Motionless In White are one of the most consistent bands in the industry. The Scranton outfit drop releases in reasonable periods and evolve seamlessly with each one. Luckily for us, they’re heading here this December to wrap up 2015 on the ‘Big Ass tour’ with The Amity Affliction, The Ghost Inside and A Day to Remember. We caught up with frontman Chris Cerulli to chat about the tour, their next release and showing respect in the scene.
How are you doing Chris? Thanks for doing the interview for us today.
No problem, thanks for asking me to do it! I’m good, how are you?
I’m good thank you! Are you guys on tour right now?
Yeah, we’re currently in Baltimore, Maryland right now, about halfway through our US tour.
Rad! I just wanted to kick off by commending your Halloween costume. You were The Crow?
Yes that is correct!
What did you guys do for your Halloween festivities?
This year we actually did something that we’ve been planning to do for years and years and years and that was actually play a show very, very close to home for Halloween. We played at a venue within an hour of our hometown area that we used to play at when we first started but haven’t played at in years so we made it a point to go back and headline a Halloween show. So it was a very, very special night for us for sure.
When Halloween comes around, do you get the ‘oh, you guys must be in your element’ treatment?
I think people kind of expect our band around that portion of the year, when the season comes around, that we’re kind of one of the bands that it’s possible that we’re doing something that is relative to Halloween. It’s not like when we roll around people are like ‘why are this band here in January, they’re a Halloween band!’ We’re not limited to that type of aesthetic. But, it’s definitely looked at as that’s where we fit in most in the year.
Fair enough. Moving on, it’s not long now until you guys hit up Australia for the Big Ass tour. Are you aware of how huge the venues are?
(Laughs). I’ve heard that it’s arenas, but I guess I can’t really get a grasp on it because I’ve never seen them in person. I’ve heard some really, really good things from everyone about it so I’m kind of overly excited about the tour.
They’re pretty big. You guys have been here before, are you looking forward to anything in particular while you’re back here?
The major thing over anything is to experience Australia not on Soundwave. We’ve done Soundwave twice now and although it was amazing, we’re really, really, really dying to get over there and see what it’s like to play at a venue where it’s indoors and the whole environment is so much different than an outdoor festival. That’s by far the biggest thing we’re most looking forward to.
Are you friends with any of the bands on the tour already? The Amity Affliction can show you around.
We’ve toured with all three of the bands. We’re pretty good friends with The Ghost Inside…they’re all super, super great dudes and one of the bands that we enjoy touring with more than others. Weve done a few tours with a day to remember, also really, really good guys, which is kind of what makes this tour so awesome is that it’s not with bands we don’t know. It’s with guys that we wholeheartedly support and want to tour with. I haven’t had too much opportunity to get to know the Amity guys yet but I think this tour will probably be my breakthrough in getting to hang out. We were on their first US tour that they ever did, but we didn’t get to hang out that much because we’re a very quiet band. It takes us a long time to warm up to new people but they were cool from what I remember.
They’re nice dudes! I saw that you guys were covering Linkin Park on your current tour.
Yeah we’ve been doing ‘One Step Closer’ on the tour that we’re doing now.
Are you bringing any covers to Australia?
I wish! I feel like we’re probably going to have like a 30 minute set so I’d rather do our material than a cover song but at the same time it is great because a cover song can really change the mood. If people aren’t feeling your band or like your band but don’t know you enough to know your songs a cover is really great for that. Probably not because of our short set, but it will be considered when we’re making the setlist.
How much do you consider incorporating your old EP’s? You’ve said that every album was sort of a new leaf for the band…
Not so much. We, at this point, kind of look at that as though it’s [by] a different band. It’s part of our history, what makes up our character and who we are as a band now, but we don’t really look back to that kind of stuff as though there’s any responsibility to have to play it or that fans really want to hear it. Whenever we do bring out a really old song like that, not that many people care, so, there’s not a lot of pressure on it.
It’s a compliment to the new stuff I guess.
I like that. Since we’ve been touring off of ‘Reincarnate’ for about a year now, I’ve noticed that people are gravitating towards the newer stuff, which is obviously great for us because we’re way more happy with it.
Your studio albums have generally had about a two-year gap between them, are you looking to releasing something in 2016?
Right after this Australian tour is over, we’re going to go right into the studio, probably I would say early 2016. we’re definitely going to shoot for a fall release in 2016. Going back to your question earlier, it makes sense for us to release albums in the fall and tour around that, so that’s probably the plan we’re going to stick to, every 2 years put a new album out in the fall. We’ll roll with that unless something else feels like it needs to change.
You had some guests on ‘Reincarnate’ and you just guested on the new Aiden album which was awesome, are you thinking ahead to guests you’d like on this album?
