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Mother Of All's Martin Haumann: "I had to learn the hard way that you have to keep the cards close to your chest and not trust people to much when it comes to building a band and brand together"

Interview with Martin Haumann from Mother Of All
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 11 June 2021, 12:59 AM

An inner battle against yourself, talking to the night's air without anyone answering. No, you are not insane, you are talking to yourself, while at other occasions you are trying to subdue yourself. Some people are calling it not being egotistic, yet for others it a kind of mechanism that is hard to control, an agonizing piece of one's personality. Martin Haumann's Mother Of All made lemonade out of ego and it can be noticed on the new album, “Age Of The Solipsist”. Steinmetal talked to Martin about the entire concept, thoughts and wonderings.

Hello Martin, it is my sheer pleasure to have you for this interview for Metal Temple online Magazine, how have you been sir?

I’m good! Pleasure to be with you! A bit overwhelmed by all the response to the album “Age Of The Solipsist” and all the work surrounding the release.

So I guess that after being around, whether as a band member or a hired gun, you had that inner wish to have something that is solely yours. Now, I know that you have been undergoing with Mother Of All since 2014, yet this year you made the first ultimate step with a full length debut. To summarize the time period pre-album, how do you look back at those years since the beginning? Would you say that these were a strong learning curve?

Yeah that is completely right. This can be a pretty bleak business in some regards. I had to learn the hard way that you have to keep the cards close to your chest and not trust people to much when it comes to building a band and brand together. I try to not be that guy in life and business. But with Mother Of All I don’t have to worry about any of that or people’s weird intentions. Its all on me.

It was definitely a steep learning curve! On the first I did everything myself. This time around I got the help of Steve Di Giorgio, Hannes Grossmann and other great artists. That has helped the process a lot.

To be honest though it's all just fun and interesting. I have not tried out a fraction of the visions I have for Mother Of All yet.

In any period of Mother Of All’s existence, had it been functioning as a fulltime band or merely a studio project? If not, do you have aspirations to have it performing on stages in the coming future?

It's always been coming from my ideas and songs. I have had the gracious help of great colleagues and friends all throughout. Without them none of this could have been possible.  I love collaboration and having other people bring in new magic to this one-man band.

I have a little SWAT-team of killers that will help me. Great musicians. This is sometimes super technical stuff, so there is a lot of practicing that has to be overcome to have a live set. Mother Of All has already performed live in Denmark and Norway at some festivals. Currently I’m talking to some different promoters and bands about getting some shows up and running.

Finding a home within the roster of the Swedish Black Lion Records seemed to me like a natural move for you. The musical offering of Mother Of All, along with its twists, surely suits the direction of the label. How do you observe this signing? Was it a mutual interest to come to terms and go forward?

Yes. The Black Lion team has been great. One thing that really impressed me was that they got so many of the influences and ideas right away! It's as you say a release with a lot of little twists and it's just cool and fun when people go like “ohm that's Necrophagist right? … And is that Death mixed with Judas Priest - What the hell?!”

Following the signing with the label, Mother Of All releases its debut, “Age of the Solipsist”, which as I could comprehend, it is more or less an understanding that the ego is a dominant factor in mankind’s existence and no matter what, it would consume and take control whether we try to break away from it or not. What is your take on this important matter? Is this the black mirror kind of future that you foresee?

That is a cool formulation of the concept - thanks for that! I think you are right. There are couple of ways to view it. One is that the mind creates a model of the world which may be more or less precise. We can’t always introspect into our own mental blind spots. A lot of our opinions and ideas are self-serving, they make us feel good about ourselves or make us feel that we understand the world.

What seems to be happening these days, and has been happening for some time is that technology feeds in to this tendency. Kind of hijacks our emotions and just makes us blow certain things out of proportion in how we view the world. That's what “Curators Of Our World Scope” is about.

The other songs tackle it from different perspectives.

I can assume that various events worldwide had an impact on your views, and therefore led to the concept that this album is based on, what were those events? Which peak event led you to the determination to head on and write about Solipsism?

One thing is the way our ability to discuss issues is completely dysfunctional. We tend ascribe so many bad intensions and ideas to other people without investigating our own motives.

Another is how we’ve opened up the landscape for total narcissists to take over the airways. I know that its popular to say that the personal is political, but man is that approach abused for political brownie points on all sides. All the while things like the actual power centers in the world operate in not so transparent ways. But all incentives today bring us to talk about some peripheral drama.

These are just a few. Read the lyrics. Disagree with them. Or Agree. Think. It's a broad concept to me.

Now, I know that you aren’t really offering a solution, yet more stating the problem, however, do you believe that there is a hope that one day we would be slapped in the face so to speak and wake up to find that we need to let go of our personal ego in order to exist?

No. Its hardwired into us. Personal ego is not something you can ever do away with. It seems be part of the psychological makeup.

