Your new album Fall of the Cicada - how would you sum it up
in just a few words?
If I had to boil the description of this album down to its most
rudimentary form, then I suppose I would have to say that it is just as
melodic as it is heavy.
How would you describe the musical
style on Fall of the Cicada, and how has it evolved from your
Fall of the Cicada is by far
the heaviest and most challenging material I have ever written since
establishing Johnny B. Morbid back in 2005. It is a far cry from the
simplistic beginnings of this project for sure. I was only eighteen years
old when I began this project which started out with the intentions of
being nothing more than just for fun so the very early material wasn't
exactly the most technical or impressive, but it did serve the purpose of
what I was going for at that time. I feel as though I really did not hit
my stride until I released the 5th album (Monsterpiece) in 2009,
which I consider to be the larval stage of the two albums that would
follow which are Welcome to Die! and Fall of the Cicada. I
stopped limiting my writing capabilities around that time and began
composing whatever I wanted regardless of whatever labels people wanted to
put on it. What was originally a tongue-in-cheek, horror punk project had
now mutated into what I feel as though is its own monster by incorporating
elements of punk, thrash, black metal, death metal and power metal into my
material. The lyrical subject matter may not be as straight forward as it
used to be, but there is still an evident dark quality to them which has
and always will remain consistent.
You of course also have to talk about
the lyrics on Fall of the Cicada for a bit, and what were your
sources of inspiration?
Two of the songs on Fall of the
Cicada were actually written about a couple of my favorite films,
but I will not disclose which because that would take the fun out people
trying to figure it out for themselves. I will, however, tell you that the
songs are "It Came From The North" and "Future in
Flames". The inspiration for some, if not all of the other tracks
would be the general cycle of life and time as we know it. There is an
underlying message of only being able to participate as an inhabitant of
this planet one time and to be aware of that fact by not allowing yourself
to be held down by any fears or obstacles that may compromise your ability
to truly live before it's all over. The lyrical content of the title track
is probably the most personal for me though because it is about making
sacrifices for your ambitions and passions regardless of the consequences
or the more than likely possibility of failure. There is an overabundance
of delusion in the field of independent music and this is a brutally
realistic song that lyrically shatters any chance of me ever being accused
of that despite what anyone may think or say. I know where I currently
stand in the grand scheme of things and this song is a lyrical
reaffirmation of just that.
What can you tell us about the
musicians featured on Fall of the Cicada, and what did they bring
to the table?
Miles Austin performed drumming duties on this album and completely
knocked it out of the park in my opinion. He is responsible for making
the songs I wrote for Fall of the Cicada truly come to life.
I basically gave him the freedom to virtually do whatever he wanted on
the songs with just a little direction from me. This was also his first
bout regarding anything having to do with Johnny B. Morbid.
Count Vlad Cadmus performed some guitar solos on this album as well as
some random rhythm guitar parts here and there that I had written, but
were better suited for him to perform on the record for sure. This is a
guy who studied classical guitar in college so it would be very stupid
and stubborn of me if I were to deny him opportunities to improve and
expand on my material. The main
focus is a well-executed and polished final product and Kyle is
definitely not someone I have to worry about in order to make that
happen. I've known him since
2004 and have shared the stage with him way before Johnny B. Morbid was
even a thought.
I first met Christopher
Jay when I was the bassist of Michale Graves (ex-Misfits vocalist). He
became the touring guitarist for a little while. I had Chris perform
some acoustic guitar parts on Fall of the Cicada because I wanted
him to be involved and also because he was the right man for the job. He
also contributed to gang vocal parts.
Brian Morelli is the live bassist of
Johnny B. Morbid but is a jack of all trades so I felt in necessary to
enlist him for piano and keyboard duties on Fall of the Cicada. He
also plays drums and guitar.
Do talk about the recording process for a
bit ... and in all, how long did the album take to record?
recording process can sometimes be a bit stressful due to gear
malfunctions or other little things that may occur. Miles and I had the
biggest feat because preparing for this album and tracking it was mostly
our combined efforts. We actually had zero rehearsals before we hit the
studio for Fall of the Cicada. Our only true preparation
for this album was me sending guitar demos of the songs to Miles via
e-mail and him learning and playing to those tracks on his own time. No
keyboards, lyrics, vocals, or bass guitars were put to the songs until we
were tracking the album. It took two full weeks to track the entire album
and just a few additional days for it to be mixed and mastered. I lived at
the studio where we recorded the album for the entire two-week duration.
There was an interim of two months before I received the final product,
but it was well worth the wait.
can you tell us about audience and critical reception of Fall of the
Cicada so far?
It seems as though the fans have been
responding surprisingly well to this release even though it is so much
different from previous ones. I had feared that Fall of the Cicada had
the potential to perhaps turn people away since it
is so different, but thankfully that has not been the case. Some fans have
even stated that this is their favorite Johnny B. Morbid album, which
speaks volumes to me because I really pushed myself to the absolute limit
for this album as far as my writing and playing abilities are concerned.
Any plans to perform the album
live/take it on the road any time soon?
Yes, absolutely! I
am currently working on something for June 2015 and we may even be
venturing into Canada for the first time as well.
projects you'd like to share?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Later this year I will be collaborating with former and current
members of Summer's End, Swashbuckle and Suburban Scum to release an EP
under the name Atomic Werewolf. We will most likely never
play live, but we wanted to just do something fun together for the hell
Your website, Facebook,
Anything else you are dying to mention
and I have merely forgotten to ask?
All Johnny B. Morbid albums are available here:
CDs and T-Shirts can be found here:
Thanks for the