There are a couple people that are still on my dream list. Fortunately for me I’ve have had the top people from the dream list sing on our records, which was fucking unreal. I’d say top three: number 1 would be Ville Valo from the band HIM, that band’s a massive band for us, not even necessarily the way they sound but just a lot of things about them. There’s a few others, but he’d be my number 1 at this point.
On the Spotify commentary for ‘Reincarnate’, you said ‘that’s the heaviest thing we’ve ever written’ a couple of times. What is the single heaviest thing you’ve ever written?
(Laughs). The single heaviest thing ever? I feel like the answer is relative to what each person thinks is heavy. I think that like the faster stuff, which is what makes up a good portion of our music, are what the heaviest songs are in our department, but some people think that songs like ‘Devil’s Night’ have to be the heaviest songs we’ve ever written. I’d probably say a song of ours called ‘If It’s Dead, We’ll Kill It’ off of our ‘Infamous’ album.I have a guest vocalist on that record , which is Brandan Schiepatti from my favourite band ever Bleeding Through, which is the heaviest fucking band ever, and that song just came out so gnarly. Like I hear it and I just get pumped and I want to fucking kill everybody so I’m very proud of that one in the heavy department.
Good answer! You’re probably going to get annoyed that I’m asking this question, because people bring this up a lot. You know the ‘you saved my life’ trend you wrote a blog on a couple of years ago now? In retrospect, have you actually had less kids coming up at shows to say that stuff?
Not nearly as much anymore. I don’t know whether that is a product of my having spoke out about it or the proof of that being a trend is, you know, trends die over time, so the fact that it’s not happening anymore could be a testament to the fact that it was a trend and people are starting to move away from doing that or if fans, even if they wanted to say it, don’t want to focus on that anymore knowing that’s not exactly the most welcome way we’d like to be greeted by fans. It’s chilled out a lot, over the last year or so, for sure.
Alt Press are doing a series right now on sexual harassment in the scene and Ash from New Years Day has spoken about it as well. I was just wondering if maybe you could weigh in on it and give any advice you have for band members and scenegoers regarding how to behave at shows?
I mean, I feel…this kind of topic, I don’t stay away from, I just feel like for me for me to be able to have something reasonable to say, I would want to have experienced it myself because I’ve never experienced that directly or personally. For me to feel like I have something to contribute to the cause, I don’t know if it’s going to be taken as something serious.
I don’t know what I’m trying to say, I mean, my thoughts are not based off experience, they’re based off of observation. I will say that based off of an observational standpoint it’s a shame that that’s such a growing thing now, I think obviously the way you should behave is to respect every single person around you, whether its showgoers and stuff where this stuff is happening. Unfortunately I’m more of a pessimist in the way that I look at it, and I think man well, it doesn’t matter what you do or say it’s never going to stop. You’re never going to be able to change the way people act because the unfortunate truth and reality is that some people are just fucking scumbags. And its incredibly upsetting. I think definitely, be respectful to the people around you, to your peers, especially people that are involved in the same worldview. you relate to people more than you relate to others, why would you go and do something like that and harass your peers?
As far as the growing stories about bands and band members with the harassment of fans, I’ve seen many things happen on tour that unfortunately, I haven’t seen anything directly where I would have proof to bring, but you hear things and you kind of see people doing sketchy shit and usually there’s someone that will say something to them and it gets taken care of.
I think it’s a little upsetting. I’m very happy that I have a clean track record because I don’t ever fuck with anything like that and I don’t know why anyone would, I never understood the appeal, and its upsetting to see my peers in the music world taking that path knowing that it’s wrong. There’s nothing about it other than the fact that’s it’s wrong.
It’s so hard to find out what to say because like I said I don’t experience this stuff personally. I don’t have the thoughts of the harasser and I have never been the harassee. its really hard for me. I’m really rambling, trying to kind of explore my thoughts on it and come up with something real to say. But it’s hard, you know, I’m sorry.
That’s okay! That was a great answer. I didn’t mean to put you on the spot, I just know that you’re quite influential in the scene and getting people to talk about it is one of the best ways to raise awareness. To finish up the interview, do you have an album of the year?
I’m gonna go with, there’s a band called Old Wounds, a band from New Jersey, and their album is calling ‘The Suffering Spirit’ and that’s definitely my album of the year.
You can catch Motionless In White on the Big Ass tour in December. For more details, head here.
‘BIG ASS TOUR’ DATES:
Saturday 12 December – Qantas Credit Union Arena, Sydney
Monday 14 December – Perth Arena
Wednesday 16 December – Adelaide Entertainment Centre
Thursday 17 December –Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne
Saturday 19 December – Brisbane Riverstage (sold out)
Sunday 20th, December – Brisbane Riverstage