A funny example is the world of martial arts. Fake black belt martial artists getting their asses kicked by real fighters are an overt example. But you have a subtler example if you ever train with the more serious MMA and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioners, which I have tried for some years. Let me tell everyone, EVERYONE has an ego. It will flare up, or it will make defense mechanisms, that make people say stupid shit or get angry at honest questions for example. I’m no exception to this by the way. And even a lot of the ones who pride themselves on not having a big Ego, end building something up around THAT fact.

The best we can hope for individually is probably to be aware and catch ourselves. Collectively I think it's about incentive-structures. But the road there… who knows

Looking at the artwork, made by Travis Smith, how do you find the connection between the album’s main narrative and this piece of artistry?

We talked a lot about the themes and had tons of ideas back and forth. There is an element of the myth of narcissus in there.

Even though labeled as Melodic Death Metal, Mother Of All rapidly breaks away and literally demolishes any form of label, as it is everywhere, making progress with a lot of conviction to make something that is out of the box. How would you say that “Age of the Solipsist” contributed to your development as a songwriter and musician?

Yeah, we started with that because of the first single “Autumn”, which has a melodeath vibe for a lot of the song. We all knew that this label would not be enough, but writing some long-ass ‘new’ genre name just doesn’t feel right. Truly making something new is rare. But you can walk around the edges a bit and see if there is a crack in the walls to explore.

It's been a journey and learning experience. Especially how production, instrumentation and songwriting all fits together. I’m happy with some of the bolder production choices we took. I have so much to think about and work on. I’ve already started working on the next album.

Earlier on, you released two EPs as Mother Of All, yet, and I admit that I haven’t listened to them, I can assume that “Age of the Solipsist” made that break out of conformism and into a new reality. What kind of musical elements do you find as the changing factors of the band’s music that it would also take forward?

You should!

But yeah, this was like a departure from all that. Although you can still hear the core DNA of the band in those EP’s.

What would you say were the prime challenges throughout the songwriting process? As such a record appears to me like a whole lot of brainstorming and producing it into playing can be a potential mind breaker

It's been approaching the songs with a fresh perspective every time. I have some creative ways of doing that, which keeps it fun.

Usually I have been trying to find answers from bands in regards to the constant connection between lyrics and music. However, Mother Of All wise, I would like to focus more on the inner emotions that came through you while writing the music. All I can feel is that through the progression of the music, there can be an analogy to the constant inwards struggle of an individual against his own ego. How do you find this statement? Do you find any relation between the complexion of the music and the human condition?

Hmmm. I haven’t thought of it in exactly those terms. But you might be on to something. I sometimes imagine that I’m a different person with a different approach and feel and taste palette. Or that I’m a guitarist playing drums or a drummer playing guitar etc.

Coming to your aid, with mindsets that are similar to yours, as far as I can tell, you had the master bass player, Steve DiGiorgio, along with the young local guitarist, currently unknown but I bet that it is only a matter of time until he would become big, Frederik Jensen. How did the two find your vision for “Age of the Solipsist”?

I think they were intrigued and also digging a lot of the elements. Some of the songs are a challenge so it takes a special type of musician to sit down and learn the material. I couldn’t have done it without them.

Since I already know DiGiorgio’s abilities as a bass player, which he is no doubt profound, I would like to focus on mr. Jensen. Where did you find this guy? How do you find his contribution to “Age of the Solipsist”? Is he going to be the permanent member of Mother Of All?

Frederik is a really talented and hardworking musician. He was actually a stand-in guitarist in another band once. So we just kept in contact and I knew he would be the type of guitarist, that is open and very collaborative. So he is perfect for this eclectic album.

We’ve talked about it, but right now there is too much physical distance between us to make that viable. Unfortunately, but who knows what the future will hold?

Which of the album’s songs would you like to elaborate about? Not merely a song that is your favorite but rather the one that is the most important for you or made such an impact that it is hard for you not to talk about it

Ohhh that's hard to say. The album is all about variety and throwing some curveballs at the audience, but also having some steady, melodic elements at times. I really hope people will dig into the song “At The Edge of a Dream”. Lyrically I think it's good and it's just got to a banging main riffs and actually percussion and me smashing trash-cans in the background.

I think the most out there sound and feel-wise is the song “Feel the Pain”. I wanted to morph Mother Of All’s sound with more clean vocals, old school approach to riffs and some dynamic drumming. That one is out there for sure. Not in the individual elements or technicality, but how they come together in the context of the album.

How are things looking in Denmark Covid-19 wise? Is there a way that things would get slowly back to normal in the coming months?

I think it's looking alright. The vaccination process has been a bit slow. But we are getting there.

What do you miss most of the cultural life in your area? 

Just getting a beer at a concert and going out without having a test every 72hours.

Martin, once again, it was a pleasure to have you, I bid you thanks for your time and effort, I know I asked a lot. In my bill, “Age of the Solipsist” made a difference, a great combination of complexity and a strong opinion. Cheers

That was the goal so this great to hear - Glad you enjoyed it! I will continue to create, refine and explore, so hope to speak to you again when there is more music Lior!


 



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