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We have to play music, and everything else is secondary.

Interview with Morgion.
Conveyors of majestic, passionate, grandeur gloom of the utmost quality and sincerity that enthrones this band as one of the greatest within the modern doom scene, to call yourself a doom fanatic and to not at least know of them is a contradiction in terms. At the time of the interview, they were in the process of their first ever tour of Europe and are soon to release their widely anticipated fourth release 'Cloaked by Ages, Crowned in Earth', they are Morgion; one of doom-metal's finest assets. And on Sunday, the ninth of February, in Camden, England, moments before the third concert of the monolithic 'Doomination of Europe' tour was to begin, three of their members; Rhett Davis, who is responsible for a majority of the bands tremendous lyrics and the percussions, Justin Christian, a fairly recent addition to the Morgion line up and thespian of the bass guitar, and Adrian Leroux, temporary live replacement of former vocalist Jeremy Peto for duration of the tour, and previously a member of Mindrot, kindly joined me, Stephen Burrell, to conduct an interview for Doom-metal.com, where I hoped to learn more about 'Cloaked...', the band, and its members.

Gary Griffith, Morgion guitarist, studio keyboardist and backing vocalist was also going to take part in the interview, but had to sort out some equipment just before it began. He did however join us later on, to complete the interview.

Hello guys, and thank you very much for the interview. I am a huge fan, and am very excited about seeing you perform later this evening. So, how has the tour been going so far?


Rhett: Excellent, very good!

Justin: So far so good.

Adrian: We can't complain...the fans are great, the people are great, the producers are really cool, and we've had good endorsement.

Rhett: Yeah, this has probably been the best start for a tour that we've ever had.

Justin: The first two shows went really well, and better than we expected.

So you've been received well by the European crowds thus far?

Rhett: Yes.

Adrian: Yeah.

Good! Morgion are a highly original and innovative band. So, where do the ideas, inspiration and influences for your work come from?

Rhett: I think for me I'm mostly into a lot of fantastic type literature, so I didn't want to do anything serious in the nature of politics or religion or anything of that nature, just because I find it incredibly boring and I don't want to be in a band that's trying to make a statement. It's art, so therefore that's what we create, and the music conveys that, so by basically getting into a fantastic nature it's not taken too seriously at least in the context, but it's fun too play, and it's imaginative, and that's what I've always liked. I mean, if I could right now make a soundtrack for Conan the Barbarian I'd be totally into that, or making a soundtrack for some of my favourite books or H.P. Lovecraft or anything like that would be great.

Justin: We deal more with classic concepts than current events, things that are little broader and more timeless, than trying to always date our material with what's gone on.

Then, how do you create an average Morgion song, both mentally and physically?

Rhett: Well, I think a lot of it has to with that in the past, it was usually started by one person and built from there, but since our new line up it's all pretty much democratic, and we all pretty much come together and write all the music together, more so than before. I mean, you could say we did before also, but I think more nowadays everyone brings more of their own input to their instrument than we've ever done before, and it's basically a much better line-up for us. It's more...I don't know, what would you say? Looks at Justin. It's more...

Justin: Erm, it's more dynamic, and I think that we screen the songs, the riffs. We kind of toy around of things but before we start really trying to write the song I think we make sure that we like what we're starting with and then everybody adds in and it becomes a group effort. And I think the songs are getting written quicker now than in the past, but the process is different because we can kind of just go out it and start from a starting point and start adding, and just feel it more than strategize it.

Adrian: For me it's been kind of nice to come in, because I came into the picture with a lot of their songs already established, so I was able to come in to like a clean slate, and do what I do y'know, come in and actually place the wording with all of Rhett's lyrics, which were quite extensive when I first saw them...

He smiles, and Rhett laughs.

Adrian: ...But they are really good, and I can relate with them in a lot of ways, with 'earth tones', and all that great, like Rhett said fantastic stuff, and for me to come in and just place everything was really cool, and they were really receptive to what I was doing, and it just flowed. Everything worked and came together, and here we are. And boy, I think everyone will be surprised when they hear the final product.

Justin: The vocals have a different approach now than before, because there's more singing involved, and we're toying with more...

Rhett: There's more melody...

Justin: ...Melody, it's more melodic...

Rhett: We're definitely a more melodic band now than before.

Justin: Even less heavy if that makes sense, like we're not out there to pummel every minute in a song, with the kind of dynamics, ups and downs, and that means the vocals are different now than on the old stuff, so Adrian's done a good job with the singing passages, spoken word passages, and heavy vocals.

