Kyle McGinn of Dead Rhetoric recently conducted an interview with frontman Steve Tucker of veteran Floridian death metallers MORBID ANGEL. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.
Dead Rhetoric: Could you talk about the strengths of the latest MORBID ANGEL lineup?
Steve: "I think everyone is on the same page, and that's great. Not that there have been issues in the past, but right now, everybody is in a complete understanding and agreement about what we want to achieve. That [goal] is to be as tight as we can possibly be. With everyone being on the same page and willing to do whatever it takes to achieve that — it's great. We have a drummer [Scott Fuller] now that is absolutely fantastic. I'm really stoked about Scotty — he is phenomenal. Every night on tour, he is as consistent a dude as he can be. When I am up there and I'm singing, there's never anything I need to think about. Everything is the way it should be, and that's what you hope for."
Dead Rhetoric: Was it important, considering the last MORBID ANGEL album, that this lineup and album be thoroughly death metal?
Steve: "I think when Trey [Azagthoth, guitar] called me and asked [me to come back to the band], I knew that was exactly what Trey wanted it to be. That's the way that he has always been. If they ventured off into some other stuff on the last album, I think that's a combination of people. You put two people together to make music and you get an album. You put three people together, you get a slightly different outcome. I think the combination of Trey and myself, it just ends up being pretty aggressive death metal. I myself, I love death metal. I even love the term death metal. There's something that's just cool about it, and I've always thought that. [Laughs] It's vast now — the term death metal is so vast now, and MORBID ANGEL is one of the reasons that it is just hard to put your thumb on what is and isn't death metal."
Dead Rhetoric: What do you think makes "Kingdoms Disdained" stand out, personally?
Steve: "It's all about the vibe for the album. There's a big, grandiose vibe that sort of becomes a little larger than life. That's really what I like most about the album myself. I think what stands out about it, is that even though it's really raw and nasty, it's kind of timely as well. I think it fits into what is going on in the world today."
Dead Rhetoric: Did Erik Rutan seem a logical choice for recording/producing the album?
Steve: "I think Erik is so obvious for MORBID ANGEL to use… I don't know how it didn't happen on the last record. Where Erik is located is right by where Trey lives. The studio is top-notch. Erik is top-notch. He can sit beside any engineer or producer out there. On top of all of that, he's our very good friend and knows us all really well. We've toured together… once you tour together, you pretty much know somebody. You know them — you know what foods they don't like, what time they usually get up. You know all kinds of crazy stuff about them. It's comfortable [with Rutan]. The results — Erik pushes me in a way that I don't think any other dude can, because they don't know me the same way he knows me. Any other guy, might be a little bit less confident in saying something like, 'Dude, that take sucked.' Saying that something was a little flat, or that it didn't come across as passionate as it should have. Or even, 'Can you change this line a little bit? I think it would make it better.' Rutan will say that stuff just like he did in the rehearsal room. He doesn't care. There's a trust there. It's the same way with Trey. There's a trust there too. [Rutan] is not trying to change anything, he's just a part of this. Even though Erik is not in the band, not touring or writing, he's always going to be a part of MORBID ANGEL. That's just how it is. When I think of MORBID ANGEL in my head, any memory… Rutan is there. Working with him, for me, is a joy. He and Trey get a lot of work done. There's an honesty among old friends, and that's why I will always want to go back there."
Read the entire interview at Dead Rhetoric.
"Kingdoms Disdained" was released December 1 via Silver Lining Music and JVC in Japan.