Sometimes we’re caught in surprise by some of the bands that we came across. Mortanius was sure one of them. This progressive outfit released so far three EPs, which the latest we reviewed here, “A Voice from Beyond”, and gave us the impression that they’re ready for a full length. We talked with Lucas Flocco and Jesse Shaw, the current two members of Mortanius, and got to know them a little better. Here’s the result.
WOM – Thank you for this interview. I really enjoyed your latest EP, having a kind of unexpected sound but still giving the listener some familiar ground. How have been the reactions to it?
Lucas Flocco – The reactions to the new EP have been mostly positive. This release has received much more attention than our previous releases and It is definitely our strongest one yet. We really tried to use the lessons from recording our previous EPs to make this the best product possible.
WOM – Still about the familiar ground issue… we detected an Rush influence, specially vocally. Do you agree with that? Are they a influence?
L.F. – I enjoy Rush but I’m not a regular listener of them. The Rush influence is more second hand than direct, due to me listening to bands that are more directly influenced by Rush. Vocally, I’ve never looked much to Geddy Lee as an inspiration. My voice is just naturally weird and similar sounding to his when I sing higher. I’ve always been more influenced by singers like Michael Sweet, James Labrie, and DC Cooper.
Jesse Shaw – I think we both really enjoy Rush as a band, however I’ve never really thought we take a lot of vocal style from them. I do however understand that Lucas sounds a lot like Geddy, and I think that helps our band feel close to home an familiar for our listeners. As a bass player I do take a lot of influence from Geddy Lee.
WOM – Tree EPs released in by yourselves. That’s what you planned, release your music by your own or is it hard to find a suitable label?
L.F. – Honestly we haven’t really tried much to contact or make an impact on record labels to help release our material. Mostly I would chalk it up to a lack of contacts within the industry, and me just really not being confident enough in our current material to try sending it to a record label. I want to make the best first impression possible, and I haven’t felt our past releases were strong enough to make such an impact yet. However, our next release that we are beginning work on soon is something that I feel is going to be more than strong enough to send to record labels. It is really going to blow away what we have out now.
WOM – You have the strangest choices for musics to cover. I loved it! It’s really cool not to have constantly the same musics covered over and over. What’s your motivation and why did you choose these two (“Barbie Girl” by Aqua and the anime theme Slam Dunk)?
L.F. – My reasoning behind covering pop songs like Barbie Girl is because it is uncommon and unexpected for metal bands to cover songs like that. Covering popular songs can draw the attention of listeners who might not have been interested in checking out the band before. Another reason why I chose to cover pop songs is because the original’s pop musical arrangements leave a lot of room for me to come up with ideas for rock/metal arrangements. When covering songs that were originally played on rock instruments, I find it hard to divert my mind away from the original instrumental arrangements and come up with something new. This is noticeable in Mortanius’ cover of the Slam Dunk theme, in which very little is changed from the original version, due to it already being played on rock instruments. My reasons for covering the Slam Dunk theme was primarily to catch the attention of anime fans and get them to check out Mortanius.
WOM – Do play live, is that a important part for you?
L.F. – We have not played live in about a year and a half. This is because we have been without a permanent drummer and guitarist. We have been rather unlucky in finding interested musicians who also match up to our qualifications for new band members. We are still lookinh for new band members, so hopefully we will get lucky soon and be able to play live shows again.
WOM – When will we have an album from you guys?
L.F. – Our next release is actually going to be a full album. The songs on it are going to be a huge improvement from our most recent EP, and we think a lot of people are going to enjoy it. Currently I am finishing writing lyrics for the album. After that, Mortanius is going to be heading to the studio.
WOM – What are your expectations to the future?
L.F. – For the future I hope the band can find a drummer and guitarist and resume playing live. I also hope to get the upcoming full length album to as many listeners as possible and make new fans.
Jesse Shaw –
Our expectations lie mostly in simply working on our music and being able to record for ourselves and our fans. We both are pursuing careers in music, so we plan to do this for the rest of our life. Maybe there will be a new chapter eventually, but for now, we are working on delivering Mortanius to our fans and working on new material.