As many of you know MORBID ANGEL dropped one helluva new album Kingdoms Disdained late last year through Silver Lining Music. It was on many a year end Top Albums list, mine included, and is still in pretty heavy rotation here at A&GS HQ. It’s also a staple in Mini-Amps’ iPod; he loves it! I also had the chance, at year’s end, to sit and chat with bassist/vocalist Steve Tucker about all things MORBID ANGEL, what he does in his spare time, and more. Check it:
Amps: First things first, all I can say about this new record is “WOW!”
Steve: Thanks, man. I’m glad you like it. It’s pretty mean, gets kind of nasty and just sort of stays there.
Amps: It does what a Death Metal album is supposed to do: get in, kick your ass, then get out.
Steve: I agree. It’s funny because this album goes by pretty quick for me but we did more songs than we’ve ever done on a MORBID ANGEL album. For me I was like, “Wow, this is a pretty big venture.” But in the end it all goes by pretty fast, dude.
Amps: While I have you on the line, I wanted to ask about the WARFATHER album (The Grey Eminence). It was definitely one of 2016’s best. Any idea when you might do another one?
Steve: Thank you. I felt really good at that time. I had fun and had gotten back into the groove of Death Metal as a whole, you know? I had spent a couple years doing some projects, but I hadn’t done the full-on band thing in awhile, and that album made me very happy. As far as another one, when I have time. MORBID is my main thing now, so I’m focused on that.
Amps: So, this is your first album with the band in over a decade. What was the writing and recording process like this time around?
Steve: This one was a little bit different than any one we’ve ever done before because of the fact that we were working with (producer) Erik Rutan. Once we got past the point of rehearsals and stuff Erik was around every single day. It was fun, dude! First of all, going in, when you’re writing songs you know what kind of vibe you have on them already. And I felt like we had some really cool stuff. I knew the production was gonna be amazing and top notch, because Erik is top notch. There was less overall time stress than ever before with recording. Even when I did the first WARFATHER album a couple years before this, I had a very short period of time to do it and I needed to get it done by a certain date. This time around we had more money to allow more time to do what needs to be done so we could make a great album. So there’s really no excuse. You’ve got everyone you needed, the tools you needed, everyone did their jobs. So there literally is no excuse for not doing a great album.
Amps: Do any particular tracks on Kingdoms Disdained stand out to you more than others?
Steve: At this point they are still all my babies. There are songs that really go far in expressing what the album’s about, and we’re trying to figure out which of them would make for a great video. They’ve all got their own vibes that all tie together. To me, this album is stronger as a whole than just a single, you know? When I listen to certain iconic albums like SLAYER’S Reign In Blood, and I’m NOT comparing this album to that one, but when I listen to Reign In Blood I have to listen to the whole thing start to finish.And I think this album is one that people will like from beginning to end and not wanna skip over anything. I do love “Garden of Disdain” because it’s a cool, neat, trippy song. “Architect and Iconoclast” has some of my favorite lyrics I’ve done. I knew going in that we’d do a pretty cool record and it ended up being cooler than I thought.
Amps: Let’s talk touring. What are your plans, and goddammit, WHEN are you coming to Philly??
Steve: (Laughs) man I hope we get to hit Philly because we didn’t last time. Let me tell why I always look forward to Philly, and this goes back to when Rutan was in the band. He was always super-stoked to play Philly because that was home to him, and the crowds have always been phenomenal. And many people know that I’m a big fan of history, and Philadelphia is a great city to go to because you can walk around and see things that mean absolutely everything to this country that I live in. Being so close to where things happened that are so important in this great nation, that’s humongous to me. And the food is awesome, especially the cheese steaks!
Amps: What new albums are doing it for you in 2017? And what do you listen to at home or in the car?
Steve: Man, that new SUFFOCATION album (…Of the Dark Light) is killer! We toured with them and they gave me a copy. That album blows my mind! It’s a full-on assault with some of the most evil riffs I’ve ever heard in Death Metal. But I also have classics that I listen to on the regular, like METALLICA’S Master of Puppets. for me, I’ve heard that album a million times, and I still enjoy every minute of it. And like I said, Reign In Blood is another one I play all the time.
Amps: Tell me some of your interests outside of music?
Steve: My son is 18 years old now so I love to spend time with him. That’s one of may favorite things to do in life. He’s hilarious, bro. He’s just a cool-ass dude. On the last tour we did my brother came and hung out. For me, when I get some family time I’m good. I play video games, I’ve got my dogs I play with, I watch way too many sports on TV, too (laughs). I’m a busy guy these days and I prefer that. I am very productive when I get in that mode.
Amps: What would you like John or Jane Q. Listener to take away from this record?
Steve: Man, I hope when the album ends my one hope would be that they start it over. MORBID ANGEL music is just so layered out; it’s deep music. I don’t think it’s possible to get everything and take it all in on the first listen. The more you hear it the more you find things within a song that makes it the monster it is.
Amps: What do you want to say to all the MORBID ANGEL fans out there in the world?
Steve: It’s good to see you all again, that’s it. And I hope you love the album.
Steve Tucker being back in MORBID ANGEL is a wonderful thing. A great guy, kickass musician, and a pleasure to talk to, that’s him. Kingdoms Disdained is a fucking fantastic album, and I hope they keep churning out records like this for the next twenty years. You’d be crazy not to own it by now. I also really need to catch them live ASAP! Here’s hoping we get a Philly date in 2018.
IMAGES: CHRIS CASELLA