Saturday 29 June 2013

Interview with Morality Crisis

Boats cover art

Today on Sludgelord I am interviewing brilliant demented as fuck Sludge Rockers - Morality Crisis - who are celebrating releasing their amazing debut record - Boats - which I reviewed recently.

I stated the following about their excellent album -

"Boats is a blast from start to finish. Blending gut-wrenching vocals and heart-pounding riffs that feels like your being hit with a hammer. Though these guys have a great sense of humour to match the insane carnage on show.

Morality Crisis have delivered a weird and wonderful album that will surely see as one of the genres leading lights. Just I don't know which fucking genre they fit in and that is the beauty of this band.

Boats is an absolute must have!!!"

Well the guys have kindly done an interview with me. So lets see what these crazy mother-fuckers have to say to us as Sludgelord HQ.

Q1 – Hi Guys, Thanks for doing this. How are things with you guys Today.

Things are great Steve! It finally stopped snowing in Minnesconsin so we're enjoying the weather. I'm a little tired from a bitchin' weekend but life goes on.

Q2 – For people not in the know can you give them a brief history of the band and how it came about.

Our band started in Wausau, WI, in 2003, when we were 15 years old. While in high school we played all over Wisconsin and in a few surrounding states, and we recorded our first EP, "Love and Passion", which you can hear at our bandcamp. After high school we all moved to different places but stayed in touch and even played the odd basement show here and there. In that time we gradually began moving to Minneapolis, MN, and by 2011 we were all there. We started up again, released an EP at the beginning of 2012, and haven't looked back since.

Q3 – How would you describe your sound. As even I have a hard time describing it.


Q4 – Which bands and artists influence you directly as musicians.

Sleep, Yes, Karp, At the Drive-In, Deicide, GG Allin, Drive Like Jehu, Melvins, King Crimson, Boris. Our music teachers from middle and high school are still big influences on all of us.

Q5 – Are you all full time musicians or do you have regular jobs to pay the bills.

We’ve got jobs.

Q6 – Are your family and friends supportive of your music.

They're supporting of us as people and as musicians. Not so sure that they understand what we're doing, but they respect the musical relationship we've shared for so long.

Q7 – What is the song-writing process in the band. Is it a group collective or is just down to one individual.

The process is entirely collaborative. We stand around in a circle and hammer out riffs on the spot. Rarely someone will bring in a riff or a rhythm for us to expand on, but for the most part it's all done in the presence of one another. As for lyrics/subject matter, song titles/lyrics usually start as inside jokes between us that we expand upon and attempt to attach to something larger.

Q8 – Your new album – BOATS – is an absolute blast from start to finish. Congrats on that one. What the fuck is it about.

Thanks Steve! "Boats" are the tiny bubbles that float down a stream of piss. One night we were making boats in the alley after a show and we decided that our next album should be called "Boats". There isn't an overarching theme to the record, but in retrospect, themes could include: bitterness, being born a little bit retarded, drugs, bad women, and bad music.

Q9 – Was it an easy album to write and record for.

No, it was difficult as shit! For one, we became a three-piece last summer for the first time, so we were adjusting our songwriting scheme to fit the new band dynamic. We went through a pretty intense six-month songwriting period where we relearned our band dynamic, learning how to improve our communication and chemistry.

Recording was difficult as well. Our longtime George Martin's name is Adam Tucker and he's got a great studio called Signaturetone Recording. Adam wanted the production of this record to mimic our live chemistry, and to that end we made the decision not to doubletrack any guitar (as is the norm with heavy records), to not use click tracks, to jack up Jordan's bass in the mix, and to have the final mix non-limited - very quiet. It was taxing for everyone involved but it seems to have better solidified our band dynamic.

Q10 – Now your releasing the album on Vinyl which was made possible via the Kickstarter Project. Which has been very successful. Congrats on that one. Was that a hard decision to make to appeal to your fans to fund the Vinyl Pressing.

Thanks for your congratulations. Doing a Kickstarter campaign was definitely a bit of a decision. We figured that our campaign would essentially function as a pre-order of "Boats", and that doing so would allow us to fund a run of 200 records, while selling a good chunk of our run in the process. It was a little nerveracking to rattle the cup, so to speak, but our supporters definitely came out of the woodwork to support us and we’re grateful.

Q11 – Will you use Kickstarter again to fund future releases. Or was it for just this one time.

