Motionless In White: The Big Ass Interview
Heavy-hitters Motionless In White have been lambasted for a perceived musical identity crisis. However, frontman Chris “Motionless” Cerulli tells Brendan Crabb they know precisely what type of band they want to be.
BLUNT converses with Motionless In White vocalist Chris “Motionless” Cerulli shortly after Halloween, when the singer tweeted a photograph of himself decked out as Eric Draven for the occasion. The comic book figure was popularised by the late Brandon Lee in 1994 film The Crow; an already gripping, memorable performance imbued with real-life tragedy prior to a series of increasingly dire sequels we all should pretend don’t exist were issued. The gothic electro-metalcore act’s striking aesthetic is perfectly tailored to said holiday, and the Americans have even parlayed fandom of motion pictures into their creative endeavours.
“I love the film a lot, for the time period that it came out I thought it was great,” the frontman gushes. “It’s been such a great movie over all the years, that people are still discovering it to this day. I love that it stands the test of time and still holds up as a really influential movie. We take a lot of influence from films, of multiple different kinds. We have a song called ‘Devil’s Night’, which is a pretty prevalent theme in the movie.”
The band’s burgeoning popularity means they’re becoming a proverbial sizeable box office attraction themselves, gaining a prestigious undercard position on The Amity Affliction/A Day To Remember Australian co-headline run. Although Cerulli remarks that the majority of their career has seemingly been spent as a support act – resulting in those performances containing minimal production values – this was too lucrative an opportunity to decline.
“It’s about as gnarly as it gets. Not only are we going to be playing arenas, but we’ll be playing arenas internationally. It’s especially great for us, totally based on the fact that we’ve done Australia twice already, but it’s only ever been on Soundwave. So for us to go directly from Soundwave to an arena tour, it’s fucking bizarre,” he laughs.
“I was just explaining it to somebody else that I feel slightly even disappointed in myself, because I feel like we haven’t earned it yet in Australia. We’ve never been able to go over there and play like a small club tour and really earn our place over there before getting to do this massive tour. But I’m not complaining in any way. It’s going to be a great tour for us and we’ll really get to show some new Australian fans what we’re about, and why the already existing fans like us.”
“I would never be able to be in a band that has 12 songs on a record that sound exactly like each other. I need those differences per song, I need to explore the musical genres that I love in my own material.”
Although ideas have already been bandied about, Motionless In White will properly commence work on following up 2014 album and third full-length overall, Reincarnate, following the jaunt Down Under. Some critics have blasted previous releases for haphazardly straddling heavy styles without proper focus.
“I feel like the new record [Reincarnate] is exactly what kind of band we want to be,” the vocalist emphasises. “Our older material is very varied, and I can see that argument being applied to records like [2012’s] Infamous, which is really all over the place. But that was in a weird spot of our band where not even we were happy with ourselves entirely. We were really trying to figure out our identity and what we were really trying to do as a band.
“Reincarnate to me is finally a place where we were like, ‘Yep, this is us’. For as varied as it may sound or was reviewed as, I feel like I’m happy about that, because I would never be able to be in a band that has 12 songs on a record that sound exactly like each other. I need those differences per song, I need to explore the musical genres that I love in my own material. I would not be able to live my life and career happy with knowing that I just popped out another record that had 12 songs that sounded exactly like one another, with just a few differences.”
Perhaps it’s this self-assuredness which has enabled Cerulli and cohorts to entertain the prospect of surviving from playing metal full-time.
“The Reincarnate record really rocked us in every way. I think once that came out there was reassurance that, ‘Okay, things are starting to become really cool for us lately’. The band is growing, we’re touring all over now instead of just the States with a couple of maybe foreign tours here and there. We’re all over the place at this point, and knowing that our career is stable right now makes me think that we could probably do this and make a living off of it, and we’re not going to be struggling as much. That could all go away tomorrow; it could keep growing and be awesome next week, you don’t know. There’s no stability, but at least right now it feels like there is, which is great.”
Check out Motionless In White this December when the Big Ass Tour rolls into town.
Big Ass Tour Dates
Thu Dec 10th – Logan Campbell Centre, Auckland, NZ
Sat Dec 12th – Qantas Credit Union Arena, Sydney
Mon Dec 14th – Perth Arena, Perth
Wed Dec 16th – Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Adelaide
Thu Dec 17th – Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne
Sat Dec 19th – Riverstage, Brisbane – SOLD OUT
Sun Dec 20th – Riverstage, Brisbane