May 3, 2017 Interview – Chris Motionless of Motionless In White
To make it in the world, one needs to have a thick skin, a resilient attitude, but most of all, the ability to defy the odds. Out of Scranton, Pennsylvania, the band known as Motionless in White has faced those challenges for over a decade now, learning about music, people, and life. Quickly standing out among other Metalcore acts on the scene with their 2010 first full-length album, Creatures, rather than be complacent, the band has strived to grow, as vividly heard on 2012’s Infamous and 2014’s Reincarnate.
Still very much a Metal band, yet more diverse and seasoned than ever, Motionless in White are now set to make their Roadrunner Records debut on May 5, 2017 with their fourth overall album, Graveyard Shift. An album that promises to be a bold step forward for the band, Motionless in White still has plenty of passion-driven music to offer. Recently we caught up with Band Leader Chris Motionless to talk the evolution of the band, turning negatives into positives, the future of Motionless in White’s live shows, and so much more.
CrypticRock.com – With over a decade under your belt with Motionless In White, the band has done extensive touring, grown musically, and stuck to your own artistic vision. Through it all, at this point, are you happy with where Motionless in White stands in 2017?
Chris Motionless – Yeah, very happy! We’ve always been more so happy than not through all the time that we’ve been a band, but I think in the last couple of years we’ve really found the true identity of the band; we’ve really found that niche where I think we belong. There’s been some adjustments made inside the band and the way that we conduct our business, and all kinds of lessons learned over the years; but we’re finally to the point where I think, yeah, we’re pretty excited about what’s happening, who we are, and where we’re at. I can’t complain about anything!
CrypticRock.com – That is great to hear. We had spoken last back in 2014 and, at that time, you had said that it has been a long, hard road; you have worked hard, having been on the road a lot. In many ways, you are really a self-motivator. That said, do you also find a fire or inspiration to move forward in the naysayers and know-it-all critics?
Chris Motionless – Yeah! There’s actually a song on the new album called “Soft” and it’s very much about that exact same thing. There’s just so many others. Of course it’s frustrating; you’re going to have people that dislike you and make shit up, just want to tear you down. That’s just part of it! That doesn’t necessarily bother me – that’s going to happen with everything, that’s just life – but it’s more so what feeds my fire to prove people wrong. When things are said where people are going out of their way to purposely try to dislike you or try to tarnish your reputation – any of those things – that’s when I feed the fire and I have an outlet to express my feelings about that. Thankfully, on this record, I had a chance to and there’s a very specific song about that exact thing. It’s definitely something I’m passionate about!
CrypticRock.com – It certainly shows through in the music, there is a feeling of resilience amidst each song. Now, after a three year wait, you are set to return with this new record, Graveyard Shift. This has been a steady progression for the band, and the songs on the album are heavy, yet quite melodic with a good deal of Industrial sounds. What was the writing and recording process like for this album?
Chris Motionless – I think, really, just for us, it was a matter of acknowledging what we love the most about our band over the past few records, and what the fans really loved. I think this record was definitely a summation of all of those better parts of everything brought together. We really like where we’re headed as a band, so there’s many things that we love about us that maybe isn’t necessarily the most widely accepted thing amongst our fans; but that’s what we love about the band.
There are fans of those parts just as much as there are fans of, you know, things that… maybe a lot of the fans want us to be a lot heavier, which we – being a heavy band – still have no problem with embracing that side of ourselves, we have kind of shown that a little bit more, as well, over the past few records and on this record just as much. I think it’s just a great mix of what we love, what fans love, and maybe even trying a few new things.
CrypticRock.com – Excellent. Many would say that 2012’s Infamous was a true step forward for the band, then 2014’s Reincarnate was a continuation of that progression. Do you feel like Graveyard Shift is the final stage of metamorphosis for Motionless In White, or can we expect this to be an ever-evolving entity?
Chris Motionless – I think the expansion of sound and the evolution of the band’s identity, character, and personality has become a little bit less further and further from each other with each record. You know, like Creatures (2010) to Infamous is quite a departure, whereas Infamous to Reincarnate and Reincarnate to Graveyard Shift are a little bit closer to each other per album. We’re always going to try and find new things that we can do and bring into our music that really show just the kind of stuff that we love and that we want to have as part of our band. I would say that this is definitely the closest that I can say to being absolutely, 100% happy with where the band is at, and I wouldn’t expect it to be too much different in the future.
CrypticRock.com – We all know you are a very diverse individual as far as influences, and you are also unpredictable, which is very refreshing in an artist. It will be exciting to see where it goes from here, but this is a really strong record. Do you have any songs that really stick out for you on this record as being very personal, or are they all pretty much personal?
