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Interviews Morbid Angel

Interview with David Vincent

Interview conducted by Luxi Lahtinen

Date online: January 12, 2013


Live pictures by Luxi Lahtinen

The Kreator/Morbid Angel/Nile/Fueled by Fire tour rolled across Europe during November and December 2012, stopping in Helsinki, Finland on December 7th. The show sold out quickly, proving that Metal is doing very well in this northern country.

All bands on the bill released new albums in the past two years with Kreator and Nile releasing theirs just a few months ago. When is comes to the bands on the tour, opinions are split. Some fans of Morbid Angel have said their latest album, Illud Divinum Insanus, is their worst to date while Kreator's fans have lauded Phantom Antichrist as one of the band's finest works in many years.

The Tour came to Helsinki, Finland, via ferry, from Tallinn, Estonia and I had a chance to talk to Morbid Angel's somewhat tired-looking front man David Vincent briefly before the band started getting ready for the show. Read on.

Luxi: How is it going, David?

David: Beside the fact I didn't sleep much at all last night, it's going good. It's a lot of touring. Before we came over here, to do this European tour, we finished a 4 and a half week tour, or whatever it was, in the States, so this is actually our 8th week on the road, so it's been hitting pretty hard.

Luxi: Considering the long time touring, both here and in the States, you must be feeling tired or even exhausted.

David: I am a little sore as I didn't sleep too well last night because we had this ferry crossing; we had to get on and get off, so it was like, just boring, you know?

Luxi: How has the overall response been for you on this tour?

David: It's actually been really good. I mean, there's a diversity of bands on this tour; it's not just Death Metal or Thrash Metal. We have two sort of Thrash Metal bands and two, I guess, Death Metal bands, for the lack of better terminology. But it's a strong package and seems to bring people to the shows, which is great. We have had really good attendance thus far.

Luxi: I noticed that your set list is heavily based on the band's first four albums on this tour, i.e. the most classic Morbid Angel material. When you were deciding which songs you were going to perform on this tour, was what your fans want to hear a factor?

David: It's always hard to nail down the songs for the set list because any time you do a record, there's going to be fans of those records, and it's just not possible to play every song from every record. Time simply does not permit us to do something like that, you know. We are just trying to squeeze songs into a given time frame, and, of course, we have a list of mandatory Morbid Angel songs that we just have to play in our shows.

Luxi: Did you have to make any compromises when it came to the songs on your set list for this current tour? I bet each of you have your own favorite songs to play live.

David: Not really. There are so many songs that we rehearsed for this tour; we could remove a couple off the set list each night, if we want to, just to see how the flow goes. Right now the flow is good, so we are happy with the songs we play live for our fans.

Luxi: As far as I am aware, every Morbid Angel show on this tour has opened with "Immortal Rites." Would you say that song is a sort of "ultimate" Morbid Angel song that gets the crowds' blood boiling?

David: That's the first song from our debut album, Altars of Madness, and it's a kind of well-known and welcoming song, and it sets a good mood for the crowd, you know. We have used other songs in the past. There's no primary reason we chose to open with "Immortal Rites" on this particular tour. Whatever feels good, you know.

Luxi: Morbid Angel's latest album, Illud Divinum Insanus, seems to be a sort of "hot potato" among the fans of the band. Some have liked it quite a bit and others disliked (or even hated) it, as they probably expected it to be a continuation from albums like Altars of Madness or Covenant. Do you think the new album was perhaps a bit too extreme, in its own special way, for those fans that happened to dislike it?

David: Well, there are a couple of things and it's interesting that you should say this because we have sold lots and lots of records in Finland. Finland has been one of the strongest markets for us. But you know, there's people that expect things to be a certain way, and there are people that write with those expectations in mind and they think that "okay they want to us to do this, so we will write exactly that kind of song," etc. That's not something I am concerned about at all.

Luxi: When you were putting songs together for this record, did you have some material that you left off of the "I.D.I." album because you felt like it didn't fit for some reason or other?

David: Well, we worked on it over a period of time and we had some stuff that was left over, but It wasn't left out because it wouldn't have fitted in there. It was just that we did have a lot of material. We had it 'til the record was completed.

Luxi: Do you believe Morbid Angel will be pushing and stretching musical boundaries again when it's time to record the next album?

David: I will always take artistic freedom on anything I do. I mean, always.

Luxi: Does it ever irritate you that some Morbid Angel fans always expect you to record a sequel to your most successful albums, like Altars of Madness, Blessed Are the Sick or Covenant?

David: We have stuff like that. Listen, we are a very wide band; we are not narrow. There are a lot of narrow bands out there these days, and you know how their records are going to sound before they are even released. You will know exactly what they are going to be and the fans like that. These types of bands don't take any chances; they don't really experiment at all. They just play the same record, you know, there's only a few notes different but it's still the same thing over and over again. And then there are bands that specialize in that, and that's what the listeners are looking for. They should support those kinds of bands. We are just not that kind of band and never have been.

Luxi: Has there been any interest in the Morbid Angel camp to re-record some of the Steve Tucker-era material, with your vocal parts, naturally, modified song arrangements and stuff?

David: Not re-recording, no, but we could certainly do some of that stuff live. We have talked about that. We do one live now, and we can make it work but I really don't know about re-recording any of it though.

Luxi: Can I ask about Pete's situation with Morbid Angel?

David: Well, Pete's hurt.

Luxi: When will he be able to join the Morbid Angel ranks again for tours and stuff?

David: I don't know. I am not his doctor. Maybe never; who actually knows? He's an old guy and he's one out. He just cannot be doing...well; apparently I am not his doctor, so...

Luxi: You and Pete worked together on Terrorizer's third album, Hordes of Zombies, which was released this year on Season of Mist. How was it working with him? It's been 23 years since you worked together on that album, World Downfall.

David: Well, I just felt like that was something that would be cool to do, as I did the first Terrorizer record, but I didn't do the second one. He asked me if I'd be interested in doing the third, and I knew that he was getting ready for his back surgeries, so I said to him, "Yeah, I'll do it. I'm in, no problem."

Luxi: I was wondering whether, after 23 years, you found at least a bit of the chemistry on this third Terrorizer album that you had in on the World Downfall record.

David: Well, truth be told, weren't in the studio together. I mean, he did all his drum tracks first, and then he went to have that surgery. So, in other words he wasn't even there with the rest of the tracking with vocals, guitar and bass. He wasn't around there at that time at all.

Luxi: Have there been any talks about shows or even a tour with Terrorizer?

David: Hmmm. I mean, listen, anything is a possibility, anything is a possibility, you never know.

Luxi: Basically, it all started for Morbid Angel with the Thy Kingdom Come demo, which was one of the most extreme Death Metal demos recorded ever in the whole history of the underground Metal scene, back in the day. What kind of memories do you have of the recording sessions for this demo? Do you remember all of it?

David: Wow... this is the actual one. This is not a bootleg. As much as I can remember of the sessions, it was difficult for us to get this recorded because we were thrown out of three different studios. We got thrown out of two different studios because of where we lived at the time and, uh, they weren't appreciative of the material, so...

Luxi: The Thy Kingdom Come demo was the one that brought you your first ever recording deal with Earache Records?

David: Yeah, that's true.

Luxi: Okay, David, that's it. Thank you very much for sharing some of your time with me and all the best for your show tonight...

David: Thank you man. Appreciated!

Other information about Morbid Angel on this site
Review: Gateways To Annihilation
Review: Covenant
Review: Altars of Madness
Review: Blessed Are The Sick
Review: Domination
Review: Heretic
Review: Formulas Fatal To The Flesh
Review: Illud Divinum Insanus




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