MORBID ANGEL “The Age of Disgust” 

By Dr. Abner Mality

Steve Tucker’s on again/off again relationship with Morbid Angel is on again. And not a minute too soon. The band is trying to recover their footing after their last album “Illud Divinum Insanus” received a less than rapturous reception  from the death metal faithful. Steve has never been involved with anything that wasn’t brutal and intense and he brings those qualities to the new Morbid opus “Kingdoms Disdained”.

The new album is seething with disdain indeed and in my conversation with Steve, we talked about a world that seems on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Mr. Tucker holds nothing back so prepare yourselves for a blast of disgust and disdain…

WORMWOOD CHRONICLES:   The new Morbid Angel album has just hit the racks. Was your intention with this album to just crush and flatten everything in your path?

STEVE TUCKER: Man, that’s my intent with every album I’ve ever done (laughs). So yeah, absolutely it was.

WC: It sounds like extra attention was paid to making it sound extra brutal, more than the previous albums. Do you agree?

ST: It seemed like all the ingredients were right. Definitely , It just came out really, really mean and I’m stoked about it. Like I said, I want every album to be as intense as I can make it. And this was as intense as it could be, you know.

WC: The title of the album is “Kingdoms Disdained”. So let me ask you, what are the kingdoms that you disdain?

ST:  It’s not that we disdain, it’s the idea that all of the kingdoms in the entire world being hated by each other and within each other. It’s really about the people hating their governments, their political parties and whoever it is that decides their shit…decides their laws and basically their fate. It seems to me that we’ve come to a point in our society where everywhere people are living in a state of disgust.  I know people all over the world, dude, and everybody has the same exact shit to say about their government. Everywhere!They all say the same exact thing. I think there’s a certain type of person that gets a job in the government. It takes a certain sort of mentality, dude. And some of that is of a very condescending nature. I think that’s  what it takes…a feeling that you should decide how other people should live.

WC:  There definitely seems to be a feeling, either conscious or unconscious,  that civilization is getting ready to turn a page.

ST:  And it seems like we’re there. I feel that way, man, I really feel that way. I think we’ve reached that point. So many big things have happened over the last 30 years, we’ve reach a state, whether we realize it or not…dude, there are people out in our society that are living in a religious war. And you don’t realize it. And there are others that are living in a race war.  Many of us are in a war for identity. It’s not something I promote or support, but dude, the mentality of the world now is absolutely crazy. And honestly, in my opinion, it’s because there are so many fuckin’ people on that planet that live so fuckin’ long that it just puts a strain on things. There are a lot of people living on the planet right now that remember when there wasn’t even cars. And if your standard person that’s 21 years old talks to them about it, they’re gonna laugh about it. They’re not even gonna realize that that was reality, you know what I mean?

WC: We’re living in a dystopia but we don’t realize it?

ST: And you know the thing about it is that it almost has to be that way. Some people think the world would be better if there were no governments. The truth is, if that were the case, that would probably be the way the world was. There’s a lot of people that don’t want any part of making decisions or anything like that. They don’t want to be part of government. So they just let government decide everything for them. The world’s crazy. Everybody is so worried about their own individual feelings and opinions and being the loudest voice and having their opinion mean something, even if it doesn’t,  that it has become utter chaos. I think it’s reaching a boiling point and then at the same time, dude, not to throw coal on the fire, but it seems half the volcanos on the planet are reactivating and ready to blow up. You’ve got earthquakes in weird ass places that don’t have earthquakes such as Delaware and Ohio.

WC: There’s only so much the planet can take. There are dead spots in the ocean that are bigger than entire states. That’s a real concern because if the ocean ever dies, everything else will follow.

ST:  Dude, it takes an ignorant race to kill its own water supply.  That’s my opinion. That’s really what this entire album is about. It talks about that. It talks about the idea that the planet has gotten to the point where what it deserves is to be wiped clean. And it deserves to be done in not such a nice way.

WC: A lot of the song titles on the new album reflect a rebellion or a revolt.

