After On The Horizon, it’s Mhorai‘s turn again! There are countless questions that can arise when getting to know a band. We have tried to answer some of them with the help of the members of Mhorai!
Gergő Floszmann (vocals)
Bence Magvasi (drums)
Gáspár Tamás (bass guitar)
Máté Köteles (guitar)
Where did the name Mhorai come from? Whose idea was it? (T.)
Gergő: If I remember correctly, this name was my idea. It wasn’t some organically generated band name. We knew that we wanted to have some kind of short name for the band, consisting of a few characters. That’s when the term “moraj” (growl) came to me in some context. I really liked how catchy and short it was. We had no choice but to make it a bit more unfamiliar, a bit more mysterious. In its current form, the sound remains the same, but it is pronounceable and memorable to foreigners. Máté and I both agreed that this suits the band well.
What do you love the most about making music and what do you find most challenging? (W.)
Gergő: What I find challenging sometimes is to start a lyric and get the flow of it. Thank goodness, I’m getting better at that. And the thing I love most is writing the music and arranging the music. The way a song slowly evolves from different ideas and perspectives is the magic of music.
Bence: Mhorai is a family, even if there are challenges, we face them and solve them without any problems.
Tamás: I organize our concerts and I like to say that it’s like Kőbányai… cheap beer: it sucks, but I like it, hehe. But seriously, when you organize a 10-12 stops tour you meet a lot of people, and some are a pleasure to work with, but others are hell to work with. Perhaps my knowledge of people develops the most in this respect.
Máté: I like songwriting best, as it can calm the ever-present creative urge a little. It’s very exciting to sometimes come up with ideas and concepts that you don’t expect at all. I’m always excited to come up with new ideas, hehe.
Which band or song was the “gateway drug” to metal for you?
Gergő: The bands that got me into metal the most about fifteen years ago were Metallica and Iron Maiden. As for Hungarian bands, I went to a lot of Tankcsapda and Ossian concerts back then. They had the biggest influence on me.
Bence: Suicide Silence was the first band I wanted to relate to from the moment I first heard them. Then when I got older, I came across Gergő Borlai’s work, the European Mantra band, which had the biggest influence on me, I found my path.
Tamás: The Offspring, Tankcsapda, then Metallica, then less and less melody. There is no stopping, I always want more and more extreme ever since then.
Máté: In the beginning, Metallica, Ossian and Tankcsapda were the bands that started to push me towards metal. The biggest highlight for me was in 2013 at the Hegyalja Festival, where I was able to hear Asking Alexandria live. That was when my true profile really came to me.
What genre is the closest to your heart besides deathcore and melodic death?
Gergő: When I’m not listening to these artists, sometimes I’m playing pop music or D’n’B. Sometimes I go back to my old heavy metal or hard rock favorites for nostalgia. My very big favourites were symphonic metal acts like Nightwish, Sonata Arctica, Epica.
Bence: I really like jazz and swing, it’s very relaxing for my soul and I think it’s really good music.
Tamás: I’m probably the least into deathcore in the band. I listen to a lot of monotonous, atmospheric music, mostly with a black metal influence. It helps me think at work, it also works while driving or travelling. I like to immerse myself in the backstories of small, unknown bands.
Máté: For me, it’s pretty much mood-dependent what I listen to. Sometimes it’s pop music, country or hip-hop. In all genres I find the themes that I feel are my own.
When did music come into your life? How did you first get your hands on an instrument and how did it become a passion?
Gergő: As a kid I wasn’t that interested in music. I knew some hits from the radio that I liked, but I had no musicality or passion for music. It all started when my brother and I started going to concerts for the first time. In 2007 we went to an event in Eger called Metal-Christmas. There were several big bands from Hungary playing there. I was so impressed by that environment that I decided I wanted to do it, whatever it takes. Before a month had passed, I had already started playing my first classical guitar in a self-taught way. After that, it went on like an avalanche.
Bence: I was six years old when my parents gave me a plastic guitar that worked. It came with a plastic microphone with a stand, a small speaker and a cable. That’s when I wrote my first world hit, the evergreen “Guitar Guitar”. Then, when my parents heard I had a great voice they told me to dance it away, I decided it wasn’t the career for me. At the age of 8 I got my first drum kit, financed by my grandparents and parents. My grandfather on my mother’s side sang (he has a record), his brother played the violin and my mother played the piano, so it sort of got into my blood to be a musician. I’d like to mention Gábor Ozsvárt – who now owns one of the biggest sausage factories in Hungary, and is also a fantastic drummer – I learned twice a week from him as a child. Apart from my parents, I also owe him a huge thanks, because he has a big part in what I know behind the drums now.
