Interview with Steve Tucker
Before you joined Morbid Angel you were playing in
another band, so what led to your departure and how and why did you join
this one in the first place?
I played in a band called Ceremony with Pat O'Brien, who's now the
guitar player on Cannibal Corpse. We weren't signed, we just did demos,
but they were good demos, you know? Obviously he got that job, and I got
this job, and these are the two biggest Death Metal bands in the world,
so obviously it was a very good tape.
Before going to Morbid Angel I talked to Trey, and we got along real
good. We got a lot of the same spiritual views, so obviously we get
along pretty great - although personally I'm about a thousand miles from
Trey. But I send him a tape, he liked it, so he asked me to fly down,
try out - which I did, of course - and it worked out great.
You've done quite a bit of touring so far, haven't you?
And how did you like playing in Portugal?
Yeah, this is probably the thirtieth show we've done so far. We've got
18 more to go (or something like that) before we go back to the States,
and I think we're gonna do more 20 shows. There was this one where we
couldn't make it - which was in Hungary - and we weren't able to make it
there because of the border; they wouldn't let us in, basically, so we
didn't make that show - and stuff like that happens a couple of times.
Basically it's been great though, I mean, there have been big crowds and
they just go sick, it's pretty cool.
I thought the Portuguese crowd was great. Last night the Porto's crowd
seemed to be a lot more aggressive than tonight, but tonight was a great
night, it was just weird, you know? It's just that some shows are weird:
sometimes you get a lot of people standing there watching you, but
that's cool too. Sometimes if they've never seen a band, they wanna just
watch the band and see what they're about - and hopefully they will
enjoy the show. And the good thing is, I think, a lot of people are
seeing us, and they're gonna tell their friends that was a great show,
and next time it'll be twice as many people appearing.
What would be the paradigm of Death Metal to you, and
how do you feel about this current renewal within the genre in terms of
sound and other aspects?
The best definition of the term would be Morbid Angel. I mean, I think
we're Death Metal, because we do a variety of things, and we don't just
do one thing, which is boring.
As far as Death Metal renewing itself, I think that Death Metal is
actually in an excellent position right now, because there used to be so
many bands, and they were all trend followers; now they're all gone,
they're following like the corned trend, or whatever, and now the real
bands still remain: us, Cannibal Corpse, Suffocation, Vader (which is my
personal favorite band - besides the fact that we are all brothers). But
as far as Death Metal goes, I think Death Metal is Death Metal: it's
been Death Metal over ten years - and so do I have been playing it in
these ten years - but Death Metal wasn't dead, it was just that people
were finding a new trend, and you can see that there's people who wanna
hear it, obviously. I mean, you got your fanzine, there's always
fanzines all over the world, but personally I don't think Death Metal
was meant to play arenas: it is an underground music for extreme people
who wanna hear extreme, aggressive things.
Domination was a
groundbreaking release for Morbid Angel, but most importantly for Death
Metal, as it established a sort of template for a new generation,
wouldn't you agree? And speaking of your own releases, have you got any
I love the album, I think it sounds great! I also think that the sound
of that album is gonna change Death Metal. I think people are gonna
start tryin' to go for that type of sound, that warmer, bigger,
explosive great sound.
I think Domination
is a good album, but I also think fucking Covenant
is great, Blessed Are the Sick
, as well as Altars of
, which is great too. In the end, the best would be to have a mix
of these three, but if I had to choose one, I think I'd go for Covenant
as it's diverse.
Do you look up for any bass player for inspiration? Do
you also have any musical education?
Alex Webster from Cannibal Corpse, man. Yeah, I took Jazz, I mean, I
played for years. I'm 27 years-old, I started playing when I was like
12, so you know, fifteen years of playing - that's a bit of an
How often do you rehearse - both as a band or
individually - and do you live near each other? Usually what inspires
you to write?
We play at least six times a week. We live about less than five minutes
apart (Trey and me) and we live about 15 minutes from Pete and Eric
Personally I just like to play, and sometimes things just come out, they
just come through you, you don't write them, they just come out, man,
they just happen, you know? That's how I write (personally) and I
believe that's the way Trey writes: he just enters in a self-state of
mind to where he lets things flow.
