Interview with Steve Tucker
from The Lodge

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 old favorite?
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 Madness, 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 education.

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 instance?
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 it.

Speaking of King, do you like The Shining?
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 (laughs).

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.