If you have not come across UK metallers Morgue Orgy yet, then you have missed out on one scintillating violation of your psyche and person. But it is never too late to catch up on the brutal beatings especially as the Birmingham sextet has just released their debut album The Last Man On Earth, to savage the senses and all for free. Creating a malevolent pestilence of inventive and melodically blackened death metal, the band is one of the rising forces in British metal, a mischievous scourge to tempt the deepest passions. Offered the chance to delve deeper into the mayhem and creative bloodshed, we greedily gathered up questions to feed Carter, Tris, and Ben from the band, subsequently learning about the beginnings of Morgue Orgy, the new album, live exploits, a passion for a certain American punk rock band and much more…
Welcome Gentlemen and many thanks for taking time away from the mayhem and brutality to talk with us.
Tell us about the history of you guys pre- Morgue Orgy through to the early days of the band.
Carter – Gray, Prok, Ben and I were in a thrash/punk horror band before Morgue Orgy. Gray and Prok asked me to join the band in 2000 and Ben joined in 2005. We got a large following in Birmingham, but we only played a handful of shows outside our hometown. The band was a lot of fun, but when our drummer quit in 2007 we decided to start something new. Gray wrote a couple of songs (that would end up as The Black of Hearts and The Arkham Waltz from The River & I EP) and suggested we name the new band Morgue Orgy. Gray used to sing and play bass in the previous band, but he wanted to concentrate solely on vocals with Morgue Orgy, so he asked Tris to join on bass. It took us a year to find a new drummer and when we auditioned Tom we knew immediately he was the man for the job.
What was the spark or intent in the band at the beginning and has that original ‘purpose’ of the band remained the same or evolved over the past five years?
Carter – The main intention for us is to have fun, and I think we’re enjoying being in the band more than ever! When we started Morgue Orgy, we wanted to write heavier music than we’d done before, and just focus on metal, instead of the endless genres (including ska, drum & bass and funk rock) we’d bounce between with our old band. Our sound has definitely evolved as we didn’t really know what we were doing when we wrote The River & I, we were experimenting and learning.
What are the inspirations you have taken into the band musically and lyrically?
Carter – We all listen to a wide spectrum of genres, none of us are metalheads, as such. We are inspired by a lot of different artists, for example Gray takes a lot of influence from rap artists, as he tends to write quickly-bellowed lines with a shit-load of syllables to fit in. Of course we take a lot of inspiration from bands such as At The Gates, Anaal Nathrakh and Dissection, but we also influenced by the likes of Queen, Rancid and Bartok.
Am I right in thinking some of or the band as a whole has a bit of a passion for Bad Religion?
Carter – HAHA yeah they’re fucking awesome! We give free merch to anyone that comes to our gig in a Bad Religion shirt.
Musically you are tagged as melodic death metal but as the new album shows there is much more in your maelstrom of invention and sound. How would you describe it to newcomers to give the closest representation?
Tris – I don’t think we can tag ourselves specifically as melodic death metal, we end up with all sorts of sub-genres in there but maybe because of ignorance of these ridiculously specific sub-genres on my part I have no idea how to even class it. People seem to think we genre hop a lot and don’t seem to be able to comprehend what they’re listening to sometimes but we’re not exactly Mr Bungle! There’s shouting, d-beats, blast beats, minor bar chords, shredding, keyboard melodies, the odd proggy(ish) bit and if you listen closely enough – I got my bass to sound satisfyingly like the bass tone on the recent Sick of it all re-recordings album! The album is free on our website anyway – download it and make up a genre for it!
Your first pair of EPs The River & I and Murders Most Foul made a potent statement musically for the band and were seemingly greedily received; with your debut album freshly unleashed this month how do look back at them in comparison to The Last Man On Earth?
Carter – We think the River and I is a bit shit now, to be honest. Maybe it’s because they are our oldest songs and we’re bored of them. As I’ve mentioned, the first couple of years for the band was a learning period and there’s a massive difference in quality between The River and I and The Last Man On Earth. I still enjoy Murders Most Foul and I especially love playing 70 Dead and Scared To Death Of My Own Face, I think they’re great songs. Our new album though is much better in my opinion. Each member has improved vastly over the last couple of years and our progress is evident when you listen through our discography.
So how has your sound and presence changed then in the period between your first release and the new album in your eyes/ears?
Tris - We’re still kind of the same band but we’ve improved so much at playing our instruments that we’ve basically ended up a lot faster and heavier. A constant evolution in music taste also plays an effect without you even necessarily realising. We’re all getting back into punk now which I know I haven’t really listened to in a good few years. Just wait for the next album we’re going to end up sounding like the Descendents.
The Last Man On Earth as we mentioned has just been released, an album we said was ‘a toxic torrent of maliciousness fuelled by a rabid expanse of intensively magnetic flavours and styles from within a brutally predatory imagination’. You must be proud of its invention and impact as well as what seems to be a full on soak of acclaim from fans and media alike?
Carter – We are immensely proud of this record. We worked long and hard to create this beast but we never imagined it would be so well received. It has filled us with confidence and justified our direction.
Please give us some insight into the evolution of the album from its first seeds to the final impressive scourge?
Carter – We definitely took our time with putting the album together; the first song that was written for the album was 4 Days, which Tris wrote shortly after recording Murders Most Foul. We used Guitar Pro to demo the riff ideas and would upload them to SoundCloud for the rest of the band to listen and give feedback. Once a song had a rough structure, we’d take that track into the practice room and go from there. We recorded with Ow Davies of Loud Noises Production, who recorded our previous EPs too. We love working with Ow because he gets the most out of us in the studio and he enjoys a good laugh too! He’s got better and better over time and you can hear that on this record, the production quality is outstanding and that is all down to Ow.
