Joe/Cryptic Inscriptions: I want to thank you Henrik for taking the time to do this interview. You really need no introduction, but for anyone not familiar introduce yourself and explain your current and past musical endeavors?
Henrik: I am a Swedish musician that has been active since the mid eighties, systematically exploring the broad field of the post-industrial music scene, covering noise, power electronics, militant, dark ambient, drone, blackened noise, EBM, experimental electronics, avantgarde and black metal.
Joe/Cryptic Inscriptions: I know back in 2009 you released the album Evolution which people were saying that you were done and that was your last album. In my opinion I think you were just stating a change and a new beginning not the end of your musical career was this true or am I mistaken?
Henrik-You got that wrong; I said I was done. Done with dark ambient music, that is. I felt like I had done my best album ever and that I would never do something that good, so I thought better quit while on top of my game. I am still recording music, but I still have not recorded another album in that style. Time will tell if I return to the "pure" dark ambient style or not...
Joe/Cryptic Inscriptions: Do you prefer to work alone or do you like band scenarios or collaborating with other acts/artists? What are the pros and cons of both?
Henrik-I prefer to work alone, but sometimes it is necessary to add some new ideas into the mix. It is refreshing and keeps you evolving.
Joe/Cryptic Inscriptions: I know you’re pretty active with releases and recordings how do you make all the time to record all these albums and make them all unique?
Henrik- I usually sit down a few nights each week and record music - I do it because I need to do it. I need to compose to feel good. It is as simple as that. I just do what I do, and as long as there is a demand and people wants to hear my music I will deliver.
Joe/Cryptic Inscriptions: I know MZ412 rarely play shows is there a particular reason for this? Also how was the response at the recent gig in London?
Henrik-No particular reason, other than that MZ. 412´s music really is not a suitable for live performances. However, the London gig was very successful, especially from a performance point of view. We combined visuals with the music and it all came together and enhanced the experience.
Joe/Cryptic Inscriptions: What time period in history do you say your music represents ie: Ice Age, Renaissance, Dark Ages, and Modern Day?
Henrik-Hard to say, I don´t think in terms like that. I´d say modern day...
Joe/Cryptic Inscriptions: What’s going on with All Hail the Transcending Ghost? Was that project a onetime deal or do you plan on doing more stuff with it? Also who came up with the idea to start the project?
Henrik-We are planning to do a follow up album, but me and Tim live far from each other and both of us have very busy lives so when is hard to tell.
I can´t remember how it all started really - we had discussed music a while and loved each other’s music, and it was just natural to do something together - it just happened. Fate I guess...
Joe/Cryptic Inscriptions: What equipment do you currently use? What’s changed as far as equipment setting goes from the early years till now?
I have switched (back) to more hardware based compositions the last two-three years - with the modular synth as primary instrument - since I got fed up with working with computers and software.
In the beginning we used very primitive equipment, but as the years passed we have invested more into quality gear. But as I always say; it is not about what you have, it is about how you use it.
Joe/Cryptic Inscriptions: I really like the fact that your bands are very visual in the live aspect. Do you feel this will leave an imprint of the live performance in the viewers mind? What imagery do you tend to use as far as the live setting goes? Is it all theme related? Explain.
Henrik-When playing live it is important to give the audience something to remember. We have been blessed to be able to collaborate with one of Sweden’s most talented video artists which really has made a big difference, especially when performing with MZ. 412. The imagery used is mostly video art that was done inspired by the music and the themes in it - occult, fear, abstract art...
Joe/Cryptic Inscriptions: Do you compose all the music for MZ412 or do you collaborate with the other members as far as songs go? Also why the number 412?
Henrik-MZ. 412 is a band in the classic meaning - we compose most of the material together. That is also probably why the process is so slow.
The number 412 is a secret that is only shared between the members of the band. It holds great meaning and wisdom.
Joe/Cryptic Inscriptions: I noticed that you’re working on the third installment of the Merzbow vs Nordvargr. What made you decide to collaborate with Merzbow in the first place and why do three different collaborations? Were they planned out from the get go or did it just piece itself together? Explain.
Henrik-I was introduced to Masami Akita by Cold Spring Records, and after discussing what we could do together it was evident that our "styles" of composing would work fine... we also decided to continue to work and make a "trilogy", but nothing is set in stone - who knows, we might do a fourth collab down the road.
The third part has just been mastered and it is really different from the first two albums - this time we have used more synths to create droning layers of sound.
Joe/Cryptic Inscriptions: If you could describe your entire musical career in a phrase what would it be?
Henrik-Organized chaos and insanity made flesh.
Joe/Cryptic Inscriptions: Any last words on the recordings, live shows or anything else?
Henrik-Keep music evil