Eye Of The Storm: Alex Of Deliver Us From Evil
Of all the hundreds upon thousands of upcoming metal acts around the globe that I have checked out on Myspace this year, I can say that there is not one that has hit me dead smack between the eyes with its literal uncanny ability like Deliver Us From Evil has done. They incorporate with true gusto the best elements of metal from the past and what is most appealing today. They cannot be labeled very easy due to this. They are not another Lamb of God imitator, nor are they at all classifiable as NU metal. The band is made up of Jeff Thomas on bass, Alex Morgan on percussion, John Matheis playing lead guitar and one of the more talented screamers in the underground game today, Brent Vaughn on vocals. I wanted to provide everyone with more insight into this extremely gifted metal act's background and what can be expected in the future by conducting this inteview with their drummer, Alex Morgan.
Rocket: When did you first start playing drums? And did you ever take any lessons along the way?
Alex: I started playing the drums around seventh grade. When I was younger, my mom had me in music programs around the time I could talk. I started playing the violin at the age of three and piano lessons. Then I played trumpet in middle school....first chair by the way...lol... and then went into a pawn shop. I saw a Percussion Plus kit for like $200 dollars and got it from my birthday. In High School, I tried out for snare drum in marching band and got the part. So my instruction on drums was mainly the fundamental rudiments for snare drum. I taught myself to play a drum set. I played football my freshman year and marched at the same time. I would go to football everyday after school, then on Monday, Wednesday and Friday I'd go to band practice from six till nine. During games, I would play the first half, then march at half time, then play the second half. My football coach called me in at the end of the year and said he wanted me to play the next year, but I had to quit band. So I told him to go fuck himself.
Rocket: Who are a few of your biggest metal drumming influences?
Alex: As far as metal goes, Abe Cunningham from the Deftones really influenced my style as a single bass drum player. I'd say he influenced my stage presence as well. That dude never stopped moving! It was so inspiring to see someone play even slow grooves with that much intensity. Vinnie Paul of course. It's so cliche to even mention Pantera right now, but those motherfuckers absolutely changed my life! Lars in my early stages. Then Raymond Herrera from Fear Factory came along and totally blew my fucking mind. Jordison helped me with my endurance. Playing Slipknot keeps me in shape! I really dig what Andols has been doing in Chimaira. Matt McDonough of Mudvayne. That fuckers crazy!!!!! Sick of it all, Biohazard, the list goes on and on and on.
Rocket: Give us the specs on your drum kit, bro. Let me say, whatever you're playing on it's working. Ha!
Alex: Standard five piece. Pearl birch kit I bought my Freshman year in high school. The same one I played all the pep band shit on at the basketball games with my Crown Royal in my Taco Tierra cup. (local Taco joint....it's the shit!!!). DR-80 rack I bought on Ebay for $60. My cymbal clips on the rack are to big for the stands I have, so they are set permanently in one position with Duct Tape and foam. My cymbals are what ever don't suck and that is inexpensive. Huge 24" hand hammered power bell ride. The drum sizes are 12",13",and 16" toms, a 22" bass drum, the Joey Jordison signature 13" snare, and Iron Cobra double pedals.My Roc and Soc throne is my favorite part of it!!! When we play shows, I tie the rack on the roof with shoelaces....lol.
Rocket: How did Deliver Us From Evil originally join up as a band? And state what area you cats are from. I notice you don't list it on your Myspace music profile.
Alex: We are from Evansville, Indiana. I describe it as the "toe of the boot". Check the map, you'll be stoked!! Haha. The people are cool, but it's rough to get gigs in other cities quickly without local references. Plus, of course the bar scene is completely saturated with cover bands that have been playing the same set lists for five fucking years. Don't get me wrong, the money is good, and I have a lot of friends in cover bands. But I can't do what someone else wants me to do. If I hear Blister In The Sun by Violent Femmes one more time, I will kill somebody!!!!!!!! (not really) I hadn't played the drums for around three years. I graduated High School and went to IU. PARTY!!!! Then moved back after two years...lol. Then my girl got me and acoustic guitar and I started learning Metallica songs on it so I got an electric too. Then I moved into the house I live in now to start my first band. I had a friend that was our original bass player, Jon Munnier, jamming with me. I have a huge basement, built a bar and had a place to put my drums and got a double pedal. John, our guitar player, showed up at my house wearing his Papa John's uniform. This kid was 20 years old, and just fucking disgusting at the guitar. I mean, I really had never met anyone that could do what he could do. We started jamming and it was the first time I had attempted to write music. I had a guitar riff that I played all the time and he actually liked it. He went home and like three days later we wrote Until Tomorrow, a song that all of our local fans know. You'll hear it on the album. It still shines above some of the songs we have written even lately. Our bassist, Munnier, sang and played bass, but he left due to going to school for Respiratory Therapy. So Jeff, who I went to High School with and hadn't seen in six years, randomly came to my house one day. He played guitar for two bands at the time, DPM, and what is now Shatter the Odds. I'm so greatful for him playing the bass for us. Brent had been sitting in a lot and grew up with John (guitar) and fit the mold. Brent has worked his ass off and come leaps and bounds with his voice. I'm stoked on that kid right now. At first we had tension because I knew his potential. His lyric writing is fucking awesome. I was always there coaching him through his first studio sessions, and I'm sure it drove him nuts. But now his performances on the album and live are fucking great! As for our area, If you recall the tornado that hit us in November, (ya know, the one on CNN and killed 21 people) our guitarist lives in that trailer park that got pretty much wiped out. Luckily he made it. Not saying that Surviving The Storm was written "about" that experience, it was definitely inspired by it.
