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Morphia

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It was in the mid nineties that the Dutch band Morphia was formed. At first the band played death and doom metal. With the addition of a keyboardist the music evolved into symphonic doom metal. Since the band released a demo CD and two albums. On January 1st 2005 Morphia released their fourth CD: Fading Beauty. Singer Jasper Pieterson was willing to tell about this new landmark in the band's existence

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Your fourth CD has appeared. What do you think of the result?

I'm really happy with it. I mean, when I compare it with the previous one, Frozen Dust, after the recordings I wasn't listening to that one very often myself, but now with Fading Beauty I listen to it frequently without irritating myself about things, or without thinking about how things should've been done. As I think of it right now, I'm completely satisfied. And we all are, in Morphia. It's a good result.

How long do you have the CD?

I have no idea. During the recordings we made a CD every once in a while to listen to it ourselves, so we could do something with it. So, how long I have the end result... I believe since early December. But in the meanwhile I had seen many CD's.

Fading Beauty was the second album for you to record with Morphia. Was the recording of it different to you, in your own imagination, compared to the Frozen Dust sessions?

It took a while before we were ready to record Fading Beauty. That made it possible for us to develop, to get played on the others in better. We all had experience with recording a CD, so we knew what to expect this time. In that sense it went faster. For the previous CD, Frozen Dust, we partially recorded in the studio (the musical parts), and the vocals we did at home. This time we did the vocals in the studio as well. It went much faster, as we were doing it in the evenings the previous time. Now we did it in three days, and it was done.

On the new one you've made use of a violin-player called Esther Wertwijn. Why did you choose to do so?

The songs that were written with violin parts, are The Meaning Of Forever and Memories Never Die. Both songs ask for something more. Peter used to play these parts as a cello on his keyboard. Cello and violin are the most emotional instruments, really, if you ask me. Esther Wertwijn is a friend of Erik and Peter, so it was a natural step to see if it worked out. And it just felt really well.

Are you going to do this live as well?

She did play with us a few times already. Recently she did Winter Wonder Rock, and she joined us at the Christmas Rock Night. Both times she played with us. In November we did a try-out for a smaller audience. That was her first time. So, that's definitely going to happen live as much as she can.

Morphia

What strikes me with Morphia, is that you don't use a repeated chorus in the music. Is that a deliberate choice?

Well, it's not entirely true what you're saying. The Meaning Of Forever, for example, is a part that returns, musically. Lyrically there are some changes. These parts are more like musical choruses, that return. Not lyrically. It's not a deliberate choice, I suppose. It's just what you think is beautiful. I don't fancy repeating the same. 

As it comes to the lyrics, Fading Beauty is often about loss, the loss of a dear one. Is this a subject that appeals to you, or did you pick it because it suits the music so well?

It's both, I think. On one hand everyone has been in a situation where one suffered a severe loss, in what way doesn't matter. Something comes with a lot of emotion. In our music we try to translate emotion, that's what we want. Because that's what touches someone. That is what "lives", so to speak. That's what we try to get across. So, we often use the heavy subjects. But it also comes with the style of music. So, it's a combination of what does really happen in our lives and something that isn't, because it's not a direct translation of a heavy situation, but of the emotion in that situation.

I can remember you telling about the previous CD, that you had written something that you had experienced in your work. You work in a psychiatric hospital.

That was Forced To Obey. It has to do with inspiration. Where do you get it from? I mean, we all have a life in which you have all sorts of experiences, things that contain a lot of emotion. Deep going things. A deep going fear of people is a heavy emotion, where you can get inspiration from. You translate that emotion into the music.

You're in the band for four years now. You also have a job, you're married, and I'm told you are expecting your second child. With all these things going on, how important is Morphia for you?

Morphia is very important. I mean, it's not the top priority. My family comes first. But how important is a hobby to a human being? A hobby is a vent. It's fun. It's joy. So, it really is very important. If it's possible, I'll try and put as much aside as possible to do a concert. It's possible that something can't go on, because of work, or because of something that's happening in the family.

How much time does it actually cost you?

Yeah, uh, well... First of all there are the shows. One of theze will cost you a day. You have to built up, you have to go to the club, pack out. In the club itself you spent a lot of time waiting. And then in the end, there's the show. Before you get home, you've lost a day. And besides concerts you need to practise. If you practice once in a week, it will cost you those hours as well. I don't practise at home. It would be quite alarming for the neighbours, hehe. It's all that that costs a lot of time, and we do everything ourselves. We do the paper work, the CD sales, and all that. So, that's all part of the thing as well. I'm not sure how much time that costs. But it will keep you off the street, yeah.

The other members of Morphia have busy lives too. What are the possibilities to play live or to tour?

You restrict those, of course. As we all have priorities. You often can't ignore your job. I have a flexible job. So, I can switch a lot with others, to get free without losing any of my free days. The rest of the guys have jobs with regular work schedules. They have to take days off to do things with the band. It makes it hard to go touring, as you have to spend your holidays. It just depends on how much it's worth to us, how much we can get out of it for Morphia.

I ask this, thinking of the fact that you're with Fear Dark. The band Slechtvalk is on the Fear Dark roster as well, and they are about to embark on a European tour. Is that possible for you too, or isn't it feasible with all your jobs?

We still think it's possible. We haven't made any appointments about it. When the opportunity arises, we will discuss it and see if it's a possibility for us. We definitely don't have to earn lots of money. But it has to be financially sound to undertake it. And then a lot is possible for us. There aren't many things that we don't pick up. So, if there's a chance, we'll pick it up.

Finally, what would you still like to achieve with Morphia?

A lot! No, what we want is to continue on for many years to come and have a lot of fun with the band. That we can do a lot of great things, like selling CD's, do great shows, tours, and who knows what! Make shirts. We are working on a new shirt. When it will be available, we don't know yet. But we are working on it. And those kind of things. So, continue on with what we're doing.

Don't you have something in your mind that you really would like to do, play with a certain band, or whatever?

No, not really. It's just fun making music, and do it as much as possible. Playing abroad is always a nice extra, though. No, I don't have any specific desires. Just go on as we do and enjoy doing it.

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