You probably know Chaq Mol from the Swedish Black Metal band Dark Funeral. He is an amazing guitar player who also plays guitar in Mefisto, doing a great job at solos. Maybe you should check their last album, “Phosphorus”, released in July last year, if you want a great dose of Blackened Death Metal that is a big punch in your face. Brilliant stuff, in my opinion. As if this wasn’t enough, this musician has another band/project named Mordichrist, they released a few demos and two EPs years ago, it’s really worth the listen. I had the pleasure of interviewing Chaq Mol for Blessed Altar Zine, about his musical career and some other personal things.
Hi Chaq, thank you for your time doing this interview. I guess you are taking a well deserved break after Dark Funeral was on tour across North America, and before embarking on a European tour, joining forces in both occasions with Cannibal Corpse. How has it been for you touring again?
Chaq Mol: First I want to say thank you for allowing me to be part of Blessed Altar Zine. After the pandemic and that we released a new album, it was really welcoming to come out again and to play and meet all our fans. Best tour in a long time, on many levels. Good band package 99% sold out shows and on a personal level I haven’t felt this good in a long time. Was out and running a lot and the gym was included.
Since you joined the band in 2003 (20 years ago, that’s a big ride!), you have played gigs in so many countries… in which places have you enjoyed the most playing live?
Chaq Mol: Yes, what a trip! It’s a difficult question as all destinations and shows are unique in their own little way, but I really like playing/being in the USA, South America, Mexico, Japan…. But as I said, I like to play everywhere.
It’s almost one year since Dark Funeral released “We Are the Apocalypse”. How happy are you with this album?
Chaq Mol: Time flies. Very pleased! Everyone is doing an incredibly good job. We did a lot of rehearsing for this record, so when we went into the studio we did it quickly and smoothly. Very organic record, straight on.
You must be very proud about the last album by Mefisto, where you play (let me say it) brilliant solos. How was it that you joined the band?
Chaq Mol: Very proud, best guitar solos I’ve done so far. Put some time into doing this, to get melody in the solos but also some speed. Since I don’t play solo that often in my position in DF it’s challenging in a different way playing in Mefisto.
We (DF) would have an indoor signing session and also sell Merch at a place in Stockholm where many others sold records etc. There I met Roger, who has written many of Mefisto’s lyrics and was also responsible for the layout for the band. We started talking and he sold Mefisto records and I bought some, just then they were creating what would later become the record “Octagram” and Roger asked if I wanted to do a guitar solo on 2 songs, which I did. It can be heard on the songs “Armageddon” and “Alpha and Omega”… after that the singer/drummer Robban asked if I wanted to join the band permanently and I said yes.
Are you guys thinking of doing some gigs this year? Maybe working on some new stuff?
Chaq Mol: Yes, we’ve talked about it but it’s hard to make it happen as we all play in other bands and are out a lot playing, so the logistics are hard to get together. But the goal is to play live this year. Morgan and Robban are creating something new, as soon as they have something I will create my part.
Mordichrist is maybe your most personal work. I truly love Nenia’s vocals, so dark and hellish. Can we expect more music done by Mordichrist in the future?
Chaq Mol: I’ve said so many times before that there will be something new from us, but I haven’t had time because work, family and DF have taken all my time. Yes it will be new from Mordichrist but there are 2 tours with DF so time will tell when. 2 almost finished songs waiting to be finished. We’ll see how to release them later. That’s all I can say now.
Now, in order to know a bit more about you, let me ask you a few more personal questions. What’s the best thing for you about playing in a band? And do you find any bad aspects?
Chaq Mol: The best thing about playing in a band is getting to do what you’re passionate about. Playing music, playing the guitar which means everything to me. That I have the best band mates in all the bands I play in makes things easier and more enjoyable. There really is nothing bad. At least nothing you can’t live with.
At what age did you start playing guitar? Was there any musician that influenced or was an inspiration for you to choose that?
Chaq Mol: I started quite late with the guitar, aged 16-17 but I played piano in my early years… My early influences were Frank Marino and Mahogany Rush, Tony Iommi from Black Sabbath, Uli Roth from Scorpions, Eddie Van Halen, Gary Moore and others. There were so many great musicians from the past who inspired me.
Which was the very first band you played in?
Chaq Mol: We had a teacher in 7th grade who had a goatee and wasn’t that popular so we named the band “Geten Brinner” (The goat is burning), it was at school and I wanted to form a band and it didn’t matter if we could handle our instruments, you take the drums, you sing you the guitar and you the bass I said, and showed what everyone would do. It sounded too horrible, haha! The band did not survive very long.
At what age did you start listening to Metal? And what band first got you into this kind of music?
Chaq Mol: I was 14 when I started finding my way into Hard Rock/Metal music. And the first band was Black Sabbath.
Are you still listening to the bands you used to listen to when you were a teenager?
Chaq Mol: Yes! I always go back to the records that shaped and inspired me.
From the tape trading days to the present times, the way we listen to music and “discover” new bands has changed a lot. Do you like wandering and “finding” new bands on the net? How do you see the underground Metal scene nowadays?
Chaq Mol: Tapetrade. It was more those who were younger than me who were doing it. It was not a thing amongst my friends. I mean, when we listened to metal it was way before Death Metal and Black Metal even existed. We bought vinyls, some friends stole vinyls. And we borrowed from each other and then you could copy onto cassette tapes. But I have a lot of old Demo Cassettes that were given to me from bands such as Morbid, Agony, Nihilist etc. back then when they were young lads, still have some of them.
Yeah! Sometimes I wander around the net discovering new great bands. I think the underground Metal Scene always live and deliver new interesting bands, that’s never gonna stop. That’s the thing with underground movements, it grows even if you don’t see it.
What would you say to young people who are now starting a band?
Chaq Mol: Just do it, don´t think about being famous or money, just play for fun and practice, practice and practice. Then the rest is coming….
Do you have any “musical guilty pleasure” you can confess?
Chaq Mol: No! I have such a broad taste in music so it’s the wrong person to ask. I sure have records in my collection that are not cool to some but I don’t care. I listen to everything that inspires me and that I like.
For you, what is the best quality of human beings? And the worst?
Chaq Mol: That we are capable of accomplishing anything we want. The worst part is that we don’t.
Can you name three things that you couldn’t live without?
Chaq Mol: Music, food, my own wolfpack.
What does Metal music mean to you in your life?
Chaq Mol: Everything! I breathe metal, living metal, and will die metal. It’s big part of my life, both past, present and the future.
Many thanks for your answers, Bo, wishing you the best things to come. Is there anything you want to add?
Chaq Mol: I wish you the best, all the fans the best. See you out there in your country on tour, on the venues or on the street.
// Chaq Mol
Dark Funeral, Mefisto, Mordichrist
Interview by Sílvia
Besides Dark Funeral, check out Mefisto and Mordichrist in case you still haven’t, and if you like them, you can support the bands, share the music… Support the underground.
**Please support the underground! It’s vital to the future of our genre.**