Rocket: Who would you say are the three metal bands from past or present that you guys look to for inspiration when writing these heavy as hell songs your band is producing so early on?
Alex: Pantera for sure. Mathies (guitar) came into this band already knowing like every Pantera song ever. Domination is the song we play at shows, and it just destroys everyone! Chimaira and Fear Factory have an influence on my drumming, but some of the soloing came from the original shredders like Malmsteen and Vai. Brutality is our main goal. All the melodies just happen along the way. These songs sound huge on the record, but live, they fucking destroy people.
Rocket: Are you guys working on releasing a new EP soon? If so, what can we expect?
Alex: Yes. We are currently recording in Chicago and in Sacramento, KY. The EP will have 11 songs. We have decided on the title Behold A Pale Horse, from the quote in revelations, "behold a pale horse- and his name that sat on him was death- and hell followed with him." Like I tell all who ask, we are as christian as Lamb of God....lol. All this religious stuff is just so cool when it is applied in a dark context.
Rocket: Has this band been getting any offers from record labels?
Alex: Since we live in the middle of nowhere, there is no industry people here to speak of, so we are flying under the radar. But it's cool, because we are taking our time to record everything through our own sources. The people we work with are fucking awesome. We would rather have a record recorded and all of our merch and artwork be our own so we don't have some stiff trying to change anything. We know that we have things we need to work on, and are open to criticism, but we want to create the whole product before we let someone else try to change what we have going. We are definitely looking for management and a booking agent.
Rocket: How did Dimebag Darrell's onstage murder affect you personally?
Alex: When I found out, I had just finished a 15 page paper for a final in one of my classes. I was so relieved that I was finished with my semester, and right when I walked in the house, my roommate said "Do you know who Darrell Abbot is?". I said, "yeah, that's DImebag!" Then he told me he was shot and killed last night. My stomach dropped. I turned on the TV and had a lingering depression for about six months. That was the most selfish fucking thing anyone has ever done to me. Dimebag was my inspiration as a performer.....period. Like I said, he and his brother changed my life. I never knew music could be so amazing until I heard Vulgar. Instantly, I couldn't listen to anything but metal. Since that day, I have been trying to find something else that could compare to that band. And still to this day, they stand alone. I felt that my future inspiration was taken from me. It bums me out to know that even if I "make it" in music, and get to meet all of these amazing people, that I'll never get the chance to sit down and talk to him, or shake his hand, or even be in his presence. My friend Eli said his dad was recording in London in the 70's and John Lennon was in the other room and he could actually feel his presence. I think Dime is one of those people. I'm not an idol having kind of guy, but I felt such an amazing loss from that. I feel so bad for Vinnie. And as for Nickelback writing a song about Dime, FUCK YOU. You are not metal and should not be fucking with something as sacred as Dimebag Darrell. Even though he may have inspired you, you have chosen the darkside of the industry and are capitalizing on our hero, therefore you are our enemy.
Rocket: Right on, bro. I thought that was utterly ridiculous myself. On a lighter note, what's the funniest thing that's ever happened to you on the stage?
Alex: It's funny to me when part of my drum set starts to fall apart while I'm playing, and I have people under me trying to put it back together while I'm playing. Once, the leg on my floor tom fell off so I was holding it up with my right knee while playing a really fast part. My buddy Jeff House ran up and held it in position until the song was finished. That shit cracks me up. Maybe I'll get an endorsement one day just out of pity...ha!
Rocket: What was you favorite metal album for 2005?
Alex: I'll have to think about that.....release or album I listened to through 2005. Since Lamb of God "Ashes of The Wake" didn't come out of my CD player for like six months, I'd have to say that one.
Rocket: So now for the big question, how has the Myspace audience been treating you guys?
Alex: Great. Our plays have stayed very consistent. And when we release a new song and put it up there, we average about 100 plays a day. Not bad for some youngsters from Indiana that no one really knows about. Hopefully The Metal Den and Metalunderground.com can help change all that.
Rocket: What are some of the upcoming shows for Deliver Us From Evil?
Alex: We have a southern tour coming up in June. It's going to be great. I get to play in my old hometown of St. Augustine, Florida, as well as Myrtle beach and Daytona. You can see all the dates on our myspace: www.myspace.com/deliverusfromevil. We are going on tour with our great friends and Kick ass band, LIFE's Tragic Curse. If you haven't heard them then you should! www.longtimecoming/ltc. THEY KICK ASS!!!!
Rocket: Go ahead and deliver some shout outs to your biggest supporters.
Alex: My girlfriend Laura, for whom is resposible for getting me back into music and is the love of my life. No man got anywhere without a supportive girlfriend. My parents for believing in me and not thinking I'm crazy for going to college and now trying to pursue a music career. My bandmates for being so reliable and becoming my best friends along the way. Bloodtribe for getting us our first show at 1123 in Evansville. Life's Tragic Curse for letting us play at the Wildcat Saloon and letting us use their equipment all the time and booking our tour and being a badass band. Jon Munnier and Benjie Duvall for the recordings. Jason Reece (photo rexit photography) for helping us out on the pictures. All of our regulars (TODD, Sean Jones and Nasty, Henze,Matt, Hooley, Shane, Nick, Aaron, Steve for letting me off when I need to play a show, Joey, Turner, Jeff House for breaking my shit down) Skyler, Zasche, Price, Jackson for remixing our shit, Kirby, Mike and Missy, Squires for filming,Todd Jefferies for filming, my Aunt Kathy, Alice, and Rose, and all of the people who come out to our shows or that lets someone else hear us........we are nothing without you. Thanks for even caring that we exist!!!! Erik, Aaron, and Kyle in my other band SECRETARIAT for keeping me on my toes with their crazy riff math madness.
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