Rhett: But the heavy vocals are still there obviously. The parts that are heavy are heavy, and the parts that are mellow are mellow, and it works out with his dynamic, which we couldn't do before.

Sounds great! So how do you feel about performing live? And what do you enjoy most about it?

Rhett: Erm, well, go ahead Adrian. Laughs.

Adrian: I would say the best part about performing live is the excitement and the energy from the crowd, and the people who are looking onto you. For me, it's such a...it's such a...kind of religious experience, because I kind of gather up all the positive energy and I just, I explode. It's amazing. How I can flow everything out...I can forget about every little thing, and be up there and it's like I'm on another planet, but yet, we're all here in the same room. But it's great, because I'm able to put on a good show, and get everybody involved, and...it's just true. It's just a true earth...earth feeling. I don't know if that makes sense, but it's down, it's just...there's something about the earth that makes us all just strong, and that's exactly how I feel when I'm up on stage.

Justin: I think there's experience in the chemistry that happens when we play, as opposed to rehearsing/writing, and for me it's the best part of it all. We don't have a rehearsed stage presence, and I think that when we're playing shows, we're seeing things come out of us physically and sonically that's different every time, and what happens on stage is exactly what can only happen at that moment and what we're feeling, and it's like breathing new life into the songs, which is another cool thing because these are songs that you've been banding around for months and months and months and years, and all of a sudden they feel like they're brand new, and everybody's just feeling what they're feeling, and it's fresh and it's unrehearsed, and that's a great experience. And then the people responding to that...that's the greatest thing about being in a band, watching people go off, and really respond to you being there, that there's a point for you being there...that's what I appreciate.

Rhett: What do I appreciate about playing live? Not dropping a drumstick! Laughs. And not falling of the drum stool, and not having the crack of my ass showing the entire time I'm playing...

Justin: And it's facing backstage so usually...

Rhett: That's true! And I've got this big black curtain behind me, so it's like 'look at my ass'! Laughs. But actually no, I'm very nervous when I play live...I try to concentrate and play as best as I can, and to me, I just think it's fun, since we haven't played a live show in two years, and this show is only the third of the tour, and it's been a long time for us...and seeing this live has actually been really good so...and thus far, we haven't made any bad decisions, or done anything that's not been right, so that's my take on it.

What about Morgion and your lengthy career are you most proud of?

Rhett: I guess this one's for me...

Laughs.

Justin: Yeah, we don't have lengthy careers! Laughs.

Rhett: The thing I'm most proud of so far? Coming here...I think that's what I'm most proud of...I mean, we've been trying to do this for five years, and there's always been a pitfall after another pitfall, and to get here and have the response that we've had thus far, I'd say that this has definitely been the best tour so far. I think the longer we go on the better it gets. That's the only way it can be.

The band has been around for a while now, and you have had your fair share of bad times. For example, the tragic death of live keyboardist Brandon Livingston. And, although you are immensely successful within the doom scene, it is highly unlikely that you will ever soar to the top of the charts. So what gives you the drive to continue after all this time? What compels Morgion to still exist today?

Rhett: If I didn't have music I'd be dead, basically. Chuckles. I play music because it's part of me. I mean, I don't look for money and fast cars and hot women; I do this because I enjoy making music...although fast cars and hot women would be cool! Laughs. But I'm making my own fast car so...No, it's just, I don't know...I wouldn't, I don't feel like I belong unless I make music you know, so if I wasn't doing this, I'd be making music elsewhere, that's just how it goes, and I'm sure that they would be the same way...

Justin: Yeah...I can't go very long without playing music of any sort, or I go baddy. Just because I've been playing music for so many years, like everyone else here, that if we weren't doing this, we'd be nuts, like we have to play music, and everything else is secondary...I'm not saying that I personally wouldn't like making a living out of doing it, because it's the only thing I can imagine doing for a living, but we know that Morgion isn't a top 40 band, and probably never will be, and that's okay you know, because there is obviously enough interest, and enough fans out there for us to grow and do well for ourselves maybe. And if not, it doesn't matter, because the one and only thing it boils down to is us plugging in and battering it out for an hour, and that's catharsis...that's therapy, it's cheap therapy...kind of, in a roundabout way...Chuckles.

