Interview: Milosz Gassan of Morne Talks 'To the Night Unknown'

Learn more about Morne's latest release, the inspiration behind it, and the band's artistic vision.

Morne (2018) | Photo by Hillarie Jason

You have to appreciate any piece of music that has the power to make your walls tremble and your heart break with personable lyrics. You just do. Add cavernous vocals and pummeling drums to the mix and you now have a full sensory overload. This is exactly what Morne has the power to do.

Morne, consisting of founding member and guitarist/vocalist Milosz Gassan, guitarist Paul Rajpal, bassist Morgan Coe, and drummer Billy Knockenhauer, released an excessively heavy and emotionally driven composition by the name of To the Night Unknown that rips through any boundary placed on the Boston quartet. Consisting of eight earth-shattering tracks, the record achieves its goal of providing listeners with a bombastic listening experience full of monstrous riffs and explosive drumming. The production on the record is massive and leagues among the standard, making it clear that Morne is a force to be reckoned with.

We talk to the hardworking Milosz Gassan about the making of Morne's colossal new record, the creative process behind it, and much more.

So, how about the Red Sox?


I don’t care about baseball or any sports in general.


Boston is home to an array of bands across the heavy spectrum, including Revocation, Vein, Unearth, and Elder to name a few. What inspired the formation of Morne?


I started to play music in early 90’s and later moved to Boston, consequently leaving my band back in Europe. Morne is just a continuation of what I was doing there. Playing and writing music is a huge part of my life, so I just grabbed all of my ideas and started a new band, Morne.


Morne is a little over a decade now, having formed in 2005. The band has gone through a few lineup changes and the music has evolved consistently. How do you see Morne in 2018?


Yes, we had some lineup changes but that is how it is. It's just another thing you have to deal with when you are in an active touring band. My writing hasn’t really changed since I started to play music. It just progresses. It’s 2018 and here we are still doing what we do.


It was recently announced that you will be playing Roadburn in 2019. How does it feel to play at such an iconic festival?


This will be our second appearance at Roadburn. We played there in 2014. It’s such a great event and there is so much appreciation to art, bands and their music. We are obviously honored to be invited to be part of it again.


Any acts in particular that you’re really looking forward to?


To be honest, I’m just happy to be able to be there. I will check out a lot of bands that play there. I'm looking forward to discovering something new.


Aside from Roadburn, you’ve toured a large part of the world and have played many large festivals, including Hellfest and Psycho. Is there anywhere in the world you haven’t played and would love to play at soon?


We toured Europe three times and played some tours here also. There are lots of places we would like to go to and we'll hopefully get to do it at some point. Australia and Japan are definitely two places we would like to tour. We'll see how it goes.


You just played a couple of shows with Tribulation and Black Anvil, including one in your hometown of Boston. How was it?


We had to cancel our Brooklyn show because we had some problems with our van on the way there. Bummer, but it happens. I think this was the first show we ever had to cancel, which over all isn’t bad. The Boston show was good.


Your newest outing ‘To the Night Unknown’ was just released and is absolutely crushing. After years of working on it, how do you feel now that the record is out?


We spent a couple of years writing it and we really pushed it about a year before we went to record it. I’m very happy with how it came out and I’m glad it’s out there for people to check out. We put a lot of work into making it.


‘To the Night Unknown’ seems to be making the rounds, selling out copies in Europe and being featured on Spotify, Bandcamp, and more. As a band, how does it feel like to receive this amount of support after the years of hard work to make the record happen?


It’s very satisfying. It’s a nice reword for all of our work.


The record was released by Armageddon and your own label ‘Morne Records.’ How does having your own label influence the record release cycle?


We like to be in control of what the band is involved in. Working with Armageddon, who are our close friends, and having our own label gives us great satisfaction and makes the craft complete. It’s a lot more work but the satisfaction is also greater. We had great help from Earsplit PR who helped us spread the word. It feels good.


There was a 5-year gap between ‘Shadows’ and ‘To the Night Unknown,’ in comparison to the 2-year gaps between the first 3 records. Was there a particular reason for this?


No, we never rush anything. If there's a two year or five year gap, it’s only because we feel we needed it. We released three full length albums between 2009 and 2013. That's a lot of music in a very short time. We had a longer break between Shadows and To The Night Unknown, but like I said, we had a couple of lineup changes and just needed to regroup, which ended up being beneficial. A little break to catch a breath. We aren’t in a hurry. It all has to come out naturally. This stuff can't be forced or rushed.


Morne is categorized as a crust-doom outfit, but the music blends elements from multiple different genres, making it incredibly unique. How do you manage to merge musical elements and make it sound so well while also staying true to the Morne formula of doom?


I never thought of ourselves as a doom band. Also, I never try to categorize our music. We play what we play and it sounds the way it does. It’s people out there who put tags on it and honestly, it doesn’t matter to me under what tag we are right now. Never cared about it. These things change all the time. We stay true to our vision of music, not the category it falls under. This stuff isn’t important.


With so many metal subgenres now, do you feel that the term has become somewhat elitist and irrelevant?


I don’t really care. All these names will change before you know it.


The title ‘To the Night Unknown’ is representative of the atmospheric heaviness that listeners are about to take on upon picking up the record. Was there a particular purpose behind the name?


Honestly, I never comment on this stuff. I find it unnatural. Some of it is too personal and some of it I leave for people to interpret themselves. I think that creates a better connection between our music and the people who listen to it.


What bands, if any, would you cite as influential to the making of ‘To the Night Unknown?’


I always try to follow my gut when it comes to writing. If I had to list bands that influenced me the most, I’d say Misery and Amebix, but they're just a general influence that shape the way I write music. Very raw and heavy vibe. But again, music comes out naturally. I like heavy music, looping simple riffs, no matter if it’s quiet and acoustic or down tuned distorted stuff. I like the atmosphere, not some nonsense heavy just to be heavy and loud crap.


How’s it like working with Hillarie Jason, who captured Morne’s darkness immaculately.


Hillarie is our close friend and it’s great to work together. It’s been great working on designs and stuff like that. I’m very picky when it comes to design stuff around the band and in general and it’s good to work with someone who understands you and your vision. It really makes things great.

Into the Night Unknown | Cover art by Hillarie Jason

It’s been a great year for metal and heavy music overall. What are you currently listening to?


I always listen to a lot of old stuff. Too many to list. New music is always on my radar too. Whatever isn’t a copy of something else.


With 4 releases full-length releases now in your arsenal, where does Morne go from here?


More work, gigs, and tours. This stuff never changes. We just keep going. That is what there is really.


Any interesting projects or tours in the works that you can share?


We are working on a couple of projects but nothing I can share right now.

Heaviest of Art would like to thank Milosz Gassan for taking the time to talk and share insight on the band's colossal 4th outing. Catch Morne at the renowned Roadburn Festival in The Netherlands where they will be supporting their recent release Into the Night Unknown.


Stream Morne's colossal new record To The Night Unknown in its entirety below, pick up an LP on their Bandcamp page here, and be sure to stay up to date with the band on

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