Interview with David Vincent of Morbid Angel (June 1996)
by Alain M. Gaudrault
from Chronicles of Chaos n°11
Just about everyone knows who they are. They've laid the groundwork for American death metal, influencing countless acts. Love 'em or hate 'em, MA's current success means they'll probably be around for awhile still. I had the chance to speak with vocalist/bassist David Vincent as he sat comfortably in his Florida home, taking it easy after the band's Australian tour. Without further ado...
CoC : I hear you've just returned from an Australian tour and are in need of rest. Burned out?
David Vincent: Oh wow, boy were we. Really, what it is, is the eighteen-hour plane trip, non-stop, in this little tiny cattle-car, you know what I mean? That's weakening. But I love Australia. Once you get there and get over the flight, it's a beautiful country, I love it. Then again, you've got a beautiful country too.
CoC : Getting to business, how has your latest album, _Domination_, done?
David Vincent : It's been doing real well. We're actually real pleased with the response it's gotten. We spent a lot more time on this record than we had on any previous record, and really just trying to hone in on something to get something happening, you know? I'm just really happy that people received it as well as they have, because you know that's the icing on the cake when you're really pleased with something, and then when other people tell you they're pleased with it too. That just makes all the difference.
CoC : So how well has it done in terms of sales compared to the other albums?
David Vincent : We've sold more of [_Domination_] in the time that it's been out than we have any other record.
CoC : The tour; how's it going so far? What's the current status?
David Vincent : Well right now, we're at home for a little while and going back out in June, going to Europe and South America.
CoC : Those are areas you haven't covered yet on the _Domination_ tour?
David Vincent : We've done Europe before, but we'll be doing festivals there throughout the summer. It's just shy of a month's worth of playing. We've had a really good response so far. We've been trying to branch out lately and go to places where we don't normally go. Like the last time we played in West Virginia which, we didn't even know what was going on over there, but we had a good crowd for what it was. It was a small town, real isolated. That's the kind of thing... I want to do more of that and get into the heartland as well, 'cause we always go do the big cities. I want to play some places where you'd never expect it, you know? We've found that there's a lot of people who have been fans for awhile, and some of them have been fortunate enough to make it to some of the other shows we've played in the larger cities over the years, and some people just can't afford to do that, so when you can take it to them it shows them that you're really committed to trying to do the right thing, which we are.
CoC : It seems you've had a label change lately. What's the scoop?
David Vincent : We're still on Earache in Europe, we just don't have an American record label right now so they're helping out with some of the promotion. We're no longer working with Giant anymore. They just passed on their option. We had a two-record deal and options after that. Well, frankly, the amount of money that they would have to pay us for this next record is just through the roof, and they've actually changed, there really isn't no more Giant Records either. They've had a bunch of changes over there and they dropped all but two bands, changed the name of the label and changed the whole focus.
CoC : Speaking of the next album, do you have any details to share?
David Vincent : We haven't started working on it yet. We'll probably start working on it towards the end of the year.
CoC : Once you've completed touring for _Domination_?
David Vincent : Right. Once we're in this limbo thing. When we get down to working on a record, we're not disturbed by anything. We don't book shows, the phones are off the hook, we kinda close ourselves off and just get to work.
CoC : Now that Erik Rutan's had time to settle into his role in Morbid Angel, have things significantly changed musically and personally within the band?
David Vincent : He's brought a lot to the table. The guy's a very talented musician. Everything that he's brought to the table has been unique in its own way, because he's a very different player than Trey [Azagthoth]. They complement each other real well.
CoC : Morbid Angel has always been known to be pretty much overtly anti-christian, but recently, there seems to be some people who are accusing you in particular of having racist tendencies. Anything to say to those people?
David Vincent : I think probably people misconstrue. I did some interviews where I just kind of went off the deep end, and it was really more to illustrate points of breaking the patterns in thinking. I have a real problem with this whole idea of political correctness, about thinking things just because it's something that everybody thinks and if you don't agree with everybody on all these various points, it's considered a real taboo thing. That's just as much, in my opinion, mind control and censorship a la christianity as anything else. Just because it's the left-wing controlling the media and saying that you shouldn't think these things, how's that any different than right-wing christians having their special-interest groups to say that you should think these other things? I reject all of it. I think freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of association, freedom to have whatever kind of beliefs you want to regardless of whether they're fashionable at any particular time, I think that these are some of the freedoms that at least I, as an American, cherish, and I'm against censorship and thought control by any group, towards any group, for any reason. That's really where I stand on all of that.
CoC : The last time you played in Toronto, a sizeable group of Nazi skinheads showed up and pretty much ruined the show for everyone else by being assholes in the pit. What were your impressions on that evening?
David Vincent : Well, I look at it this way. There's all kinds of people that come to our shows, regardless of where we play. There's always a diverse audience and I try to get people to overlook whatever differences they may think that they have in the interest of coming together and having a good show. Sometimes it doesn't always work that way but I try to encourage it to work that way.
CoC : Forging ahead with the rumour mill, some have speculated that your wife (Gen of the Genitorturers) used to be male!
David Vincent : What?!? I mean, come on. I've heard it all. That really tops the list of absurd things I've ever heard. I've heard it all, believe me, and I've never heard that, so I don't know what to tell you. Add that to my National Enquirer story when I'm fifty or whatever.
CoC : The rumour spread a bit through certain Internet newsgroups, so I thought I'd pass that along.
David Vincent : Sounds like some jealous people to me.
CoC : Speaking of Gen and the Genitorturers, do you plan on participating musically in any of her projects in the future?
David Vincent : It's interesting, I just got out of the studio with her last night. We actually did a project. There's a compilation that's coming out, a tribute to AC/DC. She's submitting a track for that which I helped her out with.
CoC : Which track is that?
David Vincent : It's an old Bon Scott song, one of their early ones. The song's called "Squealer", from the _Dirty Deeds_ record. Doesn't sound like that anymore, though. (laughs)