Adrian: Yeah, definitely therapy. It's in the blood, and always has been, for me even with my previous band. There was a major hiatus for me musically, I didn't do anything since 1998, and when I was approached by Rhett to help him out and sing in the band, it was hard to say no, because it just runs through the veins, it's through and through...

So as far as what Justin was saying about making a career out of it, it would be great, it would be nice making a career out of it, although it's hard to see a band like this being a top 40 band, especially where we come from...Laughs.

Rhett: Unless we wear bikinis and start looking Christina Aguilera then maybe...

Adrian: Well I might consider it...Laughs.

Justin: Maybe we need to console with Nsync and learn some dance moves and then we'll get on TV! Laughs.

Adrian: But I think as long as the fans exist, Morgion will exist.

So what affect did and do these bad times, in particular, Brandon's death, have on Morgion and your music?

Rhett: Well, Brandon was a friend of ours for a long time and he had came into the picture and learnt the songs really quickly and it was great having him as a friend as well as somebody to take care of the instrument, and after he died, the rest of us were...we were real despondent about the whole thing...we didn't like talking about it, we didn't like making an issue out of it because he was a friend of ours and why make a big issue out of it? It was not an immediate event...but the way I look at it now is that we didn't really write any songs and we didn't really do anything, I think that that period of time was just a bad period for the band, and then we got past it, and here we are now. But I definitely would've liked to continue to play with him, by all means, I mean if he could be here right now...he was a great guy and a great musician, an amazing musician, so, it's just how it goes I guess...

Justin: I was going to mention that the thing about Morgion is that in a band, especially bands that have been around for so long; and I don't mean this to sound blunt, but my philosophy is that as whole the band is bigger than the unique one part, any one event, and anything, which means death, and things to that extent, tragedies...whatever happens, the band has to pursue and continue, and obviously Morgion has gone through a lot of line up changes, and there's a reason for it, and I think that as a group, we're not the kind of guys that speak out loud about things going wrong, or even things going good, we just kind of experience it, hold it in, and probably continuing to play music and writing new songs is always going to be the channelling of what's going on in our lives, and Rhett's writing too...the whole is always bigger than the parts, but all the parts have to be there.

Rhett, you have been in Morgion since the bands conception. Can you recall what you and the band aimed and dreamed to do and achieve when starting out? Did you succeed in these goals?

Rhett: Oh yeah, I mean when we started out we loved European death metal chuckles, and that's exactly what we wanted to play, and that's exactly what we did, and it was fun, and we did some recordings...we always look at everything as a step you know? We'll write songs, then we'll record, and after we record we'll play live, after we play live we'll make a 7", and after we make a 7" we'll play more live with bigger bands and bigger shows, and over time, doing what we did, we just had to make changes...and it's just natural, I mean you can't do the same damn thing all the time, it's boring. So we just started evolving, different people came in and out of the band, and the next thing you know we're at where we are now, so we've had to evolve with our talent and with music. I don't necessarily think that we go along with the times, like 'I want to make the next Anathema record', or 'I'm so into Green Day that I need to copy exactly what they do', it's about what was good for what we write. I think that it's important that we keep our own sound, our own identity to what we do, and I don't think that there's any one band that I can point out and say 'that's exactly who we sound like'. I mean even on this tour, I don't even think it's fair to say that about any of the bands on this tour.

Justin: There's musical integrity.

Rhett: Yeah there is, you have to have it. When we started off, that's how were, we were a death-metal band that played European style music because that's what we liked, that's what we wanted to do. And then we played shows and no one under-fucking-stood it at all, and then next thing you know there's a following, next think you know people are buying the demo, next thing you know we are going on tour, it's just how it's evolved. Even Adrian's former band, Mindrot, were the same way. I just think all bands are that way. They start off one way and they achieve what they want and then they have to change, they have to. I mean, My Dying Bride started off as, what, basically a death-metal band, and look what they do now. It's fair enough to say all bands evolve. I mean, to me, I love Slayer, but I can't listen to their new music, because they haven't changed at all. Once you get past 'Reign in Blood' that's not for me. I don't know, that's just how I look at it, that's how I look at music.

Justin: I've more respect for a band that retains its identity but evolves too, because what's the point in music if it's all the same?

Rhett: But not such a huge change like if Dismember put out their new album and they sounded like Blind Melon or something...laughs...that'd be a problem y'know, like 'what happened?' That kind of stuff really got to me with some bands. You can't just go to such extremes, you just naturally evolve, you don't just go from night to day.

