Latest release: Reincarnate (Fearless Records)
Band site: www.facebook.com/motionlessinwhite
American electro-goth metallers Motionless in White recently unleashed their diverse new disc, and third full-length Reincarnate. The album features guest vocals from Dani Filth (Cradle of Filth), Maria Brink (In This Moment), and Tim Sköld (Marilyn Manson, KMFDM). Loud recently had Chris “Motionless” Cerulli on the phone while on tour with Bring Me the Horizon and A Day to Remember to get the lowdown.
Q: You’re touring with two of the biggest bands in heavy music at the moment, so you’re in good company.
A: Yeah, I don’t understand how out of all bands we got put on the tour, but I’m very grateful to be able to play for a lot of new fans, because it definitely seems like there are a lot of their fans who don’t know we are. I’m having a great time.
Q: Do you tend to be influenced by the bands you tour with much in some regard?
A: Not exactly. We pay attention to the reaction of fans and new fans and everything based on songs that we’re playing, or what we’re doing with the presentation. But it’s never like a direct influence on, ‘oh, we played for A Day to Remember’s crowd we need to go write a heavier record because that’s what those fans want’. It’s never been like that. We kind of just learn from being on that tour, playing to those types of people, but that’s about it.
Q: The new album fuses a number of different styles. Did you anticipate some backlash from fans, or criticism from reviewers for attempting to combine such a broad range of elements?
A: It’s more so for me, I can’t really see, as a musician/artist, whatever you want to call it, a songwriter. I just can’t see writing an album with 12 songs that sound exactly alike. I want some diversity in there, and I want the next song to still be in the same realm of what the band is, but to have a different vibe that’s new and fresh with every track. I just can’t see writing 12 of the same song. It’s definitely a thing that we know people are going to say, but it’s kinda like, ‘fuck it, whatever, we’re gonna write the songs we want to write’, and that’s about it.
Q: Did you also find being pigeonholed as a metalcore act restrictive, and therefore wanted to expand beyond those parameters?
A: Yeah, we’ve always been trying to get out of the scenes that we’re pigeonholed into. Like, we put out our first record and it established us as a band, and in the eyes of a lot of people. Unfortunately that record sort of set the standard as to what our band is and should be (in some listeners’ eyes), even though that record was when we were a lot younger and still not fully encompassing what we wanted to be doing. There’s a lot of hints of things in those songs that we’re doing now, but it wasn’t nearly as progressed to the point that it is now. So that kind of put us in a scene, a genre and a hole that we’ve been trying to get out of, and the new record I feel appeals to those fans, while at the same time saying, ‘hey, we’re more than just your typical Warped Tour metalcore band’, you know?
Q: There are already plenty of those sound-a-likes out there too, so that’s further incentive to differentiate Motionless in White from the masses.
A: Yeah, it’s definitely a pain in the ass, but we just keep going, and it seems like we keep growing as a band, so until that stops we’re just going to keep doing what we do.
Q: Do you still view yourselves largely as a metalcore band?
A: Yes and no. At heart, that’s what we started the band doing. A lot of my favourite bands are under the metalcore genre, so a lot of bands that influence our music are under the metalcore genre. And there are lots of aspects of that on the new record. So I don’t necessarily hate it, I just wish that people would see that there’s a lot more to us than just that. So it’s not like it’s an insult, it’s just that I just wish people would be a little more open-minded when looking for a genre to call us or something.
Q: Along similar lines, do you wish more people would look beyond your image and forming a perception of what you sound like based solely on the aesthetic, and that they can delve deeper?
A: I feel like our image has also progressed with the music, but at the same time we’ve been wearing make-up since the beginning and we still wear make-up now. So that’s not as dramatic of a change as the music has been. The music, which should always be number one over image, has definitely been the thing that people can most recognise as being the evolution of the band. The image has just got a little bit cleaner, a little bit more… I guess honed down to be like exactly what we want it to do, instead of a little bit more all over the place.
Q: If you take the example of a band like Kiss, it took them a few years to refine their look. Some of those early make-up designs were rather crude (laughs).
A: Yeah, I think it takes anybody who is ever trying to hone in on a craft of their own a little while to really figure out how to do it the right way, how to really get in tune with what it is that you really wanted out if it from the beginning. It’s just a learning experience like anything else in the world.
Q: You’ve just released your third record – has the band established a typical song-writing process by now, or is it always evolving?
A: I think that we know our niche now, and what the writing of a song is like. It’s more so just, we wanted to go with what felt right on this one. We didn’t want to try and force parts into being something that they shouldn’t have been. We just went with the writing of the song, and let the next part happen rather than really try to be like, ‘well, we have to put a breakdown here, we have to do this here’. It was a little easier and a lot more coherent for us. It just came together this time, whereas our last record it seemed like we were trying to force a lot of shit. It ended up working, but it was just a really stressful experience.
Q: Changing topics, what are your other touring plans for this record?
A: Well, after this tour, we go to Europe with Lacuna Coil, and that will be up until like November. Then I think we’re finally going to do a US headliner… We haven’t headlined in over two years. So we’re going to go out there and put on a show for our fans here, and then hopefully take that to Australia or South America or something like that. Just try to get out there and keep touring, keep being on the road.
Q: Any famous last words?
A: Just thanks for having me, and thanks to all our Australian fans. We’re really hoping to see everybody in 2015.