Tamás: My dad was a big thrash metal guy and still is. In retrospect, I realized that I grew up on Slayer specifically. He even showed me early Rammstein, on a videotape that he used to record on MTV night metal shows. He had an acoustic guitar and a tango harmonica at home, of which the guitar was of course the one that attracted me. I was enrolled in music school as a first-grader, but I hated solfege and the music school wouldn’t let me play guitar without it. However, public education couldn’t change my mind forever, I picked it up again in high school (after picking it up at a concert) and it’s been a part of my life ever since.
Máté: Music has always been at the centre of my family, with my grandfather and father playing the drums and my mother playing the piano and guitar when she was younger. I remember playing the guitar with a tennis racket in the living room when I was 4-5 years old (sometimes I still do) and I was stunned why everyone was laughing at me. I think I was in the sixth grade when one of my friends at the time was having band practice with a boy. They decided to perform at a Christmas event at the community centre. The session looked like the guitarist was playing an acoustic guitar and the drummer was pounding on pillows to the hottest Green Day song of the day. Of course, neither the rhythm nor the tone (it might have been their own tone) was right, but they had me so hooked that I definitely wanted to join them. A little later I got my first SX guitar and my love for the music has continued ever since.
Which of your songs would you shoot a music video for and what kind of story could you imagine for that song?
Gergő: It’s a difficult question, because we haven’t had the chance to shoot a music video with Mhorai yet, but we’ll definitely do it at the beginning of this year. There are three possible songs that were considered, but I wouldn’t tell you which one we chose yet. What is certain is that the music video will have an indirect meaning, which will refer to the story of the song with some symbolism, but not illustrate it one-to-one. The first video clip will definitely have a greater focus on the band’s appearance and performance, accompanied by a symbolism of the story throughout.
Which is the album that has been a defining moment in your life?
Gergő: In this case, I would choose Iron Maiden’s 2002 album Rock In Rio. The song list and the concert video itself are amazing. I can listen to it anytime.
Bence: You can listen to more and more great music, and it was the combination of all of them that was decisive. I couldn’t single out one album in particular.
Tamás: Make it three! The Offspring – Americana: The first album I listened to day and night. Metallica – Black album, which taught me how to play guitar, and finally Behemoth – The Satanist, which was the first really dark music I really liked. Polish black metal has been my heart ever since.
Máté: Wow… maybe I would say Asking Alexandria again, namely the Reckless & Relentless album. That’s when I felt that I had some kind of virus in me, and I still haven’t found the cure for it. I hope I never will (hehe).
Yellow is a recurring colour for your band and is very iconic for you, Gergő. What made you choose this colour? What is the first thing that comes to your mind about it?
Gergő: I really liked this shade of yellow on the album cover of Children of Bodom’s ‘I Worship Chaos’. I was deeply impressed by the chaotic and apocalyptic atmosphere the artist creates with the shades of this colour. It’s eye-catching at the same time. When I made our logo, I wanted to avoid making it monochrome, I wanted it to be something that when you see it, in whatever form, you get the mood and atmosphere of the band. Partly as a result of conscious design, this yellow colour reappear in all our visuals. This is how our wolf got yellow glowing eyes and an aura not only visually, but also in our lyrics.
Where did the story of the moulting wolf come from?
Gergő: I’m a huge fan of science fiction and fantasy literature by default. I read a lot of those books to this day, so this concept came almost effortlessly in my head. The task was to sketch out a story and then string the pieces of the puzzle, in this case the songs, onto the album concept as separate story chapters. The basic story that we’ve explained on this album starts with the burning of a witch with a wandering soul. Her soul, after being judged by humans, migrates on to a female wolf, who is thereby endowed with supernatural attributes. The wolf comes back to haunt the realm of the humans, but she now lives in the world of the wolves, who are more honest and welcoming. From the female wolf’s point of view, we watch the different families of wolves fighting and killing each other like humans. Finally, crossing over a larger era, our character is thrust into the post-human apocalyptic world and observes there, but her soul is still not free.
How would you describe yourselves in a few words?
Gergő: Buy a few bottles of vodka, lots of food, lock yourself in a room and we’ll write you a record full of shouting.