Justin: But some bands make the decision that they do change like that...we don't, and we won't! Chuckles.

Yeah...and Justin and Adrian - you are relatively new additions (if only temporary, in Adrian's case) to the band. So, upon joining, what new aspects did you hope to bring to the band? And how did it feel to become part of Morgion?

Adrian: The thing I think I contributed to the band was the dynamics. I was able to bring in my little style that I have...I'm not a professional singer or anything, but my style really complimented the music, and it all kind of fits, it works. It's amazing. Being in the other band I was in, we even shared the rehearsal studio with Morgion for years.

Rhett: Yeah, we've known each other for thirteen years.

Adrian: Yeah, and we were doing kind of two opposite things, and my other band went into a direction I didn't care about any more musically speaking, and then when I came in to do the Morgion thing everything fit, and I was able to add to the whole piece, to the whole 'mass' of music...I don't know what it was, but I was able to add a lot to it.
And as far as how it felt to become part of Morgion? I felt complete again...I think it was something I was missing. It was really nice to come in and do something that my former band did in the very beginning, but my former band evolved into something that, like I said, I didn't really care for, so jumping in here, it just felt so right, just like the glove fit perfectly. And I enjoy it...I continually evolve from show to show, from day to day, you name it, from rehearsal to rehearsal, it just gets better and better.

Justin: I've known Morgion and all the guys for ten or eleven years, and I've been a fan for the same amount of time, and being able to join the band was like an honour, it was great. But really it felt like an opportunity to go and play something that was very close to my heart, to play something I was really into. I'd been playing in different types of bands for years, and kind of left the metal and doom-metal scenes for years, and being able to play something that's a part of me felt like a good opportunity y'know. And it's been great.

Rhett: He brings so much more to the table. Chuckles. So much more.

Justin: I think there's different dynamics as a bass player, and I think that the way I play is a lot more complimentary to the new material, and maybe even some of the old. I think it just fills out better, and I think everyone feels that way, and there's more of a chemistry, and more of a circle of talent that we can rely on with each other now, and I think the bands better for it, with the new line-up.

So how do you think people perceive Morgion?

Rhett: Err, I don't know...talking to people, a lot of people think we're European, that's the first thing...Chuckles...Erm, How are we perceived Gary? Get in here Gary!

The infamous Gary Griffith, contributor of the fabulous electric and acoustic guitars, as well as the keyboards and backing vocals of Morgion since the late 90's, had returned to the bar area where the interview was being conducted moments earlier, and heeded the call of his fellow band mates and kindly joined us for the remainder of the interview.

Gary: Mumbling...Meh, I just got here! ...Approaches where we are seated in the deserted bar...

Rhett: How do you think Morgion is perceived?

Gary: Err...

Justin: How are we perceived Gary?

Gary: In general, I hear that we're supposed to be among the top of the US doom bands...whether we agree or not is a different matter...and that we take too long between our releases.

Laughs.

Gary: Some of it's beyond our control, some of it's not, but...we're always working!

Rhett: Yeah, we're diligent if anything! Laughs.

Gary: No, it seems to be good to be back...even like this, where we haven't done anything for three years, no one's heard anything for three years, and still to come out here and play and have people say that Morgion are their favourite band, that's pretty amazing to me. As we've been quiet for so long you know, that's always good.

Justin: I think a lot of the perceptions that I've been hearing lately is that Morgion is unique within the doom-metal scene, they say that some people feel that yes, Morgion is doom-metal, but they've always had their own sound and style, and they're not this and they're not that, and whether that's because we're American or because we're who we are, it doesn't matter, but it's a great reception, and it's a flattering way to be perceived.

Stephen: Then how do you see yourselves?

Rhett: Myself? I'm 6'4", I way 300 lbs...chuckles...I don't know, I'm silly, I like to have a good time, I think the music is my way of getting out my anger and frustration for the most part, like you said it's like a release, it's what we do to get away from all our problems and our issues, and I think that for me there's nothing better. But I don't know...I think my problem is that I can't really release who I am because other people perceive it. I would like to say that I'm a well rounded individual, so...I don't know.

Justin: I perceive us as a bunch of clowns...just retards that love fantasy books. We love tragedy, we love metal, and we have to play music. So I think we're just a bunch of fucking clowns that want to play sad, heavy music. We're pretty critical on what kind of stuff, songs we're going to write, and I guess it works, so far. People seem to think it works...

