Interview: Mortuary Spawn from Leeds, UK (Death Metal)

When Jack from Mortuary Spawn reached out to Noob Heavy with some information on their debut EP, Spawned from the Mortuary (2021), I quickly checked out their music … and then thought I better interview these lads, cos their tunes rip! I am Steve from Aeons Abyss, and here is my interview with Mortuary Spawn (Metallum link).

Introduce yourself, who is in your band, and when did you first start?

Jack: Me (guitar) and Ben (drums) had been talking about writing some death metal songs for quite a few years while we were in different bands in London and Leeds, having previously played in Bong Goblin together in around 2012 and feeling like we could probably make something really heavy still. I’d tried something similar with a couple of friends and it didn’t quite work out, but some of the best riffs got carried over into our first writing sessions together (I think around 2018?) and would form the basis of some of the songs we have now. Ben (bass) joined us shortly after that, and we made relatively slow progress due to me living a few hours away, but by early 2020 we were ready to record. George had joined on vocals, we played our first show supporting Demilich (after which Joe joined on guitar) and then lockdown happened, bringing everything to a halt again. Eventually we recorded our debut EP this March and we’re pretty relieved to have it out at last!

 “Mortuary Spawn” has a nice, filthy death metal ring to it. How did you come up with the name and can you tell us what it means?

Ben: I just wrote a list of as many evil/morbid words as I could think of and then made combinations of them until there was a cool sounding name. Absolutely zero meaning behind it.

Your EP “SPAWNED FROM THE MORTUARY” released on April 23rd, 2021.  What are 3 things we need to know about this release?

1. We sold out the first two runs in hours! But we didn’t make many copies.

2. The EP is just a tantalising ploy to get you to e-mail the band (mortuaryspawn@gmail.com) requesting us to play your city/town/village.

3. You can take any two members of the band and that combination will have played music together in another band at some point or currently.

I love the way you’ve described your musical inputs on your Bandcamp page …  PSYCHOTIC PLEXIMETRY, HEATHENGUT MANIPULATOR, OXIDISED PORTCULLIS AGITATION, CRUEL CONTORTION OF TAUT TENDONS, HELMINTHIC DECLARATION …. was this:
1. Inspired by Carcass
2. You are all medical students 
3. You happened upon an old pathology dictionary 
4. Something else … please detail

Jack: Not really sure who this Carcass is? We do find inspiration in the works of trailblazing bands such as General Surgery and The County Medical Examiners, if that helps. I recently heard the podcast Demolisten call the descriptions ‘stupid done right’ or something along those lines, which is a pretty accurate assessment of our approach to be fair to them.

What is your favourite track and why?

Jack: I don’t think I have a clearcut preference out of any of them. The closest I can get to a favourite is the one I dread playing least due to its comparative simplicity, which is ‘Neath the Mound of Murids, as well as the fact the intro riff has been knocking around in my brain for years now.

Who did your album artwork and what is the story behind the image?

Jack: Tom Sculaccianani aka Tombtower is who we all agreed could satiate our gross demands and we left it in his capable hands to depict a bad day at the mortuary. He did a pretty amazing job of our brief brief and hopefully next time we’re in need of a design he’s still available, as I can see him being in a lot of demand.

You have done a cassette run.  Why this medium, and where can people get one?

Jack: Cassettes are sick because they’re pretty easy to make yourself and you don’t have to wait for months to get them back like vinyl, which isn’t exactly a secret and has ensured their underground popularity for 40 plus years! At the time of writing we’re out of Chamber of Emesis copies, but some distros (Caligari + Rotted Life) may have them in stock still, and Brutal Cave (Portugal) are taking preorders for a CD release, with Sewer Rot (US) soon to announce their format involvement, alongside one more label who will be announcing an Indonesian cassette release soon.

What other bands would potential listeners of your EP enjoy?

Jack: There’s a whole host of stylistically similar predecessors in 90s death metal that barely need pointing out and identifying, but assuming the reader wants to hear something new, there’s a couple of other UK bands you might not be aware of and are top quality, such as Savage Realm – we don’t particularly sound like them, but I wouldn’t mind it if we did. Only one release but pretty much my fave UK death metal thing for a few years, it’s really melted and evil. We’re unanimously pretty keen on Coffin Mulch from Scotland too, they totally get it and you’d be silly to pass up on them.

Ben: Listen to London’s Vacuous for more mouldy deathly metal.

Tell us an unusual fact, or one funny story about your band

George: Pah! Foolish mortals! I belong to a highly religious sect that believes music ended with Deicide’s 2006 effort ‘The Stench of Redemption‘, and annually sacrifices a member on the release date – I’m next!

What have you got coming up in the next 6 -12 months

Jack: All depends on how the coronavirus situation pans out really. We’re pretty lucky that somehow the UK seems on the cusp of going back to something resembling normal despite concerning statistics and so on. We’ve got a few shows booked for later in the year, but if it all shuts down again then we’ll just knuckle down harder on writing for our first LP.

What is it like being a Metal Musician in the UK?

Jack: Not particularly sure yet, I’ve mostly played in bands that felt they belonged to the more punk/DIY sphere. Obviously there’s a fair amount of crossover in grind, sludge and hardcore etc and we’re not total strangers to playing shows with 100000+ snare hits, but I’m looking forward to finding out and probably having a laugh along the way.

Last question (optional) – What’s better?  Warm or cold beer?

Joe: I like my beer piping hot.

You can follow Mortuary Spawn on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter

and on Bandcamp: https://mortuaryspawn.bandcamp.com/

About Steven - Aeons Abyss 41 Articles
I do the music for the band Aeons Abyss, and also co-host The Metal Podcast on Spotify. I have been into Metal since the mid-80s, growing up in country Victoria, Australia. Some of my favourite bands from back in the day include Morbid Angel, Slayer, Obituary, Bolt Thrower, King Diamond, Megadeth, Sabbat and Iron Maiden. I am a massive fan of Aussie Metal, and underground metal in general, and for me, nowadays the scene is very much akin to the tape trading days when metal first started; but instead of tapes we have Bandcamp, websites like Noob Heavy, and Social Media platforms. These are the tools to network with other underground metal bands and metal fans from all over the world. A little about my band: Aeons Abyss formed in 2017 and we play our own brand of Death Thrash Metal. Our music is on all streaming platforms and Bandcamp, where we also sell our merch directly to fans. Also, our lyrics are a very important component of our music, so much so that our vocalist is known as "Death Metal Poet".

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