ST: I’m not really saying that people should revolt against blah blah blah. I’m not saying that because I’ll be honest with you, dude, I think people need that. They need people giving them their structure, giving them their schedule. I think there’s too many people on this planet for there not to be some kind of governmental structure. You just hope that that structure is the least corrupt it can be.

WC: That’s a nice sentiment but I’m not real optimistic about it.

ST:  No, the honest people aren’t the ones who are gonna go for those jobs. It’s funny, man,  because you just watch a little bit of politics every day and you will see how ridiculous it is. From pedophilia to fuckin’ money stealing, these people are living in a whole other lawless society from us. If you watch enough, you will see that a lot of people think it’s racially motivated but I don’t really think it’s so much race. But you can see where the separation is. The people who get harassed by the police in the States…it’s poor people, dude.  It happens to the people who can’t afford to have it happen.  It’s that guy who’s riding a bike because he got a DUI and lost his job and he has ride a fuckin’ bike to work and they’re giving him a $120.00 ticket because he doesn’t have a headlight on it. That’s some fucking bullshit, dude!

WC: You made a statement a while back that raised some eyebrows about poor folks in America and how they seem to be ignorant to what’s going on. I agree because the people who are getting punished the most are the ones who are voting for those most likely to victimize them.

ST: And for those who actually gain profit from victimizing them. Here’s the thing…there’s a lot of money out there that’s just made off of poor people. The people who get pulled over by cops are usually the car that’s got a broken headlight, the bumper half falling off and this guy’s working for fucking seven dollars an hour mixing concrete, you know what I mean, dude? And now this dude has to decide how the hell am I actually going to come up with this. I need to find a way to pay this and I can hardly afford my kids’ books at school or whatever.

WC: Debt is really a different form of slavery. The jails are not full of rich people

ST: Yeah, dude. Absolutely, there are very few in there. The truth of the matter is, in our society if something crazy happens to you and you don’t have the means to pay someone to help or find someone who knows someone, you’re fucked! But dude, if you’ve got the money, you can get off. We’ve seen that enough on television to know how it happens. If you got enough money, you’re walking free and the jury is even feeling sorry for you.

WC:  Johnny Cochran said there’s no black or white in the law, just green.

ST: Absolutely, dude.

WC: Let me change gears here. You are now back in the Morbid Angel camp after a layoff. Has the band change appreciably in the time you were gone or did you click right back into it without a hitch?

ST: Man, it’s actually freaky how things fell right into order.  I thought there would be much of a relearning curve, but things went smooth from the get go. I think a lot of people ask did we talk about this, did we talk about that as far as our direction goes and none of that happened. We talked about writing songs together…that was all we talked about. I knew that Trey asking me to write parts of his songs meant that he wanted those songs to be very aggressive songs. There was no feeling of having to do anything other than go in there and make a really intense album. That was the bottom line the whole time.

WC:  Do you have the feeling that you’re home to stay now?

ST: Yeah, man, you kinow a lot has changed in the years. I had issues back then that wouldn’t allow me to tour as much as I would like to. The band needed to tour more so I needed to step aside from it and they understood that. Everything has lead me back to here so to be honest with you, dude, I’m extremely happy with it. I’m really happy with what this first album back was and how it turned out. It’s got some neat new ideas on it. I’m really looking forward to the future, dude. I don’t really see a need to try and do anything else. People have asked me about my Warfather project. With Warfather, that was a way for me to continue to play music. With Morbid Angel, it’s a whole different kind of entity. It’s a much larger scale of touring and the whole process is much larger. I’m into this `100%. I’m not the type of dude that only half commits. I’m gonna do my damn best at it or I’m not gonna bother. Honestly, that’s what led to me having to step away before, because I couldn’t do it 100%..  So now that I can, I’m a part of it and that’s the reason I’m back. When Trey asked me, it wasn’t a simple yes, I’ve been waiting for this my whole life. I had to think about it, dude. I had to think, can I be away this much? I thought about all these different scenarios that adults have to think about. There were no personal issues and finally it came down to yeah, man, we can do this.

