» Blog Archive Conversing With Steve Tucker of Morbid Angel -
Evan Conway Hard Music, News, Tours

steve tucker 1 As they gear up for the first tour in support of their ninth studio album, Kingdoms Disdained, it’s safe to say that Morbid Angel is back on track. Though the current line-up is almost entirely different from their previous studio effort, the band’s fan base were more than excited when it was revealed that former bassist and vocalist Steve Tucker would be rejoining the band to write a “death metal” album. Flash forward nearly three years, the album’s out, and a tour is quickly approaching. We got the chance to talk with Tucker for a few minutes, asking questions concerning the new album, the current vibe in the Morbid Angel camp, and bands touring full albums for their anniversary.

Metal Machine: First tour for Kingdoms is starting next week, how excited are you to get out there and bring more of the new material to the live setting?

Steve Tucker: We’re definitely stoked, this is the first time we’ve been able to do the songs in a completed form. So I mean, now we’re really doing this live for the first time and it’s awesome. I’ve come to realize the album is so humongous and I love every second of it; they’re big on the album but live it’s another beast entirely.

What was it like coming back to the band again after ten years? Was there any kind of hesitation in coming back?

There’s always hesitation. Going back to anything, time changes shit, so it’s not the way it was, but it’s gonna be different no matter what. It’s more normal than I could’ve imagined it to be. Everything’s going so well that it’s a bit surprising for me. I’m one of these people who always expect the worst, so it’s one of those things where we’re all just really happy. We’re really locked in and everyone really understands each other. Trey’s (Azagthoth) happy, I’m happy. There’s nothing petty. A lot of bands have petty little shit but we don’t have any of that.

steve tucker 2I always found Morbid Angel to be a forward-thinking death metal act, and Kingdoms definitely reminds me of Formulas, which was a big step forward for the band. Was there any goal in mind you guys had in mind when working on this album?

Goal wise it’s to make the best album we could make. Y’know, that’s always the goal. With this album it was just about playing what we felt was right. I personally worship death metal, I don’t wanna change Morbid Angel, and I want them to be the best damn band. Mutually we all just wanna do an album we love and if we really love it, from past experience, it’s the stuff that fans really love as well. If you look down you see this band is about self-perseverance, so it’s really about praising power and being empowered by it. Morbid Angel is just a band but it’s not a negative one; We wouldn’t have lasted 30 years. The usage of power and the usage of energy and forcing it to be something that Trey and I really believe in is what makes it special. Any individual has the power to accomplish anything and how you go about it is your own thing, and we aim to make that the focus of the band when writing. We don’t ant to put out an album that you can only listen to in a death metal mood. Our goal is to make it so you can sit and enjoy Morbid Angel at any time and make albums that are timeless and always a positive, empowering outlet.

One of my favorite aspects of Kingdoms is that Erik Rutan (Hate Eternal) produced it with you guys. What was it like having him in the studio with you again for the first time since Gateways?

Erik’s one of my best friends. Trey and him have been friends forever, so working with him is like one of those pluses of being around for a while and having control of your own destiny with the band. To get to work with someone who is our best friend and knows what we’re trying to do is amazing. He’s been a part of the band for a while. He knows the band better than anyone but Trey. It’s a perk to get to play music and hang out with my best friend. It’s a great twist of fate that I got to play in a band with Erik. We’re from two different places in the country, but the similarities are almost freakish! It’s only through Morbid Angel that we’ve met. It’s a guided hand, a fated thing. One of those things that needed to happen. I feel the same about Trey: I wasn’t the powerful person I am until I met them. (And Pete [Sandoval, former drummer] of course!) They taught me how to do this professionally.

steve tucker 3The last tour you guys did was strictly from albums you performed on, but I noticed that this upcoming tour was going to be featuring material from the entirety of Morbid Angel’s discography. Is it going to be a 50/50 split between yours and the material from when David was in the band, or is it just gonna be random pickings with fan favorites included?

That’s the hardest thing, to be honest. We’ve got so many fucking songs and there’s so many that are fantastic. Trey doesn’t wanna play some because he’s been playing some for years obviously, but we’re trying to diversify while not ignoring the past. We’re gonna be switching up the sets depending on how we feel and base it on how we’re feeling. We’re really trying to keep it fresh and we personally feel if it’s fresh to us and we enjoy it, it’s gonna come through. I think some people will complain they didn’t hear a song, but that’s a thing about having so many albums. If we had one good album, then it’d be easy, but that’s not the case! (Laughs)

Last question: in recent years, bands have been celebrating album anniversaries by playing them in full live. Is there any Morbid Angel album you think deserves that ‘live in its entirety’ treatment or one in particular you’d really like to play start to finish? 

They did a Covenant tour and that was pretty cool, but it’s never been my thing to do a ‘Greatest Hits’ tour. Playing Formulas would be really exciting, but I think we’re gonna have the same scenario where people wanna hear other songs regardless even though we’re doing that album. I’m not for or opposed to it. If it’s for the right reasons, like an overwhelming amount of fan demand, then sure. Money isn’t a motivator. I enjoy our set as is. Some of the brilliance is the diversity of it. Going out doing one album? It’s fun, but I’d rather do the full album and then come back and do a 10 song set.

Kingdoms Disdained is available everywhere now. Morbid Angel begin their tour with Misery Index, Origin, and more next week in North Carolina.

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