If you were not a member of Morgion, do you think you would listen to and enjoy the music? Would you be fans?

Justin: That doesn't really apply to me because I have been a fan and not a member for years, and that's why I'm here now.

Adrian: But if I was on the outside looking in, and it was the same line-up that exists now? I would buy it. I would buy the CD, I would listen to it, I would think it's definitely unique, it has its own style, it just has qualities...some doom-metal bands do the staple same stuff, it's like the songs are structured the same, here there and everywhere, I mean, for me, looking in, god, I would definitely buy it, and I would be kind of blown away if I were just watching it in the crowd. I'd be like; 'wow, this is cool, it's different', there's just something about it that's hard to pinpoint. You can't say Morgion are just My Dying Bride rip-offs, or...

Rhett: They're just another doom band...

Adrian: ...They're just another doom band from America y'know. There's just something that we have, the chemistry that we have that makes us so unique, that what I've seen so far, some get on their knee's about...laughs...and some just really appreciate it.

Rhett: I would buy it, but I just like melodic music so...I just think that we're a work in progress, that just gets better as time goes by, that's my take on it. Yeah, I'd like it, I'd buy it. What about you Gary?

Gary: Ditto.

Laughs.

Justin: Ditto? That's the shortest answer yet...

Gary: You don‘t have to print that, I can't really embellish on that one too much...

Laughs.

Hehe...Rhett, once you said, and I quote 'We tried not to make another Solinari. This album is a further progression, and we hope to make each release a mantle all its own.' So can you describe exactly how CBACIE has progressed from other work? What is the albums 'mantle' you speak of?

Rhett: Well I just think that every release is its own. I mean, 'Among...' was its own, 'Solinari' was its own, like what we were talking about earlier about growing, I just don't see the point in just regurgitating the same old shit all the time. Basically making the mantle all its own means that if there are people out there that find 'Solinari' as something special, I would like this to be considered the same way, and it stands on its own...you can't sit there and say that we're doing the same old shit, and that's what I meant by mantle.

Justin: I think that when it comes out, the new material will have maybe more of an organic feel, but it still has melody, and it's still musical at the same time, maybe more so than before, so you've got a lot of different vibes going into it at the same time.

Rhett: Both of these guys brought a lot more to the table than what we had to work with previously, so that did add elements that will naturally make it different. But you still have the old as well, I mean you're not going to take away what me, Gary and Dwayne do just because we added two new members, they just brought two more perspectives to the music, so that's what makes it unique.

Gary: Yeah, it's more of an addition than a replacement to the sound. We haven't sacrificed anything that we've done in the past for the sake of having Justin or Adrian do it, what they do is on top of everything. Just like on 'Among...', there was a couple of different members, there was a lot of time and change between the albums, and a lot of people really liked the progression, and in the case of this one it's the same thing. There's been a lot of time since 'Solinari', and this is musically the best line-up we've had, and so I think people who appreciated the progression from 'Among...' to 'Solinari' will find the same thing in this one, and it's still true to what we've always done.

Justin: I don't know about these guys, but I've never been convinced that Morgion is a doom-metal band. I think it's great to be a part of that scene, but I think I've always considered Morgion an 'epic' metal band, and I think given that, some records may fall in or out of that 'scene' if you will, but there's always fans, and anyone that's got an open mind is going to like it...or not, but they're going to give it a listen.

There is a short break whilst Rhett complains about the sound of the drums currently being tested, whilst I try to squeeze in another question.

Who do you think the new album will appeal to, and were you aiming for any particular audience?

Justin: We never aim...

Rhett: No, we never aim. If you like melodic music, then I think this'll be your cup of tea. I mean adding more singing vocals obviously made some people out there, some of our friends, girlfriends, whoever, appreciate it more, and they're going - high pitched voice 'wow, they're singing!' laughs. We don't aim for a market...I don't believe in genres and subgenres and all that horse shit. It's all music, and we're a metal band. Fuck all that...you know, doom this or thrash that or Slayer this or whatever, it's just music. And by giving it a name and giving it a subgenre to a subgenre to a subgenre you're just strangling what music really is. It loses all of its integrity; it loses all of what it is by labelling it fifty times. So I think that maybe there might be people out there that are not exactly metal listeners that might appreciate it, and there might not be, who knows...but that's up to the listener, so...

