Patrik Lercher – Bass
Thomas Metzler – Guitar
Daniel Khan – Vocals...
Alex “Black Cat” – on drums since Oct. 2014
In the early eighties, influenced from Kiss, AC/DC, and Judas Priest Thomas Metzler (17, lead guitar and front man from Mortician) and Roland Konzett (17, rhythm guitar), started to play guitar. Some time in 1983 it turned out to be boring, playing alone at home and especially playing acoustic. The next logical step was to get some amplifiers, electric guitars and of course some members to complete a band.
It didn’t take long to find Manfred Stemer (17, drums) with already a basic education on his instrument, and finally Siegfried Burtscher (18, lead vocals, stage name Siegfried Burn), and Patrik Lercher (16, bass) who both started from scratch.
Driven by the dream to become rock stars the five Morticians started to practice in the basement of the textile factory, which belonged to Tom’s uncle. After one year of weekly training they were ready to rock. The first concert took place on the 31st of March1984. Organized by themselves they played the local parish hall, what afterwards brought some feedback because they used the grave crosses from Patrik`s grandparents to lift up the stage setting. The show was excellent! 350 metal maniacs banged their head to songs they have never heard before and some of them even entered the stage to scream and rock. Maybe an early form of stage diving. But at that time nobody would catch them! It was really unusual to see such a show in that part of Austria, which was the reason for Mortician to play several shows in local venues and often on motor bike festivals in their area during the following years.
In 1985 Thomas and Siegfried Burn had different visions of making songs and therefore Thomas left the band. The other guys stayed with Siegfried and practiced under the name No Mercy. But this line-up broke up after hardly a year. Due to the friendship between Thomas and Patrik they found together again and started with the new drummer Rene Bickel and Robert Wilfinger on vocals. With the new, four-piece line-up Mortician got back the spirtit to write new songs.
In January 1987 they were ready to do their first demo tape, which was recorded in Stuttgart (Germany), it included next to the title track “Street Warrior” also “Sacrifice of Sin”, “We Must Get Back” and “Rockin’ the Night”.
Despite they could gain some attention with “Street Warrior”, it was not the big success the guys hoped for. Perhaps Austria was not metal enough at that time. Shortly after releasing Street Warrior singer Robert unexpected left the band and the search for a replacement started.
Maybe due to the fact that Siegfried Burn lived in the neighborhood, still not being a rock star (like he wanted to be ever since), the band and Siegfried came together again. Mortician fans still wanted them to play live and so they were playing gigs in their area and wrote new songs. After reunion with Siegfried, who meanwhile really got an excellent voice, the new songs seemed to top the Street Warrior tape. Hence they collected all their money to enter the studio a second time to do a three-track vinyl album called “NO WAR”.
The recordings were very tough, as there were neither women nor alcohol allowed. However, after the recordings the guys needed some form of recovery, and as there were still no women around, alcohol and videotapes had to amuse them. Mysteriously most of the photos of those days got lost during time.
NO WAR earned some good reviews in Hard Rock magazines and fanzines (e.g. Desaster) and also led to some successful gigs with LIVING DEATH, MAGNUM and MESSIAH. Due to these performances EBONY RECORDS offered MORTICIAN to participate on a metal sampler, which was recorded in England. While Thomas and Patrik traveled ahead of the others to enjoy some days, the great disappointment caught them up. Rene, the drummer, had broken his arm, recording impossible. Another hard backlash for Mortician. Some weeks after that disaster good news came from a national competition in Austria, which was looking for the best ten metal bands in the country. Mortician was invited to play a show in Vienna and “No War” was recorded for the live sampler METAL BATTLE. At the show they had already Alex Grätzner “Rattler” hitting the drums. However, Mortician stayed underground.
Another personal change was pending! Siegfried who meanwhile also played guitar left the band again. Mortician continued with the new singer Thomas Cassan “Cassy” who joined the band in early 1989. In that part of Austria it was extremely difficult to find musicians with the same enthusiasm for heavy metal. But with Cassy and Rattler Mortician got another kick-start and in a few months they had some new songs. Due to the good performance on the Metal Battle Festival the band was engaged to open for SODOM and SEPULTURA in Vienna.
With the new line-up it was time for a new tape. But the band didn’t want to travel long distances to record a demo tape spending all their money, so they decided to record the “Break the Rules” demo in a small studio in Vorarlberg not fare from their homes. The demo tape was of their liking but couldn’t reach the flair of the No War EP. After some gigs with the new line up and working together some months, Patrik lost the power somehow, and Mortician decided to continue without him. Finally in 1990 after unsuccessfully trying to get a new bass player Thomas lost the Mortician spirit and closed the band. That was the end of MORTICIAN. In 1991 Thomas started his new band ART OF FEAR.
In 2009, 20 years after the last show, Thomas and Patrik, who stayed close friends during all the years, start a new era with Mortician. Because not all band members of the eighties had enough motivation to start again, Daniel Khan best known to be the frontman of Art of Fear was hired as singer. On the drums Andreas Peter “Antee” joined the band but he quit end of 2010 because of some other projects. Finally they found Gergely Nagy “Nagy” to hit the drums. With Daniel and Nagy they entered the MP Studios in Poland to produce their new album “Mortician” with Bart Gabriel which was release by Pure Underground Records on the 25th November 2011.
June 2014, Mortician recorded their new Album “Shout for Heavy Metal” at MP Studios in Poland and it will be released at PureUnderground Records on November the 14th 2014.
October 2014, Alex the “Black Cat” joins Mortican as their new drummer. Welcome Alex!