http://run.to/mortem

You also do a 'zine called 'Testament 'zine.' Tell us some details about this and what sort of bands you usually concentrate on. For example, your latest issue, give us the highlights.
It have 36 A4 pages, with full color cover and poster, I'll print my 7th issue in April and there will be interviews with killer bands like KRISIUN, GRAVE DIGGER, DISGORGE, KRABATHOR, DIABOLIC, THE EMBRACED, GARDEN OF SHADOWS, IMAGO MORTIS, RUINATION, AMORBITAL, DARK TRANQUILLITY SAMAEL, etc.

There are references to Christianity in Peru in the early days on the CD inlay of 'Demon Tales.' Since my knowledge of your region is limited, besides the assumption that the Spaniards brought this religion to your land, tell us about those days and the history.
Christianity was imposed here by the Catholic church. The indians were forced to believe in the Christian god. What we tried to prove was that, at first, the indians rejected this religion. Anyway, nowadays Peru is a very Catholic country. But Catholicism brings ignorance and fills people's minds with bullshit, gives them a loser's point of view. To be docile, tame, weak, humble, etc.; that crap comes from the way Christianity was brought here.

What pagan Gods/Goddesses were worshipped before the coming of the Christians in your land? Does anyone there yet practice these old beliefs?
There were a lot of peoples and cultures here before the Spaniards came but most of them had already been summitted by the Incas. They were the most advanced and developed culture in all of South America. Their main god was the Sun, which they called 'Inti'. But they also worshipped the moon 'Quilla' and other deities, like the mountains, which were called the 'Apus'. It was a very complex religion.When the Spaniards overcame the Incas, the people in the highlands still worshipped their ancient gods under the form of the new religion. So I think the kind of Christianity they practice today has a lot of remnants and influences from the ancient cults.

Your lyrics seem to concentrate on traditional Satanic themes. Tell us your thoughts on the subject.
We are fascinated by all the occult things and the old beliefs about demons that people had in the dark ages. That's what we reflect on our lyrics. Our lyrics are blaspheme too. Christianity means nothing to us.

You talk a bit about the infamous Urbain Grandier on your 'The Devil Speaks in Tongues' CD. An interesting story regarding the topic. Your thoughts on this subject and the medieval witch burning? Did Peru have a sort of Inquisition also?
Officially the inquisition had ceased but what the Christian Spaniard priests practiced here was the 'Extirpacion de idolatrias'

Your music captures an old sound of black/death metal. Perhaps this is because the band began a good deal of years ago. Tell us about your influences in and outside of music.
We are fascinated by everything that has to do with the dark side of things as well as disgusting, shocking things, and that fascination goes from reading books of the occult to watching horror movies. As a band I'd say we are influenced by the old bands from the '80s, the originators of the DM genre like POSSESSED, DEATH, NECROPHAGIA, MESSIAH, old SEPULTURA as well as satanic thrash bands of the 80s like old SLAYER, SACRIFICE, INFERNAL MAJESTY, etc. We play in the pure metal vein, no place for new (wimpy) trends.

Do you believe in the possibility of living on in some way after the death of your physical self?
If there'd been something then the only way to know about it would be through divination by consulting the dead.

If you had the choice, hypothetically, how would you spend eternity?
In a hedonic paradise, that is, enjoying the pleasures..

This world seems to grow in its decadence... many share the belief that things are growing worse on an international scale. Corruption has seeped deep into the soul of mankind... tell us do you see any hope for the future?
I think the world has always been the same, it's just that we didn't sense it before until now. We often wonder what could be worse than this but do we really know what could be better? Would it be a real human world? This is just hell on earth.

What are your thoughts on political correctness and censorship? Have you had to deal with any of this in the past? Any problems from the public?
They're pure crap. It's just society's double moral. Fortunately, we've never had any trouble cos we stay away from the commercial circuit or the big mass media.

If you could know the answer to any one question, what would your question be?
Who are the true?

Your thoughts on the universe... and what lies out there in its vast, mysterious darkness?
Whatever is out there, I hope we'll find out about it someday.

Do you believe in evolution? How do you think life originated on Earth?
We humans are definitely an evolved form of life and as such we will disappear one day to let a new race start. Just look at the dinosaurs, they lived for millions of years, we've just lived thousands, compared to them, we are nothing.

Tell us about any live shows you've done and/or plan to do. Any experiences you'd care to share with us?
We've done so many live local shows through the years. I remember one of our first shows when some mother fucker threw a bottle at our bassist. Then, our bassist went after this asshole and beat the shit out of him.

What would you say separates Mortem from the others?
Our music flows, it has something most bands are missing today: feeling. We don't play mechanical music. We reckon not to be the tightest band on earth, we have some flaws but they only add a human touch to our brutal, uncontrolled music. I'd also say the structure of our songs are mature, unlike many bands, they really get you into our music.

Lastly, your final comments.
Thanx for the interview. Support the true metal bands. Order our albums from Merciless records and watch out for our 3rd album this summer (tentative release date: end of June) and for the 7th issue of my 'zine in May. Only Metal is real!!!!!



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