MORGUE SUPPLIER: “Supply and Demand” 

By Theron Moore

I’ve been a diehard metal fan since the early 80’s.  I’m originally from Belvidere, about 70 miles outside of Chicago, and believe it or not,  I kept up with Chicago’s metal and punk scenes via the various free indie newspapers I’d get my hands on when I could. Admittedly, it wasn’t hard to do. That’s how I discovered bands like Life Sentence and Damien Thorne not to mention venues like The Exit and The Thirsty Whale.   

I always marveled at how dynamic and big Chicago’s music scene was as well as how diverse it was, too.  Metal, punk, industrial, blues, and a venue in every neighborhood to find any kind of music you were looking for.  All these years later, nothing’s changed.  Chicago still has a vibrant, thriving, metal scene, death metal in particular.  And Morgue Supplier seems to be heading that charge.  Paul Gillis of both Morgue Supplier and Drug Honkey fame, took a few minutes out of his busy schedule to fill me in on what Morgue Supplier was up to.  Here’s what went down…,

Wormwood Chronicles:  Introduce yourself and what you do in the band.

Paul Gillis:  I am Paul Gillis - vocalist/songwriter/co-founder of Morgue Supplier.

WC:  I want to jump to the song you did for the animated show “Executioner.”  Tell us about that show, was it on Adult Swim, was it ever aired?  How did Morgue Supplier get involved in writing a song for it?

PG:  Yes," Executioner" was a short-lived series on Rug Burn actually, not Adult-Swim. It aired for one season. A friend/fan of the band named Greg Grabianski was one of the creators of the show, and asked us if we’d be down for doing the theme-song, so we obliged.

WC:  You’ve been around long enough to look at Chicago’s death metal scene.  Is it stronger now than it was in the 90’s, are there more bands and clubs, or, has it tapered off?  How would you describe it right now?

PG:  The “scene” always seems/feels about the same to me, to be honest. There are always a few bands who are in the local “clique”. Things are political. We are always on the outskirts of that. 

WC:  Follow up to the last question:  Who are the local Chicago bands (death metal) right now that we need to know about, who do you think are trailblazing for future DM bands in say, 10 years or more?

PG:  Hmmm, I’ll go with Elbow Deep, Air Raid & Predator. Not many bands do us any favors, so I’ll leave it at that for now.

WC:  When you guys first started out, back in 1993, who were the local Chicago death metal bands that were kind of laying the groundwork for where Morgue Supplier is right now?  Who needs to be talked about and remembered?

PG:  Actually we first started in ’97 as Jugular Appetizer, originally. Back in ’93, that was another band called Crematorium. Some of the main local bands around then were Cianide, Disinter & Funeral Nation. 

WC:  Do you remember that one defining moment that convinced you to either join a band or start a band?  Was it concert you attended, a record you bought, friends you were hanging out with?  Was it late 80’s or early 90’s that you started thinking about getting into a band?

PG:  Actually I do. An old friend, Tom Tangalos, was starting up a band, and said to me “hey, you should be a vocalist, you ever consider it?” Not long after, he and I were in Crematorium together. From there Gorgasm, & then Morgue Supplier were born a few years later.

WC:  How did you get into death metal, do you remember when you first heard it and got hooked? 

PG:  It was a natural progression from bands like Slayer. I was on the perpetual hunt for something sicker & heavier. I remember seeing Possessed - “Seven Churches” at the record store, and I was like “oh yes, I have to have it”. 

WC:  In terms of being in a band, right now, could you see yourself doing anything but death metal?  Maybe thrash or black metal?

PG:  Yes, I am very into different styles of music, especially electronic, and have some releases associated. KLLU & Downheart are a couple of those. As for Thrash, Crematorium had Thrash elements, and a few years back, myself and a couple of the guys from Morgue Supplier, at the time, recorded a Thrash inspired track called “Lower Animal” for a side project called Rabid Beast. 

WC:  When we talk about Chicago and metal, I think we naturally assume that a typical show would be packed, is that case?  What’s a typical headcount at a show, are they generally well attended?

PG:  It all depends. I think like anywhere, there are good and bad nights. We’ve played shows that were totally packed and others with 10 people in attendance. An average headcount would be around 100, I’d say.

WC:  Transcending Obscurity is a favorite label of mine.  Tell me how that deal happened between Morgue Supplier and that label.

PG:  TO is a killer label! My other band, Drug Honkey, has been on the label/working with Kunal since 2010. We approached Kunal to put out the upcoming Morgue Supplier EP, and he was interested.

WC:  Has there been any label interest here in the states? 

PG:  We have worked with Necrotic Records, Obscure Musick, & Nero One Records all from the states.

WC:  I noticed the band has one record on iTunes.  Is there more Morgue Supplier music that’s in the works, that’ll be released soon?  Are you guys writing new music as we speak?

PC:  Yes, out S/T album from 2016 is on iTunes as well as the “Executioner” single. And yes, we are writing an EP now that will be released on Transcending Obscurity in 2019.

WC:  What comes first with the band, is the lyrics or does it start with a riff?  And how do the lyrics get written, does the inspiration come from TV, movies, music?

PG:  It goes both ways. Sometimes, I have lyrics already written that I feel will fit with a certain song or theme & then apply them to it. Most of our lyrics are based on real life experience. A bit of fiction here & there, but yeah, mainly life & death are the go to subject matter..

WC:  Has there been any talk about throwing everything in a van and maybe heading out across the country on a DIY tour? 

PG:  We’ve done some small DIY runs, but honestly we’re too old for that now, ha-ha.

WC:  What’s on the map for Morgue Supplier in 2018?  Metal festivals, more shows?

PG:  Work on our new album, & play a couple of shows a bit later in the year

WC:  What do fans need to know about Morgue Supplier, final thoughts, whatever you wanna share…

PG:  Buy our shit & come to our shows!! 

Thanks for the interview Theron!!