Did the album emerge from the studio exactly how you envisaged going into its recording?
Ben – YES! We had nailed each song from start to finish in the recording studio and as a rhythm section knew exactly how the songs were to sound. The synth/keys were put down later on and tied it together in the way that Carter wanted them to, and it works!
So you are a band which has songs as good as finished before their recording or still prefer to let them develop in the studio?
Carter – The bulk of the songs were fully written before going into the studio, but some vocal deliveries from Gray were altered at times, and he’d improvise recording random noises to add atmosphere/comedy. The sound effects were all put down in the studio once the instruments were tracked. Our guest sax-player, Colin Mills, came in and improvised on Barnum & 399 and the title track, which was fucking awesome. Dunc from Fukpig co-wrote the lyrics for Castle Freak, but we hadn’t heard his vocals for the song until he recorded them.
The Last Man On Earth can be described as psychotic, schizophrenic, and masterfully vicious; three traits you were aiming for or simply the natural emergence of the band’s characters?
Ben – We were all really really angry. Not really! We don’t actually know why our music comes out so brutal. We are all stupid idiots who go out dancing to 90s pop and listen to Bad Religion so why we are even a metal band is beyond any of us. It seems to work though!
You released the album initially as a free download before Christmas, what was the thinking behind the decision and giving what is sure to be a top contender for best of year lists in twelve months so generously away?
Ben – When an audience of people don’t even want to part with £2 for your 5 track EP’s you know you are in a fickle scene. So when that happened several times it was time to think outside the box.
Carter – Free music is so easily accessible now it seems naive to fight against it. If you can’t beat them, join them. Our main focus during this release is to gain awareness of the band, and charging for the album would have been a limitation.
We also mentioned in our review a mischievous or maybe that should be rascality to the band and the album in our review, this is a major part of your intentions as a band to have fun and grin in the sonic bloodshed?
Tris – Absolutely! Basically we’re a bunch of idiot mates who decided to form a ridiculous metal band with a bit of inspiration from the horror films that we (well actually just Gray) watch. Somehow I think we’ve managed to put that across in our music. People seem to think us pricking about is a gimmick but it’s just what we’re like. We recently released a dildo because we thought it would be funny – If anyone gets irritated and thinks we’re not metal enough for doing so…that is also funny. If you come and see us play a gig we definitely don’t take ourselves too seriously. You’re more likely to see me do squats at 220BPM with a smile plastered on my face than headbang, act like a serious rock star and pretend I’m not enjoying myself.
Tell us about your live shows then and why people need to join the orgy.
Carter – Our live shows are all about letting loose and having a good time. We act like idiots on stage and encourage the crowd to do the same. If everyone is smiling by the end of the show, we’re happy.
What has been your stage highlights so far as a band and personally?
Carter – It would have to be playing Bloodstock Festival in 2010, we worked really hard to win the ‘Metal To The Masses’ competition in order to play the festival and the turnout for our set was amazing. I really enjoy playing hometown shows, in front of friends and fans that have watched us for years. We’ve played a couple of really fun gigs in Rugby, Leeds, and Torquay, but I don’t think there are many stand-out shows for me… as long as the audience are enjoying themselves and the sound guy isn’t a prick, I have a great time!
Your bio describes the band as ‘the UK metal scene’s last hope for melodic death metal.’ Do you feel that it is as that suggests on its last legs or maybe it just has not really erupted from a relatively sleepy state?
Ben – We do tend to be one of few bands in this scene who actually think of melody as being important. Perhaps the trend to revolve a song around a beat down has killed off peoples’ brains. We come from the Pantera/Bad Religion/Take That end of the musical scale, where melody is as important as crush!
2014 looks like being a busy and major year for the band, what is next for Morgue Orgy?
Ben – We hope to push our album out to labels and to find a good booking agent to push us further than we could possibly do ourselves.
Once again big thanks for putting aside the bodies for us, any thoughts you would like to leave the listeners contemplating?
Carter – A female bed bug doesn’t have a sexual orifice, so the male has to traumatically inseminate the female by piercing her abdomen with his penis. So if you ever feel depressed remember it could be worse, you could be a female bed bug being fucked in the belly.
Ben – Bad Religion
And finally give us your top five ways in the disposal of bodies.
Now we’re guessing in this scenario you’re assuming we’ve done the killing? Because if you just happen to stumble across a dead body you should probably alert the authorities who can launch a full investigation into what has transpired. Also, we are not actually morticians and couldn’t give you advice on disposal if you are looking to start your own morgue. Again you should alert the professionals who will be able to give you proper advice. But if you’re asking for actual murder tips I suppose we can take a guess but don’t take this as an excuse to start doing it…
Carter – 1. Grind them up and mix them in with the kebab meat 2. Use their bones to make a go-kart and their skin to make a nice coat, throw the rest in the bin 3. Leave them outside a hospital with a note saying ‘for science’. They’ll be grateful for it, honestly 4. Drill them into the sea 5. Package them and label it with any address, Royal Mail will just lose it in the post!
Ben – 1. Feed them to the ducks 2. Kill them twice 3. Horses 4. Find a keen worm 5. Sit on them until they hatch
Tris – 1. Drill it over the fence 2. Drill it into the sea 3. Leave it out with the dirty dishes in the kitchen and eventually someone will get annoyed enough to clean it up for you 4. Seal it within a mattress and leave it on the drive for your local council to fail to collect 5. Get Prok to discuss his guitar solos with it and it should get up and leave of its own accord.
Get Morgue Orgy’s debut album The Last Man On Earth @ www.morgueorgy.com and read the review @ http://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/01/13/morgue-orgy-the-last-man-on-earth/
The RingMaster Review 11/02/2014
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