Do you like Black Metal and Classical Music, for
I love Death Metal, but most of the time I love Death Metal and
Classical fucking music - as well as sports, since I like to watch and
play a lot of sports; you could say that I'm an aggressive person, and I
like to do aggressive things. I think Classical music and Death Metal
are the two most aggressive things, and playing sports is very
aggressive, so they're the things I like.
As far as Black Metal goes, I think it has its thing, and that's great.
There's some Black Metal I like, like some Marduk, and there's a lot of
little things I like here and there, but personally I think Black Metal
should mix it up a little bit more, you know? I think Morbid Angel is
definitely a Death Metal band, with some Black Metal influences from
early Slayer and Venom. To me that was Black Metal. Also, I like a lot
Sadist and Judas Priest, and I started to listen to Iron Maiden when I
was only 10 or 11 years' old, so I've always been a Metal head.
Speaking of Black Metal, are you aware of what happened
in Norway in the early 90's with the arsons and murders? How do you look
upon Christianity and Religion?
I think that burning a church is a bit extreme because that's not your
property. I hate Christianity, I think Christianity is evil, but that
doesn't mean you need to burn down a church. That's my personal opinion,
and no one should take that the wrong way, because people do what they
feel and if you feel it's right, than you feel it's right. I personally
would not burn down a church.
My thing with Religion is that I pretty much don't have a religion, I
follow my heart, man, I'm a moral person: I don't rob, I don't steal, I
don't fuckin' murder, I follow morals. I believe in Karma, and I believe
that if you do something fucking terrible, that's gonna come back to you
ten fold. Karma is definitely what I consider to be my main religious
path, or belief.
Do you read often on the road (or at home)? If so, what
is it that most interests you?
I read a lot - more books than you can imagine. I read on everything,
because that's the only way you're gonna learn, but just because I read
something that doesn't mean that I believe it, but you've got to read
everything, and you gotta take from everything what you want, and you've
got to use it, man, you can't just take any words for granted, you know
what I mean? You've got to decide for yourself. Every single person is
an individual, everyone is one, and everybody's got to decide for
themselves, that's what I think.
As for books, I would recommend you to read anything you can, seriously,
anything you can get your hands on, whether it's a horror story or a
history book, just read it. I like a lot of stories, medieval-type
stories, and I also like some Stephen King's. I'm sorry to say, but I
don't really even know like the names of some of the authors, but
usually people give me stuff, they give me like medieval books, and I
read them and they're great, their fuckin' wonderful. So, anything you
can get your hand on, read it, because you're gonna get something out of
Speaking of King, do you like The Shining?
? Yes! That's also one of my favourite movies, it's
great. I have the new series on video, and I think it's different
(though not better). I mean, how the hell are you gonna replace Jack
Nicholson? The dude is a fuckin' maniac, and till this day he still
frightens me (smiles); well, not really, but I mean, you get my point
Do you find life on road more or less pleasant (apart
from being on stage)? How do you keep yourself together after a while?
I try to find a toilet, I try to find a shower and I try to find some
food, man: that's what my time consists of. Basically tryin' to stay
healthy. That's a pain in the ass, but hey, you've got to make
sacrifices. We don't have anyone backing us up either, I mean, everybody
tries - the promoters try, our roadies try, everybody tries - but the
shit breaks, things happen, and that's just the way it is. Touring is a
bitch, but it's great at the same time. How else can you go to get to
every other fuckin' country, play for a few hundred people in a
different place every night? All in all, I love it.
To wrap things up, what are you plans for the near
future (both for you and for Morbid Angel)?
We'll leave here (Europe) in May, so we'll go back to the United States
on the 12th of May. In the end of May we're going to Mexico city, then
we're going to Japan, and then on the 17th of June we'll start the
Mexican tour with Vader again - Vader is gonna come to the United States
to tour with us.
The only final thing I have to say is for you to step out on your own,
without being a trend follower - rather a trend setter. Thanks a lot for
the interview and good luck to you all.