Death metal veterans MORBID ANGEL are continuing work on their new album at Mana Recording in St. Petersburg, Florida with producer — and former MORBID ANGEL guitarist — Erik Rutan for a fall release via UDR Music. The new disc will mark the band's first release with drummer Scott Fuller (ANNIHILATED, ex-ABYSMAL DAWN) who joined MORBID ANGEL last year following the departure of Tim Yeung. It will also be MORBID ANGEL's first album to feature bassist/vocalist Steve Tucker since 2003's "Heretic".
Tucker spoke about the upcoming MORBID ANGEL album during an interview on the March 14 edition of "The Metal Magdalene With Jet" show on Metal Messiah Radio. You can now listen to the chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On what MORBID ANGEL was looking for in a new drummer before Scott Fuller landed the gig:
Tucker: "Well, first and foremost, it's MORBID ANGEL, so you've gotta be able to play the stuff. Without a doubt, anybody… If they can't play the stuff, it's not an option. So we had to look at the people that were out there that, first of all, had the ability. Second of all, people that were available. We don't wanna steal a drummer from another band or anything like that. We wanna move forward, [but] we don't wanna cause an issue for someone else. So, really, we just started to take video… People were sending video samples of 'em playing songs, demos of 'em playing songs. There was a lot of people sending us things. We talked to at least — I don't know — ten, twelve different people. And then, I guess, in the end, it really came down to… A lot of people all had the ability to do it, and it was just who really was playing the songs closest to what they were meant to be. MORBID ANGEL has a history of having phenomenal drummers. I mean, Pete Sandoval is the king; there's no questioning it. Anyone that questions that is kidding themselves. And Tim's no slouch either. MORBID ANGEL has had very good drummers, so it needed to be somebody that was able to do the things that were already done as well as the new things. So Scott, eventually, after weeding through people, ended up being the guy that was at the top of the heap, and when he came and he played, it sounded like MORBID ANGEL. He was able to sound like MORBID ANGEL and that's really what was needed. So really, honestly, he got [the gig] by just being the guy that was the most naturally like what we were trying to find."
On the songwriting process for the new MORBID ANGEL album:
Tucker: "With the Internet, it's so easy now to be able to send files to each other, and everyone has some sort of platform that they use to do home demos and things on, so it was pretty easy to send tapes back and forth to each other. We'd send riffs to Scott, for Scott to play 'em, and he'd send 'em back to us, and I would work on my parts. And everyone just sort of individually was working on their parts until it was time for us to get together to start rehearsing for the album. And then we did that — we rehearsed for six weeks — and then we went into the recording process."
On whether MORBID ANGEL had a clear direction in mind for the new material before the songwriting process even began:
Tucker: "Not really. I mean, honestly, when we went into it, it was really Trey [Azagthoth, guitar] and I talking more than anything else. It was really just about writing music — it was just about writing a MORBID ANGEL album. Nobody said, 'Hey, we wanna go in this direction,' nobody said anything. I mean, there's obvious things there. I've said it before — I'm a death metal guy, so, for me, it's gonna be a death metal album; if I'm on it, it's death metal. So it was just about making a MORBID ANGEL album. It was really about coming in with something new, something fresh, but yet it still being MORBID ANGEL. Really, honestly, we didn't approach this any differently than any of the other albums I was involved in except for maybe [1998's] 'Formulas Fatal To The Flesh', which 'Formulas', Trey wrote all the music, all the lyrics and things like that. But this was done more similar to maybe [2000's] 'Gateways To Annihilation', where everybody had their contribution. Trey wrote a bunch of songs, I wrote songs, Scotty contributed some ideas. There was a lot of back-and-forth. In the end, it has to become a MORBID ANGEL song. And at this point, I feel that it's very much a MORBID ANGEL album."
On the lyrical content for the new MORBID ANGEL album:
Tucker: "I'm writing all the lyrics. As far as lyrical content, I'd like to leave that until it comes out. We definitely had a lot of discussions and it definitely pertains to the title of the album. There is a general idea on the album that is being put across, and I'd kind of like to just leave it until the album comes out."
On whether MORBID ANGEL has already decided on the title and artwork for the new album:
Tucker: "We definitely have the title of the album and stuff. As far as artwork, no. Right now that's in the process of happening. We had discussions who we would like to work with and what were we looking for and what weren't we looking for. And I think we came to a pretty good decision on that, and we'll see how it happens. We're hoping that a guy that's worked with us before is gonna come up with something pretty handy for us."
On whether MORBID ANGEL will perform any of the new songs on the upcoming tour:
Tucker: "Yeah, I think we'll be playing a couple of songs, most definitely. The album won't be out until after the tour, so we won't be playing all the songs by any means, but we're definitely gonna play a couple of the new songs."
MORBID ANGEL in January announced the addition of Dan Vadim Von (guitarist/frontman of the American death metal band VADIMVON) to the band's lineup on second guitar. He joined the group as the replacement for Norwegian guitarist Destructhor (a.k.a. Thor Anders Myhren), who left the band a year and a half ago.
MORBID ANGEL will embark on their first U.S. tour of 2017 in May. Support on the trek will come from SUFFOCATION, REVOCATION and WITHERED.
The tour will commence on May 23 in Orlando Florida at the Beachum and continue around the country until June 27, in New Orleans at the House Of Blues.
Former MORBID ANGEL frontman David Vincent recently joined forces with several other musicians — including Yeung (drums) — to perform classic MORBID ANGEL songs under the I AM MORBID banner.
The new band, which is completed by guitarists Bill Hudson (CIRCLE II CIRCLE, TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA) and Ira Black (METAL CHURCH, LIZZY BORDEN), will play material from MORBID ANGEL's "Altars Of Madness" (1989), "Blessed Are The Sick" (1991), "Covenant" (1993) and "Domination" (1995) albums. Two shows have been scheduled in Brazil this month: March 24 in Belo Horizonte and March 25 in São Paulo. Additional dates will be announced soon.
MORBID ANGEL's controversial 2011 album, "Illud Divinum Insanus", marked the group's first CD to feature Vincent since "Domination".