Lock up your children because Morbid Saint is back! We recently got the chance to catch up with them about what's been going on with the band, their recent hometown reunion show and their upcoming show out here in Philadelphia Sat Jan 21st.
FZ: Well guys, the first thing that comes to mind is what exactly inspired you to breathe new life into Morbid Saint? A lot of people have been wondering if it’s had anything to do with the success of so many great old school bands reuniting (Rigor Mortis, Exhorder etc), maybe the whole new school/wave of thrash or just the unrelenting hardcore cult status that you guys have retained over the years.
MS: Well, the interest currently in Morbid Saint and the exposure on the internet have been absolutely amazing. The response and interest from people worldwide letting us know that there are people that want to see us live and get Morbid Saint music (old and new) without having to bid and pay outrageous prices on E-bay have a great deal to do with why we are doing this, and the fact that we have the time and personnel dedicated to bring Morbid Saint back, and do it properly.
It has very little, if anything to do with the success of any of the other great bands that have reunited. To be able to do this after so many years is truly incredible!!
FZ: Could you guys tell us a little about the current line up and just how it came to be?
Pat Lind - vocals
Jay Visser - guitar
Kevin Koski - guitar
Randy Wall - drums
Bob Zabel - bass
Jay Visser, an original/founding member, has been in Morbid Saint since its inception in 1984, Pat Lind joined the band in 1988, and has been the only lead vocalist since. Kevin Koski played a few shows with the band, before its dismemberment in 1993 after Jim Fergades left. Bob Zabel has played in bands on and off with Jay since the mid 1990's.
In 2002 Pat called Jay to see if he was interested in joining a local thrash/metal band SGT. Discharge with drummer Randy Wall, which he accepted. After several successful years of playing locally, the band dissolved. Jay, and Randy joined with former Morbid Saint members Jim Fergades, and Gary Beimel, to form Boxshaft.
After several years, Pat and Randy reformed Sgt.Discharge and Boxshaft was done. Jay and Bob started jamming with drummer Chris Jacobs, who played and recorded songs Lifesblood, and Dying Day for Morbid Saint after there was interest in a rerelease of Spectrum of Death.
After announcing publicly there was going to be another release of Spectrum of Death with two never-before released and newly recorded songs, the response was overwhelming, thus opening the door for a reformation for who is in Morbid Saint now, to return to the scene.
FZ: For the people out there that haven’t heard about this yet, you guys are currently in the process of releasing a 3 disc/dvd set. Can you tell us a little about what we can expect to find in this highly anticipated package and just when and where we can get our inpatient little hands on it?
MS: We are planning to release remastered versions of Spectrum of Death, and Destruction System, Live concert footage of Morbid Saint in 1991, and newly recorded songs Dying Day, Lifesblood, Death Before Dawn, and Morbid Saint's first original song, Thrashaholic... We will be exclusively selling it through our web site www.morbidsaint.com As soon as it is finished, a release date will be posted on our website, probably within the next few weeks or so.
FZ: I understand you guys have some new material together that you’ll be playing live. With newer members contributing to the bands overall sound, how if any would you say this material differs from your first two releases and are there plans to hit the studio anytime soon?
MS: We will be playing new songs, although they are songs that were written years ago and never released. We have been concentrating on playing the songs off Spectrum of Death,and some from Destruction System for the live shows. We do have plans to write and record new music in 2012, and hopefully we'll have a new cd with all new music ready by the end of this year.
Being that its almost 20 years since Morbid Saint was together, there are going to be some different influences on the new music, and having different members may vary the way we write songs, but all the current members come from the same vein of old school metal, and the fact that we are all great friends, and enjoy playing old school thrash together make for a lethal combination.
FZ: Aside from the 3 disc/dvd set do you guys have plans for any other merchandising? Your stuff is in pretty high demand and goes for a pretty step price on Ebay. I’ve yet to see a copy of Spectrum of Death on vinyl go for anything below $200. What are the chances of you guys printing some Spectrum of Death or other Morbid Saint shirts to go along with the re-issued material or to sell at your upcoming shows?
MS: We will have new Morbid Saint shirts available for the upcoming shows. All the shirts we had made up for the Sheboygan show sold out, so hopefully we will have enough with us. As far as the re-release, we have not yet decided on shirts with the album art, but that may be something we will look into for the future.
FZ: I understand you guys are all pretty big Whiplash fans, and we’re pretty adamant about playing with them in Philly. Do you guys remember when and how you first came across those guys? Were any of you able to catch them live back in the day?
MS: Jay is probably the biggest Whiplash fan, but we all really like them, and are really excited to have an opportunity to play with them. Jay became a huge fan after hearing Power and Pain in1986 and was completely blown away. Pat was exposed to Whiplash by original Morbid Saint vocalist-bassist Mike Chapa, before joining Morbid Saint in the late 80's.
Morbid Saint used to play cover songs along with originals to cover 3 sets of music to play the local bar scene in the 80's, and used to play Last man alive by Whiplash. Although we were unable to catch them years ago, we will have that opportunity very soon!! Power and Pain is probably one of the most iconic old school thrash album out there, along with Reign in Blood, they are the foundation for how thrash should be.
Tickets available online: hereFZ: I started spreading the word around about you guys playing with Whiplash here in Philly long before I officially announced the show and people have been going absolutely crazy, quite a few people didn’t believe me. What have the responses been like on your end and just how stoked are you guys to be playing for a whole new generation of kids (and us adults…) that have been eagerly awaiting your return for quite some time now?
MS: Keith, we cant thank you, and all at FALLOUTZINE enough for the opportunity to play in Philly with Whiplash. Just to be able to go out and play these songs live after all these years for the people (new and old) who support us is still somewhat unbelievable, and a great motivator for us to put on the most intense, brutal show we can!!
FZ: Now you guys just played live for the very first time in over two decades at a gig in your home town of Sheboygan, WI. Everything I’ve been reading about the show online and the videos I’ve seen have been great and pretty intense. How was it for you guys and just how rabid was the crowd?
MS: It was incredible!! The crowd was just insane!! Anytime we play in Sheboygan it is an event, playing for all our friends, and families is always awesome. But we are now looking forward to playing January 21st. for our new friends in Philly!!!
FZ: Any chance of a sneak peak into what the set list will be like for the Morbid Saint/Whiplash show on January 21st?
MS: We will probably be playing a few Morbid Saint songs!! HAHA!! We will be playing most of Spectrum of Death, a few songs off Destruction System, and the new recorded old songs.
FZ: Now that you guys have broken the ice and tested the waters are you ready to take Philly by storm? Better yet, are you guys sure your ready for what Philly has in store for you? We may need to have some ambulances on standby.
MS: Hopefully its not a snow storm!!! And hopefully the ambulances aren't for us!!!! We can't wait to play Philly!!
FZ: Well guys it has certainly been an honor to of had the chance to pick your brains for a bit and it’s even more of an honor to have you guys coming out to play our show here in Philadelphia. Do you have any last words for your devoted legions of crazed hellraisers & headbangers out there reading this?
MS: We cant thank you enough for all the support, you are the reason for doing this!! Can anyone show us where to get the best Philly cheesesteaks?
(Editors Note: North East Philly)
Steve's Prince of Steaks