Motionless In White's brand new album Graveyard Shift is out now!
We were lucky enough to get some time on the phone and speak about all sorts of things, including their new album Graveyard Shift, Roadrunner, make-up and an Australian tour.
“Some interviews I’ve done have been like ‘wow, this a lot heavier than your last record’ and some people are like ‘wow, you guys really toned it down’.”, said frontman Chris ‘Motionless’ Cerulli. It’s hard to put a finger on the pulse of their fourth studio album, with sounds ranging from the pop end of the spectrum with LOUD (Fuck It), to the heavy sound they are known for in 570. “We are still a band that is rooted in metal and even though we step outside that quite frequently, that’s where our roots are”.
The band, who have been fans of Korn from a young age, brought Jonathan Davis along for a guest vocal spot on the track Necessary Evil, fulfilling their childhood dreams.
“It’s awesome to have a record that is predominately influenced by that genre, that world and that time period of music, and have one of the leading of that time period come on board and sing a song with a newer band I just think that’s really special. He wanted to do it, its really validating.”
The album took a full year to create - from December 2015 to December 2016 - with touring in-between. In essence, it could be seen as an overview of the band’s decade of existence, with all the good times, and the struggles, pressed into a single record.
“I do really feel like 570 is my favourite, just because its most personal song I’ve ever written, and it means the most to me out of any song I’ve ever written..." said Chris "It’s for sure the most emotional, deep-seeded, personal. There’s so much about it that is just, you know, what I’ve wanted to say over the ten years that we’ve been a band.”
By their own volition, the band owes their success to the fans. They repaid the favour by running a competition for fan submissions to be picked as the album cover art. Overall, 2500 entires were made for Graveyard Shift, many of which were actual graveyards - not the metaphorical graveyard the band was after. There were also a few that blatantly broke copyright.
“I would say that 80 percent were graveyards, which was funny to me, but there were just so many great pieces, even if they were graveyards, so it was really tough for us to kind of come to the final decision. Sadly there were a few that we did like, only to find out that they couldn’t be used because someone had taken them from somewhere else.”
For those Maniacs not familiar with Motionless In White, it is widely known that the band wears heavy make-up. Chris ‘Motionless’, often accused of being a Marilyn Manson copycat, wears bright lipstick and eyebrows that are more ‘on point’ than an aspiring Instagram model.
“It’s not an active decision to be like ‘well Manson did this, we should do this’ ever. It’s not like that.” As we all know, MIW is not the only band to wear make-up. In fact, a vast majority of metal bands do, but for some reason there are some people who aren’t getting on board with the band’s aesthetic.
“I wanna know if people like Davey Havok got it... I’m sure even he’s gotten it, and he doesn’t fucking look like him at all.” It has become apparent that we,as a society, put far too much weight on how a band looks instead of the music they produce. I’m guilty of it too at times, and my good friend, who usually doesn’t care about how a band looks even said, “I liked Motionless In White a lot more before I knew what they looked like.”
Does it really matter though? Does it really affect us that much that our perception of someone’s music is changed by their aesthetic? It seems that to Chris it doesn’t.
“I just don’t even care anymore. It’s not a conscious ‘let’s do this on purpose for whatever reason’ at all”.
The band toured Australia in 2014 with Soundwave, and again in 2015 with The Amity Affliction and A Day To Remember. They have long been fans of the Australian metal scene, and took a lot of influence from I Killed The Prom Queen in their early years.
“I’ve always been a fan of Jonah [I Killed The Prom Queen], especially when he was with Bleeding Through, and I would definitely say that they’re my favourite band to come out of Australia, but Parkway Drive are pretty fucking rad too.”
If I was an event manager, and wanted to pull an awesome crowd for an excellent show, I’d be stacking the bill with Motionless In White, I Killed The Prom Queen and Parkway Drive in one monster line-up...
“Now we’re working on coming back and trying to do our first Australian headliner, and that’s for sure next on the list.”
Perhaps we’ll get our chance.