MØL are rising swiftly in the blackgaze scene, a genre-bending niche that fuses black metal and shoegaze into one overwhelming onslaught. Shortly before MØL were due to hit ArcTanGent 2018, I caught up with guitarist Nicolai to chat about his band’s current goings-on, early crowd walkouts, and nocturnal festival sets…
You’re in the middle of a pretty busy year right now. What thoughts and feelings are floating around the MØL camp at the moment?
We’re headed towards a busy autumn schedule with loads of gigs – some of which are announced, and others which are not. So I think it’s safe to say that it’s our live presence that has our attention right now, and that’s always with a feeling of excitement.
We love to play live. Other than that, we’re pretty excited about how well our debut album has been received – as well as the opportunities it’s giving us to go abroad and play gigs.
When you were growing up, which gigs had a real impact on you?
One of the first concerts I attended was with a Danish alternative band called Kashmir. It’s one of those bands I grew up with.
What I remember in particular from that show does not really have anything to do with the music as such. Rather, it’s the physicality of a live show; seeing the members of the band perform at their limit, as well as being able to feel the music hitting you in the chest.
It was one of the first shows, if not the first, that I attended – so it left quite the impression in my young teenage mind.
What happened at the first show you ever played?
We were quite desperate for gigs in the early days, so we played a showcase for new bands from all kinds of genres. However, we were the only metal band – so we had quite the walkout during our first few songs from people who were expecting indie rock and singer-songwriters. Luckily some of our close friends stayed behind.
What’s the strangest thing that’s ever happened during one of your live shows?
At a very recent show, we had the power cut at the crescendo of JORD by a bottle of water that dropped on some outlets. This meant that all power to front of house was lost and we were left playing only our back gear.
Luckily it was at the end of the show – and it actually ended up creating a really special moment with the audience that cannot be described.
If a drunk / stoned stranger were to ask what you sound like, what would be your response?
Just like the northern lights hitting you straight in the face.
Do you ever get stage fright or nerves before going onstage? If so, what helps you deal with it?
I don’t think any of us get stage fright. Anticipation and suspense would probably describe it better, and it always lifts as soon as the first beats and notes are played. However, some nervousness is to be expected, but it has more to do with the technical side of the performance – worrying if any of our equipment breaks, which we’ve tried numerous times.
What’s the toughest thing about being in a band?
If money, space, and good taste weren’t issues, what would your ideal festival stage show look like?
This is actually not something that we’ve thought about a lot, and it’s probably gonna sound really basic. What we need for our ideal show is night-time, our own light technician, and our sound guy. We often don’t get to do so at this stage in our career. But hopefully one day, we will be.
A prerequisite would be to play at night, so that our lights can stand out more. Preferably, it would also be a big stage. We owe a lot to our amazing light technician, Martin Lundholm Rasmussen, who makes some amazing visuals for us. I wish we could bring him all the time. If money weren’t the issue, then we definitely would.
Any festival survival tips?
Water and salt.
What are you up to for the rest of the year?
We’ll be touring Denmark – and something else is happening that we can’t lift the lid on just yet.
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