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I Am Morbid

I Am Morbid
I Like When Everybody Is Friends


Архив интервью | Русская версия

The history of the ineffable Morbid Angel is full of ups, downs and unexpected turns, just like a plot of a good multi-part saga. Just a while ago fans were rejoicing over the return of cult frontman David Vincent, whose monumental voice influenced an entire generation of growling and screaming vocalists. Even though there was a huge amount of arguments over the album that followed, "Illud Divinum Insanus" (about which yours truly, by the way, is completely ecstatic), the fact that Vincent's vocals adorn the strongest and most classic albums of the band, cannot be contested.
Trouble, however, was quick to follow: a falling out happened between David and the band’s mastermind Trey Azagthoth. And in the blink of an eye, David is again an ex-member of Morbid Angel. For a few years he was inactive in the metal realm, but then all of a sudden the news broke out that caused a big stir among fan communities of Florida’s death metal legend. Teaming up with a few associates under the self-explanatory banner of I Am Morbid (that's how one of the smashers from the band's latest record is called), David decided to hit the stage with classic tracks of Morbid Angel’s golden era, originally released on such iconic albums as "Altars of Madness" (1989), "Blessed Are the Sick" (1991), "Covenant" (1993) and "Domination" (1995).
The new band’s line-up looks very intriguing, too, as Vincent is joined by drummer Tim Young, who already played with Morbid Angel, as well as by guitarists Bill Hudson (Circle II Circle, Jon Oliva's Pain, U.D.O.) and Ira Black (Heathen, Lizzy Borden, Metal Church). And the most interesting thing is that the very first concerts in the history of I Am Morbid will take place not in Europe or the USA, but in Russia. In the run-up to this tour, we reached out to David, and he answered all our burning questions

Hello David! How are you, man?

I’m looking forward to coming and visiting you very soon.

Glad to hear it, we are totally looking forward to it, too. What are the interesting developments in your life at the moment? How is the preparation for the upcoming tour going?

It’s going well. We have another rehearsal session, which begins next week. And we are headed straight in a new direction.

How did you get the idea of creating I Am Morbid? Was it a spontaneous decision or a result of your departure from Morbid Angel?

Probably both. I was going to do this anyway. But there’s a lot of factors. It’s fans saying, “Hey, we want it, we wanna see you doing this”. It’s the guitar players and the drummer. It’s everybody. And for me it’s really exciting, I’ve never been in Russia before. It will be my first trip there ever.

Recently you said that you plan to play some rare stuff that have not performed for a long time.

Yeah, correct.

Maybe you can name for example a couple of these songs, that you wanted to add to the setlist?

Oh, no, come on, you will come to the show and will see everything.

So, at least I’ve tried. (everybody laughs) Can you name some of your personal favorites from the Morbid Angel legacy, I mean, the times when you were in the band?

Well, I like them all. I really do. I know it sounds like a generic answer, but every record is a point of history. And they all are very different, you know. They all sound different, and there's a common theme which is always dark, as it should be.

In addition to classic stuff, do you have plans to play songs from “Illud Divinum Insanus”? For example, “I Am Morbid” definitely deserves it.

I will play that. But I’m really concentrating on the classic material, but we will play “I Am Morbid”, yeah.

Doing an interview with you, it would be very difficult to avoid the topic of your departure from Morbid Angel. Can you name the reasons why you no longer work with Trey?

(sighs heavily) I could probably tell you what I think, but we haven’t talked about it much. So, I’m sure he’s gonna have his reasons, and I’m gonna have my reasons. Trey is a very creative guitar player, and I have respect for that and I always will. I’ve just don’t have any comment on that.

Do you keep in touch with Pete Sandoval (former drummer) or any other past member of the band? Richard (Brunnelle, guitar) or Erik (Rutan, guitar)?

Erik, I speak with him occasionally, we have a very good relationship. We have a good relationship with Pete, too. And I haven’t spoken to Richard for a long time. There is no animosity, it’s just he has his life, I have mine.

Tell me about the guitarists of I Am Morbid – Bill and Ira. How do you meet them? And why did you choose these very people for the band?

They have both been friends of mine for a long-long time. They are very good guitar players. I’ve worked with them both on some musical projects in the past, but that’s the first time when I actually will play with Ira in a band. But we were friends for many-many years. And I wanted to start that way, I like when everybody is friends, it will make sense very easy. And obviously that talent must be there too. And of course, you know Tim, I’ve worked with him for seven years now. He is just an awesome drum-monster. Now we are really looking forward to this, man.

You have a European tour already booked, but do you have plans to go to the studio with I Am Morbid? Should the fans expect the new material from your new band?

We’re discussing that. I mean, I have a lot of things that I am doing right now. But I need to spend more time with the guys and see how everything feels and is moving forward. That’s all about possibility.

When do you prefer to compose new material, during the tour or when you’re off tour?

It’s always during the downtime. When I’m on tour, I’m solely focused on making the best show as possible. And I can’t think about anything else.

Before the announcement of the current tour, you announced that the first concerts of I Am Morbid would be held in South America in March this year. But these shows never happened. Why?

A shitty promoter. Not only we were hostages of this difficult situation, it was really complicated. But it has nothing to do with us, we were totally ready to go. Our visas and all the documents were ready. But sometimes this happens. It’s no excuse, I’m not happy about it. None of us were happy about it. You know, when you need to make arrangements and certain legal documents, and the promoter does not do his job… You know, there is no other choice.