Justin: There's more elements of bands that maybe influence us this time around, just like any of the records, and I think people who are fans of any of the bands that maybe have influenced us might pick up on it, and they might be fans of the new record. But it's not out and out, it's not overt, it is what it is. And if you pick up on this or that, then that'll work for you. And if not, maybe you'll find your own appreciation or not.

You are currently label-less. What effects is this having on Morgion, the 'Cloaked...' creation progress, and this tour, both positively and negatively?

Justin: It's helping a lot...

Laughs.

Gary: Yeah, like you wouldn't believe...

Rhett: Yeah, this time we've had the least amount of bugs. The last time there was more horse shit than anything else, and this time around, since we've been putting this together with Mourning Beloveth and The Prophecy, and with the help of Doom-metal.com, and that guy right there...

Motions towards Heiko Isselee, Doom-metal.com staff member and Doomination of Europe tour manager, setting up the merchandise stall nearby.

Justin: Hail Heiko!

Laughs.

Rhett: Yeah, exactly. It's definitely a much better experience, and we all worked together, and the problem with a lot of labels, maybe not all labels, but from our experience...it was never really a group participation, and I think that that's effected a lot of, what, four years of existence, which has been under the thumb of someone else's 'grand scheme'. And you were talking about pop records and being top 40 and all that, that doesn't matter, it's the fact that you have to have a label that's going to support you and exactly what you do 100%. And that does not mean they have to give us a ton of money, and pamper us, and you know, give us first class airline tickets and all that kind of stuff. None of us have a problem with spending money in order to make the band successful. But at the same there has to be a bit of help, there has to be the promotion, there has to be the ability to put a band on tour. Because if you want to sell an album, you have to put a band on tour, or they're not going to sell any albums...maybe a couple, but is that what they want? I mean, I'm assuming that all record labels are here to make money. I mean yeah, sure, 'we love the music', blah blah blah, but in the end, money is the most important thing...to them, ha ha. So by doing this tour we hope that we gained some interest from a label that will work with us, or a label that will partially work for us, and we can do a lot of the work ourselves if need be. Either way, we are not going to be chained down by, what, an anchor of what was happening in the past.

Gary: Well before we talked to Relapse at, what was it...like the end of 2000 about possibly recording, and at the time we couldn't get funding, so nothing really happened. And the difference between then and now is that at that time we were 'oh, we can't get funding, we can't record', so there it went, and we just had to wait. But this time around, since we've learnt to do it on ourselves, if we're told 'we don't have the funding, we don't have the money' it's 'okay, we'll do it ourselves!' And it's the same with the tour.

Rhett: Not to mention that their words were that if they put out another album from us it would be like us starting over again. Like all the previous people who the heard the first two albums would completely forget about us, and that we would basically be a new band. And the last two shows we played...how many people were in attendance? And how many people were into the music, how many people brought shirts, how many people were there for the band? I think that proves that that is total bullshit. So if you're there for the music, you will be there no matter what. I mean yeah, you have to plug your band obviously...and the time between albums has definitely been...laughs...in some ways our problem and in some ways out of hands, but I mean Iron Maiden took how long to put out 'Brave New World'? Did they lose any fans? Well, has anyone seen that 'Rio' DVD? Okay, I don't think they lost anybody, I just think that's horse shit...

Justin: The bottom line I think for the band and the label has always been and always will be what you can do yourself, what you want to do yourself, and the less cooks in the kitchen the better. So far it's been a great opportunity...we're writing the way we want to write, we're recording the way we want to record, and we put this tour together on our own, and usually you need a label to come in to do things like tour and promotion, and I'd say we're doing pretty well without a label so far, and hopefully that'll open the eyes of some labels. We're not going to be pushovers and moulded by labels, but it'd be nice to have a mutual opportunity between the band and the label in the future.

Rhett: But I will add one thing in Relapse's defence, and that's that I think that we were not a band that was catered for what they do, and I don't think that that has anything against Matt Jacobson or anybody that works, and does all the promotion and A & R and all the stuff that Relapse does. I just don't think that we belonged, and I think that that was the biggest problem. I don't think that they were purposefully trying to make life fucking difficult for us; I just think that it was a bad decision on both ends, that's what I think. But as far as I'm concerned, the time that we were there, there were some ups and downs. Not to convey to people out there that Relapse are shit...they're not. But they're not the right label for us.

What does it mean to you that there may well be something listening to your music, something you have created, right now, and falling in love with it...feeling truly touched and affected by it. How do you feel about that?

