INTERVIEW: Steve Tucker – Morbid Angel

One of the founding fathers of our great genre, Tampa’s MORBID ANGEL are as divisive as they are unarguably important. As with every legendary band, arguments have been made that they are passed their best, and should call it a day. But with their magnificent return to form, Kingdoms Disdained (read our review here), Trey Azagthoth, the recently returned veteran Steve Tucker and new-to-the-fold guitarist and drummer Daniel Vadim Von and Scott Fuller have proven that MORBID ANGEL are just as relevant now as they were 20 years ago. We managed to grab frontman Tucker for a chat about all things Kingdoms Disdained, how he plans to manage both his MORBID ANGEL and WARFATHER commitments, and the unfortunate situation with two cancelled European tours earlier this year.

How are things in the MORBID ANGEL camp?

Steve: Things are going great, Everyone is very excited about Kingdoms Disdained and looking forward to doing shows.

It has been a long 14 years since MORBID ANGEL released Heretic – after such a long time away, how was it getting back into the mind-set of writing music for Kingdoms Disdained?

Steve: It did not take long to get right back into feeling natural. As soon as Trey started sending me new songs, I was fully focused on MORBID ANGEL and the new album. It is actually quite odd how easy it was to step back in and become comfortable.

Which of the new tracks are you particularly proud of?

Steve: This is a tricky question because there are 11 songs on Kingdoms Disdained, and it goes through a lot of different kinds of songs. I am proud of all of the songs, however at the moment the song Architect and Iconoclast is the song that I am really proud of the lyrics and the monstrous music…

Can you walk as through the lyrical concepts and ideas you explored throughout Kingdoms Disdained?

Steve: I have spent quite a lot of time talking about the lyrics for the album and what they mean to me. I don’t really think that what they mean to me is nearly as important as, what they mean to the metalhead listening to the album. For me what these lyrics are is a fine line between reality, what is going on in this crazy place we call earth, and what is going on inside of peoples soul, the constant conflicts have made for constant conflict in the world.

It is clear from the first listen that MORBID ANGEL is back as a force to be reckoned with. What plans do you have for the album cycle that you can tell us?

Steve: I am happy with the results, I personally think Kingdoms Disdained is a very aggressive and unnerving album. I look forward to the extensive touring that we have planned for the album, that will last for months and hopefully tour all corners of this planet.

With Kingdoms Disdained’s release will you be focusing your attention solely on MORBID ANGEL for the near future, or can we expect some more action from WARFATHER in 2018?

Steve: I would not expect anything to happen with WARFATHER for quite some time, if at all……

Given the obvious scheduling clashes that will happen when planning for both bands, is there any chance of you pulling double duty and taking WARFATHER on tour with MORBID ANGEL?

Steve: I wish I could say yes, however that is not at all possible. A MORBID ANGEL show takes my full energy, It would not be possible for me to do two shows in one night, I become too dehydrated. WARFATHER, for now, will sleep…

You premiered Paradigms Warped (then just called Warped) on your live dates back home over the summer. Will Paradigms Warped remain in the live set, and what other tracks from the new album are you looking forward to playing live?

Steve: I believe that we will keep Paradigms Warped in the set. It is a beast of a song live, very huge and powerful. I am not sure what other tracks we will be doing live to start. I do know that we plan to play the track D.E.A.D. and I am really looking forward to that!

Despite the excellence on display in Formulas Fatal to the Flesh, Gateways To Annihilation and Heretic, these three albums are often overshadowed by the “classic” era of MORBID ANGEL. How was it for you to play some of the criminally underrated material from these albums over the summer?

Steve: It was brilliant to play songs from those albums, it had been years since most of those songs were played, so in essence it was a sort of rebirth.

Will MORBID ANGEL continue to only play tracks from these albums in the future, with the addition of Kingdoms Disdained tracks, or can fans expect a setlist spanning the whole of the band’s career?

Steve: The fans can expect a set list spanning the entire lifetime of the band.

There were a lot of European fans that were disappointed at the two tour cancellations earlier this year – can you give us a bit more information on what the issues with the State Department are, and when they’re likely to be resolved?

Steve: Yes, I must say that we were extremely disappointed as well. The issue, it seems has been resolved and moving forward there should be no problems. When dealing with issues like this, it is best to just let the people sorting it out discuss it, I would not want to cause any problems with it.

Can we hope to see MORBID ANGEL back in the UK in 2018?

Steve: Yes I believe so, and it is something that I am very much looking forward to.

There’s a lot of new, young bands in the death metal scene at the moment playing a very old-school style, both in terms of song writing and production sound. Are there any of these revival bands you are really enjoying?

Steve: I think death metal is a permanent fixture in the music industry, and old school death metal is obviously my thing. I wouldn’t know what you mean by revival bands, but I still think that bands like SUFFOCATION are making amazing music.

Do you have any parting messages for our readers?

Steve: Stay brutal and I look forward to seeing you on tour !

Thanks so much for your time today Steve, take care!

Steve: Cheers brother.

Kingdoms Disdained is out now via Silver Linings Music.

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