Interview with Steve Tucker of Morbid Angel (1998)
by Melanie from Necrosis

MR: How has the tour gone so far?
ST: It's been going well; there's been a lot of people turning out and lots of draw at the shows. Vader had to drop off the tour; that sucks, but now, for up through the Midwest, we've got these guys from Cincinatti, a band called Internecine, opening for us. That's killer. They're great. <note - Nile was added as part of the tour just four days after this interview took place. The new touring lineup is Nile, Incantation, and Morbid Angel. - ed.>
MR: I've heard of them (Internecine). Are they signed?
ST: No, but they will be. You should watch 'em tonight. You'll see. MR: What differences have you noted in the Ohio versus thenational metal scene?
ST: Well, we did Columbus and we did Cincinatti, and tonight we do Cleveland. Man, I have to say.. I'm proud to say Ohio's one of the sickest places we've been. I knew it though - I grew up in Cincinatti, and I've been going to shows since I was eleven years old. I always knew Cincinatti was one of the best places to see a concert, or to play a concert.
MR: What's the size of Bogart's? Do they only book big nationals?
ST: Oh, no, they have locals and stuff like that too. It's big. It holds a lot of people, maybe 1600-1800. They usually have bigger bands like national acts. It's nice; it's set up like a theater.
MR: Soit's bigger than the place you're playing tonight (the Agora Ballroom)?
ST: Yeah. The place tonight looks like a god place though. Enough people for it to be sick, I know. Ohio kicks ass. Everyone likes coming here.  We'll do another tour in a couple of months and I can bet, we'll be back.
MR: Talk about your new album. Tell me how it is different from past albums.
ST: I think the big difference is that <David> Vincent's gone. I'm here, but obviously, um.. I think "Formulas.." is much rawer than Morbid <Angel>'s done in the last couple albums. It's what should have come after "Covenant", instead of "Domination". I think this is the album that shoud l have come out, but, whatever.. I think it's a good strong album; there's a lot of speed, and a lot of variety on it. And, I'm on it! <smiles>
MR: What would be your favorite composition on the album? Why?
ST: 'Chambers of Dis'. It's really fast, the words are very strong, it's real powerful, and it has a lot of meaning. The song has a little bit of everything in it. I just love that song. In so many words.
MR: Are you guys going to do anything like "Altars of Madness" anytime soon? <I hope! - ed.>
ST: I think this album is actually a lot like "Altars..". It's really raw, real fast, real crunchy... A lot of people compare this album to "Altars.."There's a lot of people that have been into Morbid Angel for 10-11 years that compare it to "Altars..". The difference is that it's 1998, and that was done in what, 1990.. ??
MR: What's the present line-up?
Steve Tucker - bass, vocals
Trey Azagthoth - lead guitars
Eric Rutan - rythym guitars (on the tour)
Pete Sandoval - drums
MR: Talk about your bass playing and technique.
ST: It's deathmetal. My technique is "necessity". I do what I have to do.  I'm not going to demean it.. there are some really good bass players out there. Alex Webster from <Cannibal> Corpse is incredible. I'm not going to say I'm anything like that. I play what's necessary. I think I'm a good, solid player, but I'm by no means real flamboyant. I'm not going up there trying to run off a thousand crazy scales or a lot of tapping or anything like that.
MR: Brief note about the label...
ST: Yeah, they're cool. Earache's a cool label. They're real happy with the new album. I think it's doing really well.  They're doing everything they can to help us. They want to help us. Earache's treating us pretty well.
MR: OK, talk about your label. How have they helped out? What kind of support have you recieved?
ST: They're doing a lot of advertising. They've been great.
MR: What are your influences? How do you blend those to form a unique sound?
ST: Slayer; the first four albums, up to South of Heaven, Iron Maiden;stuff like that. I've been into metal forever. As far as how I blend it, it's just what comes out - I don't know how I do it precisely... I've been playing metal and listening to metal forever, so whatever comes out, does.
MR: Do you have any funny / horror stories to relate from the tour?
ST: Funny things happen every day, and terrible things happen every day.  It's a constant up and down. There's a lot of shit that happens. I can't really pinpoint anything. You never know what the day's going to bring.
MR: I didn't know Internecine was playing tonight. That's cool.
ST: Yeah, they're probably the best unsigned band out there. That's why they're doing a bunch of shows with us. We've got an unsigned band on tour with us. It's completely underground, but they fuckin' rule, so people should be exposed to them and know about 'em. We like 'em, we think they're fuckin' killer, and we want them to play with us. There's not that many *really* good bands out there, so if you can open somebody's eyes to a good band, then you should.
MR: Does the label choose / support you bringing other bands on tour with you, or do you just do that on your own initiative?
ST: They're just out on the road. We don't have to ask the label... We support ourselves on tour. I don't believe we have to clear anything.
JG: What do you bring to the band or add to it personally?
ST: I think I bring a lot of energy. I'm full into metal. I always have been. I think you could tell Vincent wasn't into metal anymore, and he was wanting to do non-metal things. He's in Genitorturers now, and from what I understand, he's happy in that band now. That's fine. I don't have any problem with Vincent - I'm just speaking the facts. He just didn't want to do metal anymore.
MR: And now you are.
ST: Well, I always have been. It's just now, I'm in Morbid Angel.
MR: Did you have to do a pre-audition process to get in the band or did they just invite you?
ST: It was like... I talked to Trey, we got along real good, I sent him a tape, and he asked me to come to Florida and try out. So, I flew down to FL, and tried out, and it worked out well.
MR: What's it like having Incantation open for you?
ST: I think it's killer. They're one of the best death metal bands. I think Incantation's a pretty evil sound, actually! I think they sound pretty evil so it's cool; I like 'em.
MR: What were you doing prior to joining Morbid Angel?
ST: I was in a band called Ceremony. The band was the drummer from Internecine (now), and me, and the guy that's in Cannibal Corpse now -Pat O'Brien. The new guitarist for Corpse. In Cincinatti, we all know one another, and shit happened - we went our own ways, and now we all have our own things going, so it's cool.
MR: Do you write the lyrics? Who writes them?
ST: Actually, Trey wrote the lyrics. He wrote all the lyrics and music to the new album, him and Pete. They were writing it, and then David quit.  Then I came in, so... Well, hopefully on the next album I'll be writing lyrics.
MR: Well, when you *do* begin penning lyrics, what will you cite for inspiration?
ST: Oh, anything. Whatever I'm feeling or thinking about at the moment. I don't really deal with mass media. Everyone and their brother's dealt with mass media, so I think it's kind of boring actually. Wherever I'm at. I think as a person I'm continually changing, and growing. I don't think it can be set in stone because I think, if as a person, you're not continually changing and growing, you're not whole. You must continually grow or you're useless.