Introducing the weird and wonderful world of Mycelium

Some may know him from his Necronoclast days, but Glaswegian Greg Edwards’ latest solo project comes under the Mycelium moniker. ‘Stench Of Impudicus’, a track taken from his fantastically named Scream Bloody Spore album features on issue 102’s covermount CD, which means we really should give you a proper introduction! Hard as it is, we’ve refrained from making any ‘fungi’ jokes; fungi turns out to be a serious business, especially when it’s entwined with death metal…Weird? Maybe. Original? Definitely. We caught up with the artist to learn more.

ZT: Mycelium? Explain.
GE: Mycelium is the scientific name for the body of a fungus, usually hidden underground or within the host. A good analogy would be that the mycelium is like a tree, and the mushroom is like an apple growing on its branches.

ZT: And musically?
GE: Mycelium plays death metal – rooted in the old-school, perhaps somewhere close to Obituary, but with some influences from other areas within the sphere, such as the brutal death metal scene.

ZT: Concept: lyrical / aesthetic?
GE: Mycelium is dedicated to mycology, the study of fungi, with a particular focus on deadly or destructive species found here in the UK. The debut album contains tracks that are inspired by deadly fungi such as the Destroying Angel (amanita virosa) and the Funeral Bell (galerina marginata), the common Stinkhorn (phallus impudicus, which has a scent that resembles rotting meat), as well as some more typical horror/fantasy based lyrics centred on fungal phenomena and behaviours, such as guttation (‘bleeding’ liquid metabolites).

ZT: Who / what influences your music?
GE: On a musical level, these days I’m much more likely to go to classic bands or dig for forgotten underground releases from the ’90s than I am to seek out new releases by up-and-coming bands. There’s so much new stuff coming out now that it’s hard to keep up. I expect that this probably reflects in my own output, although it’s always hard to be objective when you’re talking about yourself. There are thousands of bands out there playing death metal, so it’s really the theme and concept that sets Mycelium apart. Mycology is something I’m passionate about, and while nature has often been a topic of inspiration within metal (perhaps not typically death metal, but certainly in black metal), the fungal kingdom is not highly represented. Ultimately, Mycelium is a collision of two of my own major interests, but I think that a read through the lyrics will soon show that this project has a lot more to offer than another death metal record about cutting up prostitutes.

ZT: Why did you select the track included on the ZT covermount to represent you? Tell us a little bit about it – what’s it about, how does it fit in with the rest of your CD?
GE: This is twofold. Firstly, while it sits near the middle of the album, ‘Stench Of Impudicus’ was the first song I wrote for it. So, for me, it represents the genesis of the project. I think it’s quite a memorable track too. Secondly, the mushroom it’s based on (the Stinkhorn) is common, and it’s one that regularly attracts the interest of people new to mycology. It hatches from an egg, looks like a dick, and it absolutely stinks. It’s one you learn pretty quick. I also put together a DIY music video for this track showing the mushroom itself in some detail, which you can find on YouTube. It gives another dimension to the track, putting some visuals to a theme which is probably unfamiliar to most.

ZT: Tell us a bit about the writing and recording process…
GE: I tend to record riffs and ideas to a click track on my computer and arrange them that way to build up the song. Sometimes I’ll start with just one riff and build from there, other times I may have a good idea in my head of how most of the song is going to sound before I pick up the guitar. I have always enjoyed recording myself. I’ve done it for years with various projects, including all the Necronoclast albums that Moribund Cult put out. For me, as well as giving me the freedom to work at absolutely my own pace, I am also interested in the process itself and the technical aspects. Scream Bloody Spore is the first piece of work I’ve recorded in several years, and having been detached from recording for that time, I’ve been impressed with how technology has moved forwards and with the power of the software that’s out there now. I could of course do things more conventionally and just go into a studio, but I feel that doing things the way I do gives me the opportunity to engage fully with my music.

ZT: Do you have an ultimate plan for the band? Are you planning any new recordings, live dates etc.?
GE: When I started Mycelium up, I really envisaged recording one album, really just for myself rather than with any grand plan. However, as it took shape, I felt that it was something I wanted to put out there and let other people hear. I got my good friend Dávid Glomba on board and he created a fantastic piece of art for the cover, and I’m really pleased with how it turned out. Probably within a couple of weeks of finishing the album, I had already written the first song for the next album. I’m working on the second album at the moment, which to me is sounding more refined, more potent. I would expect that it’ll be done sometime early next year. Beyond that, who knows? I will let nature take its course, the hyphae will spread forth and we will see what the Mycelium becomes.

ZT: How can ZT readers hear more?
Check out the Mycelium Facebook page for more info including the ‘Stench Of Impudicus’ video (which you can also view in all its glory below) The album Scream Bloody Spore is out now on CD/digital through the awesome Mexican label Iron, Blood And Death Corp.

Thanks for dropping in!

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