Chris Loomis of SoCalMusicToday.com recently conducted an interview with bassist/vocalist David Vincent of Florida death metal veterans MORBID ANGEL. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
SoCalMusicToday.com: You are currently about three quarters of the way through the 20th-anniversary tour celebrating the release of 1993's "Covenant" album, which you are playing in its entirety. How is the tour going to date?
Vincent: It's going well, it's going really well. The level of enthusiasm has been off the chart. The meters have been in the red . . . and that's so cool. I think about where I was 20 years ago, but I look out and see people in their 20s, and I'm thinking, "Man, you guys were in diapers when this album came out." Also, I am seeing parents bring their kids to the shows. The other night in San Francisco, there was this little kid that kept getting launched over the barrier, and in the middle of the show, I said, "Hey, what are you guys doing to this kid?" And this really big guy yells out, "This is my kid brother and this is his first death metal show." And I'm, like, "Alright. Cool." And I'm looking at the kid and he wasn't even born yet when the album came out. This whole celebration gives me some positive reflections on what we have done. At this point, the album has touched many different generations, and for that, I can only be thankful.
SoCalMusicToday.com: How did the idea come up to do a tour to celebrate "Covenant"?
Vincent: Well, one being it is the 20th anniversary of the album. I would say this was a pivotal record for us, but honestly, they all have been pivotal. This was the first record on a major label as part of the Warner Brothers family, and we just had a really good team . . . This was the record that just opened up so many new opportunities for MORBID ANGEL. We have never done anything like this; we have never done a themed tour, except for "Altars Of Madness" as that was the only release for us at the time. This is just a great way to celebrate the material by playing it in its entirety, then adding a sprinkling of other classic tracks at the end.
SoCalMusicToday.com: On this tour, you do not have any other national touring acts as opening bands; local death metal bands are performing as the openers in each city. I think that is a great way to give exposure to up-and-coming death metal bands. How did that decision come about and how involved were you personally in that decision?
Vincent: Yes, we were involved in that decision. It's still very hard to get noticed these days. Look, if there's already a four-band touring package, and then you throw in one or two local bands, the doors have to open early and the only ones that see them play are their friends and family and they are not playing for the bulk of the crowd. This gives them an opportunity to play to the larger audience. Most of the bands I have spoken to on this tour have been very thankful that we would do this, and it's giving back to the underground scene that has allowed us to get where we are.
SoCalMusicToday.com: NILE had done the same thing earlier this year with allowing local death metal bands to open their shows . . .
Vincent: Well, NILE and MORBID ANGEL have the same management, and the concept worked and worked well, so we said, "Let's do that." It's a great idea and a good way to pass the torch to the people that are in the position we were in 25 years ago. NILE is also a great band and good friends of ours.
SoCalMusicToday.com: Let's talk about technology for a moment . . . What's it like to be onstage rocking out at 110% and look out into the crowd and just see a sea of cell phones up in the air either taking photos or videos? I know from my side in the crowd it is very annoying and distracting.
Vincent: The thoughts I have on this are that people are just trying to make a name for themselves by putting up live shows on their own YouTube channel or social-media site . . . It kind of ruins the show for other people . . . Give people a chance to buy a ticket and see the show for themselves. I have never been a fan of that stuff. I wish people would be a little more into the moment and just enjoy the show. Unfortunately, it's the kind of world we live in these days . . . Cell phones everywhere and short attention spans.
Read the entire interview at SoCalMusicToday.com.