Bence: Goat killing with mud. Four people conveying an incredible amount of energy.
Tamás: Daily steam release, therapy, cardio workout, party, fun, energy.
Máté: Best cure for a hangover.
Maybe it’s too early to ask, but will the sequel also take this concept further, or will you be coming up with a completely different story? What are your plans for the future?
Gergő: Absolutely not too early, so much so that the concept has already started to be put together! It is planned to be connected to this world, yes. There will be songs that are a bit more intimate and songs that are a bit more abstract, but we will carry on the story line. I want to put it all into a slightly more tangible form, so that it becomes an exciting and interesting fantasy story. I’ve also thought that I’d like to see this story on the pages of a book. Who knows, maybe that will happen one day.
Máté: We started thinking about it in the middle of the tour, as Gergő mentioned. We definitely want to bring something new musically, keeping the atmospheric direction that I believe has become our trademark. I think it’s no big secret that we’ve already started to work on the practical side of things, beyond the brainstorming.
Which of your lyrics is the most personal to you?
Gergő: Liberation. It’s our first song, which deals with personal experiences and is probably one of the most profound in its subject.
Bence: Darkened Sun. At certain moments it is a very good representation of my spiritual world.
Tamás: The brief and spontaneous lyrics of Darkened Sun, and the unexpected theme of the song in general, which is different from the story of the album, really struck me when Gergő sent it over. How does a fading sun come in as a theme? I don’t know, but I love it.
Máté: I would say Gathering. I think that Gergő wrote great lyrics for all the songs on the album, but this is the song that I keep reinterpreting after every listen and something new opens up for me.
Do you have role models?
Gergő: I can really relate to the biographies of Bruce Dickinson, Ozzy Osbourne and Dimebag Darrell among the more famous musicians. For different reasons, but I look up to all three of them. R.I.P. Dime.
Bence: GERGŐ BORLAI. THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION!
Tamás: Tamás Cseh and Géza Bereményi. No one has described better than them what it is like to be Hungarian.
Máté: I would say my fellow musicians, because all three of them are very good people and they really understand what they are doing. This motivates me to keep improving and working.
Is there any place on your bucket list where you want to have a concert? If so, who would you smash the stage with?
Gergő: I think Barba Negra is one of the most renowned clubs in the country for this style and I haven’t played there yet. So I would definitely like to play there. Maybe Fit For An Autopsy could be the opening act!
Bence: I’d join Gergő, but I’d add a band to it, and that’s none other than Chelsea Grin.
Tamás: Although I know it’s not realistic in this genre, it must be a brutal feeling to play in a stadium. A much more achievable goal than that, the A38, for me it’s always been a iconic venue. And I’d love it if Nergal (Behemoth) could watch our concert from the side. I’d be curious to see his face when we look at each other.
Máté: For me, Budapest Park has always been the place that completely captivated me. When it comes to bands, I would join the others.
What is your favourite song from the album?
Gergő: Kalamona! I love that it was written about a Hungarian folk tale. Interestingly, this song doesn’t fit into the wolf concept, it’s independent of it. I thought it was a good idea to write the song and I definitely wanted to put it on the album. I will surely continue with this folktale line in the future.
Bence: Plain River! Rhythmically it’s my favourite and I love playing it. 🔪🔪🔪🔪
Tamás: Ageless. I really like the monotony of the outro, for me it’s the highlight of our concerts.
Máté: Interesting question, as I like listening to Unveiled the most, but playing Ageless, probably due to the complexity of the themes.
If you had to try yourself in a new role within the band, which would you choose?
Gergő: Drummer. I barely have a sense of rhythm and have never played drums for more than 10 seconds on a drum kit. And it’s really cool, you just have to pack a lot of stuff in.
Bence: I want to be a bass player in a group. …Who plays the flute. 😉
Tamás: I’ve always been attracted to (real, melodic) singing, although I’ve never really tried. But after Bence’s answer, I might really stick to the bass guitar. 😉
Máté: I would definitely push Bence out of his place. I’m always on my feet and hands every minute of the day, constantly hitting some kind of rhythm (I know, I know, sometimes annoying, sorry guys) I’m curious when I’ll press the order button at some instrument store, if you know what I mean…
If you want to know more about the guys and Hegemony:
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mhoraimetal
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mhorai_official/
- Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/48D3F5dD0WHT1RtxwFuUP3
by: Traidusk & Wolfy