WC: You kind of answered my next question. I was going to ask about the status of Warfather but it sounds like that is on the shelf now that you’re committed 100% to Morbid.

ST: Yeah, with Warfather, I was never really capable of going out and touring. It was really about making music. There’s a part of me that goes absolutely insane when I’m not working on music, when I don’t have music in my life. It has to be there.

WC: What are some of the live plans for Morbid Angel right now?

ST: Man, we got the album out later in the year than we actually wanted. We’re probably not gonna go out until the new year, but we’re gonna tour. We’re gonna try to go everywhere. We’ve been working for months on getting the proper paperwork and getting our visas for Europe. We’re planning on  touring extensively for at least the next 9 to 12 months.

WC: Any idea of who you would like to go out with?

ST: The tour we did this past summer, we went out with Suffocation, Revocation and Withered. It was fantastic, dude! Honestly, we want to have another bill that’s like that, a bill that’s a mix of bands that are appreciative of each other in some way. The old school type of packages, they used to be so kick-ass. You’d see the Metal Blade Package or the Roadrunner package or the Earache package, whatever. There would be at least 3 bands that you definitely wanted to see and then a newer band that you had just heard a little bit about but wanted to check out. It was great to go to those shows and we would like to create that kind of package now. I think you have to work really hard to get people interested and get them from behind their computers and see the real world and experience a concert.

WC: That’s getting to be a struggle in every walk of life these days.

ST: Yeah, this streaming on Facebook thing. If they had it their way, people wouldn’t even go to concerts, they would just log on and watch concerts. That’s humans, dude. It’s just human nature to find the negative use of things and then exploit it. Every invention, the first thought that goes through peoples heads is how to weaponize it.

WC: If you could ask any three people from history to dinner, who would they be?

ST: I think George Washington would be an extremely interesting person to sit down and have dinner with and get his take on things. When you read about George Washington in history, about 95% of it is going to be painting him in a positive, god-like image. I think he would be interesting to get a real take on. I think Tesla would be  awesome to talk to. I would actually need to spend preparing questions for him. That would probably be the most interesting one I could speak to. The other one, man? You know, I would want to meet someone from my family. Someone from my family maybe five generations ago. I don’t have a specific name but I would want to meet someone who’s a direct descendant.

WC: What was the last release you got just because you wanted to hear it?

ST: The new Suffocaton album, they actually gave it to me. It was coming out that day and they came on the bus and we listened to some songs and that became sort of a treasure of mind, you know what I’m saying? I was looking forward to hearing it. I was already hearing the songs live. If they hadn’t have given me the album, I would have went to the merch table and bought it anyway. That album for me is a very interesting album because Suffocation has ventured into an area that is amazing and somehow new and fresh. Yet these are guys who have been out there over 30 years, you know?

WC: They’re blood brothers of yours, in a way.

ST: Man, I love them dudes. Terrence…everything about the guy, from his mentality to the way he plays is just the right way.  He’s one of those people that you are ever only gonna meet one, man!  There’s only once Terrence, man, that’s just it.

WC: In your long musical career, has there even been a Spinal Tap moment you could share with us?

ST: Man, there’s been a lot of them. I think everything that happened in Spinal Tap was taken from actual events. I can remember one time we playing this venue in Switzerland…it was a big, humongous venue. It was like some sort of old factory that had been cleared out. It had a humongous stage, a humongous sound system. A really big venue. We got about 45 seconds into the second song and the power stopped. (chuckles). It took them about 15 seconds to get the power on and the whole scenario repeated itself about 5 times over the next 25 minutes. It was ridiculous for both us and the fans. Everytime we would get three quarters of the way through a song, it would happen. So what do we do? It was just a complete total clusterfuck that was not whatsoever our fault. Pretty crazy night.

WC: Any last messages  for the fans out there?

ST: Just stay brutal and we’ll see out on tour.