Justin: It's the greatest reward...that's instant jackpot, it's everything we wanted.

Rhett: I don't think I can add anymore to that...chuckles...I agree, totally, 100%.

Adrian: I get all hot and bothered...but you don't have to add that.

Laughs.

Justin: That has nothing to do with the question, he's just saying he gets hot and bothered.

Laughs.

Stephen: So how important is Morgion to your lives?

Rhett: Err, number one! Chuckles. For me music is the most important thing, I mean obviously I have to pay my bills, I have to work, and we all have responsibilities. But as far as I'm concerned, it will always be there, so it's definitely in the top three most important things in my life by far.

Justin: The band is our music, so that's really going to be number one. Everything else, survival...that's all just going to come around it and make it possible for us. But obviously your passion, when you're serious, is always number one to you. As long as you're eating, sleeping, and getting shelter and all that...chuckles...

Rhett: And the occasional beer too...

Justin: Ha ha, Yeah.

Rhett: Or three of four...

Justin: Of course there's a lot of beer in playing music...laughs...there's never a shortage of alcohol.

Rhett: So we've done the right thing! Laughs.

Justin: Yeah, we get a drink, at will...all right!

Laughs.

Rhett: The heavier roll, right? The heavier we get...the heavier the band gets!

Laughs.

Justin: Yeah, the fatter we get, the fatter the music is...

Rhett: And that's not P-H-A-T, ladies and gentlemen.

Laughs.

Ha ha...If there was any thing you could wish for regarding Morgion's future, what would it be?

Rhett: I think getting the new album released on a label that's basically right for what our music portrays. And doing more touring, playing more shows y'know. Hopefully getting on bigger venues with bigger bands, spreading the name out and making more of a name for ourselves.

Justin: Releasing records less than four years a piece...laughs and cheers of agreement...I'd like to see that happen! We're getting too old to wait four years every time we want to release...

Heh, finally, do you have any hints as to what will be in store for us this evening when Morgion take the stage?

Justin: A little bit of everything.

Rhett: Yeah, you'll get to hear a little bit of new, a little bit of old, a little bit of very old...

Justin: And there's two new faces!

Rhett: Yeah, there's a whole lot more on stage! I think that as far as the sound goes here from what we've heard so far we'll have a good sound, and hopefully that we'll have our own amps, that would be nice. But yeah, I think that it'll be a good experience, I think that tonight we'll have more time to play, so we'll be able to give ourselves more...

Justin: And we don't have keyboards, that's a big difference. But I've think that with what we've determined we're going to play it won't be detrimental.

Rhett: I think that with the ambience of the band it doesn't have to have keyboards to still portray the ambience that we create. But it would be nice if they were there, they are a great additive.

Well, thank you very much indeed for such an enthralling and interesting interview!

Rhett: No problem!

Gary: Yeah, thanks for the interview.

Do you have any final words you'd like to share with the readers at Doom-metal.com?

Justin: Heiko rules! And Irishmen are fucking crazy...

Laughs.

Justin: But everyone's great, and full of heart. This tour...these are the greatest two bands we could've hoped to play with, everyone's hungry, and helpful...

Gary: And hopefully we can continue it, and bring it over to the US, and bring it over here again real soon. It could be a nice thing...

Justin: Yeah, more tours!

Gary: And drop by the Morgion website, and definitely drop by Doom-metal.com...

Justin: Yeah, thanks to Doom-metal.com.

Gary: ...Because without the people there we wouldn't be here, and it's a great place for anyone who likes doom...it's essential, so...

Rhett: Definitely.

And that concluded the 40+ minutes of riveting and enjoyable interview. I wished the guys the best of luck for the rest of the tour and the release of the new album, and they thanked me and joked about the difficulties I would no doubt have in deciphering what was said, before they ambled back to their backstage rooms to prepare for the show, which was utterly superb. The missing keyboards were barely noticeable, and Morgion mesmerized, astounded and impressed me and countless others that night, with the new material being especially tantalising and impressive...Adrian was superb and more than sufficient as the vocalist for the evening (in fact, it's a great shame that he could not become a full-time member), and new bassist Justin was massively impressive also...Peto will certainly not be missed. You can read a full gig review, and report of the day elsewhere at Doom-metal.com, and can find more information on Morgion at their official website, www.morgion.com.


Visit the Morgion bandpage.

Interviewed on 2003-04-14 by Stephen.
Hate Your Guts Records
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