We're really not sure. On one hand, you don't want to take anybody's support for granted by constantly hounding people for money. We're incredibly humbled by the support we received for "Boats" and we do not want to take this support for granted. On the other hand, the changing nature of music marketing will call for a more direct link between artists and their audiences, and crowdsourcing is a natural extension of this. While we're not sure if we'll use Kickstarter again in the way we used it this time, crowdsourcing on a larger scale is something we'd like to explore.

Q12 – How big of a help has BandCamp been in getting your music across to the masses. Obviously Kickstarter has been a massive help.

Bandcamp has been huge for us! It's essentially a format now, like a 12" or a CD. It's great to have a customizable blank page to present your album, and they're only making it into more of a community with fan pages and discovernator. An incredible resource.

Q13 – In five words what is the Morality Crisis live experience like.

Enormous. Fucking. Death. Ass. Knife.

Q14 – Now your music has lots of black humour thrown into the mix. Especially with the song titles and lyrics themselves. Is humour a big part of the Morality Crisis experience. Or did you just want to have some fun with the album.

Humor is a huge part of the experience, it goes along with the collaborative nature of our band. When we're together we're constantly laughing our asses off so it's natural for the product to reflect that. We like when the listener is confused as to whether or not we're being funny or brutally serious, because most of the time we're not so sure ourselves.

Q15 – What are your favourite bands around at the moment. Do you listen to modern day rock/metal or do you just listen to the classic era of Stoner/Sludge/Doom/Post-Rock/Post-Metal.

Our favorite bands at the moment include Nerves, Earthrise, Ambassador Gun, Poney, Svoboda, and Maeth, just to name a few. Within the band you won't find a whole lot of agreement when it comes to heavy music, but here's what we've been jamming in the van lately: Yes, Kool Keith, Krallice, Accept Death, Bomb the Music Industry!, Clutchy Hopkins, Gary Wilson, the new Bisento tape, lots of classic rock and a questionable amount of top 40 radio.

Q16 – What are your views of blogs such as Sludgelord featuring and reviewing your records as opposed to mainstream magazines.

Blogging is the shit! It's awesome to see individuals take initiative to promote their favorite music and to drive the conversation. Most national publications place too much emphasis on image and culture anyways, whereas most dedicated bloggers I have come into contact with are much more focused on the music.

Q17 – What are your views record companies shutting down blogs and websites due to illegal downloading. Some people are for it and some people are against it.

Fuck the RIAA. Digital audio files do not contain any scarcity and should not be treated as if they do. Maybe if people in The Industry hadn't functioned so excessively and inefficiently for so long CD prices wouldn't have become so unreasonable. Now, they're seeing a public who no longer requires their shitty music cartel in order to find quality jams and the RIAA is freaking out.

Let 'em. Music is nothing more than information and information is supposed to be free and available to everyone. If a listener derives great joy from a record it’s reasonable to encourage them to purchase the physical product, but it’s no longer reasonable to expect everyone to pay for every song they ever hear. There’s just too much music (good problem to have, if you ask me).

Q18 – What are the most and least rewarding aspects of participating with the band. Obviously the reality of how expensive it is being in a band could be considered as a negative aspect.

Least rewarding: $, time spent neglecting friends and loved ones, the fact that I'm still a seventeen year old at age 25.

Most rewarding: making music we can be proud of and watching people respond to it, going excellent places and meeting excellent people, working with cool bands, serious memories that I'll cherish forever, the fact that I'm still a seventeen year old at age 25.

Q19 – What pisses you off most in music today. And if you could what would you change.

An endless loop of nostalgia that passes for innovation.

If I could change anything in music today, I'd change our band name to Bolt Thrower.

Q20 – What words of wisdom would you give to a band starting out or some friends wanting to start a band of their own.

Play lots of video games together, get a good drummer, get a whole bunch of amps and link them all together, only write music for yourselves, delay pedals are great for concealing ineptitude, listen to music of different styles than what you're trying to write, smash stuff all the time.

Q21 - Finally, Do you have anything to say your fans

Thanks for reading and for your support. HUGE thanks to our many kickstarter donors - we literally couldn't have done this without you. Be sure to watch and share our new video, "Enormous Fucking Death Ass Knife", Also, big thanks to Adam Tucker for the huge sounds and endless wisdom, and to Will Leighton for his great work with the video.

Well guys thanks for talking to me. Been great in talking to you guys. Good luck with your excellent album. All the best from Sludgelord.

Thank you talking to us Steve! We’re glad you dig “Boats”. Take care!

Well a huge thanks to Morality Crisis for taking the time out to talk to me. Check out their brilliant new album BOATS as it's available for free download on BandCamp. If you like what you hear then please buy the CD and Vinyl.

Check These Crazy Dudes from links below.