Chris Motionless – They’re all personal in some way or another. There’s definitely some that are just a little bit more opinionated in a personal way; but there are quite a few that are very deep-seated things that I needed to write about. I would say songs like “570,” “Hourglass,” “Necessary Evil.” There’s definitely a few things that, in those songs, like “Soft”…There’s quite a bit that are about personal experiences or my thoughts and feelings that I needed to have an outlet for. “570” being the absolute, most personal song I think I’ve ever written lyrically; it’s just, start to finish, such an inner…like basically pouring out the past ten, eleven years of my life on the paper and letting people know where I’m coming from. I don’t think it’s going to get any more personal than that.
CrypticRock.com – That definitely is true and it makes for great music, because the best music comes from the heart.
Chris Motionless – Absolutely! We’ve always tried to maintain that mentality throughout our entire career and I think that’s part of the reason we had any success; because it is sincere, it is honest and from the heart.
CrypticRock.com – Agreed. Now, as mentioned earlier, you guys have really spent a lot of time on the road over the past decade; you have been on a lot of tours, you have headlined your own tours. You are actually still on the road and you’re going to be on the road this summer. With all of that, the stage show has grown, it has become more theatrical with each passing year. Can we expect some more surprises in future live performances with some more theatrics?
Chris Motionless – Yeah! We are right now trying to work on another headliner that’s going to happen at some point, and with that one we feel it will be our first true, proper, big headliner in a couple years, and we really want to kind of set a new bar for ourselves – really, really high. We’re basically going to extend well over our budget for all different types of production, props, stage characters, and actors and actresses. We want to bring an arena show to a club. Fortunately, we’re able to play bigger clubs than we were the past couple of years. We’re not at an arena level at the moment, and we recognize that, so we’re going to bring the arena to the club; and that is absolutely something that we’re very passionate about.
CrypticRock.com – Great to hear. It is very interesting to see the progression of the live shows. Obviously, as you find more finances, you can do more.
Chris Motionless – Yeah, the bigger a band gets, the more opportunities you have in every facet. Money sadly is what makes the world go ‘round. Thankfully we’re in a position now where we’re making more money, and we can afford to bring out all the crazy lights and build all the expensive stage props. I’m just happy that we’re basically taking our money and putting it back into helping the band grow rather than blowing it on dumb shit.
CrypticRock.com – Right. In that sense, money can be a good thing because you are reinvesting it in this passionate vision. As stated earlier, you have very diverse musical tastes; we have spoken about influences, bands, and artists you love in the past. With that said, there is really a great deal of saturation right now in music, perhaps more than ever before. What artists are standing out as unique and compelling in 2017?
Chris Motionless – It’s tough for me because there’s not a whole lot of things that I feel haven’t been done. I’ve stood by in the past couple of years, and I feel like there’s no riff left unwritten; there’s no vocal melody left that you haven’t heard before, there’s no type of scream that you haven’t heard before. It’s out there and I think it’s basically up to bands to take it…If that’s how it’s going to be for us, where there is nothing that hasn’t been done, then we have to do something about it – at least make it grow.
There’s definitely a few bands out there now that I like: there’s a band from the UK called Creeper that I really like lately that have kind of a pretty wide range of influences that I hear when I hear their stuff. I think it’s really cool to take kind of like the Punk aspect and bring in this vocal-style that, to me, reminds me of the big, theatrical Meatloaf vocals, and kind of blend those together. I think that is a band that is doing something cool and unique with styles that have obviously been done but making it their own. They’re definitely a band I’m into lately!
CrypticRock.com – Very cool. Last we spoke, you had mentioned you are a fan of Horror movies. You had said that the original Halloween is one of your favorites. Have you seen any newer Horror films that you enjoyed?
Chris Motionless – I wouldn’t say there’s been any more recent ones; I would say the past couple of years, I haven’t seen anything that comes to mind. The most recent Horror movie that blew me away was that movie Cabin In the Woods that came out back in 2012. I thought that was such a cool, unique, clever way of just taking a Horror movie and dissecting…It’s just so clever and, at the same time, it was scary; it had the thrills, it had the startling moment, it had the really cool visuals. The whole end of the movie really blew my fucking mind when they just had all the types of Horror personalities and characters…everything like that come out. It was like watching all different types of Horror movies in one and I was just blown away by it! That’s for sure my most recent favorite one! It’s been a couple years back, but I can’t recall anything immediately.
CrypticRock.com – Very cool. Out of curiousity, would you ever consider perhaps starring in a Horror movie or writing a screenplay?
Chris Motionless – Absolutely! I’ve always wanted to try something like that, but it’s not something I’m going to actively pursue. I’ve got so much going on with music that I’m going to focus on that, but if the opportunity ever came into play, I would absolutely want to be a part of it. I wish I had time to work on a screenplay or something, it’s just that music is such a prevalent part of my life daily that it’s hard to find time for other stuff.