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Must Missa
Jamie interviewing Berg

Must Missa's raw demo "Sex Beyond the Grave" was released in early 2000, and this autumn their debut album will be released, entitled "Ma ei talu Valgust" (meaning "I Can't stand the Light") on Death to Mankind. The speed and darkness of Mayhem meets the heaviness and stomach-churning riffs of early Celtic Frost is the best way to describe it. I considered it high time to find out what they were up to, and so conducted this interview with vocalist Berg.

Hello Berg! You've been pretty busy of late. What you been up to then?

Hi Jamie...
Missa has definitely become more active than a year ago. Recorded album, changing line-up, rehearsing regularly... Also I've been working on several side-projects.

The album has been a long time coming. In fact your demo was released in January 2000.What were the reasons for the delay and do you think people will still "remember" you?

The delay was because of many things like the already planned release schedule of our new label Death To Mankind and also the way we handled band issues back then. The album has been fully recorded last year, now it just waits to be released.
People do remember us, maybe not over here in Estonia, because we haven't played live one and half years for now but we do have positive feedback for the demo from abroad.
But then again popularity was never our goal.

Are you satisfied with the sound on the debut album? Do you find it representative of your sound?

The sound represents what we were 1,5 years ago and for that it is satisfying for us. But it's nothing like how we sound now. I guess it is because Viking and I now have very similar ideas about where Missa should go... This is the most important improvement we have done with the band - we have grown out from a young band status and we have a direct goal of what we want to achieve, a direct image in mind when writing lyrics and a clear vision of what the musical side should be to represent our ideas fully.

You've got a new line up as well. How are they taking to the material, and why did Kris leave Must Missa?

Kris had to leave because of the fact we were living in another city than he was. We had to choose - will Missa be a "sunday band" or we use the opportunity labels have given us... We choosed to take the change and this meant more work for the band like regular rehearsing. Hard decision to replace him, we never thought the Missa would ever have a different line-up, but it was for the good of the band.
When we asked a few good musicans, also playing in several known Estonian bands, we never expected to get such positive answers from them so fast.
They liked our music a lot because of it was influenced by old school metal. There aren't many bands playing such style in Estonia so they were happy to join us.

So your influences transcend the ususal 'Mayhem, Darkthrone, Burzum'?

I guess this would be what most of the reviews will say about the album, like they did about the demo. But the album is nothing what Mayhem, Darkthrone or Burzum sounds like... The attitude is the same. The sound is more 80's influenced but this happened unintentionally.

Tell us about your contribution to the Estonian underground BM compilation, due out on Beverina soon.

This is a cursed one. Every label ever considered to release this ended up closed and there was a few of them. Several technical problems with the master and printing covers has taken this compilation a lot more resources and work than expected. After almost 2 years in making and planning it should be out within a month, all information about the release date and distribution will be up on the compilations offical website
The project was started by Lembetu and I was helping him out with the design etc. The compilation features most of underground acts from Estonia (like Loits, Tharaphita, Manatark, Sorts to name few) worth checking out, mostly unreleased or exclusive material.

So you consider Estonia to have a good scene?

It really depends what you consider to be "a scene".
There are a small group of people who are working hard on whatever they can to make the Estonian underground better. Most of them are playing on that "Estnische Kriegskameraden" compilation we talked earlier.
I wouldn't complain really... Now several bands really worth to be released under some bigger label will have their albums to be released in the near future and even total shit gets signed from here so I guess the main problem of Estonian scene - the unknown country - has been solved.

That's a point I was going to bring up. Why has it taken so long for Estonia to be noticed in the Black Metal underground?

If there are millions of BM bands you might be the best one but you have to have some luck to be noticed. One reason is probably that bands are doing their promotion work for foreign labels wrong or aren't doing any promotion at all.

And now when the doors are opened metalheads should learn about Estonia and our UG will get the proper attention it deserves.

I think it should. It's vastly better than most others at the moment, definately. One thing I have noticed about Estonian bands though, is that you all sing in Estonian. Any reason for this? National Pride...?

I guess Estonian bands are doing great because they have to work harder to keep band going so their will must be greater than bands from wealthy western countries.
All bands aren't singing in Estonian, even we have songs written in English.
National Pride...? Maybe... Also the fact that bands hardly set goals to get known outside Estonia, so singing in English didn't have any effect. And most BM bands over here are influenced by Estonian Paganism so therefore Estonian language is the right one to use.

It sounds pretty cool too...

But needs to be translated for people to understand outside Estonia. But yeah, if you sing about your roots the biggest effect it has is on Estonians and it gives the music some atmosphere if sang in the proper language.
And probably this is action against the Norwegian love of their language no-one else understands.

You wouldn't say that Estonia has an 'isolantionist' attitude?

In general - no. Estonians try to correct the situation we have thanks to the Soviet Union. We were in a better position than Finland before we were invaded by Russians, so...
But then again we must remember our roots and not take everything the western world has to offer us. We should learn from their mistakes and use only what makes Estonia better and stronger.
In metal also probably not - there are many bands who try to get connections and contracts with labels abroad. Come to think of it we even don't have a label so what else should they do?

Probably this is because things are quite cheap in Estonia, so it would be more difficult financially than for a label from England, for example.

Many things are cheaper but equipment is with same price as in any other country so this is what I meant with our bands needs to work more to keep band going.
Also this would make better deal for abroad labels when they can get studio costs smaller than usual.
There are a few distros and probably even an alternative label in the near future but this one is going for more mainstream than underground bands.

So you've been warned, people! :)
Final words?

Keep up your good work with zine and the next time I'll see you is when you're going to our gig in Estonia, expect pure battery and unholy old school thrash'n'black rock to please your ears... Thanks!

Author: Jamie
Zine: Dead Souls

Check also:
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