Interview with Steven Tucker of WarFather / ex-Morbid Angel


“Now is the time for a call to arms.”

Interview by Jason Guest

Jason: Thank you very much for taking time out for this interview. Congratulations on Orchestrating The Apocalypse (Ed: read the review here). To begin, can you tell us about WarFather? Did you have an idea of what you wanted the band to sound like when you were putting it together?

Warfather - Steven Tucker
Warfather – Steven Tucker

Tucker: Yes absolutely, I wanted to be true death metal, as I see it. I wanted the songs to represent how I feel and see things, and that is Brutal.

Jason: Its meaning is fairly obvious of course, but how did you settle on the band name?

Tucker: I more accepted the name, it grew on me.  It was recommended to me by a guitarist I was doing some studio work with. He was calling me Warfather, instead of my name, and I started to like it.

Jason: With you in the band are guitarist Armatura, drummer Deimos, and Avgvstvs on bass. Where did you find these guys? Why did you choose to work with them in WarFather? What do they bring to the band?

Tucker: I have known Armatura, for over 20 years and it was natural to have him involved in this band, we have a mutual vision and opinion. Then I found Demios through mutual friends recommendation, as well as Avgvsvs. The most important thing to me was that we see things the same way, like minds….  Everyone brings something different; Armatura brings level headedness and years of familiarity; Demios brings utter intensity and muscle; Avgvsvs brings intelligence and finesse. These things make for a solid foundation.

Jason: How does the band write? Do you all contribute to the writing? Do you jam ideas out together or is there a main writer?

Tucker: For Orchestrating The Apocalypse, I wrote everything, I had a lot of it before I had the other people involved. But now we are writing the next album and we are sending songs and ideas back and forth between each other, and everyone is contributing, I will have the final opinion; however everyone in the band’s opinion is relevant.

Jason: When writing, do you have an idea of how you want the songs to sound or do they take shape as they are being developed?

Tucker: Every song is really a different approach, sometimes songs take a while to develop, while other songs just happen quickly.  I personally have some sort of idea what I am wanting when I start; it usually starts with a riff.

Jason: What are the lyrical themes and what inspires them?

Tucker: There is no hidden message here; the lyrics are about how I see things in this world, how I see myself and others like me in this world, and what I think we need to do about it. As well, there are some hypothetical themes , more poetic and dark, However these themes always have some relation to me emotionally. Music is about emotion, regardless of the emotion, it must convey in the music.

Jason: Is there a theme, concept, or a philosophy that underpins WarFather and its music?

Tucker: Yes there is, this is something I could spend hours talking about, I think the lyrics express our thoughts and philosophies clearly.  I would be happy to share these opinions with people in person, where I could answer individual questions as they came about.

Jason: Ken Coleman designed the artwork. What is it about his artwork that drew you to him?

WarFather 2014
Orchestrating The Apocalypse
Art by Ken Coleman

Tucker: Yes he did, and it is my opinion that the artwork is absolutely brilliant and completely conveys the vibe of the album!  What drew me to Ken was the way he mixes mechanical and natural elements together, it is dark but yet somehow strikingly beautiful … I think Ken is brilliant, I cannot say enough good things about the guy, he is an incredible artist!

Jason: Did he have complete control over the design or did you and the band have a hand in it?

Tucker: Ken and I spoke, I told him what the album was about. A few days later he sends this to me, I was completely in shock, I was amazed…  then he did the rest of the CD layout and artwork as well as design some Warfather shirts that are brilliant!  He will do the next Warfather CD as well.

Jason: Where some musicians tend to mellow with age and, as demonstrated with Orchestrating The Apocalypse, that’s clearly not the case for you. What is it that drives you to continue making such brutal music?

Tucker: When I was young, I was brutal, however it was a blind brutality, I was angry but I did not know completely why I was angry. I knew I had been lied to on many levels, by religion, by the schools and even the people around me. This infuriated me deep down inside. I felt insulted!

As time has gone on I have grown to understand more about why I was so angry. The real reason behind feeling anxiety and frustration with the world around me is that I do not agree with the world around me, and it is time to change this. Now is the time for a call to arms.

The fact is, I still feel very brutal, but I feel much more focused, much more in control of the anger. Driven by ideas, not blind rage.

Jason: Death Metal has been around for about 30 years now. For you, what gives it its endurance? Why is it still a relevant musical art form today?

Tucker:  Death metal is relevant because people relate to it, not all people, not simple people who refuse to think, but people who are not the standard, who do not care to be the standard. People who think differently, outside what is safe.

Jason: You’ve been making music for quite a while now and played with a number of bands. What’s the most significant change you’ve seen in the music scene?

Tucker: Without a doubt, the internet has changed the music scene. In all manners. Unfortunately, music seems to have become disposable to many people.  And in turn, I believe a lot of music has become extremely sterile. Originality is frowned upon. I do not remember art being seen this way before the internet.

Nader Sadek In The Flesh
Nader Sadek
In The Flesh

Jason: You worked with Nader Sadek for 2011’s In The Flesh (a great album) and about a year ago released a live performance of the album on CD/DVD. No doubt WarFather is your priority right now, but will you be working again with Nader Sadek on more material?

Tucker: Warfather is 100% my priority. It was brilliant working with Flo and Blasphemer on the Nader Sadek, and I hope to work with them on something at some point again in the future. We all have our own things. I have not worked on any new Nader Sadek music.

Jason: What does the future hold for WarFather? Are there plans for more music?

Tucker: We plan to get on the road and do as many shows as we can worldwide. Then Record another album in early 2015.

Jason: Will you be touring in support of the album? if so, will we be seeing you in the UK?

Tucker: Yes we will, and I am sure at some point we will do some shows in the UK!

Jason: Thanks again for taking time out for this interview. Do you have any closing words for our readers?

Tucker: Cheers for the questions, see you at a show! \,,/

Warfather - band 2