The Conductor of WSOU 89.5 FM recently conducted an interview with frontman Steve Tucker of Floridian death metal veterans MORBID ANGEL. You can listen to the entire chat via the SoundCloud widget below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the reaction to the band's new "Kingdoms Disdained" studio album:
Steve: "Man, honestly, I have nothing but positives. The reviews have been fantastic. I, personally, love the album. Everything around it has been nothing but positive and going brilliantly. So, I'm pretty stoked about it."
On keeping MORBID ANGEL's experimental nature in check:
Steve: "I really think for me, personally, I'm really speaking for me and not for anyone else, but for me, if it becomes a struggle, if it's not natural, if it's not flowing from me, then I have gone off into something that is probably something that other people aren't going to enjoy as well. For me, I've always wanted to write music and always enjoyed being a part of music that was fluid, things just naturally flowed out. That doesn't mean that it's not experimental or ground-breaking, but what I'm saying is that it still has to naturally flow from me or else I'm really not interested. If there's ever a time where I'm like, 'Oh, man, I'm really having to overthink,' then I would have to say that's the point the experimentation may have gone too far. The truth is, those never make it on an album. [Laughs] If it's on my album, then I definitely don't think it's a step too far in experimentation."
On why 2017, which also saw releases from CANNIBAL CORPSE, IMMOLATION, OBITUARY and SUFFOCATION, was so good for old-school death metal:
Steve: "State of the world. Honestly, I truly believe that it's not an accident that extreme music seems to grow in popularity and grow in intrigue when the world is in more and more chaos. So, honestly, the more negativity going on in the world, the more it seems people turn to metal. It seems to be when it grows the most. Oppression and metal seem to go hand in hand. For me, heavy metal music is always something I've been passionate about because a part of it is that is it's a little bit of a rebellion. It's not a matter of how many people are listening to my album in two weeks then never caring about it again. With a band like MORBID ANGEL, people listen to albums, people still talk about 'Altars Of Madness', that it's one of the greatest death metal [albums] ever. And that's really what is exciting, when you create something, 30 years later, or 20 years, [Tucker's MORBID ANGEL debut] 'Formulas [Fatal To The Flesh'] was over 20 years ago. When you create something and people are still loving it 20 years later, then it's relevant."
On whether MORBID ANGEL's long-running "Extreme music for extreme people" t-shirt slogan can also be changed to "Extreme music for extreme times":
Steve: "I would agree with that. It could definitely say that. But it's still not for everyone. It's still not that accessible music that's just there for everyone because the world is tough. It's for certain people; I think the 'thinkers,' people who are a little bit more sensitive, not sensitive in the way their feelings are hurt, but a little bit more sensitive in a way that they're aware. I think that those people, there tends to be a lot of those in metal and that urge for it really comes up during tumultuous times."
On death metal's continued relevance:
Steve: "I have to say that sometimes 'new' doesn't always mean 'better.' Death metal is something that, first of all, no one thought would last 30 years. No one could have said back in 1989 or 1988 that death metal was still going to be around in 2018. That would have been laughable. This is a complete counterculture form of music. The fact that it still is around just shows how relevant it is. The fact that there are new bands, guys who are 19 years-old, trying to write music like we wrote 20 years ago, that really says that I think what was happening was right, was correct. It was a time when there was just magic happening, for the lack of a better word. I use the word 'magic' because I can remember for myself, it was album after album that would come out. I remember when 'Retribution' by MALEVOLENT CREATION came out and I bought it and I was completely blown away. It seemed like that for everything. DEATH's 'Human': 'Oh my god! I'm blown away!' And [MORBID ANGEL's] 'Covenant' comes out, I'm blown away. It was just amazing music. It's a synchronicity thing. It was just the time and I think the vibe of the world at the time really caused people to make some incredible music and come out with some incredible advancements in writing music in a new form. I think the people that now are coming in and claim to be doing old-school death metal, really, what they're doing is trying to tap into something that was extremely amazing and it's not very surprising. I can remember at a time when bands were trying to mimic what LED ZEPPELIN had done 20 years before and it's really because of how amazing the music was that they did. I think it's that way now when people are emulating what MORBID ANGEL, DEICIDE and CANNIBAL CORPSE and OBITUARY and MALEVOLENT CREATION and all these bands did in the early '90s. They're trying to emulate that because of one fact: It was amazing and they want to be a part of that themselves."
MORBID ANGEL will kick off its U.S. headlining on April 16. The tour, which will run through May 17, includes a headlining set at the New England Metal & Hardcore Festival. Direct support will be provided by MISERY INDEX from April 16 to April 25 and ORIGIN from April 26 through the tour's conclusion. Additional support will be provided by DREAMING DEAD and HATE STORM ANNIHILATION.
"Kingdoms Disdained" was released in December via Silver Lining Music in the U.S. and JVC in Japan.