As you said, you have never been in Russia before. What are your expectations?

I wanted to come to Russia for a long time, my friends in Pantera told me that they had a great time there. I always asked my old manager, “Why we don’t tour Russia?” And he answered something like, “Oh, it’s not gonna work”, and so on. So we never had shows booked there in the past. This is what I certainly wanna do, and I am really excited about visiting Russia. Especially now that our president mostly gets along with your president. (laughs)

Can you remember your first concert with Morbid Angel? How was it like? And what did you feel then?

Oh…. It was probably terrible, it was so long ago, I can’t really remember it.

Maybe you can remember you first gig with the guys when you came back in middle of 2000s?

I think it was 2004. I definitely can remember that one. It was in Mexico. I walked down on stage and saw one of the loudest crowds that we had ever had. The people were really-really crazy that night. And in the end, the sense when you feel the joy of people is the best reward for our work. If the fans chose to spend their time at one of my shows, I'm definitely ready to do my best and give them an absolute maximum.

In Europe you will be supported by Necrophagiat. Do you follow the current extreme metal scene? What band – old or new - would you like to take with you on tour?

You know… I hear so much music these days, there’s so many bands. And usually I hear the music that people share with me. When a friend of mine says, “Hey, did you hear this new band?”, or something like that. “No, I’ve never heard it”. “So check it out”. And sometimes the people play for me, this way I usually hear the new music. So, I like what I like, and I don’t like what I don’t like. When the promoter asked us if Necrophagia was a good choice, I immediately went in and listened to it, and I said “yes”. So it’s very simple. When I hear something and it has a cool vibe, then generally I like it.

Speaking more about the current metal scene, what bands that do not exist anymore would you wish to see again (even if such a reunion is already impossible in principle)? And which band should split-up?

(laughs) Oh man, I have to really think about that. I wanna stay positive, but there’s a lot of bands that sound terrible, and I don’t wanna hear it anymore. But thinking about bands that don’t exist anymore that would require some people to come out of the ground. And my first choice would be Chuck Schuldiner and Death.

Could you now tell me about your country project and about your interest in this music? Do you have plans to continue with it?

Yeah, of course. I’m gonna do that, I’m gonna do everything. I’m not gonna do one thing anymore. It’s very small. I wanna do a lot of different things. But I’m not gonna mix them, it’s gonna stay separate. That’s why I wouldn’t expect to do a heavy metal show and see some fans who wanna to hear some of my outlaw music. Even if I announce some of my outlaw shows, and someone comes to me and asks me if I can play “Maze of Torment”, it’s not gonna happen. So I keep it separate. But I like it all. I like the country stuff I do, I like metal and I even like some dirty rock’n’roll and I have something coming up very soon to present in this way. (Apparently Dave refers to his joining supergroup Headcat, where he replaced the sadly deceased Lemmy Kilmister. This news appeared on the Internet right after we completed this interview – ed.)

In the past you have done guest appearances on a number of albums by famous bands and projects. I want to ask you about Chaostar, one of the most unusual of your guest appearances. Could you tell me about your relationship with Christos Antoniou and about your participation in the recording of their album “Anomima”?

Yeah, I remember it very well. I was asked by Christos if I could take part in this project. But I had never heard it before. I had no idea what it will gonna be. But I have so much respect for Christos. And I’m a big fan of Septic Flesh, it’s probably one of my favorite bands. So, I never heard about Chaostar, but I knew it was made by Christos and Androniki (Skoula), she’s got a beautiful voice, wonderful voice. And I agreed to doing it without even hearing it. And I’m happy with what I did. It was a remarkable experience in the monumental symphonic project.

Is it hard to play the bass using just your fingers, without a pick? I think it’s not an easy task for death metal music.

Well, I use a pick sometimes, I use my fingers sometimes, it’s depends on what mood I’m in. I can even play half a show with a pick and the other half with my fingers. I do it both.

You are known as one of the most powerful vocalists of the death metal scene. How do you manage to keep your voice in its best form all these years?

Oh, that’s a really good question. Well, I had problems, when I was first starting, because I was smoking cigarettes. And I don’t think that cigarettes are very helpful. The second thing is proper breathing. The third thing is, and this is what I didn’t realize, is that after the show if you are standing around in a loud environment and talking to people and you are having to shout over the music additionally for two or three hours, that doesn’t help you there. So, my personal strategy is that I always try to get to sleep as much as possible, cause sleep is a friend. And I drink a lot of water on stage. And of course sing from the heart.

What hobbies do you have apart from music, and how do you spend your free time?

Well, I love motorcycles. I love nature. I like cooking outdoors. Generally I am always doing a lot of things outdoors. I’m enjoying my life when I’m working and I’m enjoying my life when I’m relaxing.

Thank you very much for an interesting chat. Now you have the opportunity to say some words to your Russian fans waiting for your visit!

My last words are gonna sound like my first words. I’m so fucking looking forward to coming, playing some great shows, meet some awesome fans in Russia and see this country that has been somehow avoiding me or I’ve been avoiding my whole life. So I’m very pleased that I have the opportunity to finally get to Russia. We are definitely gonna have some damn good shows!

David Vincent on the Internet: http://www.officialdavidvincent.com

Special thanks to Alexei Kuzovlev for arranging this interview

Mikhail “IronMike” Shatalin
May 5, 2017
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